“Interesting? I’m not sure I’m a very interesting person,” Dog Bite, aka Phil Jones, offers modestly via email from his current base of Atlanta, GA. The Jersey native has lived in the southern city for the past five years, where he has been, as he says, “doing music, art and trying to be futuristic.” He’s mostly joking, but Jones’ work suggests that there is some truth to his tongue-in-cheek statement; “Machino Machino” (downloadable below), his most recent single released last year on Young Turks (home most famously to the xx), plays like a lucid daydream. Sopped in haze and driven by vocals buried in softly atmospheric and chugging percussion, the track indicates that Jones isn’t particularly bothered with structure, building as he goes and seeing where he ends up seemingly after the fact.
It’s a methodology similar to that of artists like Matthewdavid, a L.A. Brainfeeder family member whose new album contains the track “International,” a collaborative effort between the producer and Jones that feels more concerned with creating atmosphere over purpose. Elementally his “wash of sound” approach also sits quite happily next to the likes of bastions of (the much maligned genre, panned more for its name than the sound itself) chillwave, Toro Y Moi and Washed Out, and Jones is currently preparing for a tour with the latter.
Dog Bite’s unhurried, un-bothered amble is due in part to Jones falling into music, rather than using it as his starting point. “I actually have no music background at all,” he says. “I’ve been doing art for my whole life, so that’s what I really know, but I started doing music about four years ago, and it just kind of stuck with me.” Now he’s in five bands—Dog Bite (that has expanded to a full band), Washed Out’s live band, VEUX (a collaboration with Matthewdavid), a new project called Young Again and Acid Flashback (a collaboration with Karen Jacobs of Free Kisses and Mathemagic). Acid Flashback extracted Fat Joe, Ashanti and Ja Rule’s early ’00s hit “What’s Luv?” into an airy vacuum titled “Skate Bummer” off the I Love Your Magic EP, which is streaming below.
Jones says that at the moment he’s particularly interested in producing music for other people. “I got the opportunity to record this band called Mood Rings’ first EP,” he relays, “and that really opened my eyes up to focusing on the production side of things.” He’s currently working with Brittany Bosco to get her album together. That is, of course, in addition to working on his own album, practicing with Dog Bite as a full band, preparing for the Washed Out tour and finishing Acid Flashback’s first full-length album. “A lot of stuff to do,” Jones says, “but I’m looking forward to it.”
Download “Machino Machino” here, and stream the track below.