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16 Apr Melbourne Dance Scene During COVID-19


Graphics by Carla Scotto


I’m going to post all the Anonymous Musicians podcasts from my new Hmmm Podcasts channel on Ripe. At least until Hmmm Podcasts catches on.

On this ‘Melbourne Dance Scene During COVID-19‘ episode of Anonymous Musicians:
If you miss a sweaty dance floor, or dancing to your favourite DJ at the Inner Varnika music festival, then you need to have a listen to this episode of Anonymous Musicians. We spoke to one of the Colour Club owners Benny Rausa, DJ and PBS presenter Adriana and Louis McCoy of Inner Varnika about how you can help the Melbourne Club Scene in this crazy time. So that when this is all over we will still have venues and festivals to party at.

Help COLOUR CLUB: au.gofundme.com/f/help-sustain-co…ub-during-covid19
Help INNER VARNIKA (24 hours left to donate): innervarnika.com
Support Act: Supportact.org.au

🎨 Carla Scotto Art
🎼 Sunbeam Sound Machine

You can follow and listen to Anonymous Musicians podcasts on:
Spotify
Apple iTunes
Google Music
SoundCloud
Pocket Casts
iHeartRadio

Email questions to MarcusRimondini@gmail.com

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26 Apr Australia’s Sunday Best – Inner Varnika 2017


Words by Sam Chesbrough // Photos by Jasper van Daatselaar


Come April you could easily be fooled into thinking that the Australian festival season had well and truly run its course. The nights are longer, colder and having so many weekends away have taken a heavy toll on your mind, body and bank account. However there’s still respite to be found from the impending Melbourne winter, with Inner Varnika — a three-day festival situated in dusty Bookar. For many, this last hoorah might even be their biggest, with the combination of a small crowd, broad music styles and a single stage lending itself to prime festival vibe.

The first peek of the rolling hills and white tents from the windows of the coach bus up to Bookar was enough to stir a whole lot of excitement. The familiar rocks, thistles and occasional cow skull that are now engraved into the Inner Varnika experience haven’t changed a bit.

 

And neither have some of the DJs, apparently. IV favourites the Alley Tunes DJs were the first to play, bringing with them some heavy dub tracks. DJ Manchild was back again too, dealing a healthy dose of afrobeat tracks in the afternoon. Set highlights include the stuttering organ of Timmy Thomas’Why Can’t We Live Together’, and uplifting soul of ‘Awake O Zion’ by Twinkie Clarke.

The first international of the festival was Stones Throw staple James Pants. Performing live, Pants bought a weird blend of funky, psychedelic jams. Experimenting with vocal work, the off kilter beats teetered on the edge of that oft-overlooked genre of aqua-crunk/wonky. Testing the water with tracks maybe a little different to what revellers have come to expect from Inner Varnika, Pants no doubt captivated the crowd with a set that was as danceable as it was unique.

 

As night had well and truly fallen it was time for one of the hardest working producers around Melbourne, Rings Around Saturn aka Dan White aka 2200, to take the stage. The multitude of gun fingers and air drumming for ‘The Hammer (Think Mix)’ proved jungle is still enjoying a strong renaissance. Dan White’s latest release ‘Erosion’ (on Analogue Attic Recordings) also enjoyed a very warm reception.

While the night tipped over into the deeper and darker side of things, In Aeternam Vale was setting up. Playing in a dusty bowl to revellers kitted out in all manner of haphazard clothing, I couldn’t imagine a better scene for IAV’s caustic sounds.

Working tirelessly on a hulking mass of cables in front of him, IAV whipped the crowd into a frenzy. Switching between the more traditional format of 4/4 techno and jarring polyrhythmic sounds, the Frenchman seemed to be enjoying himself as much as those in the crowd. As impressive as it was to see him holding his iPad up to the crowd and happily pointing towards the screen, he could’ve been pointing at Candy Crush for all I know about modular synths.

It’s no easy task following an act like IAV, but Inner Varnika knows how to structure its timetable and selected Moopie to follow. Having played several years ago, Moopie is a veteran to hard hitting techno that draws upon a breadth of influences like breakbeat, electro and acid. Crowd pleaser ‘X’ by Gesloten Cirkel was my swan song before turning in for the night.

 

Come Saturday morning and a much-needed coffee from the guys at Alley Tunes, it was nice to sit up on the side of the hill and hear Silver Linings exude some lovely funk sounds. It may still be the morning but that wasn’t stopping revellers from pulling out the badminton nets for a quick hit or trailing a silken wedding dress through the mud, a tinnie in hand. The hedonistic nature of the Australian doof coupled with its unique setting is really worthy of admiration.

Who better to compliment this debauchery than Toni Yotzi. As many talented artists as there were for the weekend, Yotzi would no doubt have to be my pick of the locals. Running effortlessly through genres, Yotzi swung from noise to punk to grime, possibly via trap, and many more. Big man tune with ‘Shots’ by Lamont & Grim Sickers as well as the very NSFW track ‘Manikin’ by Dopplereffekt.

Heading into the evening there was a lot of excitement building up for Terre Thaemlitz aka DJ Sprinkles. A lot can be said about her vast body of work and strong political messages embedded in her art. If you are interested in the above I strongly urge you to visit Comatonse Recordings’ website and have a read of the articles and essay transcripts.

 

While it is impossible to detach the political nuances of Sprinkles set, I’ll try my best to recount the set for the music alone. Put simply it was one of the most cohesive and emotive pieces of music I’ve heard. Deeper than deep sounds coming from the stack of speakers, the crowd almost in a meditative dance for parts of the set. Over the rolling bassline you could hear people talking to one another, in lieu of the familiar vocal loops and samples that charge DJ Sprinkles’ work. As much as a buzzword as this sounds it felt like “conversational” house, an unhurried moment where you could dance or talk.

This was until about halfway through where Sprinkles, hands scurrying across an echo sampler, worked in the charged vocals on Nina Simone’s ‘Sinnerman’. Continuing this dynamic, DJ Sprinkles played what I’m sure would be many people’s festival highlight – Frankie Knuckle’s poignant ‘Whistle Song’.

Given a mammoth four hour slot to close the Saturday night, Peter Van Hoesen played all manner of techno. It would almost be easier to recite the tracks than describe the closing Saturday set. Everything from ‘Alienate 4a’ by Alien Rain, ‘Chrome’ by Roadking, a subtle nod to IV15 with Voices From the Lake‘s ‘258 B’ and the massive ‘XLB’ by Pearson Sound.

 

Dusting off the cobwebs for the last day of Inner Varnika it was time for Suit Sunday, an event that has taken on a life of its own. Thanks in part to a loophole which affords Inner Varnika tax exemption if a significant portion of attendees are wearing church-appropriate garb — i.e. a shirt and blazer — Suit Sunday is one of the festival highlights. Some beautiful numbers were on display, with Christmas suits, wetsuits and hot pink numbers with matching flamingo sunnies.

Not to make the same mistake as last year, I was up early enough to see Albrecht La’Brooy performing live to a crowd that sat patiently on a tarp in front of the stage. Shifting from gentle ambient sounds with a rich selection of field recordings, the two worked up their improvised set into more of a driving rhythm.

After kicking myself for missing D. Tiffany‘s set on Saturday, I was sure not to miss the second musical offering from Canada for the festival – Jayda G. Considering she made her debut on none other than Frankston’s finest Butter Sessions, I’d like to think Jayda would be vibing Melbourne in particular. Her performance, dance moves, mixing and selection gave us the impression that she was enjoying the show almost more than we were.

 

Heavy on the faders and bopping to all manner of hip house and disco, Jayda laid down some huge numbers. The strong female vocal presence in her track selection like Norma Jean Bell‘I’m The Baddest Bitch (In The Room)’, Cece Peniston‘He Loves Me 2 (Steve ‘Silk’ Hurley’s 12” Mix) and the hugely addictive hook of ‘Who’s Dick Is This’ by Princess Di brought out the most salacious dance moves, before closing on Aaliyah’s ‘One In A Million’.

The bar was set high for Sex Tags, both by Jayda and their previous two years. Could they deliver for almost six hours? Would Sotofett and Burgerfett be able to match the energy of the Suit Sunday crowd? Would they play ‘Return of the Mack’ again?

 

To clear up the last question, lest it linger and distract from the rest, the answer is unfortunately no. That’s not to say the set wasn’t full of some feel good housey-garage numbers though, like Terrence Parker’s ‘Your Love’ and Barbara Tucket’s ‘Beautiful People’. The whole set was certainly a journey with an electric hour of rolling acid-type dub, finishing off their set with a bass heavy number. Or was it their last? As the crowd was clearly begging for more, Sotofett asked to play one more track (or was it ten more?), finishing with The Brothers Johnson‘s ‘Stomp!’.

So, yes — that was IV 2017. Dare I say it, the bar was raised slightly higher once again. All the feedback I have for the crew, crowd and artists of Inner Varnika is: keep on doing what you’re doing.


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29 Mar Trading Tunes with Noise In My Head


Since 2005 Michael Kucyk has been running Noise In My Head (Radio Show), which has been broadcast on Melbourne’s 3RRR and once a month on London’s online network NTS. His shows feature two sections; the first a collection of tracks, then a recorded mix by an Australian or International artist.

This had made Michael an important figure when it comes to exposing Australian artists to the UK and abroad. Not only is his taste consistently interesting, but anyone who helps expose great local talent, will always get support from us too.

Noise In My Head is set to play at Inner Varnika 2017, with a track list we can only dream of – somwhere between fascinating and educational. However, until then, Michael has sent us five of his favourite Australian tracks to listen too.

 

CS + Kreme – ‘Devotion’

Conrad Standish and Sam Karmel‘s musical pursuits have always had me bugging out but its their transcendent partnership CS + Kreme that hits me hardest. Destined to be an Inner Varnika highlight given they rarely play live.”

Pelican Daughters – ‘Pendulum’

“Moody dub from Andy Rantzen, collaborating with Justin Brandis and Miriam Williamson as Pelican Daughters. It’s one of 200+ tracks that the Sydney artist has uploaded to YouTube – an extraordinary 36 year history that also includes Itch-E & Scratch-E, his techno-rave duo with Paul Mac.”

Shahara Ja – ‘I’m An Arabian Knight’

“Egyptian-Australian electro funk which has just been reissued by Left Ear Records. They found and restored the original video from 1989 in the process!”

GlamouRatz – ‘Club Rat (R.B.T Fierce Mix)’

GlamouRatz are Melbourne trash bags Claudette Justice, Luis CL, Natasha Vomit and Adam Hammad, remixed here by Bell Towers. Totally underestimated the ferocity of this track until observing it in full swing at a recent wedding. Look out for their next release on Munich label Public Possession.”

Shanghai Au Go-Go – ‘I Cried All Winter’

“Early-80s cassette only synth-wave from Melbourne. Once you hear that melody, you’ll never be able to shake it. If Oz Waves sees a second volume, this will be a mandatory inclusion.”


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24 Mar Trading Tunes with Winters


Ahead of Inner Varnika 2017 next month, a music festival a few hours outside of Melbourne, we Traded Tunes with one of the local talents playing by the alias of Winters.
Winters, who makes softly interlaced, intricately modern RnB, uploaded three songs last year that caught our attention. He also already has a knack for harmonies that naturally fit his layered atmospheres. These reasons make it easy to be intrigued by what Winters’ niche contributions can add to the local and national music scene over the next few years. Before you catch his set at Inner Varnika, have a listen to some of the tracks he has been recently enjoying and that have inspired his creative practice lately.

 

Seven Davis Jr – ‘Babes’

“This whole album is fire. Just raw fuckin’ production and sleazy vocal work. I’ve seen the dude compared to Prince but the spirit of George Clinton is all over this record to me. This dude definitely brings his own thing to the table, though. Panache is the word that comes to mind.”

Jay Daniel – ‘Knowledge of Selfie’

“Was pleasantly surprised at the organic sound of this album, after being a fan of Jay’s previous work. The live drums bring so much warmth and feel to the music. Hard to pick a single track from the album – it plays so well as an LP and really feels cohesive start to finish. Really enjoyable display of musicianship and artistic growth from Jay Daniel. Shouts to Zubeyda for the beautiful cover art, too.”

John FM & Omar-S – ‘Alone’

“I don’t know much about John FM, other than he’s affiliated with Omar S and that his music is good. Some of his stuff is fairly straight up dance music, but more interesting to me is his soulful, lo fi, left field r&b.”

SiR ft. Masego – ‘Ooh Nah Nah’

“Speaking of r&b, SiR‘s new EP on TDE is really good. This is the kind of stuff I don’t really get to play out when I DJ but gets a lot of play at home, or at Parallel People meetings.”

A2 – ‘Gold’

“Fuck it, another r&b jam. Heat!! Shouts to ungoogleable aliases.”


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03 Apr Inner Varnika somehow managed to be even better in 2016

 

Inner Varnika. Where to begin on this one? Having had the pleasure of making my Inner Varnika debut last year, I was quite nervous about writing this one up. So many fond memories… locals Sleep D playing under a blood red moon, Sex Tags putting on the wildest encore on Easter Sunday. Then of course how could you forget Donato Dozzy? Watching him sip a cup of tea whilst tearing the dusty earth apart with his pounding techno amongst the fog… Don’t worry though, I can assure you that, somehow, this year was even better.

Now if you travel about 20 kilometres north of Camperdown, you will find one of Australia’s largest collections of dust in one area. Also amongst the gristly lamb bones and thistles, you’ll find Inner Varnika. It’s a simple setup: one stage, a couple of food trucks and some camping. However, this is a festival that subscribes to the ethos of quality, not quantity. The huge stack of Funktion-Ones do their job splendidly, the sound carrying perfectly over the rolling hills, and the lineup is simply one of the most carefully-curated selections in our hemisphere.

 

 

Having learnt my lesson from last year, all supplies were carried on wheels from the cars to the campsite. Luckily, the setup of tents meant the trek wasn’t too far at all, and I was also happy to see plenty more facilities for water and toilets. Doing well so far, IV. After the obligatory hour or so of talking smack with a few Melbourne Bitters, it was time to actually check out a few of the acts. Apologies to Faboo and Crown Ruler, but it was Wax O’ Paradiso member Edd Fisher who was one of the first acts I managed to see.

What better way to enter the dance floor, than to Carmens ‘Throw Down’ – top marks to Edd Fisher. As the set went on, it progressed more from disco to harder house rhythms, before eventually wrapping things up with some DJ Sotofett. Noise In My Head played afterwards with some very eclectic selections (maybe a bit too out there for me, as I couldn’t manage to get many track IDs, although some New Order was definitely featured).

HTRK were the first live act to play, the Melbourne group channelling a dark, intense energy. The slower, bass-heavy beats pushed the sound system substantially, while the haunting vocals of Joannine Standish floated out across the empty landscape. A good time slot for the experimental group to play, HTRK supplied a welcome break from the DJs.

After a quick break to the campsite to ensure everyone was balancing style and comfort in matching tracksuits, it was just a short walk back through the glowing light installations to the stage. As hndsm. wrapped up his set, an unfamiliar figure graced the stage. Sporting an Inner Varnika bomber jacket, maybe he was part of the the festival team?

 

 

Ahh, nope. From the incredible sounds coming from the speakers and the hands deftly working on hardware behind the wooden screen, it was obvious it was Vril playing live for the first time ever in our fair country. Having heard so much of his music without being able to put a face to the name, it was certainly surreal to see the elusive producer in the flesh. I’m going to preserve some of his mystery and simply say that the Giegling-affiliated artist looked surprisingly normal. The music, however, was anything but. Vril is notorious for building his sets from unreleased material, so the thundering dub techno emanating from the Funktion-Ones sounded like nothing from this earth.

Trying to follow a name like Vril is certainly no easy task, but local Ricci proved he was more than able. Delivering a signature high-energy set, Ricci confidently fed us track after track despite records occasionally skipping – due mostly to the fact that the air was about 90% dirt. Favourites would be E.R.P’s ‘Sensory Process (plant43 remix)’ and the over-the-top synth madness of Hard Corps ‘Porte Bonheur’.

Lee Gamble followed the high energy atmosphere with a live set that changed the dynamic up a bit. Working thoughtfully on his equipment, Gamble strung together a set that showed a great level of technical proficiency, but perhaps lacked an energy required for the closing set of Good Friday. Not to worry, as the second instalment in the form of his DJ set was coming the next day.

 

 

With a tent so mangled it was only functioning as a light gazebo, I was surprised to wake up feeling quite fresh. So without further ado and a coffee from Alley Tunes in hand, it was time to see the opening act Glyn Hill – one of the local favourites from last year as well. Hill demonstrated an vast knowledge of music, playing Omar Souleyman-sounding fervent rhythms. Michael Ozone also exhibited an eclectic taste following on from Glyn.

The first international, Mo Kolours  beckoned everyone in closer for a hug amongst the dust as he kicked of his live set. His smooth, almost laissez-faire style was the perfect way to spend an afternoon on the hill. Throwing Shade played live and went straight into her DJ set, one of the most ridiculous performances I have seen in a long time.

In a weekend where you hear some of the more obscure tracks, Throwing Shade went the complete opposite and played every crowd-pleasing poppy track. It might not have been for everyone, but it was welcome change of pace. Hearing ‘Music Sounds Better With You’ into Rihanna, New Order, Hardrive and Drake’s ‘Hotline Bling’ in one consecutive dose is almost an overload of cheesy tunes, but it had everyone up and dancing and isn’t that what DJing is about?

With a heavy heart I saw that Brian Not Brian was unable to play the Saturday, rumours circulating about a particularly bad case of food poisoning. Not to worry, as there were still plenty of quality acts, such as resident expert on all things afrobeat, Manchild. Playing plenty of upbeat tracks to warm the audience on the overcast day, my favourite was from the Awesome Tapes of Africa label:  ‘Daa Nyinaa’ by Ata Kak. Despite a complete lack of any knowledge of Ghanaian languages, I still tried to make this one a singalong much to the disappointment of everyone around me.

 

 

My local pick of the weekend, Moopie certainly brought the thunder. Stacked full of acid house and techno classics, the Melbourne DJ delivered gems like ‘The Trance’ by Joey Beltram, the ridiculous new-beat ‘Klangwerk’ by Klangwerk, and old favourites like ‘Lump’ by James Holden and ‘Decompression’ by Mathew Jonson. I’m sure Lee Gamble would have had a tough time deciding his favourite opener between Moopie and Ricci – I was very proud to see Melbourne represented by these two.

After Moopie though came the man Lee Gamble again, back for the most polarising set of the weekend. Playing a mixture of jungle and dubstep, it was a novel experience hearing these oft under-represented genres on Australian shores. Bordering on the ridiculous there were Scarface samples and Super Mario remixes. My favourite moments would certainly include the gun fingers and reassurance that “jungle is massive”. Whether or not anyone was being serious didn’t really matter; it was great seeing Lee pull back a track if he got enough encouragement to “rewwwwiiind selectaah”.

It’s now the last day of Inner Varnika and time for everyone to brush off their Sunday best; true to form, there were some of the ruder ensembles I’ve seen. Everything from ill-fitting three piece suits to hot pink numbers with matching luggage really did the Sunday theme justice. From a distance I just managed to catch the tail end of Albrecht La’Brooy’s live set, their improvised jams always delivering the perfect balance of dancey and ambient tunes.

 

 

Chicago legend Jamie 3:26 was the next selector, a reshuffle thanks to the fact that Brian Not Brian was back on the bill. Solid disco and house music was perfectly suited for everyone dancing around in the relative sunshine. Robert Hood classic ‘Never Grow Old’ (released under the Floorplan moniker) was followed perfectly by the summer classic ‘Hit It n Quit It’ by Cratebug  and the man himself.

J’Nett (also rocking a suit, go girl) followed for two hours, continually building the atmosphere with my personal favourite, ‘Place Called Tarot’ by Tantra. Brian Not Brian too was now back to play and braving sickness. To be honest, with my phone dead, no Shazam, and a group of friends all dancing in matching suits as the sun set, it was a little difficult to keep up the notes. Take that as testament to the man’s talent at getting a crowd up and about.

 

 

Now for the final moments. Sex Tags would not be asked back for another year if they weren’t able to deliver some of the best feel-good sets. Last year’s impromptu encore that lasted almost two hours must’ve been factored into the set times, as the pair of DJ Sotofett and DJ Fett Burger were asked to play for a mammoth six hours until Inner Varnika’s close. So here it is.

‘Troglodytes’ by Julio Bashmore was played to supplement all your deep house needs. Lil Louis & The World’s ‘The Conversation’ may be played on an almost weekly basis, but that saxophone was there to give you a fill of housey-disco goodness. A minute-long interlude that featured the classic ramblings of that one guy a bit too gone in the smoker’s room had everyone standing around laughing, but also gave you a boogie break and broke things up a little. The sounds of ‘Sexy Boy (Cassius Remix)’ by Air brought a bit of sensuality to the stage, as people danced (naked) on top of the speakers. Like any good set there was balance; it wasn’t all feel good tracks, and the soulful tones of Angie Stone with ‘Wish I Didn’t Miss You’ was one of the finer singalong moment at the end.

Ask any DJ what songs they would pick to end a six-hour-long journey and they would struggle to pick one that would work. Sex Tags had the perfect solution, an absolute classic that got played last year as well: ‘Sweet Harmony’ by The Beloved. The perfect song to tell friends and strangers alike just how much you love them, and Inner Varnika, and everyone. Or something along those lines.

So yes, that was IV 2016. If you’re ever looking for something more magical than a long weekend or a human bunny that delivers chocolate to your home, then I suggest making a little trip out of Melbourne next Easter. I’m counting down the days until next year Inner Varnika – see you then.

 

 

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24 Mar Inner Varnika 2016 – An Interview with Albrecht La’Brooy

 

Sean La’Brooy and Alex Albrecht make up Albrecht La’Brooy. No prizes for guessing how they came up with the name. Certain medals are in order, however, for these two talented muscians who have been putting on some of Melbourne’s finest live electronic music, running the carefully-curated record label Analogue Attic Recordings. They’ve also put out an album or two – ‘Good Morning Passengers’ and ‘Edgewater Towers’.

Their first release ‘Good Morning Passengers’ is a journey. Rattling along the Belgrave line from the bustle of Flinders Street station all the way towards the peaceful ferns of the Dandenong Ranges, you can trace the narrative of Albrecht La’Brooy’s music quite clearly. Electronic music is often criticsed from an outsider’s perspectve as being unimaginative, repetitive, and lacking any deeper meaning. Burial was one of the first artists that proved me wrong in this regard, demonstrating that lyrics were by no means the only conduit for a musician’s narrative, and Albrecht La’Brooy are another set of artists that drive this point home. We spoke to them about their label, inspirations and why people might think that techno music is ‘boring’.

 

 

Sam Chesbrough: Now, the name Albrecht La’Brooy is quite straightforward. Can you explain maybe the name of your record label Analogue Attic Recordings?

Sean La’Brooy: We threw a couple of parties at a place on Gertrude St that had a little upstairs room and the name we came up with for it was ‘Analogue Attic’.

Analogue Attic Recording has a very distinctive aesthetic. You’ve got lots of film photography of local spots matched with a showcase of various Melbourne artists, so it seems you two are very dedicated to promoting Melbourne’s burgeoning music scene?

Alex Albrecht: We wanted to do an art and music combination, so we would have some of the photographers influence some of the music. We came up with a set of core values that we wanted to have with every release, that’s why the aesethetic is so strong. One of them was that we were only going to release Australian music.

Sean: We just thought we would focus on being ourselves and releasing music with people we have relationships with. Rather than ‘who’s the biggest name we can pull to sell records?’, let’s actually do something that involves us. The imagery we use comes from places that mean something to us rather than some trendy building in Berlin.

‘Good Morning Passengers’ centres around life on the Belgrave line. What draws you to the idea of a train line when it comes to making an album?

Sean: I was just thinking how different places that are so close to each other are. For example, you can work all day in Richmond and go home to Tecoma. We just liked the idea of exploring that difference.

Alex: I lived in Richmond at the time and my friend lived in Tecoma, and he was always telling me about the beautiful rainforests. We looked at the Belgrave line and it’s got Box Hill and its cultural diversity, and Cantebury which is another different suburban location. We just wanted to look at those four stops and take recordings from them all and use them as inspiration.

Any plans for taking Albrecht La’Brooy overseas?

Alex: Absolutely, we would love to do that, it just a matter  of teeing it up. There are a few places that stock our records overseas and have been really supportive.

And the dream destination?

Alex: Japan.

Sean: Japan, definitely.

 

 

Now you guys are heavily involved in Melbourne’s electronic music scene, what are your thoughts on current state of affairs and who should we keep an eye out for?

Sean: There’s always been people doing greating things in Melbourne, but it’s always going to be different here because you don’t have the same volume of artists and people who are really interested in that sort of music – you don’t have that same volume of population to begin with. I certainly think that there’s a lot of really creative, forward-thinking, world-class musicians. I saw Mosam Howieson play on the weekend and it was mind-blowing, one of the best sets I’ve seen. You’re often seeing  sets that are that good by Cale Sexton, or Rory McPike aka Dan White, or Sleep D. Its an interesting thing because we are so isolated, it’s not an easy thing for someone in Europe to bring someone out from Australia.

Alex: We’ve also been into jazz for a really long time, so there’s that as an influence too. Which Way Music is doing some great stuff at the moment.

When it comes to an international level, which artists out there inspire you guys?

Sean: Johhny Nash I’ve been into a lot recently. A lot of the guys in Japan; Tominori Hosoya, Kuniyuki Takahashi and miniluv.

Alex: Terre Thaemlitz aka DJ Sprinkles. Everything from the ambient albums, to the experimental stuff, to the house music. All of it I just find amazing. There’s a deeper meaning, it’s very intellectualised, there’s a lot of meaning behind everything.

You guys mentioned the jazz label Which Way Music before and, as I understand it, you also have quite a strong classical background. How does this jazz influence play into your music?

Sean: People love to say that we have a classical background because it sounds very romantic, but the truth of it is I have a degree in jazz, I studied jazz for a number of years, and Alex always played a fair bit of jazz.

A publication who shall remain nameless recently put out an article on how live techno sets are boring. Now, having watched you guys play at Butter Sessions showcases, Daydreams, etc. I would disagree. What would you say to people out there who don’t ‘get’ live performance electronic music?

Sean: I think if people don’t like it that’s fine, they might be into other things. They might not have seen any good performances either, they might not know the difference between someone playing live and someone DJing – there is not a lot of transparency in electronic music. If you ask a random punter whats going on they probably won’t know. What they don’t realise is a lot of the records they are listening to when they are listening to a DJ are made of excerpts of different live sets.

How does your classical training factor into your music? When it comes to performing do you miss the unquantized nature of live instruments, or do you prefer the security of working with quantized, set rhythms with analogue synths.

Sean: I find it very similar, in that there is a lot of improvisation. We go into our performance with very little recorded; we basically just feel the vibe of the party and we just play from there.

What shows are coming up that you’re excited for?

Sean: Inner Varnika next weekend and Noise In My Head in April. We’re also planning a few more interesting gigs later on in the year, and they will probably be through Analogue Attic.

 

Catch Albrecht La’Brooy at Inner Varnika amongst a star-studded lineup featuring VRIL, Sex Tags, Jamie 3:26, Lee Gamble, Throwing Shade, Brian Not Brian, Mo Kolours and many, many more.

 

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