interview // karl hyde
Musician, vocalist, poet, painter, writer, graphic designer, bon vivant – the man most renowned as one half of Underworld, Karl Hyde, is a man of many faces, slipping effortlessly between roles with a remarkable ease that makes his decades-long career in the creative industry a truly enviable one. His most recent jaunt is into the world of solo musicianship – one that sees him releasing his first effort Edgeland later this month before heading down to Australia for a string of performances in his own right.
interview // open family australia
I am taking The 21 Challenge to raise money to support homeless and at-risk young people in Australia. There are more than 32,000 young people who sleep on our streets every night and I want to help do something about it. The 21 Challenge supports Open Family Australia, an organisation that has been working with at-risk youth for more than 30 years. As a Criminology and Human Rights Theory double major, I feel very strongly about the issue of youth homelessness. It’s a cyclical and pervasive problem, and these are people in desperate need of support from the wider community. I figured I’d put my skills as a budding academic and music journalist to the test, by writing a blog post for each day of the challenge. Expect anything from social justice, crime and politics, dance music, and anything in between. By sponsoring me you’ll be supporting Open Family Australia’s outreach programs with vulnerable young people, ensuring they have the best chance to get the help they need to get off the streets.
Read my interview with Open Family Australia worker Wayne Nielsen through the link at the top of this post, and check out my fundraising profile here.
interview // hudson mohawke
Yet the more discerning music consumers may point you towards the new wave of beatmakers emerging from the rainy cities of Scotland – remarkably young, yet as talented as many of their peers, figures like post-dubstep’s Koreless or hip hop hero Rustie seem to be changing minds about the sleepy country. Possibly one of the most exciting being Glasgow’s Hudson Mohawke (the production alias of Ross Birchard), immediately demanding attention when signed to Warp Records at the startlingly youthful age of 23. One of the genius children of the hip hop/electronica offshoot rapidly gaining attention at the moment, it was on the strength of two self-released EPs that he was picked up by the revered label, allowing him the opportunity to show the world the potential of these two worlds.
interview // danny daze
Notorious for claiming that “real DJs don’t have a tan”, Miami-based producer of everything from Detroit techno to Italo disco Danny Daze is a voice that stands out among the babble of DJs out there, in it for the lifestyle and the fame. In an industry where distinctively unique creative endeavours are steadily being superseded by the cult of personality and high-sheen, soulless tracks made for rapid consumption on commercial radio, Daze is proudly defiant – an uncompromising creative ethos bolstered by an incredible amount of success found at such a young age. One of 2011’s breakout producers and DJs, the self-professed studio nerd has suddenly found himself in high demand by audiences across the globe.
interview // bonobo
Effortless, laidback cool is something that seems instinctive to London-born and New York-based Ninja Tune stalwart Simon Green, better known through his production alias Bonobo. With ten years worth of expansive, breezy electronica to his name that’s much-lauded by fellow musicians and music critics, it’s no wonder that news of his first live tour of Australia was met with enough enthusiasm by fans that his first show in Melbourne sold out as quickly as it did, prompting promoters to add a second date to his time in Melbourne – no better time, then, for us to get on the phone to Green and catch up with his always-moving musical world.
interview // men (j.d. samson)
Samson’s roots in feminist experimental film and queer studies have had an undeniable impact on the projects she’s been involved in to date. The difficulty she found in accepting her identity came not from external sources, but an internal struggle, as she explains. “It’s complicated, because I was lucky enough to live in a community of very supportive and liberal people… it was harder on myself to be honest,” she muses, offering sage advice to other girls facing a similar struggle to accept their identity. “I found myself being very critical of myself as queer, and most of the bullying was from me to me. I would say that that is probably the one thing that I think kids who are coming out should be careful of – don’t abuse yourself for being different. You are beautiful just how you are.”
interview // plump djs
Named after a girlie mag called Plumpers, it’s no surprise that the Plump DJs have a reputation for dirty, good times. Widely regarded as some of the earliest pioneers in breakbeat, the Plumps have managed to endure in a way that many of their peers in the scene were unable to – formed in the ‘90s, the London-based production and DJing duo are a force to be reckoned with, a filthy mixup of everything from broken beats to wailing electro synths and fearsome basslines that have featured on four full-length albums to date, a countless number of singles and remixes for the likes of Stanton Warriors, Deadmau5, Orbital and more.
interview // bassnectar
You know you’re a true party animal when the rave you throw along with your mates racks up more than $100,000 dollars in fines for violating noise and city ordinances. Bassnectar – the alias of dubstep and electronica producer Lorin Ashton – has, sadly, experienced this. To be fair, though, if you’ve ever been subjected to the Bassnectar live experience, you’d probably agree it was worth it, as did the thousands of punters and fellow producers and DJs in attendance who all contributed financially to Ashton to try and ease the pain of a city council trying to ruin the party. And if you haven’t? Well, luckily enough for you, Ashton will be bringing the Basshunter experience down to Melbourne over the Australia Day weekend – and has the advantage of being entirely legal, too. We managed to catch the elusive man for a brief interview to get caught up on his dealings over the past few years and figure out what it is we should be expecting when he’s down.
interview // dc breaks
There’s a B-side by UK-based drum and bass powerhouse DC Breaks that summarises what they’re all about rather nicely. It’s called Romper, and smashing up dancefloors all across the globe are what the duo, consisting of Dan Havers and Chris Page, are all about. Both well-established names in the world of DJing individually, together their musical output as production outfit DC Breaks is an unrelentingly fierce mix of slamming fast-tempo beats and ruthless basslines, combined with a melodicism and attention to detail that balances out perfectly. We managed to catch one half of the team, Chris Page, for a little chat about their upcoming string of gigs down under.
interview // simian mobile disco
“We’ve never tried to do what people expect of us, I suppose.” Therein lies the philosophy of Simian Mobile Disco - the shy knob-fiddling duo behind dance floor destroying tunes like Tits and Acid, Hustler and one infamous mash up with Justice titled We Are Your Friends that gained them notoriety in the UK and internationally. Their CV includes collaborative works with Alexis Taylor from Hot Chip, Beth Ditto of The Gossip, and Chris Keating from Yeasayer, commandeering the production side of things for Florence and the Machine, Peaches, and the Klaxons. Not to mention the lineup of remixes: The Presets, CSS, Ladytron, Bjork and Muse comprise a small selection of their credentials. Whoa. Electro kids the country over were thoroughly enthused by news of them joining the lineup for this year’s Parklife festivals, and we got on the phone with one half of the duo, Jas Shaw, to have a little chat about the sounds coming out of their crazy little Mobile Disco.