Pharma

This week’s interview takes us to Vienna, Austria to speak with deep bass mastermind, Pharma. With previous releases on Sub Audio, Locus Sound and Instigate, read on to find out more…

SSC: In your own words, who are you and what do you do?

P: I am a 22-year-old producer & DJ from Vienna. Usually, I focus more on making music rather than DJing but there is something special about performing DJ-Sets and entertaining crowds that I do enjoy a lot, especially when playing own productions. It’s a kind of direct feedback you don’t get anywhere else. I‘m also the curator of the Strange Surface podcast, which hosts own-production mixes from various artists in the scene.

SSC: So, how was the journey? What started it all off and how did that lead you to where you are today? 

P: I started producing in 2011 when my brother took me to a friend of his who had started playing around in Fruity Loops. Quickly captivated by the idea of creating music in a DAW, I got my hands on a copy of FL10 and started composing beats mostly using the default FL samples. With little to no patience, I promptly started uploading my first beats to YouTube under the alias ‘Kronsh‘. They were really bad but I liked what I was doing at the time, so I continued.

Fast forward a few years and I made trap beats under the alias ‘Delta-Drop’, Footwork/Juke under the alias ‘Larry King‘; and lastly Drum & Bass under the alias ‘Dubterra‘. At some point, I decided to create yet another alias for a genre I felt passionate about, that’s how the alias ‘Pharma‘ emerged.

My close friend Sedan played a major role for me over the past years. Amongst other things, he is the one who introduced me to deep dubstep in 2015. When we used to hang out at his place we always played b2b and produced together. I remember him playing tunes from EVA808, Kahn, Commodo, Gantz, LAS etc & I was astonished by the chilling nature, pounding subs and overall complex simplicity of the genre.

I just had to try and do it myself. Early on in my deep dubstep endeavours, I was lucky enough to gain the support of Bukez Finezt, who was reposting a few of my uploads and helped me grow a following on Soundcloud. Since then I try to raise the bar with every new tune and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

SSC: Who are the main influences for you, musically?

P: Someone I couldn’t not mention here is Machinedrum. When I first heard his song “Gunshotta” I was quickly emerged by his style and the emotions he provokes in his music. I got obsessed with his albums “Rooms” & “Vapor City” and tried to comprehend every single thing that made his productions so noticeable and powerful. Shlohmo‘s album “Dark Red” is also worth to mention here.

When it comes to dubstep, I would say my biggest influences were Sleeper, Samba & Malleus. Lately, I have been inspired alot by FLO, Mr. K & Chokez. Also label brothers Zygos, Tosti, Traces, Sibla, Mob Killa & Soukah etc., who never fail to impress.

SSC: What do you consider the highlight of your music career so far, and why?

P: A moment I will never forget was when Zygos, Soukah and myself played a 3 hour b2b2b in Vienna. Exactly one year prior to that, they played at the same event and I stood in the crowd; being able to stand alongside the guys and perform together with them really blew my mind.

Another highlight was when Unearthed Sound invited Traces, myself & Jon to their warehouse to do a Rarefied take-over. It was my first time travelling to another country to perform a set, which was very surreal. Everyone there was so nice and showed great hospitality, and that definitely makes it a highlight for me.

Overall being picked up by Rarefied marks the greatest highlight of my music career so far, it brought me so many opportunities and much confidence to continue with what I was doing.

SSC: Any moments you’d rather forget? 

P: Not really.

Pharma
Pharma

 SSC: Hailing from Vienna in Austria, could you tell us a bit about the scene out there? 

P: In Vienna, I would say we have three main sources for dubstep. Firstly Basstrace, founded in 2015, the collective specializes in hosting promising dubstep nights, inviting dubstep idols such as Causa, Foamplate and Egoless on a monthly basis.

Then there’s Sub Audio, a record label run by Gnischrew, who also organises dubstep nights from time to time. Spearheading the Viennese dubstep scene with digital & vinyl releases from local artists, as well as established musicians hailing from all over the world.

Lastly, the Shenron Collective, who aren’t exactly limited to deep dubstep, but still play a huge role in the scene in my opinion. Also running dubstep nights, inviting international artists and releasing their own music, they, without doubt, set a footprint in the Viennese dubstep culture.

SSC: Anyone we should be keeping an eye on right now? Any particular artists/ DJs standing out to you?

P: Honorable mentions go to OME, Photom, Sedan, Moosiqunt & Imajika, all of whom deserving much more attention and exposure. Each of them has a very distinct style & sound, which really sets them apart from the rest. Also, hailing from Hungary, Töki is definitely worth keeping an eye out. When it comes to collectives, Ghosttown from Munich easily takes the lead. Lastly, Bunzer0 with his FOB show on Sub FM deserves a big shout-out.

SSC: Other than bass-focused music, are there any other genres or artists you are particularly fond of currently?

P: Anything from Gorillaz to The Prodigy to Kanye to Capo Lee to Buerak. I don’t like to limit myself to a single type of music. I listen to everything that appeals to me, no matter what genre.

SSC: What’s on the horizon for Pharma? Anything exciting coming up? 

P: There’s most certainly much to come in 2020 and beyond, but I would rather walk the walk than talk the talk.

SSC: And finally, if you could give one piece of advice for those wishing to follow in your path, what would it be?

P: A piece of advice I could give is that you should never stop practising. When you don’t practice you start getting lazy, lose motivation and routine, making it really hard to keep up a decent workflow. Take yourself seriously and be on good terms with the people around you. Collaborate, share ideas and give feedback. Show the support you’d like to receive yourself & show respect for the music.

Massive thanks to Moritz for taking the time to speak with us. Keep up with all things Pharma at the following link: https://www.facebook.com/pharmadubs/

Pharma
Pharma