× FestivalsMusicNew ReleasesArtistsFashion & ClothingVideosPrivacy PolicyTerms And Conditions
Subscribe To Our Newsletter

We Need To Talk About Main Phase

We Need To Talk About Main Phase

We Need To Talk About Main Phase

It could be controversial to say that the UK garage scene has reemerged into the underground limelight over the past five years. Many ravers who have followed the scene intrinsically, will know it has played its part in fortifying British dance culture for the last three decades. More recently, its prominence through brands such as Keep Hush, Boiler Room, 23 Degrees and many others highlights the unstoppable wave UK garage and breakbeat culture is currently experiencing. 

One artist who has unquestionably added to this ever-evolving movement is one of Denmark’s finest exports, Adam Schierbeck. Otherwise known as Main Phase, the Copenhagen-based artist is widely known for his dark, two-step, flow within the UK bass scene. He can dip into his armoury and provide a wide range of sounds that accommodate a plethora of underground sub-genres within garage, breaks, and jungle. 

Having started his own label- ATW Records with rising producer Interplanetary Criminal, as well as having notable releases with ec2a, Warehouse Rave, & Hardline Sounds- it is safe to say that Main Phase is becoming a household name within the UK electronic dance community. The last three years have truly been a whirlwind for this multi-talented DJ, and producer. With a busy schedule of summer bookings in the pipeline, we wanted to check in with Main Phase and delve deeper into the facets that have built his career so far.    

Let’s start off by talking about the UK garage scene as a whole. Does it seem to you like there is a resurgence? Or is that the wrong word?

All throughout Europe I’ve seen small collectives and crews popping off. I’ve been doing garage and bass music from very young, I don’t think resurgence, per se, is the correct word. Globally, there’s been this highlight of music that isn’t necessarily super hardcore, but there’s always been a need for a scene that makes the mainstream and underground scene collide- something for everyone. People have started to get the hang of the scene again, and it’s becoming more welcoming for everyone. We are seeing more of the LGBTQ community within the garage scene, for instance. Back in the day garage, grime, and dubstep were extremely male-dominated, but I feel like the scene globally is getting where it needs to be. Obviously, the UK has by far the strongest culture, but me and Interplanetary Criminal just played New Zealand and Australia, and it was amazing- it goes to show you what the scene is doing right now.

Leading me nicely to my next question, how was the New Zealand & Australia tour? Were you surprised by the global reach?   

We did go in thinking that this would be amazing. We were told we could’ve easily stayed for another week, or two, because of the demand- so we knew it was going to be special. But we didn’t know it would be as crazy as it was! The reception was overwhelming. I was surprised by how great it felt to be there. It felt like the UK post-lockdown when everyone was just hungry for a good time. The thing about going somewhere that far is that it feels more special to the audience when you get there-  we were in tune with what they were currently listening to, which made this even bigger to them because we’re artists coming from so far away. Especially when you have Interplanetary Criminal with you, one of the pioneers of the scene right now- and me as well in a way. It really goes to show how broad the scene is. 

Sounds amazing! Why don’t we rewind a little and look at how you became Main Phase?

The main reason I decided to do the ‘Main Phase‘ thing was that I had a kid and a job, and music was on the side- which I then decided to call my ‘Main Phase’. My music started to really develop and I saw that I could make money off of it. It no longer was just for fun. I was in a position where I had these three things in my life, so I quit my day job- allowing me to focus on my family, and do music full-time. I now had so much time to make new tunes and spend time with my family. I found myself having time off on the weekdays and working on the weekends. It’s just been so great ever since. 

So what influenced you as Main Phase?

I started collecting garage vinyl when I was 14. I was always on Youtube watching Rinse.FM videos. There were places online where I could just be a bystander of the scene, without actually being a part of it. I never went raving, I was never really a part of the scene in that sense. But in some ways, I felt like I was really paying attention to it. I was keeping up-to-date with all the tunes and buying all those Rinse.FM mix CDs, from back in the day. I was a nerd when it came to the scene, that was the main difference for me. I didn’t grow up with the culture around me physically, so I had to be on top of it. For instance, I’d run home from school to catch stuff like the Youngsta Rinse.FM session, and things like that. Back then you really had to dig for this stuff, now it’s way more accessible. In the UK it always seemed like being a DJ, or producer was perceived as being cool. Whereas growing up in Copenhagen it wasn’t. 

And looking at where you are now, how do you see yourself within the scene? 

I’ve been into music for around 15 years now, I’ve gone into all types of genres and scenes- but the ‘Main Phase‘ thing marked me going back into garage, I was so in sync with what I was doing. I used all this knowledge I picked up over the years and put it into my music now, as Main Phase. I now feel blessed to be part of building a scene in which people can flourish in. All the groundwork has paid off. All the names in the scene like Interplanetary Criminal, Bluetoof, Dr Dubplate, Frazer Ray, and so many other amazing artists have done so much through hard work over the years. It goes to show if you’ve got that back catalogue, knowledge and real interest, then that is what makes DJs and producers special. We all came from the same first step and then we went our separate ways to become ourselves, we are still so intertwined — but it takes time to develop. When I made my Main Phase SoundCloud, I remember being way more influenced by the people around me in comparison to the older heads. I was listening to the likes of Soundbwoy Killah, Frazer Ray, or some of Interplanetary Criminal’s tunes. Me and Interplanetary Criminal were always sending tunes to one another. He was my biggest influence, and I know I was one of his. We were pushing each other with this constant back and forth.     

As a Danish-based artist, let’s look at how you established yourself in the UK scene. 

So my first one in the UK was the one I did with 23 Degrees, who I’m actually doing my UK tour with now. Tremayne, the promoter for 23 Degrees, I’d say put me and Interplanetary Criminal on the map to be fair. Every artist in the scene owes a lot to him for making this sound pop. The first one was actually a sit-down rave as we were coming out of lockdown. It had been cancelled twice before I was even able to do it because of uncertainties with Covid. It was at the Old Red Bus Station in Leeds, I’d played abroad under old aliases for different types of events, but this was the first time where I felt I could actually vouch for the music I was playing. I knew I could stand at the forefront and say this is the music I love. The reception was just amazing, it made me feel super proud of making this music. My sense of what I was doing changed, that was the gig that made this happen. 

Your releases have really hit the garage scene by storm! Tell us about some of those

I’d put out my first two EPs on Warehouse Raves weeks before that first gig in the UK. All these amazing labels had been contacting me, and once this gig happened I realised this could be something really great. Since then, it’s been amazing. The whole Instinct project was great. The first one came about very quickly, the second one took a bit more time, and then the third one, that’s forthcoming now, is a big one for me because there’s a collaboration with MC Troublesome. It’ll show a good range of stuff I can do. Then, of course, the ATW releases have been special. 

As you’ve mentioned ATW Records, you now have your own label with Interplanetary Criminal! How does that feel?

We actually started ATW in lockdown because we were sitting on all this amazing music. We did have labels reaching out that wanted to release some of it. But Interplanetary Criminal and I got talking and thought “Shall we just make a label to put all this music out on? Why not?” We had all these amazing bits we kept sending each other back and forth, we just made the label. The moment we went from sending stems to one another to actually sitting in the room together and making them, we realised we wanted to do it like this way from now on. We’d been building the label so we could release ‘ATW 001’ and ‘ATW 002’ at the right time. We now have some really exciting plans happening. Looking back on it, I can proudly say that the second ATW release was the best speed garage release of the year. 

There are a lot of brands, labels, collectives, and other groups doing great work in the scene right now. As you’re right in the forefront, are there any you want to shout out for their good work?

Lots of radio stations are doing great for the scene, UK pirate radio culture in the UK has always been super important. Stations such as Ballamii and Rinse FM. Obviously, you also have Instagram in itself, which has been huge for promoting. Although, I do have a love-hate relationship with it. There are a lot of Youtube channels that have also been great for promoting music. These tools really give you a sense of what’s going on in the scene. Obviously, again, I’ll shout out 23 Degrees every single time. They put me on the map. Making sure I played shows in the UK that were well-attended. They’re always reaching out to get new interesting people involved. Always making sure that the bill is diverse, giving everyone an opportunity which I really admire. There are so many other great promoters on the scene right now. Giving a path in the scene for people who aren’t straight males. Obviously, you have Keep Hush, Hör Radio, and plenty of others that make live-streaming really important. I think live-streaming as a whole has been a brilliant way for people to access the music they love. It captures the experience nicely. 

Favourite places to play in the UK?

Hidden in Manchester, it’s always an amazing time there. It’s the first time I played with Flowdan and Killa P, who I now feel very comfortable playing with. I feel like my best sets have been there. Then this new spot in Bristol called Greenworks, it’s great. It has a real 90s vibe to it and is just outside the city. They have some great people behind it!  I would say Fabric as it’s a very significant venue to play at, even though I haven’t played in room one yet. However, I think I’ve got to go with Venue MOT. It reminds me so much of Copenhagen. It’s so small and intimate. The people there are amazing. The sound system is just great. 

Finally, what’s coming up for you this Summer? 

My UK tour with 23 Degrees, will be touching down in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Bristol, Sheffield, basically everywhere. Then big festivals including Glastonbury, Love Saves the Day, and a few others. There are also some European shows in there too!

Follow Main Phase: Instagram/SoundCloud/Spotify


By: Ant Mulholland
Title: We Need To Talk About Main Phase
Sourced From: ukf.com/words/we-need-to-talk-about-main-phase/36249
Published Date: Wed, 31 May 2023 16:37:57 +0000

Read More

Did you miss our previous article...