Dom Phillips.. "Obrigado por tudo"
Global Underground 014 - "It's a wild and bumpy road of mucky house, robot funk and the devils trance, and Digweeds tight, confident control never lets up as he pulls off dangerous track combinations with a rally drivers cool."
Back in 2019 on the 27th September I decided that I wanted to do a definitive piece explaining the term 'Progressive House'. A simple piece that we could post up in the event of the question being asked in the group.
As many will know, the term was coined by Dom Phillips in a June 1992 Mixmag article called 'Trance Mission'. At that time this particular copy of Mixmag was not in my possession so I decided to reach out and contact Dom Phillips directly to ask if he would be interested in doing a short interview about the term and in particular; that article. I also needed to ask if he had a copy in some format that I could use on the piece.
I knew this would seem like a random request and to be honest I didn't expect a response, then unexpectedly and out of the blue a few weeks later I received an email.. It was Dom!
Following this, we had a brief discussion and he told me that he would try to locate the reference article as it was on a hard drive buried away somewhere. At the time he said he wasn't sure about answering any questions as he'd not written or followed anything relating to electronic music as he was now based in Brazil mainly covering news stories.
Around a month went by, and Dom emailed to say he'd found the piece and would be happy to answer a few brief questions relating to the term and article. So we hooked up and bounced a few emails back and forth, talking music and he seemed pretty chuffed that somebody had written a thesis on Progressive House which was available online. He pulled out some spelling and grammatical errors in a couple of things I was putting together, and after a short period the 'Defining Moments – Dom Phillips' Blog piece was put together and went live on the PHC blog.
I felt extremely humbled that Dom had taken the time out of his busy schedule to talk to me. To think I'd actually had contact with the guy that ran Mixmag and who coined that very famous phrase for the style of music that quite literally dominates my record collection and which is synonymous with my love of house music.
I next had contact with Dom on 20th June 2021 after a Zoom call with the guys from Super Progressive. We’d been discussing ideas for short videos and I’d put forward the 'Trance Mission' article as a base for maybe the first Short.
I messaged Dom and he responded within the day. He advised he was travelling and wouldn't be back home until July, but again would be happy to look at what was being proposed.
On July 13th I contacted Dom again and we we're able to hook up. The final email we’d share was one in which he asked me to pass on various details to the guys at Super Progressive. This included recommended books and other relevant reading material, and he was kind enough to provide links to Global Underground videos that had been made. He talked fondly about how lucky he was to have met so many people while travelling for 10 years with the Global Underground crew and experiencing different scenes around the world. He said he was very appreciative of his time with Global Underground.
He signed off his email by respectfully declining the request for a video interview as he was working on a book about the Amazon. The political situation in Brazil was now very polarised and unfortunately some will go to great lengths to attack journalists in all kinds of nasty ways, some colleagues had faced quite serious problems. He was very cautious about what video or interview material would appear because these people do like to take things out of context and distort. He hoped we could understand his caution.
In light of what has recently happened and the awful news which has now been confirmed, I wanted to share this recent story.
Dom Phillips didn't know me. He had no idea who I was, but liked the fact I wanted to document something. He happily and freely provided his insight and shared his memories and provided information about his previous career for which I will be eternally grateful. It was obvious from our final email he was an incredibly brave individual, working in a challenging, sometimes hostile and dangerous environment, while championing the indigenous cause against environmental destruction. You could say he was a real trail blazer.
Dom Phillips will be remembered for many great and certainly more important things, but for me it will always be the fact he was the guy that wrote cool, quotable stuff about underground dance music and more importantly coined the imitable term… ‘Progressive House'.
RIP Dom and thank you for being such a selfless, brave, wonderful individual.
Global Underground 013: "It's tantalizing-phuture phunk frenzy, weaving sunny dreams with an exclusive Sci-Fi symphony, you don't need to hear the jets in here, Sasha's playing his own..."
Our thoughts are with Dom's wife Alessandro Sampaio and his family.. The PHC team.