< BACK TO BLOG

11:11 with PHORTAH 

November 2, 2023
-
Blog
“On mornings of heightened energy, I’ll do a movement practice before looking at my phone (bravo Nico!). That’s impacted by where I’m staying, as I live in my van currently. By the seaside there will be stretchy, flowy, body and energetic work happening before jumping in for a swim and practising handstands back on land” 
In this interview we get auspicious and esoteric with Northern Rivers based act PHORTAH ahead of his live set at MAHICO November 26th. We talk about all things production equipment essentials, morning rituals, guilty pleasures and love languages.

Tell us about your morning routine / rituals? How do you bring yourself into the world?

On mornings of heightened energy, I’ll do a movement practice before looking at my phone (bravo Nico!). That’s impacted by where I’m staying, as I live in my van currently. By the seaside there will be stretchy, flowy, body and energetic work happening before jumping in for a swim and practising handstands back on land. In more bushy places I’ll throw down a soft mat and roll around and around finding sweet places to be and letting my voice sound, as is supportive to the process. Sometimes I’m very in my own world with these practices - just working through my shit. Other times they are enacted as (dare I say “sacred”?) offerings to life. That means there’s conversation between myself and the ocean, tree, rock and whatever else may be there to connect with. 

Current favourite album ?

Bon Iver - 22, A Million

This record opened me up a lot and reminded me that we still have not gotten to the end of what is sonically possible. 

I barely listen to albums anymore to be honest. 

Favourite music producer and why ?

So hard to say. Nicolas Jaar probably altered my sonic course as much or more than anyone else. When I leaned towards electronic music I was immediately and persistently irked by the structures and rules the tracks tend to follow. I heard Jaar’s “Don’t Break My Love / Why Didn’t You Save Me” single and felt deeply freed of the sense of rule and convention. There are plenty of other rule benders in the field, but Jaar stands out in my opinion. 

Favourite nature spot in the northern rivers ?

I’ve been warned off elevating parts of country over others. Isn’t all land sacred? I can honestly say there are many places I love to be up here, it’s a paradise. 

What’s your love language ?

Touch and words of affirmation. 

I’m into contact improv and zenthai shiatsu. Talking can often feel really not on point for me. Put two bodies together in a consensual arrangement and the conversation between the bodies can be much more on point. 

My mind patterns can be self deprecating, so a perspective focused more on the positive shared by another can really hit home for me. 

A piece of production equipment you can’t live without…

Microphones are a miracle. I reckon field recorders, dynamic and condenser mics are essential to my sound. I’d survive without them though I’m sure.

One guilty pleasure you can’t live without …

Second “can’t live without in a row”, far out… 

The algorithm was serving pro wrestling videos from the 90s “attitude era” to me a lot this winter. It comes across as pretty lame if you’re not into it, but as a youngen, I was. Bigtime. 

So it seems I can still tune into The Rock and Stone Cold and get very involved and excited about their drama. It’s a form of not very sophisticated theatre, and I’d prefer people thought of me as more sophisticated, so there’s the guilt. 

Favourite festival snacks ?

Chia smoothie bowl made in the van starts the day strong. Nut butters with fruit are good ongoing. 

Vegemite or marmite ?

I have never tried either. They smell like something I don’t want to put in my mouth and so I never have. 

Post gig pleasure (s)?

A gig that goes well is a really big high to experience. It’s best to just be with that and feel it. There’s always invitations to go and do this or that, but why rush away from this high? 

Your ideal day off looks like…

Not a moment spent in delusional separation. A full day of decentralised awareness as the web of life. 

Last film you saw at the movies?

Joker. I went 2 or 3 times. It’s really good. 

Mountains or Beaches?

Both living, sacred places. 

Current podcast that is rocking your boat?

The Emerald. Joshua is an avid animist and student of myth. Tune in and remember. 

Your most played artist on Spotify is….

Perfume Genius. 

Your favourite Australian festival is….

Zenfest. Confest. Earth Freq. 

What is your spirit animal? 

Panther. Echidna. Eagle. Dolphin. Spider.
It changes…

Byron needs more of…

Butoh. 

Your biggest musical inspiration?

Too hard to say, it changes a lot over time. Contenders include: Sigur Ros, Tool, The Mars Volta, Nico Jaar, Acid Pauli, Perfume Genius.  

A book that you have  reread over and over again?

Come Of Age - Stephen Jenkinson

5 people you would invite over for a dinner party?

Gwyn Williams. Simon Thakur. Stephen Jenkinson. Joshua Shrei. Martin Prechtel. Hopefully one or two at a time, all together might be hard to take in. 

Your guardian angel number is….

what’s that mean?

Hero Icon 2

read also

MAHICO Interview questions - Kit webster
MAHICO Festival Interview - Katherine Gailer
Dec 28
READ MORE
MAUGLI - Australian tour interview
Oct 27
READ MORE