Phase Fatale, “Skyscraper”

Sjimon Gompers

Phase Fatale

Phase Fatale's Hayden Payne, photographed by Richard Söderberg.

You may already know Berlin-by-New York artist Hayden Payne from the Dream Affair, or off compilations from Electric Voice Records and Nostilevo under the solo moniker Phase Fatale where Payne fuses industrial electronic programming into the human receptor channels to create movement and rhythm responses using a variety of stimuli. Breaking out from beneath the coldness of solid state samplers and beat machines, we are privileged to debut the towering ziggurat of “Skyscraper”, off the upcoming 12″ for AVANT! available June 20.


Armed with some synthesizers, a few effects and drum machines, Hayden initiates the sinister ascension of, “Skyscraper”. Loops sound like security system scanners, as drum patterns mimic the anxiety and panic that travel throughout the nervous system. The swooping, slowed bark cuts like the swish of swashbuckling battles as the appearance of new drum patterns hit like feet running up stairs. Phase Fatale moves you through (*cough) phases of danger and doom, keeping malevolent forces lighting fires at your heels, introducing the reactionary 'fight or flight' element to the dance floor. The dank, low-lit, underground ballrooms of the world have been safe… until now.

Stream “Skyscraper” below, and read on for our interview with Phase Fatale's Hayden Payne.

What began your interest into electronic body music?

My uncle was in an old industrial band Executive Slacks. Also, my parents and relatives were showing me bands like Nitzer Ebb and Front 242 since I was very young. So, all this contact with this kind of music has shaped my interests from the beginning. But I wouldn't call Phase Fatale an EBM project, it's just influenced by it.

How has industrial rhythms from artists like Front 242, Klinik, Silent Servant and Ancient Methods impacted your sound?

What I like about older bands like 242 is the way they were able to give the feeling that the music is really moving faster and reaching a climax while still locked to a clock that never changes. The music feels more alive even though it is only made with machines. I also incorporate harsher and metallic sounds like some newer artists. There is a balance of old and contemporary influences I find.

How do you describe the process of recording your electro-somatic music, with the making of the Skyscraper 12″?

I work almost exclusively with hardware which allows me a different approach to music. It's a bit more spontaneous. I begin with a sample or abstract idea, manipulate that, then layer many sounds on top. I'm somewhat limited by my approach but I like to have some limits to challenge myself.

What mental and physical states do you find are the most conducive for adapting visceral action to audio?

I don't see the music I'm making as emotionally strong as, for example, my cold-wave band Dream Affair. The music of Phase Fatale is actually colder and more detached. When I produce, it comes more naturally. I am usually in a more aggressive headspace though.

Other EBM artists the world should know about?

Die Selektion and not so much EBM, but I like the new Furfriend record, Blacknecks, and Samuel Kerridge.

Phase Fatale's Skyscraper 12″ will be available June 20 from AVANT!.

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