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30 Mar Australian Music & Artists Abroad – An Interview with Daze


Words by Blake Creighton // Photos by Mathew Jones


Australian music today is not only enjoyed within our borders – it’s internationally recognised and well received. For many Australian artists, this means the opportunity to play and perform in many places across the world is not as far-fetched as once thought (even though standalone tours can be a difficult, strenuous effort). However, once greeted with open arms in such places like Europe and the UK, the idea of moving yourself and your music to a new permanent location is tempting.

In a series of interviews with touring Australian artists who have made (or are thinking about) this move, we’ll be discussing the difference between club cultures, making the decision to leave and how to tour. Our first interview is with Melbourne based, Ballarat-born DJ/producer Daze (Lobster Theremin) who was on tour in London when we sat down and had a chat with him.



Blake Creighton: Being your third time playing in Europe, how does the club culture here differ from Australia’s?

Daze: I try not to make sweeping statements, but in the places that I have played there is perhaps a level of ‘openness’ to new experiences and music that I find is a little ‘weirder’ – they push the boundaries just that little bit further. I think that at times in Australia you need to be more mindful of what you are going to play, and perhaps cater to the crowd a little bit more. I can only speak from my own experiences but when I play over here, I truly feel that I can play whatever I desire, and can follow whatever narrative I want. As a general rule as well, the crowd are happy to follow, so that is a major difference and allows me to play a lot more techno and a lot quicker.

Have you ever thought about making the move to Europe?

Definitely. It’s been on my mind since the first tour, which was largely about seeing what it is like over here. I had only been to Europe as a tourist once, so I was largely uninitiated as to what it would be like. Ever since the first tour, where I played some big shows in some big clubs, it certainly opened my eyes to the possibilities over here as an artist.

I’ve tried to just make a living as a DJ in Australia and it’s notoriously difficult. You might play Sydney once then you can’t play there for another six months. There is also not a whole lot of shows in Melbourne that perhaps suit what I do, so that becomes the major difference. I feel like over here I could probably play a couple of times a week, which would be very comfortable, whereas at home it is more of a slow grind.

I do question whether I would live in London. I feel like Amsterdam is more aligned to how I feel. I come from a fairly small town, and Amsterdam has a small town vibe… Although gentrification has certainly taken over and I have heard it is fairly hard to get an apartment in the city. So that is something that is ever present at the moment, and I’m getting very close to the point where I want to make the move. Perhaps try it out for six months and see how it goes.

 

How do you think it will improve you as a producer?

I think primarily it would give me more time to explore myself. At the moment I’m still working a full-time job back home, so finding the time around work to be able to make music is where a lot of artists find issues, like me. Whereas if I’m over here, I would try and work a part-time job and dedicate a lot more of my time and effort to being in the studio. I think it would give me the ability to explore many more ideas of what I want to make, and it isn’t strictly club music. It would give me time to let these ideas ferment, which I just don’t have at the moment back home.

How do you think it will improve you as a DJ?

The greatest benefit would come from being able to play more regular shows to crowds that are perhaps a little more open. It would allow me to play through more records, buy more records and hopefully speed up the process in regards to me becoming a more rounded DJ. I still feel that I am in the infancy of what I can do as a DJ. I have only been doing this seriously since 2014 so I feel that I have only seen a snippet of what I am able to do.

How do you think it will improve you as a person?

I have only ever lived in Victoria, Australia, so I have never made a wider move. I think it would be a process of finding out about what I’m capable of and a little bit more about who I am as a person as well. It would be interesting to see who I might become. I want to get over here and do it at some stage soon.

 

Has touring had any effects on your life in Melbourne as a DJ/Producer?

I don’t think at this point it has changed me as a producer. I’m doing what I want to do in the studio and that’s what I’ve always done. I do however bring back a lot of records from tours, so there is an overflow of music. Although, I do sometimes feel quite constrained in the shows that I play, being unable to present that weirder music – weirder techno, faster techno – but I don’t think it has made a significant change to what I’m doing.

Has touring had any effects on your life as a person?

No, I don’t think it’s changed me as a person. I am who I am, and that won’t change that much. I haven’t had any epiphanies or any grandiose plans like that at this point. Apart from now knowing that I enjoy coming over here and playing shows to crowds that are excited to see me, I tend to get home from a tour and start thinking about the next one – forever hassling my agent, “When’s the next one?!”

To other aspiring artists, what is some advice you would give on how to tour Europe?

Plan your travel well – when you do get here put some thought into it. I feel like particularly for the uninitiated, the travel can be really taxing the first time around. That was the problem I faced on my first tour. I got four weeks in and thought “Fuck, how am I going to do this!” I think the first tour was eleven weeks, it was fairly ballsy and ambitious for the first time. If you do have the luxury of having the input into what you do and how you travel, then I would do that and try to lay out space in between flights, and where possible don’t go from the club straight to the airport.

 


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14 Jul Ripe Guest Mix with Ben Houghton





Our latest Ripe Guest Mix comes from Melbourne based electronic producer Ben Houghton, whose crisp production caught our attention.

Ben: This mix is a bit of a cross section of my brain at the moment. I wanted to cover a lot of ground, play lots of styles and tempos – that’s how it came together! A bunch of my favourite records from the collection, a few classics, some awesome Australian music, and plenty of heavyweight house and techno for good measure.

Ben’s sound is seemingly influenced by the dark and atmospheric beats of Berlin, as he focuses on defining each layer in order to create chaotic adrenaline. His approach explores and fleshes out ideas with patience and controlled pacing.

His recent release of ‘Beta Blocker‘ on 12″ vinyl includes two remixes by Harvey Sutherland and Inkswel, and his other track ‘Softly Spoken‘.

Catch Ben performing at the Momentary Records 001 12″ Launch Party at The Gasometer Hotel on Saturday the 6th of August.
LINK: Momentary Records 001 12″ launch party

We would like to thank Ben for taking the time out to create this exclusive mix for Ripe – here is the track list for the mix, and below the link to his latest track ‘Beta Blocker’.


T R A C K L I S T
Fit Siegel + Tim Love Lee ‎– ‘Living Is Serious Business (Life Acappella)’
Inkswel – ‘Mind Yours (Iron Curtis Chant Remix)’
DJ Sotofett’s Extended -AM-Mix
Marcel Dettmann ft. Emika – ‘Seduction’
Alden Tyrell – ‘Rush’
Deep Throat – ‘Fetishist’
Moodymann – ‘The Third Track’
Levon Vincent – ‘Man Or Mistress’
Ben Houghton – ‘Softly Spoken’
Max Richter – ‘Berlin By Overnight’
Traumprinz – ‘Hey Baby’
Third Side – ‘Andy’
Craig McWhinney – ‘A Shape With Body’
DJ HMC – ‘Marauder’
Chez N Trent – ‘Morning Factory’

 

 


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16 Mar EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH LANCELOT – WE CAN DANCE EP

Fresh out of Sydney Lancelot has been keeping very busy indeed, and after chatting with us about the recent release of his first EP, We Can Dance, it’s obvious all the hard work is certainly starting to pay off.

Having just completed four years of study at the elite Sydney Conservatorium of Music, 22-year-old Lancelot has already grabbed the attention of ears and blogs across the web. We Can Dance, which was released on Binary, is sending his Soundcloud page into meltdown as those who haven’t already heard what the fuss is about try to catch up.

A rich coupling of nu-disco synths with smooth guitars and percussion are a testament to his classical training. These in turn give a more than solid base to the talents of Goldroom, Fabian, Frames and Moonchild, who each take a turn at giving the title track a unique feel through their own respective remixes. With such an impressive debut it’s no surprise he’s already gearing up to play support slots alongside acts like The Swiss and Bagraiders.

During our recent chat, Lancelot was kind enough to give us some insight into his work and the EP.

***

So Lance, how did you get started in producing your music, and how has it evolved over the last year or so?

I’ve been in bands ever since I was about 16 or so, as was everyone, and always had a passion for writing my own music. When I turned 18 I began going out to clubs with my friends and was exposed to a lot of electronic music. I became fascinated with the vast timbres that could be created through synthesisers. Guitars have their restrictions to some degree. A guitarist would never tell you that – I’m a converted keys player! I got into a composing course at the Conservatorium of Music at Sydney University, where I became immersed in some of the strangest/most fascinating/eclectic music I’d ever heard. A lot of it was beautiful and a lot of it was utter shit, however both extremes helped me narrow my vision of what I wanted to do.

After a year or so of ‘creative awakening’ I started my first real electronic band Aeons. We broke up about a year ago because we had some creative differences and basically I just wanted to work by myself ‘cause I’m a control freak. However, Aeons was the best learning experience for me as a producer because I got to work with some pretty big bro’s like Russ Chimes and Diamond Cut. I picked at their brains and asked probably too many questions but hey, it helped! So that was the beginning for me I guess.

I guess the biggest thing that has changed for me over the last year, more so 6 months, was that I started DJing. As a result, I had to go out and explore lots more music to keep my sets fresh and exciting. This exposed me to many amazing artists/record labels and different approaches to composition in electronic music.

For someone new to your music how would you describe your sound?

This is always a tricky one. My music is somewhat thought-out because of my classical background. I try to think beyond a ‘melody,’ ‘chords’ and ‘bass-line.’ There are many other ways to approach an interesting song. Arrangement is crucial!

How has the progression from producer to DJ been? Has DJing made you more conscious in your production, about how a track might sound when it’s played out at a show?

Ha! Yes! 16 bar, 32 bar, 64 bar intros make great sense now. This is an interesting one actually. Some tracks have very boring and minimal intros, which work great in a mixing/club environment but sound quite boring for the first 30 seconds as a stand-alone track. And then at the other end of the spectrum you have tracks that start straight off the bat that don’t mix as well. So yes, it has changed my approach to thinking about my own productions and remixes. With originals I’m more lenient and don’t really see it as a pressing issue as much as with my remixes, where they are usually longer, 5 to 6 mins, with more attention to mixing in and out. I think DJs appreciate this!

Your Music has a lot of instrumental qualities, at times showing off your classical training. How to do you approach the production of a new original track, and how do you normally go about incorporating your skills as a classical musician in the production process?

This EP did end up quite instrumental. Not intentional though I don’t think. I guess as a general rule I try to have most of the parts I write playable by real humans, usually myself. Somehow I think this makes the music sound more ‘organic’ or ‘real.’ It is so easy to midi map absolutely everything these days and write parts that are well beyond human limitations and can only be played by machine, synths/midi etcetera. This, however, is very desirable in many forms of electronic music, but I just don’t think my music would be as convincing if I approached it like this for this release.

How have you found working on the EP? The originals add to your already impressive body of remix work, but has working on such intricate original tracks lead to any unforseen challenges you hadn’t previously encountered?

Yeah I was running out of CPU haha! I had too many plug-ins and audio tracks happening at once and my computer was freezing! I bought a new computer recently so I shouldn’t be having that issue anymore! (Fingers crossed)

Each remix of the title track ‘We Can Dance’ shows a unique take on the song, yet manages to stick to the overall feel of the EP. How actively involved where you in the process of selecting who would get their hands on it, and how do you feel about the results?

My label picked two, Goldroom and Fabian, and I picked two, Moonchild and Frames. I was really stoked with how all the remixes turned out. They all have their own life in different crowds, which is the intention of a remix I think.

Being Sydney based, what local, or even Australian acts at the moment are exciting you? Do you find Sydney’s music scene encouraging towards new acts and sounds, or is it hard for a relatively new producer like yourself to get their music out there for the people to hear?

What So Not are pretty cool. Sydney’s music scene isn’t big but if you’re not lazy there are many avenues to get your music heard/played.

Your remix of Matt Corby’s ‘Brother’ made a lot of waves online. Last time we checked it had over 15,000 plays on soundcloud and featured in dozens of blogs around the intrawebs. Has the level of positive reception surprised you at all, and what has this meant for you in the way of new doors opening?

Yeah I didn’t know how that one was going to be taken especially cause Matt Corby has such die-hard fans! Ha! I think that remix helped spring me into ‘the Internet eyes’ for my EP release – more importantly ‘Spoken Word,’ which has now clocked over 30,000 Soundcloud plays! :0

What have you been listening to/playing a lot of lately?

  • Tensnake – ‘Congolal’ (Original Mix)
  • Chris Malinchak‘There I Was’ (Original Mix)
  • Kraak and Smaak‘Hold Back Love’ (Lovebirds Remix)

Anything we can look forward to from you in the near future?

I’ve got some really cool support slots soon. Supporting Perseus, The Swiss and Bag Raiders all on different dates at Ivy Pool and a bunch of other shows. Check my band page for dates. And I think I’ll have a new song out soon hopefully!

***

Lancelot will be spinning decks alongside The Swiss on 9 April and Bagraiders on 15 April at the Ivypool. Brisvegas residents can catch him at Oh Hello on the 20 April.

Buy the EP here:

Catch more of his sounds here:

As well as his new mixtape:

INTERVIEW BY MATT BLADIN 

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