MUSIC: Phantoms, LA House Duo take on WMC and SXSW


7:00 P.M. and sound check is complete.  Time for dinner.  After sitting down at Hollywood’s newest restaurant, Butchers And Barbers, for a much deserved pre-show drink, the House production duo known as Phantoms are immediately called back to the venue to perform interviews with press.  No time to rest, but it’s a welcome lifestyle change.  An indicator that, after 5 years, things are finally happening.  Drinks down and back to The Sayers Club they walk.

Vinnie and Kyle grew up in the Valley region of Los Angeles meeting at an early age while both pursuing acting.  Vinnie was hipped to a lot of rhythm based music as a child thanks to his father who played in Funk bands his whole life.  Kyle was exposed to Pop from the King himself, Michael Jackson, thanks to his uncle who played keys for him.  Music was in the blood and acting would have to wait.  After 3-years as a DJ duo crafting their sound followed by 2-years actively pushing their material, they find themselves on the cusp of signing a deal and releasing their debut album.  “The Album is done,” says Vinnie as Kyle follows up with the details, “there’s sort of a loose concept around it.  It kind of being one night out in whatever city and the personas you meet.”  The sound varies but stays cohesive as evidence of their soundcloud page.  The first official single is “Broken Halo”, a Pop House tune featuring vocalist Nicholas Braun over a Kraak & Smaak style drum loop and Disclosure worthy slick production.  Another previous release, “Colors” is much more serious with a Techno vibe, but does not stray from the overall aesthetic the duo have set out to string across the album.  “We wanted it to feel like a lot of peaks and valleys and you kind of get a big taste of the music we like,” Vinnie adds.


The guys are having one hell of a week as they prepare for that night’s show sponsored by Red Bull Sound Select at which they are billed with superb Soul vocalist Niia.  Not only are they still flying high from a memory filled SXSW conference in Austin where they played 3 showcases, they are literally about to fly out in a matter of hours.  Kyle interjects, “we’re actually hopping a plane at 6:00 AM to go down to Miami for [Winter Music Conference].”  The enthusiasm is palpable as it is apparent their dream is manifesting in ways that they planned, and it will also leave them exhausted.  But exhilaration is more powerful than the purest cocaine.  With a record contract waiting on the other end of the flight, no amount of sleep deprivation is going to keep them from doing interviews and performing to the highest standard tonight in front a sold out hometown crowd.

Plan in place, the 2nd official single, “Voyeur” will be released very soon, acting as a calling card before the album drops.   “We had a lot of years leading up to this to kind of figure out what we’re gonna do,” Kyle says as the final interview of the night nears it’s end.  But what they are gonna do right now is eat.  They get up to adorn this interviewer in full open arm hugs as if embracing the physical manifestation of the moment, welcoming the success that is well within reach.

Hear more from Phantoms on their soundcloud page.


– Dominic Painter

photo credit: Colin Young-Wolff / Red Bull Sound Select / Content Pool