“The Juric is Out” Another Electronic heavyweight hangs up the headphones, or shall we say, scarf

by Taran M

Davey busting it out at Prognosis, June 2012 - Photo by Kenji EuIt’s fair to say you’ve heard the name. In fact you’ve more than likely heard the music. Whether it be propped in front of the spectacular visuals at loop bar, the dingy surrounds of Brown Alley, or the hip vibe of OneSixOne. Roughly five years ago a man started DJing that would, with a little help from his friends, rebuild a stagnant progressive scene. In fact with the Darkbeat and Substance crew, Dave Juric has risen among the swill to become one of the biggest local names in the Melbourne EDM. I haven’t really known much of Dave until mid last year, the first time hearing him I was suitably impressed. Yet another man who looks further into DJing than putting together tunes, staying true to a genre or suffocating himself in the hype or bullshit. I only do articles on characters I know follow their curricular activities or vocations with love, I love writing and would never waste my words on people that didn’t deserve them. Dave is another soul whose passion, no matter how quietly displayed, is always ever-present in his audio extractions. So from borrowing his brothers decks whilst in Europe to playing at Summadayze 2012, I celebrate Dave’s career with cake… or so be it a cake in interview form, a celebration of the life and times of one Dave Juric. So sitting down with him amongst the cafe’s of the inner east I manage to elude his barriers and extract all the dirt on being Dave Juric!

So Dave, it’s all coming to an end soon honestly from one DJ who is in the process of hanging it up, to one that has John Farnhamed twice. Where is your head at right now in terms of life and music?

To be honest it’s a really strange feeling. It was a decision made probably 6 months ago that when my girlfriend and I moved to London that I was going to stop playing. It just felt like the right time. So for a while I’ve tried to enjoy each gig as much as possible. I’m sad, but at the same time pretty excited to be moving to a new city and finish DJing on a bit of a high. When I started it was always going to be a hobby, and I’ve achieved more than I ever thought I would, so I’m content.

You’re moving to basically where most of the genre’s you play began their lives. The Hacienda in Manchester will be just up the road, Ministry of sound, Liverpool’s cream. No interest in setting up shop overseas?

No. Not at the moment at least. I’m quite happy to give it a bit of a rest for a while and pursue other interests. I’ve been playing or out clubbing every other weekend for about 8 years solid. I’m looking forward to leading a bit more of a ‘quiet life’. And checking out more Hip Hop shows in London!

How did it come to be that you started DJing and more so what events shaped your sound?

My brother Jimmy got me into it initially. He spent the money, got the turntables and a mixer and a CDJ100. I was really lucky because he went to Europe for a while and I was able to use his equipment and records and sort of teach myself how to play. I was also studying at Swinburne Uni in Hawthorn so would go to Alley Tunes every week and just pick random records that I liked. I learnt how to mix by playing progressive breaks into Chicago house into German minimal, which really made me focus on beat-matching and not really tying myself to one sound. The first big parties that I went to were James Zabiela & Infusion at Room in ’04 and the MOS Breaks tour at Metro with Kid Kenobi. From there, it was all about Sunny and later Darkbeat.

I know most DJ’s nowadays have a wide range of genres, but in terms of your progressive and house stuff, what influences formed the basis of your sound?

‘Progressive house’ was dead by the time I came of age and breaks was in full swing.  So progressive for me was always a way that you played rather than a sound per se. Phil K, Nubreed and Infusion were the 3 acts/dj’s that I followed religiously around Melbourne early on. Watching Phil move from breaks to minimal and everything in between showed me that you really could do whatever you liked and I always wanted to have that flexibility as a DJ. But most of all he was dynamic. He made you want to go see him; it’s what always inspired me.  And the other side of things was that I got into buying house records in a big way. Dimitri from Paris, Masters At Work, Derrick Carter and pretty much anything on Drop. It was never something I heard out, but was something I really liked listening to. It was also around ’05 that I met Rollin Connection and they had recently moved away from playing breaks to that sort of dark minimal tech sound that they championed for a few years. I was really into that sound when I first started playing in clubs. They were both a massive influence on me, not only on my sound, but also on DJing and ‘the scene’.

You’ve played some pretty crucial sets with supporting some major DJ’s, how did you feel when all this was going on? The change from regular Melbourne DJ to Melbourne support DJ in particular?

I always was really excitable (I still am in many ways). I got a massive kick out of supporting artists that I loved.  I tried to meet and become friends with as many people in the scene as possible and I’ve always cherished any opportunity to play any role in a night. Be it closing a side room or opening the main room or whatever. Each DJ has a purpose and I was always happy to do my part, whatever that may be.

Musical heroes, give us two electronic DJ’s/ artists and two non electronic?

Geez that’s tough, as there’s been so many.
Phil K and James Zabiela. They had the most influence on me as a DJ because of their determination not to be pigeonholed and how much they both respect the art of DJing.
Jimi Hendrix and Dom Kennedy. Hendrix was the first artist I ever obsessed over and Dom Kennedy is a new one. He reignited my love of hip hop about 18 months ago. (Special mention to The Prodigy, Daft Punk and Led Zeppelin).

Between you and Simon Murphy, I have to admit to knowing two of the most technically gifted beat mixers the planet has seen. What would you recommend to up and coming DJ’s in terms of exercise routines. We know that before you take to the decks you usually do at least 500 sit ups. What other tips would you have for people to break out of the bedroom?

Wow, thanks! Definitely agree on Simon though. It’s all about the sit ups! Haha! Honestly, my advice would be to try and be the best mixer you can when you’re first starting out. Learn how to mix! Take the time to learn the basics. Learn how to phrase tracks. Do it by ear, not by software or key charts. They have their place, but I feel that a lot of the ‘love’ (for the lack of a better word), has left DJing. It’s about throwing 2 tracks together that you feel will work together rather than what a program is telling you will work together. It’s something that you need to focus on and constantly try to be the best you can be when you play. My favourite gigs are the ones where I walk away and feel like I mixed well.

If you’re hanging up the headphones, are you hanging up the scarves and knitwear as well?


Worst gig experience ever Vs. Best gig experience?

The worst experiences are the ones where you wait till 5am and then get told that the club is closing. It’s the nature of the beast, and it does happen. It’s not the clubs fault, it’s not the promoters fault, it just happens. But it’s the worst, because all I ever wanted to do was play tunes.

Best experience?

I’m going to give top 3 most fun sets in no particular order.

  • Freestylers Boat Party w/ J-Slyde (2012)
  • Summadayze w/ Rollin Connection (2012)
  • Trust Us NYE on the rooftop at Brown Alley w/ Alam after Nick Curly (2010)

Top 10 tunes for the smashings?

Luke Chable – Tokyo (Nubreed Remix)

Stetsasonic – All That Jazz (Dimitri From Paris Remix)

Drumattic Twins – Feeling Kinda Strange (Bass Kleph & Nick Thayer Remix)

 HiFi Bugs – Lydian & The Dinosaur

Royksopp – What Else Is There (Trentemoller Remix)

Infusion – Love & Imitation

PQM – Babe, I’m Going To Leave You (Phil K vs Nubreed Remix)

River Ocean ft India – Love & Happiness (Michael Cleis Remix)

James Holden – A Break In The Clouds

Leftfield – Africa Shox

What has been your favourite venue for DJing?

Brown Alley was home for me for so many years, and I knew the people there really well. The promoters, the door girls, the staff, the owner, they were all really good to me. It still feels like home when I go in there. Loop & 161 I love because of the intimacy, seeing people rave right in front of you, you get that rush that sometimes you don’t get in a big dark club.

Do you have any closing gig’s coming up?

This Sunday at New Guernica will be the ‘biggest’ gig to date and will hopefully sit in that top 3 above. Me and a very good friend of mine will be warming up for Guy J. A few months ago I sat down with Dan Banko and we tried to figure out a gig that I could warm up an international for. Guy J is the perfect artist, and I’m VERY excited. Also having the opportunity to play alongside Andrew Wowk from Sydney will be great fun. I consider him to be my Sydney counterpart. Someone who has that real passion for DJing and has an even bigger range than me. He plays everything! We’ve supported each other and traded tracks since the very start of our DJ careers. I’m really happy for how well he’s doing up there.

My final gig will be at 161 with Fluidlife with one of my favourite producers, Tom Middleton and Haciena’s very own Graeme Park. I’ll be playing a bit of a ‘classics’ set. An opportunity for me to play all the tracks I’ve loved over the years. Really looking forward to that as well. The last few parties I’ve played there have been incredibly fun.

What are your views on MASH, Dubstep and Shappelle Corby? five words please, not in sentence form…

MASH – Vintage TV; Alan Alda’s rad.
Dubstep – Like everything, CAN be GOOD.
Shappelle Corby – Not my favourite Chappelle show.

Have you got anything to say to the pundits and fans of yours before your last set?

For the love of god, dance. That’s all DJ’s want, for you to dance and enjoy yourself!

Thank people in this space:

I’ve been really appreciative for a lot of people in Melbourne for giving me chances to play and supporting me. I started to write a list of all the DJ’s, promoters and friends who have helped me over the years and it was getting ridiculous. So there’s a few I really want to thank and I’ll give a big generic thank you to everyone else haha.

Dan Banko and Darius Bassiray have been the biggest support for me over the last 5 years or so. They gave me an opportunity initially, and then kept giving me opportunities. More than that they offered advice and for the lack of a better word ‘mentored’ me during the early days.

The Clarity crew: Mark Stewart, Phil Moore, John Morcom & Ryan Quinsee. It really started here. These guys gave me the confidence that I could actually play. Some of my fondest memories of playing are from these parties.

Symphonic Tonic and Dynamic: Alex Boffa, Alam, Nat Lipton and Dave @ Room. I loved the 3 years I had running parties for up and coming DJ’s. So many fun/loose nights were had there.

Substance Crew: Simon Murphy & J-Slyde in particular. Mad love. Best new crew in Melbourne, hands down. These 2 are in my opinion the future Phil K’s and Gav Keitel’s of this town.

Finally to all the DJ’s, promoters, club owners and music fans I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and working with over the last 8 year, massive thanks! Keep on raving!

Last but not least my girlfriend Jess who has been incredibly supportive and patient.


So there we have it.  As it is, is ever as it was. As one door closes for someone they casually open another. I’m sure that as that door closes there will be Dj’s lining up to open the door. But none of them will carry themselves with the dignity and respect earnt by Dave. I’d personally like to thank Dave for giving me the scoop on this and especially for giving me his humbed thoughts and opinions. Us here at Substance HQ wish him well in his future endeavours and hope he enjoys the transition from the decks, to the couch in the same manner he approaches everything he does…Like a Boss.

Taran M and all the Substance krew
Peace homie!

Interview by Taran M / Photo by Kenji Eu

Rehgan De Mather – Busy Playing Art

by Taran M

In my journey through the inner and even more so now the outer sanctum of the Melbourne EDM scene I have met so many amazing artists. Musically gifted souls who can turn a blank screen on Abelton come alive, Awe inspiring DJ’s who can beat juggle three open 1200mk2’s whilst balancing a pint of lager in one hand and a note in the other. You can turn any corner behind any DJ booth and find a myriad of talented or semi talented turntable, abeltonist’s.

One of the things about finding musical talent is it’s easy to find. You can lead a horse to water and you can lead a punter to a brilliant band or musical performer by simply rocking up to “The Espy” or “Loop” (maybe next Saturday?). For me some of the people who have impressed me ever more so than musicians, have been the souls that I have met out in the crowd, some of them doing truly what makes them happy. Thus leading me to the main premise of this article, by far and away one of the most humble talents I have ever met in my life.

I first heard of Rehgan De Mather in 2006, when a former housemate had a piece of his hanging ever so aptly above his turntables. To be honest I looked at it and registered a little interest in it. I was fed the time old story ” I know the artist.” so similar to back in the day “I know the DJ/producer.” I studied the canvas a little further and began to appreciate the time it would have taken, once you know o f a personal connection you tend to appreciate things a little better. From then on I would hear intermittent stories of Rehgan’s growing success, how if anything this piece would one day be worth a lot of money. It took a further four years before I would meet Rehgan properly, I think on the dance floor at Rainbow Serpent during an Opiou set. He was hanging out with two people I knew, who I didn’t realize were good friends with him. After being introduced to him, the penny dropped, the stars aligned and my slightly askew bush doofed memory recalled in unison my housemates painting. We chatted for the better half of Opiou’s set, I have admired his art from afar and also had the pleasure of playing at a charity gig he organised. However Rehgan and I aren’t your type cast Facebook “friends” – we have chatted for hours and hours on facebook regarding his art, music, the snow and everything in between. It also turned out that my father was his wife’s boss at one point. I consider him a good friend and I was honored to be invited to attend his latest Exhibition, showcasing his latest body of work, M N M L V M X M L @ Gallery 577.

To meet Rehgan and chat with him is not what you’d expect from an artist who from early on his career has had smoke blown up his ring about how fantastic he is. In fact it’s almost like the smoke is a haze in front of him and once you throw down your presumptions of artists and talk to him, you realize he’s sitting well behind the haze, unassumingly humble, not choking on the caustic intoxication of appraisal. He is someone who, regardless of paint bush, spray can, street sign or even words, can easily portray himself. It would be a shallow outlet if what he felt inside was not represented in his art. In fact the most amazing thing about Rehgan is that through the last fifteen years the mojo that drive’s the inspiration is still as ever fresh as it was in high school. A love for what he is doing.

Captain Safety Pants, Acrylic, spray enamel, charcoal and collage on canvas, 140cm x 140cm, 2011What I especially love about Rehgan is how he sees himself in his own eyes. His webpage is called “Busy playing Art” and that name has always stuck with me. It’s such a valid representation of how he view’s what he does and his approach to his outlet. Tongue in cheek? most definitely. Are you a painter? “No I am an artist” no different than that DJ over there or that street performer. His working style pretty much says it all. Four to six canvas’s all at once, on the fly. How does he feel today? Where is his work going to take him? Nothing is thrown out either, anything that has been expressed on canvas can be re-digested, an old painting cut up and re applied. My favourite piece of the night, a portrait of his wife Emily was in fact originally a spot patch canvas for cleaning the nozzles of the spray. So since the age of twelve when he first designed his parents new house complete with bowling alley. To right now an artist clearly defining his purpose in the sphere. It’s all about the love, just like a DJ for music. And whilst he currently works full time, everything he does is to paving a career where he is happiest, behind the canvas.

I’m no art critic, I just heard all of your jaws drop, so to say that I can cover this article with any professional integrity is about as relevant as me mentioning Whitney Houston right now. But I know what I like and I can only comment on what I saw. “M N M L V M X M L” definitely showcases a maturity in his work since the first time I saw an end product of his. More so his life pre and post wedding, award winning prizes in hand and “everything in its place” feeling overtakes every piece. He assured me that this time in his life has been the busiest he has ever known. That his life currently needs a break ad that he can’t wait for his honeymoon. This is not representative of his work. M N M L V M X M L is a calm and fluent display of talent, showcasing control in the face of grinding 9 to 5 to do what you love. Mainly portrait based with a few murals and showcase canvases, the body of work is all interlinked, not just by brush stroke or can tilt, the bold bright colours, or crisp black on white counter pieces. It is indeed linked by the comfort found in each piece, not by the viewer in looking, but by the artist in doing. This exhibition displays an ever growing decadence and structure to Rehgan’s talent. What’s more, every part of himself, his wife and his friends is on display and it is clear to see he is enjoying life. But more so enjoying being “Busy playing Art”. What’s more I fear that the best is yet to come.

You can see Rehgan’s work on display at:
M N M L V M X M L @ 577 Brunswick St. Fitzroy North. Thursday Friday 12-6pm, Saturday and Sunday 12-5pm

Further info:

 Words by Taran M

“Ask for Janice” ~ Adam Yauch from new school brat to Old Skool philosopher

by Taran M

R.I.P Adam YauchMy first tape was Pauls Boutique, that should pretty much sum up the next article. In the words of Notorious BIG in Juicy “I let my tape rock till my tape popped”. They say that the first Album that you physically own for yourself you “Will hold forever in your own personal immortality” (John Lennon). It was my first introduction into hip hop and I have to thank my brother for it, a listened once hand me down, with a very used ‘Best of Run DMC’ cassette. I went through my old cassettes on Sunday to try and find it. I couldn’t find it anywhere, but i found an old bootleg of their 99 Hello Nasty tour at the palace.

I was sparked by an incident in the crowd that I had never really paid attention to in the recording. About 40 minutes into their set a guy in the crowd starts asking for ‘Hey Ladies’. Soon a little chant starts. Adam Yauch’s voice comes over the top with a response. “I’m really sorry but you aint going to hear that song or Girls”. The crowd stops and gets over it quickly as Body Movin is brought into play by Mix master mike.

They say sometimes in rap that its “All about flow”, fuck Jay Z claims that every time you listen to him “You’re now tuned into the motherfucking greatest”. But I think over flow, what you say in rap is more important than how it’s actually delivered. I never actually rated Adam’s flow (Just sayin), I always felt that Mike D and Ad-Roc had a better flow and were a lot more creative with the word soup that they delivered. But what I feel Adam Yauch lacked in vocal audacity he made up for in content. Sometimes the most basic form of vocalism can have the most profound execution and effect.

Listening to the Beastie Boy’s catalogue from start to finish is like listening to the three kids from Brooklyn’s own personal growth. More so noticeable is the content change by Adam. From License to Ill we hear a brat, a bravado punk with little respect for ladies (they used to perform with a giant inflatable penis on stage and traveled America with the ironic “Like a virgin tour with Madonna”. Apart from the classic ‘Hey ladies’ (In which Adam Yauch had very little audible content). The content of Pauls Boutique was less brash and apart from party tunes like ‘Shake your rump’ and ‘Sounds of Science’ there is a more cultural urban narrative.

By the time you get a minute something into Ill communication it’s clear that Hey ladies is a thing of the past. Adam gels the words “I want to say a little something that’s long overdue, the disrespect to women has got to be through. To all the mothers and the sisters and the wives and friends, I want to offer my love and respect till the end”. I always remembered this line. At the time of recording, acts such as Too live crew, The Ghetto Boys and others used mysoginism and degradation of women as topics, I always thought it was good to hear a rapper asking us to treat women with respect. In fact Adam met the full force of Keith Flint from the Prodigy when he asked them not to perform ‘Smack My Bitch Up’ at a festival performance. This is how serious he took his beliefs.

Unless you’re a big fan of the Beastie Boy’s you wouldn’t really know that Adam was a practicing Buddhist. You really should have looked a little better at Ill communication and the song ‘Bodhisattva Vow’. which is basically Adam’s acceptance and description of what he feels Buddhism means to him. Yauch was inspirational, organizing the Free Tibet concerts of the mid 90’s, through his own charity the Milarepa fund. Adam first sat in on a conference by the Dali Lama and by the end of his life he had had numerous private and personal audiences with the Dali Lama. This song indeed, inspired my investigation of the Buddhist faith and whilst I remain an atheist I like to believe that I have absorbed some of the basic Buddhist beliefs in my own personal life.

Adam openly welcomed calm in attitudes towards the Islamic community especially in the late 1990’s and especially after the world trade center attacks. Adam was one of the few to argue against open abuse of the Islamic faith, in a torrent of anti Muslim, fear induced sentiment. He openly criticized The US military reaction to these attacks “I’m getting really tired of the situation, the US attacking other nations.” Adam always had something to say and usually what he said was followed up by Ad-Rock or Mike D that was never as concise in thought but a welcome balance in humor or less dramatic. For example after the “I’m getting tired of the situation..” line Ad rocks response is “I’m a funky ass Jew and I’m on my way, I gotta say fuck the KKK, homphobics aint ok”. Whilst the other two members held on to the brattish charm to form their style, post ill communication Adam Yauch had become predominantly the conscience of the group, a sooth sayer between two intelligent jesters. The ying to the other two’s yang, perhaps fueling the other social commentary and political persuasion. The Album ‘To the five Boroughs’ carries a very post 911 political opinion to it and I wonder on reflection how much was fueled by Adam’s thought’s.

In the background now I’m listening to “Awesome… I shot that.” I can’t watch it at the moment, because I look at Adam and start to cry, cause I realize I’ll never see my favorite group perform ever again (I’m so gangsta). Adam what you brought to my life and the opinions I have, absorbed through your presence in the Beastie Boy’s, whether it be as a kid skating through the city to ‘Shake Your Rump’ and ‘So What You Want’, smoking dope as a teenager to ‘The in sound from way out’ or smashing down a hill to ‘Triple Trouble’. Since 9 years young you have always been in my ear and I hope to give a fresh MP3 album of Paul’s Boutique to my 9 year old son or daughter to start their musical crusade. You will always be the softer, more thoughtful Beastie Boy to me. The one with less brawn and more brains and I will be forever indebted to your contribution to my life. Whenever I’m at Hotham or Fall’s I’ll think of the line from ‘So Watcha Want’ “When the snow is fallin’ I am goin”.

Your name is MCA and you now have a license to chill.

Much Love Taran M

Interview with a Butler

by Taran M

On Sunday just passed it was my pleasure to catch up with one of Melbourne’s rising pound for pound DJ’s and friend of Substance, DJ Alex Butler, or as he casually refers to himself as “The Alex Butler Experience”. It takes a bold and brash personality to adorn themselves with the title “Experience”  and for those that don’t know him, you would simply write it off as DJ wankerism 303. But to those afforded the luxury of being in his inner circle, it’s actually more of an ironic middle finger to the conformity of what a DJ is nowadays, done with a ball’s out this is what I have, if you’re not laughing at it you should be stomping your ass off to it. So with beer in hand and recorder set to stun I set about interviewing Alex at the home of his own branded “Sunday Sessions” at the Terminus in Abottsford.

Substance: So mate how is that Tasmania came to lose you, what did you do with the second head?

Alex: I was living in Tasmania and one day got a phone call from my brother, basically telling me to pack up my shit and come over to Melbourne to party with him. So three days later I packed up my life into my car came over on the boat and was straight to Hard Kandy on the Friday night. They perform the operation to remove the third head before you get on the boat.

Substance: So you’re a real boat-person, wow you’re my first. So before you came over to Melbourne you had had your first experience in real big clubbing/ partying. Tell us about it?

Alex: Yeah I had been over here on a sporting trip to Melbourne in 2003 and was pretty buggered and after thirteen days of games. On the Friday night my brother said “Fuck it, I’m taking you partying”. So we hop into his car and after about half an hour of driving I asked where we were going. I found out we were going to a party, at a castle in the middle of nowhere. Was a bit shocked and had no idea what I was in for. Got to the front of the castle and I was amazed, I hadn’t seen ravers or set foot in a proper club before and there’s Kryal Castle done up to a T, I was amazed. I met Scott Alert back stage and when the night was done there was no looking back, I spent every Friday at Hard Kandy for the next three to four years.

Substance: When you first started getting into the scene did you know that you wanted to be a DJ/ Producer. Asking because you have been in the scene for awhile its only the last few years we’ve seen you really step up to the plate?

Alex: Nah, wasn’t like I wanted to get into DJing immediately I just liked to head out and party. I had a few friends that showed me the ropes, mixing wise and producing. It wasn’t until about 2006 that I started getting into the tunes, bought some decks and gave it a crack.

Substance: So you started playing electro house and Trance with Kandy at the start of your career and you’ve definitely headed into a more bushy sound, what are you preferring to play at the moment, What’s the Alex experience offering listeners at the moment and where is it heading?

Alex: I’m playing a hybrid of prog trance with definitely a more psy sound. It’s a universal sound, crosses over but it’s definitely got a tough feel to it. On the flip side I do like to get down and dirty and have a bit of fun playing electro house still. I’m definitely pushing the prog psy as my definitive sound though. I’m starting to produce tunes in this vein so that’s where it’s all heading.

Substance: Worst gig experience? If you had five robotic dancing chickens would that have helped the gig?

Alex: I ran an after party for a Substance, nothing worked, it was at Pony, which was a miss-booking in terms of a venue, we were heckled by people that saw us play there the last week, even though that was our first night. At the end of the gig we grabbed our shit and we broke out.

Substance: How important is the crew that you hang with n the EDM?

The support from the guys around in the early days, like the Substance crew was important. More so now my mates like Simon Murphy and Jordz have given me the avenues to get the gigs I’m getting. It’s great to have mates around me doing this cause the main reason I started this was to have fun with my mates.

Substance: Tell me about the beach party you and Simon destroyed New year? By all reports it was just a docile little affair until you and Simon got on and fucked shit up, is it true you laced the water with stimulants?

It was a docile party to begin with and was pretty tame during the day lots of people sitting back relaxing , the sun went down, we started bashing out the prog psy and shit got loose, started rocking it. I wish we could afford to lace water with drugs, unfortunately we are not that rich.

Substance: Use the words “Mint”,  “Fresh” and “slapper” to describe the average situation behind the decks:

Alex: (Laughs) I’d like to think the tunes I play are pretty fresh, I like looking out at the mint chicks on the dance floor until the lights come on and they’re all slappers.

Substance: What is the one artist and or event you would give your left nut for a gig at?

Alex: Rainbow Serpent Open or straight after Neelix, market stage… Go hard or go home!

Substance: You’re really into Neelix?

Alex: Yeah he got me into that prog sound, everytime i see him play he never disappoints, he steered my sound towards a more rounded prog sound, definitely diverted my attention from hard trance.

Substance: So we’re at Sunday Sessions at the Terminus which you run with Simon, what is this all about? Is this the Dr. Jekyll to your Mr. Hyde?

Alex: This is more just for us to have an outlet to hang with our mates, play some chill out hip hop. We just thought it would be a nice change of pace to cross fade some tunes and enjoy a beer garden with a mean parma.

Substance: What’s the biggest problem that the Melbourne EDM is facing and don’t say clubstep!

Alex: I would definitely  say it’s the stigma that some venues still have to partying, more so a throwback to the damage caused by bad crowds and negatively geared press towards the EDM as a whole. Liquor licensing and councils are slowly become more of a problem for venues.

Substance: Whore yourself again, Where are you playing next? What are you upto?

Alex:  I’m playing an electro gig at Hard Kandy, with “The freak” Daniel Johnston going bananas on some tough electro. Then there’s a party coming up in a couple of weeks, ill post it underneath the article…. I’m also playing a two hour prog set down in the Otways in March, that’s going to be a good little doof.


For more info on Alex and upcoming gigs visit his Facebook page.
You can catch him playing every second week at the Sunday Sessions at Terminus Hotel in Abottsford.

They turned the Punters Club into a Bimbo’s and you expect Miss Libs to Survive!

by Taran M

Miss LibertineI really feel for the youth and future youth of Melbourne today. For this week marks I feel, the point where Melbourne essentially turned the corner into being the next Sydney. For a cultural epicenter hell bent on being the epitaph of all things live music, we should be ringing the alarm bells, just as long as these bells don’t disturb the neighbors or compromise some form of the liquor licensing act. With the closing of Miss Libertines in the city as we see not just another EDM venue dead, but another consistent outlet for quality music, be it dance, rock or Sudanese hip hop gone.

The writing was on the wall the moment the pokies boom crashed through Melbourne’s pub scene in the late 1990’s. Suddenly the licenses of traditional music venues and suburban pubs were bought through strong arming and deep pursed conglomerates hell bent on ensuring that rows upon rows of poker machines spread through the floor space of alcohol spilt floors. Suddenly the abundant crash of a high hat, tear of a C chord or wail of a post punk singer was replaced by the lounge instrumental of Kylie’s “Better the devil you know”. The reeking of high grade formica fake plants, with the standard resolute carpeting and the chirping of electronic machines replaced the crowd, the sweat and now more so then ever, the tears. Music not just in Melbourne but round Australia is being left with nowhere to run.

It isn’t so much this historical threat that is such an issue now. It is the demand of the general public to move into the inner city and embrace the “Most liveable” city, by literally jamming into the CBD, Richmond, Collingwood. The next time you are in the CBD have a good look at the number of gantry cranes littering the skyline,  consider all of these are primarily residential developments.  Live music and electronic music is a beautiful loud, sweaty, seething, almost apocalyptic  heathen playground. “Joe the lawyer” who lives on the 20th floor does not want to hear Simon Murphy and J-Slyde bang out a 2 hour prog set at 3am….. unfortunately. In the venues I have dealt with when running Substance, we have always had problem surrounding noise complaints.  Now the powers that be, local Councils, VCAT, Liquor Licensing and to a lesser extent the police (remember, the boys in blue enforce policy, not create it) offer no protection towards venue operators once people move in and around the venue. Noise complaints for licensed venues are registered and held by Liquor Licensing, much to dismay of some venues it becomes clear that when a license is up for renewal, and it’s a venue with numerous complaints for noise, you’re going to have a hard time renewing it.

Miss LibertineThe other factor is what expenses a phone call for a noise complaint actually costs, especially if it is put through the police or through a council complaint line. After a complaint for noise a minimum of two police officers are sent to investigate (while somebody is beaten to a fucking pulp on King St), after investigating they file their incident report. That has cost the government an hours wage, choked a public resource and created a threat for the public because it has diverted the attention of the police. Now the council gets involved, because both Liquor licensing and the council have permits and licenses hooked into the venue. The Council issues a $2000 fine for consistent noise complaints, venue owner hires lawyer  to contest…. You see where i am going with this hopefully??? All because some fuckwit has moved into a flat next door to a live music venue……. This was made by one phone call. No wonder the live music scene in Melbourne “Ain’t what it used to be”.

This is where Adelaide has it right, and fuck me it’s not often that happens (the mantra of “But when it does it’s priceless” comes to mind). In Adelaide if you move in or around an existing music premises, by law you have no reasonable right to complain regarding “Acceptable” noise.  As it is seen:  “You moved there, the venue was there before you,  why do you think you’re paying $200 a week for a five bedroom apartment above a nightclub? “Dear Melbourne…. Investigate this….It will work…”

If it isn’t the Punters club (where Bimbo Deluxe now stands, used to be one of the best live music venues in Australia) QBH, Viper and now Miss Libertines. We’re losing our cultural flare. In years gone by it was just the promoters that vanished into the night, now the very venues that once carried them are joining them.

My Top 5 Most Influential Releases ~ Simon Murphy

by Simon Murphy

If you have ever been in my car, my house or even just seen inside my record bag, there is one thing that is blaringly obvious….. I have a small obsession with music. Well actually, who am I kidding really? I have a full blown, OCD laden, verging on unhealthy, obsession with music and have done so for as long as I can remember. I have hundreds of records, CDs, tapes, DVDs and videos plus hard drives FULL to the brim with every conceivable genre of electronic music from the last 15+ years of collecting. The collection fills any spare bit of shelf, cupboard, car or floor space that I have and then some. Am I concerned? Not at all…. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

So what does this have to do with anything? Well, when you have as much music as I do and somebody asks you to come up with 5 albums that have influenced you the most as a DJ it does tend to open up a Pandora’s box. It was my equivalent of someone asking a parent which is their favourite child in that even though deep down I had favourites, I felt bad for the others. It was no mean feat to come up with this list as I could have easily made it 20 or 50 influential albums but through a lot of thought I have managed to narrow it down to my top five.

This list is by no means a definitive list of the best or most defining releases across the whole scene. These are not necessarily the most highly praised releases across the genres that they cover or are they even necessarily the most highly regarded releases by the artists included. This is simply a list that captures where my headspace was musically at different times, where I have drawn inspiration from, and most of all, what has shaped my outlook on music and the tunes that I play. It was hard to prepare this list without sounding conceited or self righteous as I had to try to justify what were extremely tough decisions. Passion can easily be mistaken for arrogant self indulgence so I hope that this comes across as the former as this was my intention. The list naturally formed in chronological order as it follows what I was listening to at different times, a few explanations of the scene at the time (sorry if some were long-winded), my changing tastes in music and how I went from being a music-obsessed party-animal promo-whore to a…. well…. to a music-obsessed  party-animal who feels lucky to have the opportunity to spin the tunes I love (when people let me).

So enough of my rambling (or the start of a whole lot more rambling?) here are my choices……

1. The Prodigy – Music for the jilted generation (1994)

The Prodigy - Music for the Jilted GenerationAs a teenager in the mid to late 90’s I was, like everyone else, riding the grunge and punk waves. I liked music with a lot of energy but never really liked the more classic ‘rock’ sound per se. I got into dance music when I was pretty young and I’m not going to lie; a lot of the stuff I listened to was horrible stuff. Whilst bouncing around between these almost polar opposites, I found myself unknowingly searching for something that would grab me and shake things up. Enter stage right…. The Prodigy.

The Prodigy turned any preconception that I had of music on its head by merging the ideals of punk with the structures and sounds of electronic music. I blasted this through my walkman like there was no tomorrow. They were the gateway act that got me hooked on the good stuff and made me thirsty for more. With the little money I had from my part time job at KFC I would hit up Dixon’s and buy anything and everything from the ‘dance music’ section. Buying second hand CDs from Dixon’s, armed with minimal knowledge of what I should be looking for, meant my collection included everything from Detroit House to Rotterdam Hardcore, from trance to jungle, from commercial cheese to experimental Goa. Again, a lot of it was horrible, but it opened up my eyes to a whole new world of music that I fully immersed myself in. This exposure to such a wide array of sounds meant that I always kept an open mind about music and this is an ideal I still try to remain true to.


2. Sasha + Digweed – Northern Exposure : Expeditions (1999)

Sasha & Digweed - Northern Exposure ExpeditionsBy 1999 I had a bit more knowledge of the electronic music that was out there and had started to go to club nights and events around Melbourne. My weekend diet consisted of a whole lot of trance and a whole lot of techno. Like most kiddies I liked my music banging so there was a fair bit of hard house and other UK sounds in there too. I was still listening to anything and everything that I could afford and as I slowly got more involved in the scene I read about or got told about more and more acts that I should check out.

As is still true to this day, there aren’t many bigger names than Sasha and John Digweed so it was no surprise that I came across this compilation on my travels (I think I may have actually lashed out and bought this at Sanity Dance Arena). I’m not going to lie, at first listen I really wasn’t that impressed, it sounded like a chill CD and I didn’t get what all the fuss was about. After subsequent listens though, it all started to make sense. This double CD taught me that music didn’t have to be banging to be awesome. The music had so many layers, so many different sounds and the mixes were so long that you almost couldn’t tell where one track stopped and the next track started. Every time I listened I heard something different that I hadn’t noticed before and I loved it. This album is still one of the reasons that I still look for music with lots of layers and textures that can be played around with and used to make long mixes.


3. Dave Clarke – World Service (2001)

Dave Clarke - World ServiceBy the time I heard this album I was well and truly hooked on the Melbourne scene. Whilst I was at uni I was promoting around Melbourne so that I could go to all the events that I wouldn’t have been able to afford to attend otherwise. After listening to enough trance, hard house and hardcore to turn anyone sterile I began my techno honeymoon with this double CD being one of the key catalysts. I am pretty sure it must have been in the @mosphere DJ’s contracts to have a copy of this on vinyl as the tunes on here received a fair caning and formed part of the soundtrack to that period of time. As a promoter for @mosphere I met a bunch of the techno faithful and didn’t look back. I was promoting for crews like Hardware, Wetmusik, Melbourne Techno Massive etc and my brain was well and truly rewired to run on techno time. Even though I cross between genres a bit now, techno still forms the basis of the majority of what I play and Dave Clarke still reigns as one of my favourite DJs (Ben Sims still takes the cake as the best DJ I’ve ever seen though – sorry Dave).


4. Vitalic – OK Cowboy (2005)

Vitalic - OK CowboyIt’s blatantly obvious to anyone who has been around more than a couple of years that after years of techno domination, electro hit the Melbourne scene in a BIG way and before it became a taboo word due to commercial oversaturation, there was a thriving scene with some exceptional music. By this stage I’d been heavily involved in promoting, running events, writing reviews & other press, event photography etc and I had always been quite content to let others do the DJing. This was probably due to minimal funds whilst studying full time and working casual jobs but also because I never really felt the need. Heaps of my mates were DJs and I’d go to so many events I could always hear the tunes I wanted to hear. I was happy with this arrangement.

When I finally jumped behind the decks I did much the same as when I started buying CDs, I bought records (a lot which were second hand) that crossed a number of genres. From early on I got hooked on the heavier electro sounds of artists like Anthony Rother, The Hacker, Fischerspooner, Black Strobe and of course Vitalic. Seeing Vitalic smash out his set at Two Tribes in ’04 was a set that resonated in my mind when I was first buying records and when this album came out it was definitely a major influence in the sound I was aiming for. The Melbourne scene had some great electro gigs and DJs which definitely contributed to the sound I was playing. Sometime around this point I went from being a bedroom banger with absolutely no desire to play in public at all, to getting a couple of random gigs around the traps and then BANG…. my vinyl addiction morphed into a burning desire to play gigs.


5. Trentemoller – The Last Resort (2006)

Trentemoller - The Last ResortAfter electro got destroyed by hideous electro house I was looking for something new (note: before anyone jumps up and down there definitely was/is some very good electro house around, it just got totally paled in comparison to the amount of absolute trash around). I moved back to my techno roots but in a new form; minimal. Much like when electro hit the scene in a big way, minimal threw a net over the scene and I got hooked (again, there was some terrible minimal but there was also some amazing music around at this time). Trentemoller’s music acted as a catalyst for me as his music bridged the gap between my taste for electro/early electro house and minimal.

One of my very early records was a white label of Trentemoller’s Beta Boy. After falling in love with the track, I went on a search to find anything and everything that Trentemoller had anything to do with. His EP’s on Poker Flat plus a long list of remixes were staples in my sets and they never left my record bag. This album was released about a year after I had first gotten into his music. I had loved his previous work but this album definitely struck a chord much in the same way that Northern Exposure: Expeditions had done all those years earlier. This album is a beautiful piece of amazingly structured melancholy techno. It re-taught me the value of quality production, texture and layers in music. This album made me really listen to the music I was playing and is probably partly responsible for the OCD I have now about finding the right tunes for the right set. Since this album I have immersed myself in a lot of down tempo, melodic and often melancholy music that really did changed the way I played my sets.



So there you have it. There were numerous other releases that I would have loved to include from acts like Daft Punk, Laurent Garnier, Sasha, Gui Boratto, Lamb, Joris Voorn, Shpongle, Booka Shade, Riccardo Villalobos, Protoculture, James Zabiela, Phonique, Trifonic, Lusine and well, the list goes on. Overall, I think that the five releases above are a good cross section to illustrate how I managed to get to the point I am at now. Hearing my sets, after looking at this list, you will hopefully be able to hear and understand where I draw a lot of my inspiration. The elements presented in these releases have all contributed to the ideals that I seek in music. I attempt, with varying degrees of success, to translate these core elements into my mixes and my sets. Add to this the huge amounts of quality local and international DJs I’ve been spoilt enough to catch playing around Melbourne over the last decade and you should also be able to see why I am still addicted to the music after all this time and why I can’t see that changing any time soon.