Karl Phenom, originally from London and now residing in Ibiza, is a DJ, fashion designer, and one of the masterminds behind the ever-evolving virtual environments of RELMS. Previously known as 111ustrious1, Karl is no stranger to the international music scene as he's shared the stage with the likes of Cyber69, Denzel Curry, C!esay of Places + Faces and has performed worldwide in major cities. We link up with Karl and chat about his process of integrating art, fashion, music and even crypto currency into digital spaces.
Tom Yeti: 感谢抽出时间接受我们的采访 Karl, 你现在在哪里？
Tom Yeti: Thanks for making time for a chat Karl, where are we currently finding you?
Karl Phenom: Hey, 我现在住在西班牙伊比萨岛！
Karl Phenom: Ibiza, Spain
T: Let’s dive into it, what is RELMS and how did the idea first come about?
K: RELMS 是一个VR世界，在虚拟环境里为参与者提供体验DJ和音乐表演的无尽可能性。最初是因为我想为我的时尚品牌 Alive And More 创造3D的人物角色
K: RELMS is a virtual world experience focusing on DJ and music performance events in a surreal environment With unlimited possibilities. It came about while looking for a way to create 3D avatar characters to put in clothes from the native Alive and More brand. In an effort to animate them it lead to a deep dive into video game engines. This was all while I was still doing DJ tours so everything gelled together.
T: Compared to offline parties, what does the RELMS online party experience bring that’s different?
K: 我们完全不同的一点，是可以通过一场演出联结到世界各地的人们，同时保持完全的匿名性。在一个虚拟角色背后，人们可以完全地专注在音乐体验上，同现实生活中的日常角色完全脱离 - 就像人们换上同白天不同的衣服和妆容去参加锐舞派对一样。
K: What we have to say is completely different is connecting with people from across the globe and in many ways anonymity. Behind an avatar but enjoying the same music experience. It’s a deep detachment to self as many already go out dress up and leave behind their day to day persona for a rave identity this can be an aspect that is different if I had to think of one.
T: 从 Rick Owens 家具，坦克上的CDJ和定制的Nike鞋盒，你在RELMS里面最爱的特殊物件是什么？
T: From Rick Owens furniture to tank size Pioneer CDJs and custom Nike shoe boxes, what are some of your favourite structures built in the RELMS world?
K: 特斯拉 Cybertruck；还有巨型 KAWS 人像！
K: The Tesla Cybertruck is a good one. Or the Giant Kaws figure.
T: What’s the art process behind creating some of these virtual structures?
K: I'm always thinking about nature vs technology. When creating different environments I always find myself turning the scene into something that would resemble nature in the super future where all of this tech we have are relics.
T: What’s the best and worst thing about coding?
K: 我面对着显示屏度过了无数个日日夜夜！正因为如此，我选择搬到了西班牙伊比萨岛 - 一年当中有300多天的日晒，工作间隙可以在触手可及的沙滩和高山间休息。
K: Hours in front of the screen, which is why I have chosen to build this project here where there is 300 days of sunshine and I can take breaks on the beach or mountains at my doorstep.
T: RELMS 如何诠释 ‘朋克不死’ 的精神？
T: “Punk is not dead” how does RELMS represent that?
K: 主要是源自于 - 我们的项目不是穿着灰色卫衣，住在父母地下室的硅谷码农们创造的；我们首先在线下经历了真正的派对生活，才能在RELMS提供真实且有质感的线上派对体验。我在发起RELMS前，一直都在世界各地DJ巡演，从韩国，东京，巴黎，米兰，伊斯坦布尔，LA，东京，柏林 Berghain 等地都有疯狂的回忆。所以一切都是机缘巧合，才导致如今我用这样的科技手段，来创造这样一个我们自己的世界，而不是由其他不了解地下音乐世界的程序员开发。不是说他们有什么不好，只是我们能创造出更原汁原味的体验。
K: The idea is mainly attributed to the history of our project not being from a Silicon Valley grey hoody wearing bean bag seated, or parents basement tech nerd hermit coder. To offer a real texture to the virtual clubbing we had to have experience real nightlife. My background before launching RELMS has been djing worldwide, South Korea, Tokyo, Paris, Milan, Istanbul, LA, London, face melting in Berghain type shit. So this came about by accident that I'm now applying myself to this level of tech which is more accessible and can be a vehicle to create our own world that isn’t made by the developers who know nothing about it. Not that anything is wrong with them it’s just that we have an opportunity to use tools to create an authentic vision.
T: Musically speaking, what kind of artist are you looking for to get on stage in the RELMS world?
K: Electronic, heavy bass, the good shit that is still being passed around to friends who have not heard of them yet.
T: E-commerce is also tied into the game, How do you see the app play a role in the current developments of online shopping?
K: 如今的线上购物是一个非常贫瘠的体验 - 白色的背景，外加产品照。如此，和线下实体购物的体验之间的巨大空隙，是我们致力于通过VR购物所填补的，其中包括购物场景的设计&产品的展示。
K: I see that online shopping is a very sterile experience with white backgrounds and product shots. Minus the in store experience of the set design and merchandising this is the gap we fill with a virtual shopping experience. The set design. The display.
T: ‘New Species’ 是我们见过最棒的 Air Max 90 设计之一。你们在那个项目上，是如何同 OFFSPRING 和 Nike 合作的？
T: The ‘New Species’ is one of the best designs we’ve seen on a pair of Aix Max 90s. How did you guys work with OFFSPRING and Nike on that project?
K: 那是一个很特别的项目！我们设计了一个3D打印的RELMS版本OFFSPRING 玩偶，同 Nike 的 Air Max 90 一同发售。从鞋的配色，设计到质地都是与以往完全不同的，同时很好的结合了RELMS的美学视角。我们还为这次发行设计了一个特别的3D世界，和一系列的视觉元素。
K: We designed A Collaborative 3D Printed version of the Signature OFFSPRING Toy fused into the RELMS Character to release the New Species Air Max 90 from Nike.The shoe colour way , design and texture is unmatched and really embodies the RELMS identity. We also had fun creating a 3D world and visuals for the release.
T: What can we expect from RELMS in the near future?
K: 我们正在和游戏公司 EPIC GAMES 开展下一个企划，通过 Frontline 技术，使用3D建模平台 Unreal Engine 来带来更高层次的体验。已经迫不及待要和大家分享了！我们还会试优化已有的游戏货币，开拓新的游戏内支付方式。
K: We are now working on our next project with EPIC GAMES And with frontline tech on Unreal Engine to bring several new insane dimensions to the experience. Can’t wait for the players to jump in when it’s ready. We are also Experimenting with utilising existing and creating new crypto currencies.