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SALT_CrookersFrancesco ‘Phra’ Barbaglia is taking a couple of days off in the south of Italy to relax after a crazy tour that has taken in many corners of the globe. RK talks to the so-called Phra about life and times – as well as his split from partner Andrea ‘Bot’ Fratangelo.

“Work is one thing and friendship is another,” chimes the circumspect Italian as he dwells for a moment on the relationship with his former partner, Bot. “Sometimes,” he says, “two things collide and neither of them remain true.”

So after almost a decade together, tearing up dance floors across the world, the duo split and Barbaglia also made the move to Switzerland three years ago, citing a love of fresh air and an even bigger love of relaxing and watching cows!

“It’s true,” he laughs. “The good thing about being on the side of a mountain in the middle of nowhere is that I can actually make music without being influenced much by too many things; having this freedom helps me in a very strong way, I think. Musically I’m working on a crazy amount of music right now.”

Indeed, Barbaglia is also toying with the idea of a follow up to the Mad Decent 2011 release Dr Gonzo with a volume two.

“I can see some anthemic club tracks going into it,” he says, “but I am also thinking about finding a different title for it. What I have right now is a real mixture of club tracks with vocals and quite a few from the hip hop and techno genres.

“In terms of EPs, I’ll also have Ghetto Guetta on Ciao Records coming up in October and after that, a track called Get Excited which features the amazing STS coming up in December. Also, I’m working with a lot of producers and singers for the next album, but I can’t really say much about that yet!”

Moreover, you can expect to hear a natural evolution is his material as well – “today I listen to music carefully and I probably feel it in a slightly different way compared to say ten years ago, which to me means that it is different to the way it was on day one,” he explains. “I still love to make banging beats that make the kids go crazy and to do that, I’m producing more and more beats in the Crookers way.”

Finally, he admits he’s really enjoying his old if not extensive collection of house and hip hop classics – to the extent that the most recent gigs he’s played have been the craziest, dirtiest groove-fests ever.

“I am really feeling good about my music right now; it is 80% of my own productions whenever I am playing – and the parties in Australia are going to be mad!” And that’s the sort of tag line you can’t make up.


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