Interview & Substance Family Fiesta – May 26th @ My Aeon

by J-Slyde

Interview & Substance Family Fiesta

We’re back with one hell of a shakedown this May 26th!

Interview Crew and Substance are bringing it way back to the glory days where we all came together in beautiful dance music madness and mayhem. Ready the babysitter you old farts.

It all began in December 2005, at a wonderful city bar called Tilt Bar. Appropriately named due to the overwhelming amount of action this wonderful venue dished up. A couple of Technics 1200’s and a bunch of kids got together with thier mates and told Melbourne exactly what was going to go down. TUNES.

For many years after its inception, Interview grew and grew and became a place of worship for progressive and trance heads Australia wide. We all loved everything that was being created in this intimate and house party style event and loved to catch up with each other each month.

Leading on from the Interview crew, we had the incredible pleasure of seeing the Substance crew blast out onto the circuit and reap havoc in thier own brilliant way accross the scene. We are proud to incorporate Substance into the proceedings this year and bring the vibe in tighter and wilder than ever.

After such a long wait, Its now time to catch up with ‘our chosen family, maaan’ and laugh at how old we’ve all become. Leave responsibility at the door whilst the following caretakers show you how to misbehave again.

INTERVIEW (Downstairs)

Blinky (100% LIVE)
Ben Evans
Jules Plees
Scott Bateman
Steve May
Mike Nichol

SUBSTANCE (Upstairs)

Dave Juric
Simon Murphy
DJ Taran M
Alex David


$15 On the Door
$10 Guestlist


Limited to 400 Patrons, first in best dressed.
Doors open 10pm till very late.


MY AEON – 791 Sydney Rd, Brunswick VIC 3056

Substance Warehouse Party – Sept 26th @ Rubix

by J-Slyde

Substance Warehouse Party Set Times

Substance Warehouse Party

You thought it was finished. You thought it was over. You thought “no way, no how, they’re done and dusted”. Just when you thought it was safe to get back on the dance floor… WE’RE GETTING THE BAND BACK TOGETHER!

The Substance Crew have decided it’s time to dust off those pumps, tighten those tone-arms, unhang those headphones and get back to where it all began, hosting Melbourne’s most diverse electronic music night. Throwing themselves and their collective creativity into the unique art-space that is Rubix Warehouse, the Substance Sounds music machine is rolling once again.

The usual suspects have been working behind the scenes to get ready to take you on a collaborative journey that will encompass everything that the Substance Crew holds dear. A hand-picked selection of the timeless tune classics mashed in with splashes of the new, the music on offer will, like always, be of the highest quality. Dearly loved guests that had joined us in the past and some new faces will join the Substance residents of days gone by for a MASSIVE REUNION spectacular with two rooms of mayhem and a few surprises thrown in to boot!

Headliners Jamie Stevens, Luke Chable and PQM will rejoin the crew, with a slathering of local talents and the original Substance Collective together once more. As we seek to revisit the amazing magic of the past and give it a new coat of awesome, this event is one you don’t want to miss.


Jamie Stevens (Infusion)
Luke Chable (Lostep)
Simon Murphy
Taran M
Rich OK
Trent McDermott
Alex David
Dave Juric
Scott Freedman
Harry Blotter
Danny Dobbs
Steve Dixon
Ben Evans
Julian Reynolds

Visuals: vdmo Kstati


Saturday, September 26th
2pm – 1am


Rubix Funhouse
36 Phoenix St, Brunswick VIC 3056, Australia

Click to view larger map


$10 Early Birds / $15 general / More on the door

Tickets available from Resident Advisor


Substance: Who we are, where we’re from, what we do

by Taran M

Reflection is always good, especially if you’re reflecting on some of the best moments of your life. The last few weeks while I have not been able to really do anything because of a dislocated shoulder I have been recalled to remember this fantastic little creation I am eternally humbled to have begun and to include three of my best mates in for the ride. Over the last few months I’ve met mutual friends to Simon and Jordan and have been pinged about the early days. For me when I left Melbourne for Sydney, I knew that the best days in terms of careers had been left behind with my best impersonation of an arsonist running over a wooden bridge. I figured that was it, but then again by that stage hard-house was literally being lead into the retirement home and put on dialysis. So no big loss.

Taran M @ Soft Belly Bar

Taran M @ Soft Belly Bar

It wasn’t until I got to Sydney, settled in and started heading out that anything musical really started to materialise in my head. I had befriended a couple of the promoters at “One Love” in Sydney, in the later stages of Melbourne, myself and my wing-man would be found either at One Love or Viper… Yes Viper… Now before you judge, the music was fucking mint. Electro house but before shit got really, really synth driven. I’m talking “Closer to me” Chab, “Manderine Girl” Bookashade and Pryda/ Prydz. This kind of eclectic mash of electro and tech where genre kinda got a little tossed and lost. My problem however was the crowd. This was typified by the horrors of going to One Love in Sydney. I’m not hating on Sydney per say, especially the friends I have up there to this day. But there was just something wrong about the crowds there and also to a lesser extent Melbourne. The pretention attached to Sydney crowds and house/ electro drove me bat shit crazy. Especially as in Melbourne the crowd at One Love was essentially the revolver crew, just getting more fucked and rocking, but even then the crowds at Viper and Prince were definitely not the PLUR riddled kids that I had learnt to. I learnt swiftly that the Rave mentality of “Do you want some water? Are you ok? where are your friends?” didn’t exist, especially at Viper where the mentality was definitely more along the lines of “you can get more with a kind word and a gun, than just a kind word.”

J-Slyde, Taran M, Simon Murphy - Substance @ SoftBelly Bar

J-Slyde, Taran M, Simon Murphy @ Soft Belly Bar

No shit I got attacked and almost killed by a Red back spider in Sydney. Well that’s a gross exaggeration, I didn’t nearly die, but I learnt a lesson about socks and leaving them on a washing line. So whilst recovering from that, on the couch, ice pack on the foot and listening to tunes and the prospect of returning home to Melbourne already set in stone I spoke to Jordan. I explained the rough ideas I had. “What genre’s?” “Everything” “How?” “I don’t know?” “What venue?” I don’t know” If you remember Peter Vankman and Ray Stanz at the start of Ghostbusters after they have been kicked out of the University. That was it. The only difference being I didn’t make Jordan mortgage himself to the hilt, although it would have been nice to have an abandoned New York Fire Station as our operations. We at least I had a plan to roughly execute. We nutted out the name after coming up with four potentials, I wish I could remember the name of the others but they were woeful. We had a lot of things in set, however Jordan suggested and I agreed I needed to find maybe one or maybe two more people. I didn’t have to look far. I remember the day I called Simon up clear as day. I was leaving Sydney, I had packed my truck, just finished a conversation when I figured Simon might be up for this. I called him up sitting on the edge of the back of the truck. After explaining it to him, he seemed enthused, when he told me he had started spinning tunes, I to was enthused. My neighbour in the block of townhouses I was living in came outside wearing literally nothing but her shorts and bra (She never wore tops due to the heat) and she was about as enthused about me leaving as I was enthused to see her half naked. I had spoken to Rich about Substance and with little persuasion I had him involved as well.

Uber Maneuver (Rich OK & Blinky) @ SoftBelly Bar

Uber Maneuver (Rich OK & Blinky) @ Soft Belly Bar

Taran M & J-Slyde - Soft Belly Bar

Taran M & J-Slyde – Soft Belly Bar

The venue wasn’t hard to find in the end. For most EDM crews finding a venue that hasn’t been tapped out or already been used is growing to be something of a black art. I stumbled across the Soft Belly Bar on a drunken night out. After talking to the owner briefly and explaining what we were all about the owners was pretty down with having us. I have walked past that venue with so much fondness and I genuinely look back at those parties back in the early days with so much love that there isn’t an emoticon to describe exactly how I feel. There was just such a loose, fuck everything vibe to the parties that helped really carry that mentality all the way through the Substance parties as a whole. At any time you could walk into the venue itself and here cracking techno from Simon, walk out the back for an hear Richo destroying a breaks set. Go to the toilet to find fifteen people in a cubicle, walk back out and Jordz is doing what he does best. You know a venue is happy with you when you no longer have a bar tab and you are allowed to randomly take things like a bottle of Vodka to the DJ booth in plain sight and get a nod of the hat. I never wanted to leave this place, the derelict furniture, the smoking in the alley and the general looseness that included driving to Shepparton to play bush doofs at 1am, throwing a DJ off halfway through his set because “Fuck hard trance” and then there was someone’s mate climbing onto the DJ table and pole dancing to MSTRKRFT’s remix of Wolfmothers “Woman”. It was a small venue but we had it packed every night, all our mates and some really fucking amazing nights. What’s more some of the talent that we had along for the ride was an amazingly humbling experience. People with so much energy and passion for getting loose and playing tunes. The likes of Blinky, Kaysh and then there was the guy that we absorbed into our operations so quickly Mouka or Sam if you’re lucky enough to know him. Seriously, Girl Talk would shit bricks at how unbelievably astute this guys ear for mash-up is.

Mouka @ Termius Hotel Rooftop

Mouka @ Termius Hotel Rooftop

The whole philosophy about what we were about was simple and could be explained in the Renegade St. Kilda Beach party that never happened. We thought we had kept everything low key enough and god was it a hot day. We had setup everything and were literally about to drop our first tune for soundcheck when the council rocked up. What do you do when this happens? Move operations to someones backyard. I mention this because as I remember in our timeline this party occurred before the Substance that never was. Soft Belly had been sold to and I have no problem saying it a complete and utter wanker. We always brought in our sound system, assured they had installed a club sound system through the venue we walked in having arranged nothing in the way of sound. What greeted us was the equivalent to a home theater set up and after deliberating on whether or not to go ahead, Jordan and I decided that there was no way we wanted to compromise what had been such a good thing, on such a shitty sound system. The venue itself had also had numerous complaints regarding noise (A member of the board of liquor licensing lived in the apartment block next door) and we unfortunately had to dust our hands and throw middle fingers. It was a damned shame because we all still have so much love for the place and Les the original owner, this signified the beginning of what I can remember being a particularly dark period for us as a crew.

Simon Murphy finds some cover at Terminus Hotel Rooftop

Simon Murphy finds some cover at Terminus Hotel Rooftop

We were homeless, it is what in battle most military units call “Losing the initiative” or losing the momentum. It took us awhile to find a venue and we did in Highlander Bar. In itself a very unique space, which we truly believed we could make our own. However be it its location, or maybe just being so used to Soft Belly Bar it never really clicked that well for us. Don’t get me wrong we had some great moments in this place, one special moment would be Mouka finishing off one Substance with his mash of “You’re not alone” and “Going in for the Kill (Skream rmx)”, having the whole crowd standing and singing along in the forlorn vibe of Highlander is something I will never forget. But we couldn’t get the crowds we were getting at Soft belly and myself, Jordan and Simon all felt like there was something askew. I can’t remember exactly when or how we called it quits from Highlander, but I remember thinking that it was no big loss but at the same time thinking, where do we go from here. Especially after our first birthday at Roxanne’s Parlour. However Jordz and I got to head up to the Gold Coast and play one of the coolest parties I’ve ever been to and we had some pretty cool side room gigs along the way so it was not all doom and gloom, we were just homeless again.

Simon Murphy & Taran M @ Highlander Bar

Simon Murphy & Taran M @ Highlander Bar

The best part was about Simon, Jordz and Rich was that in our own way Substance meant a lot for us. That was why we got through the hardest part of this lull. I think as well it was never about money. If it was we would never would have got this far. For every bad patch, there is a good patch and we found what would be the best parties we threw at the subsequently last venue we held a Substance at.

I really can’t remember exactly how we found the Terminus in Abottsford, but I do believe Alex Butler introduced us in some way to the venue through one of the bartenders. This seemed like home, the moment I inspected it for the first time. This is before the overhaul, before the apartment complexes swarmed to fit every square inch around it with accommodation. It was this rank, rundown almost country style pub with what was an open air function area, bar attached with a smaller enclosed area leading to another bar. The owners were happy as these two rooms were seldom used and the timing was simply to for our sound not to interfere with their downstairs clientele after 11pm. The place literally looked like a deceased estate and having not found a suitable venue we decided to give it a crack.

Danny Bonnici @ Terminus Hotel Rooftop

Danny Bonnici @ Terminus Hotel Rooftop

Luke Chable @ Terminus Hotel Rooftop

Luke Chable @ Terminus Hotel Rooftop

These parties were without a doubt some of the loosest, shenanigan ridden parties I have ever been privy to be engaged in, or attend. Whether it be Simon Murphy DJing in Plastic garbage bags, Danny Bonnici playing what I think is probably the best set Substance ever saw, Blinky getting kicked out before his set, only to have Jordan, Simon and I smuggle him in or Jordan drinking beer from the tap of the bar. The Irish invented the word “craic” for times like these and they were off the wall, if members of the crowd are willing to vomit into their glass and then keep drinking it, just to stay on the dance-floor, you are doing it right. We didn’t have a bar tab after the first Substance, but the venue kept a record of how much we drank, the last tab ran at I think $5000. Without a doubt these parties left an impression on everyone who attended, I love hearing people discuss the Terminus days because they were a perfect way to finish this thing off. Why did it stop? I’ll tell you why, I wanted out. To be honest I felt like I was already “An analogue clock in a digital world” but I simply had lost the real motivation to really keep up with the enthusiasm that Simon and Jordan had for running parties.

Terminus Hotel Rooftop

Terminus Hotel Rooftop

It came up in conversation with some acquaintances a month ago that I took the name and Jordz and Simon started up Prognosis to counter that. I was mortified, for the record Prognosis was on the books prior to the last Terminus gig happening, I even helped Jordan with the name. We all went our own ways with the agreement “It’s not a Substance party unless we are all involved”. That wasn’t me saying it either, it was Jordz and Simon. Whether or not this ever happens is anyone’s guess really. But you never know in this crazy world.

Without doubt the most amazing things about Substance for me was to watch Simon and Jordan take their game to the next level from the last Substance party. There is no better feeling than watching your close mates go on to achieve so much and to stop and think I’ve watched them do this the whole way. They say that something rises out of the ashes, this is true, but truth be told the fire has never been put out. Instead Jordan and Simon have been able to take the fire from Substance and start their own equally amazing brand in Prognosis. To be honest that is what Substance has been and will be about for me.

Viva La Substance.

– Taran M

Mouka, Taran M & J-Slyde - Terminus Hotel Rooftop

Mouka, Taran M & J-Slyde – Terminus Hotel Rooftop

Oh Plees…

by Taran M

Due to some extenuating circumstances in my life I have been a mild hermit the last couple of months. Between a hectic schedule of sport, exercise, episodes of “Billy the exterminator” and constructing a life size replica of Noah’s arc out of stolen car antenna’s, I’m amazed I’ve had the time to conduct anything. I have  fielded a number of questions and answers to numerous people over the last few weeks, mainly back at police officers regarding the disappearance of car aerials in my suburb.

However I threw some questions directly at a cultural enigma that seems to have existed in the Melbourne dance music scene.  The first time you meet this man is like the first time you quad plugged MD caps and dropped two tabs of acid; mildly uplifting….. I first met Jules Plees at a Colour of Sound after party, after I bought him a scotch, he introduced himself as “Melbourne’s Tiesto” and bought me  a fruit tingle. Considering he said he invented the moniker to pick up girls, and given him buying me a fruit tingle, I thought he had ulterior motives. Carbon dating comparisons to such fossils as DJ Kat or Johnny L have proven to only slightly pre date this musical mastermind. Having burst onto the Melbourne progressive trance/trance scene in the Interview and 5am crews. Jules Plees has seen it all, or maybe he hasn’t, who can tell. The one thing I know is that throwing away all of the stories, all of the hype starting out in the early 2000’s, Jules Plees is one of Melbourne’s most gifted DJ’s. His passion and knowledge are worn as a sleeve of pride. Very much a “DJ” and not a tune dropper, a clear and concise direction in both his sets and also his career has lead to the latest reinvention of the JP. Conducted on Facebook chat, over grueling weeks and numerous episodes of “Storage Wars Texas”, I got to know him better and maybe in the future there will be time for another fruit tingle.

But for now, sit back and enjoy as we get to know the man, the music and the muse that is, Jules Plees.

So you’re back in the saddle again after nearly 5 years in hiatus? What has prompted the revamp of the Jules Plees moniker?

I’d been out of it for a few years and at first it was Curtis Tennant’s idea to have a look at starting something up. At about the same time MyAeon was really taking off as a venue and I managed to wrangle us a monthly slot there. We did that for a year or so – and then I went solo for another year – running the Melbourne leg of the Sasha Le Monnier tour. I found that DJing on the night that you are running to be way too much stress (I like to prepare heavily for my sets) and so have taken a bit of a break from the promoting side of things just to focus on my music – which is finally showing a bit of fruition. Its a basic desire to bring something fresh to the scene that is familiar with my own JulesPLees twist, musically that is.

So way back when the war began How did you start and where did your early success take you?

I always had a thing for electronic music – loved the futuristic/alien sound of it all. After doing the underage party thing and turning 18 i quickly found the rave scene. I was lucky enough to see some of the pioneers like Christopher Lawrence, Jeff Mills, Joof, Nick Warren, Saha/Digweed, Carl Cox, etc at their peak. I think it was after (literally) passing at salt watching Carl Cox i decided that I wanted to do it. I bought a crappy pair of Citronics (does that brand even exist anymore?) and a pretty dodgy 2 channel mixer and taught myself. I ended up getting in with the 5am guys who were a crew just starting up a friday night thing at r00m680 and from there it just kinda became its own thing. I got to support (play in the same stage on the same night) as some of my heroes – Chris Lawrence, JooF, Nick Warren, Pete Tong, Tiesto and quite a few more. I got to do all the big brands of the time (Gatecrasher etc). There were some awesome gigs in there – but to be honest some of the best ones were the local nights. Nights like Obsession and Interview in its early days and even smashing out the muzzatech at viper room was great fun. I wasn’t technically amazing or flawless – it was just that from about 2001-2005ish there was a massive hole in the melbourne scene for that sort of superclub sound. There were only a handful of us playing the slinky/gatecrasher style. It was either very hard and pretty cheesy or very very deep. So when when there was a big dj in town who did do that in-between thing there were literally 4 or 5 of us that could fit the bill and not much else. And then I took my break and when i came back – things had changed – big-time.

What exactly had changed? was it that the popularity had died?

That was a part of it – its a young mans game and extremely competitive. But the entire scene itself had shifted. I love lots of different music from iraqi ambient trip hop through to orchestral 18th century bach. But for better or worse I have chosen progressive & trance in its forms as the style i play. And when I attempted to resurface – progressive was in the midst of its tech house phase. i don’t mind the sound for a boogie but it just isn’t my style as a DJ. As far as pure progressive went it was pretty much dead and buried.  With the trance side of things two things had happened. On the more mainstream side the Armada explosion had gone into full effect and it has become a very homogenized style that does not allow for any type of experimentation. I find no hypnotism or euphoria in the sound – but hey the kids love it. The other branch of trance – the more fun branch was the psy side. I do enjoy psy (well its hardly psy to a purist – its just fast and proper trancey) and have toyed around with it – and to this day will crank it out in a tougher set – its just that the middle ground that had vanished. I think it is only now I have managed to be able to properly extract what i want from the psy side of the music.
But on the whole I had no idea what the hell to play and basically my sets ended up sounding like a pretty dodgy mish mash on a bad night or a fun but forgettable boogie on a good one. But now – for all the lament people make about the state of EDM (damn i hate that term) and the Guetta’s and Paris Hilton’s of this world – dance music is actually pretty good in a lot of ways in my opinion. There seem to be a whole bunch of producers, promoters and dj’s who grew up and have seen the same things i have. Its only now that this fresh generation seems to be getting its act into gear in a big way.

Id love to hear you mix bach with Iraqi trip hop. So where are the cannons of war pointing these days? And who gave you the moniker of “Melbourne’s Tiesto?”, what acts are getting you hard?

At the moment for a full rounded package – Joof is the man. Its funny saying this as he has been around for like forever – but his production, label (stable) and general sound is really getting towards being something special like Digweed had with bedrock at its peak. On the proggier side of things – Moshic, Quivver, Hernan, Zaiz, Kassey Voorn, Guy J, Echomen, Ian O’donovan etc do it for me. on the trancier side the Joof & Mistique stuff, Mindwave, Liquid Soul, Phaxe, Lish, Insert Name etc. But there are many many artists that seem to pop up here and there with these random bombs and this is where i find a lot of my stuff. its more fun that way.
I don’t know about having any major aspirations – 1 or 2 gigs a month at some awesome parties would probably fulfill me at this point. I’ve toyed with the idea of running a night again and maybe one day – production wise i fiddle around here and there but it takes time. At the moment all I’m looking is to give Melbourne a solid option when it comes to a guy who can play serious progressive and/or trance (the real type of it).
The “Melbourne Tiesto” thing developed a long way back and it was probably a line i used to use on girls. for a while there (many moons ago) i would use his sound to base my sets on. The thing is a lot of us would do a similar thing at the time – and there was another guy who sound-wise was probably a lot better than me at being Melbourne’s T-god. I just looked more dutch.

Let’ be honest you’re a bit of a loose unit and I imagine you have witnessed some impressive sights whilst out and about. Whats the most bizarre thing you’ve seen happening behind the decks and then, out in the crowd?

More surreal than weird was the time i was sitting in the booth with Tiesto. I walked into the booth and his manager said “whatever you do – do not talk to him while he is playing. After my 15th Heineken i asked him to autograph Traffik… he looked at me smiled – signed it (his real name) Tijs Vervewest…and threw my pen into the crowd (well more at them than into them)…at that point i thought i had gone too far, but afterwards he wanted to stick around and see me play… management dragged him away.

So Melbourne’s Tiesto got the attention of the real Tiesto? Score!!!!!!
Finally where are we going to be seeing you out ands about the next month or so?

Prognosis @ Loop on the 18th – Peak-time Progressive house set
Roomember @ Room 680 – Classics Progressive trance set
JooF Editions @ Brown Alley – Modern Trance set

In finishing, any words to, or for the masses?

I guess in parting I would like to give some shout outs and thank you’s but in all honestly there are so many I’m sure I would miss someone and then feel terrible about it. In this ‘scene’ I have met so many great people. People that have helped me out in certain situations for no other reason than that is how they are. I have also shared some pretty fun (and sometimes not so fun) experiences with so many promoters/djs/producers and punters – not just in clubs but in life and have made some friendships that I believe will last for many years to come. Along with the tunes it is the people that are a primary motivator in this. I know sometimes I may come across as aloof or arrogant – but that is just my way. We are all part of the same thing here – sometimes its more me being awkward than anything . Its also frustrating that I don’t get so see a lot of these people as much as I’d like. I can be quite crap at tending to valued relationships.  But to all you people that I knew back in the old days and the guys that have been around in what could be the slowest burning comeback in history – or if you are one of those ones that just keep on keeping on – I say – keep your minds free and your ass will continue to follow.

Interview by Taran M

J-Slyde: He’s a DJ… not Spiderman

by Taran M

J-SlydeI was initially shocked to find out during my interviewing of J-Slyde that he was not Spiderman. Especially since he is basically my non biological brother. I thought I knew everything about the man, but as it is, is indeed how it happened, he is not Spiderman nor is he Elvis. I’ve watched both from the booth to the dancefloor, worked side by side for many years and then stepped out of the way as the musical progression of one “J-Slyde” has taken shape. Very much an avid punter, turned DJ, come promoter. J-Slyde’s astute musical assertion is coupled only with a desire to progress not only his career, but his sound, whatever it is. Having ascended the ranks of the Melboune “Monopoly” infused club scene, he has landed on community chest, come second price in a beauty contest, but never never ever landed himself in jail.  So from the confines of Melbourne’s Hard Kandy, to running Substance and now pavementing the Australian progressive movement from the decks, we catch up with J-Slyde and find out exactly what makes him tick, tock and bodyrock.

So let’s pretend I don’t know anything about you, tell me where”J-Slyde’s” sound has evolved from? What genres has the good ship J-Slyde sailed through?

It’s definitely been a natural progression. I’d always been a heavy listener of all things electronic – from back in my early teenage years when I used to frequent underage dance parties, through to moving on to overage clubbing and going on my Trance-honeymoon to all the usual festivals and weekly club nights… *cough*hardkandy*cough*. Being introduced to breaks was a big turning point in terms of deciding I wanted to actually become a DJ. Trance and all of it’s sub genre’s were beginning to sound really bland and around 2003 I got swept up in the breaks boom that Melbourne was experiencing. Seeing locals like Nubreed, Phil K, Jono Fernandez and Sean Quinn (to name a few) really inspired me. It wasn’t long after that I begun to build up my record collection, shortly thereafter, decks were purchased.

Since those early days I’ve played around with a lot of different genres. When you’re starting out, it’s really hard to push your own sound, so a lot of my earlier gigs were spent adjusting to whatever sound was big, playing things like commercial house and electro-house. I think those gigs really taught me a lot about being a DJ – not just playing the music you want to hear, rather performing for a crowd and adjusting your sound to suit them… playing for them, not at them. With my taste in music being so broad, I was never really interested in pigeonholing myself with the one genre – when I was at home, I just played whatever got my ear. Prog, house, breaks and DnB played big parts in those early bedroom-raves I used to have.

What is your sound all about at the moment?

It’s still pretty broad! I feel there’s quality in almost all electronic genres, and love being given the chance to play a variety of different genres. But if I had to pick one main sound, lately I’ve been all about progressive house and techno, or as some are starting to categorize the type of stuff we’ve been pushing at Prognosis as, “melodic techno”. Genre’s are getting harder and harder to classify nowadays, and I try to play unique sounding stuff that draws on a lot of different elements.

What attracts you to this genre?

Production value, creativity, uniqueness, groove, emotion. The stuff that’s coming out at the moment is absolutely mind blowing. It really strikes a cord with me! Sure there’s a big saturation, but I think that’s apparent in all genre’s, and definitely a sign of the times. Any nub can download a cracked copy of fruity loops and make a tune – its the producers that put that extra effort forth to offer up something unique and different that interests me. It’s the tunes that bridge the gap between a variety of genre’s, stuff that i feel has longevity – not just music that follows a defined set of rules that safely slips into the one category. Genre bending shit, yo!

Who are your influences? If I was to get you three “Gig wishes” who would you choose to support?

I try to draw influences from everything I listen to, not just EDM. I’m a big hip-hop and beats head, along with ambient and chilled-out stuff, trip-hop and the like. I definitely find that broadening what I listen to helps breathe new life into the way i approach my DJing. Even though I might not play those genre’s they still spark ideas and help inspire me to try different things.

As far as “gig wishes” go…. Sasha, Hybrid and James Zabiela, would be the three! Simon Murphy and I had the opportunity to support Hybrid late last year, which was a dream come true. We also came close to supporting James Z when he was down earlier this year, but doors closed early and our set was cancelled. So yeh, let’s hope we get booked again when he comes back! Sasha – not much needs to be said on this one. I’d be so bloody nervous, im not sure id be in any fit state to play! haha

Is it true you are actually Spiderman?

Ssssssshhhhhhhh. I wear a mask for a reason! 😉

Let’s talk all things Prognosis and Substance. From a promoters/ Event organizers point of view what is the current state of Melbourne’s EDM?

That’s a hard one! As you well know, we’ve worked pretty hard on getting Substance to where it is now, let alone building up Prognosis. I definitely think running events is a hard area to break into – the Melbourne crowd can be quite fickle at times and very loyal towards certain brands, and night clubs. It’s great to see a lot of smaller type krews breaking onto the scene – specializing in boutique nights dedicated to specific sounds. There’s definitely a market for these type of smaller events – less risk for the promoters, and a good opportunity for newer DJ’s to break onto the scene and play music they feel passionate about.

Aside from that, in regards to larger events, I think it’s fantastic to see larger promoters collaborating with smaller krews doing side-room features and what not. I think this needs to happen more often, especially when the scene is so heavily dominated by “McFestivals”.

We’re seriously spoilt for choice at the moment. Honestly, I find it hard to keep track of it all. You can happily go out every weekend to a new event or club night and saturate yourself in whatever genre tickles your fancy. And as much as people complain about there being too much on, I think it can work in a positive way – there’s more competition, and as a result, more of a push for promoters to stand out from the crowd and offer up unique events. Promoters cant really just “get by” anymore – you need to smash shit up and blow people’s expectations out the window!

What are problems that you foresee in the current climate?

The current influx of celebrity DJs! What the faaark is up with that? Guys like us spend years and years behind the decks honing our craft, yet we’re seeing celebrities jumping up on the decks thinking that all it takes is a gem studded USB stick and the latest pair of Pioneer headphones? Granted, there might be a few that do have skills, but I think its clear that the majority need to learn to leave it to the professionals!

Honestly though, I don’t like concentrating on the negatives of the scene. It can really start make you jaded. Sure there’s always going to be negatives, that happens with everything in life, but instead of harping on about them and complaining, I prefer to just step to the side and do my own thing.

J-Slyde @ Prognosis

We hear you are quite an avid fan of Paris Hilton taking to the turntables, is it true you’ve booked her for December Prognosis?

Yeh mate. 3 minute b2b set with Pauly from Jersey Shore. Get ya glow stix and Ed Hardy get-ups ready!

I think one of the best things you have going with Prognosis is that it’s free. Do you think this makes it a bigger draw card than your guests or has the scene contracted so much you need this to maintain a loyal following.

Having it as a free event definitely helps BUT, I wouldn’t say its our main draw-card. I think our lineups and the music we play are what sets us apart – along with being at such an awesome venue… Loop is a very cool space! And, can’t forget the mind-bending visuals that vdmo Kstati and VJ Pied Piper provide for us. I think all of these factors go into making Prognosis what it is – they all contribute in their own way to make our vision come alive, if you dropped one of them out of the equation, I think it’d fall to pieces.

On the music side of things, we’re pretty pedantic with who we book and the way we structure the nights. It’s not just a free-for-all event where each DJ plays whatever they feel – we’re pretty strict with how we like to have the nights progress, and definitely strive to have a nice progression (lolpun) throughout.

I think I’m pretty bloody lucky to work with such an awesome krew, too! I definitely owe a lot to my partner in crime, Simon, who’s played a huge part of making the night as successful as it is. Add in our third wheel, Static, and you’ve got one sturdy residential team of beat-machines!

Do you think the economic restraint on people is going to impact on crowd numbers on big ticketed venues?

Honestly, i don’t think it will. If anything, I think over saturation of festivals will have a larger impact. As I’ve already mentioned, there’s just so much going on at the moment – and people can’t really afford to be going to three different $150+ events in a month. Sure it still ties in with the economy, but I think it would still be apparent with or without the restraint.

What is your whole feeling regarding the recent influx of psy events hitting the city. It seems that its the new Beiberin the Melbourne EDM?

Definitely not a bad thing! I’ve been scoring a few side-room gigs at some psy events lately and can safely say that their crowds sure know how to party! They’re also really open-minded with the music they listen to, so it’s great to be able to broaden some musical horizons.

Gig situation. You’re about to play to a massive crowd at a big venue. The mixer is down, but there is power, you can see the levels, the cdj is spinning. You have a photo of Steven Segal and Scott Alert, a musical triangle and a copy of “Whats crack got to do with it, The Whitney Houston story.” How are you going to get yourself out of this one?

I’d wear each photo as a mask, one on either side of my head, then bust out with the triangle like a boss, whilst reciting from Houston’s story. It’d go down well. DVD release would follow shortly thereafter, with a sold-out world-wide tour. Id call it “Triangle out with ya Houston out”.

More on J-Slyde:

Interview by Taran M

Taran M – Music, life and good health

by J-Slyde

Taran MLongevity is something that’s rarely seen in the DJ circuit. Many artists find it hard to evolve with the times and often we see DJs “retiring” from the scene way too early – be it because their love of the craft has dwindled, or simply because their priorities in life have changed. The only constant itself is change, and the DJ life is a scene that is always changing. The DJs who change with the times and evolve with their craft, are the ones that are able to display longevity. Taran M is one such artist. From playing hard trance in the early 2000’s, through to launching the brand that you now see as Substance – covering everything from electro to glitch – Taran has continued to change with the times. Recently taking some time out from the scene to contemplate life and take a step back from heading the helm that is the Substance ship, he’s grounded himself not only with his DJing, but with life overall. In the lead up to the launch of his new DJ moniker, Trademark, I decided to catch up with him to chat about all things music and life.

So you’ve recently decided to make a move back onto the DJ circuit – what brought this on?

Money, cheap booty and disco biscuits… Well not really. I genuinely miss DJing. I guess I have my life balance back again and believe me this is in no way shape or form a full time return. I’d be happy to be dropping tunes once a month, if that.  I think for me now it’s going to be DJing in its purest form, all about the love.

After taking a break from the scene, where are you at with life in general?

The break has been good, well overdue after being on the coal face of substance for the better part of four years. 2011 was not my year, in fact from January 1 the writing was on the wall. If it wasn’t family dilemma’s or break ups it was sour writing deals and constant upheaval, but I scraped it together and from October it’s been about rebuilding. Personally right now I’m in the best place I have ever been. I’ve started playing sport, I have a great day to day job and I’m back in the zone with music and writing.

On the flip-side though I have recently had my third flare up of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. And what’s more I’m kicking myself over it cause I saw it coming and ignored it. It’s frustrating in part cause it’s a purgatorial state of mind to get to this level of being so content, happy and ready to go musically, but just be so tired. I’m my own worst enemy cause I love being active nowadays and I heeded a couple of big warning signs. I’m taking this forward process very seriously, it’s going to be an interesting two to six months. I’ve given myself three. So I will be doing my best impersonation of Cinderella when I play. Yes it will include a dress, just no pumpkin, ask mum, I hate pumpkin.

With moving away from running events, and taking a more autonomous role within the Substance krew, what other priorities has it enabled you to concentrate your efforts on?

Since October last year the big focus has been on work, sport and writing, things I have missed since I started my music career twelve years ago. The biggest focus for me after work at the moment is gridiron at the Croydon Rangers and my writing. Unfortunately with getting sick again I have had to now cut out everything else, alcohol, partying and late nights if I want to come remotely close to being able to function. I’m blessed with a specialist who has designed my treatment around sport-ball.

I just want to clear something up that has irked me about the misrepresentation when I stepped back last year. I retired from running events full time and DJing full time. FULL time, not forever. Hence why I thanked everyone that had helped me cause I knew that was the end of the big picture. I knew I’d eventually do something again, but never in the same capacity. The most humbling thing for me is to have two best friends turn to me and say “There are no straight-up Substance parties without you. We’ll run Prognosis and do off-shoot events, and when you’re back in we’re back in”.

Where do you see your DJ career heading from this point forward?

Mexico, Japan or Belize. That’s really how seriously I take it now. It’s going to be a career based on playing for enjoyment. With substance my career was based on the success of an overall vehicle, maintaining a brand etc. Back in the early early days the love of the music got blinded by career progression. I’m passed that stage, I’ll just play here and there, every now and then. There is one box to tick and that is any stage at Rainbow, playing a funky glitch set as long as I don’t have to sell fifteen tickets and a portion of my soul to play on a renegade stage.

Fill us in on this new moniker you’ve adopted?

Trademark, purely cause I’ve had enough with Taran M. I’ve never had an alias and I can already tell you it’s like wearing a fresh pair of underpants. Only because I haven’t literally or metaphorically dirtied it yet.

My dad brought me up listening to Soul and my brother got me into hip hop at an early age. After working at the terminus as their DJ on Friday and Saturday nights I started playing hip hop, soul and funk early on before people started requesting loveshack or living on a prayer.

The move to funk/hip-hop/glitch – has that snuck up suddenly, or has it been a gradual progression?

Not really. I did a set similar to that at a rooftop party early. The encompassed sound has taken awhile to refine because it is really broad. But all the styles have elements of soul and hip hop which have followed me my whole life.

Some of my fondest memories of early Substance parties were your epic 4/4 electro tinged sets. With that said, and having since moved on from the 4/4 sound, have you left those styles behind for good? or are you still keen on re-visiting them later down the track?

The stuff I played at Substance will never ever leave me in terms of my appreciation. I still get chills when I hear “Bass Down” or “Killer Application”. If someone asked me to play a set I would not say no.  As far as UK hard house and hard trance goes, unless it was playing next to the Tidy Boys or Brisk for sentimental value; You have more chance of seeing the Titanic rising, picking up a herd of Elephants and shipping them to Guam, then you will of seeing me play hard house or hard trance.

Out of all the different styles you’ve played over your career – what genre holds the fondest place in your heart?

Definitely the electro/tech years in the first two years of Substance are at the forefront. As a DJ I learnt so much regarding track selection, key matching, tune hunting etc. I learnt so much playing the many Vs. sets with Simon. It was so relaxing after the Kandy/PHD years cause there was no pressure, it was just about tunes and getting wayward.

I’ll hold every genre in my heart, I played to some huge crowds and got to see most of the capital cities dance music scenes. Adelaide around 2004-06 will always be a personal favorite, Ignition and Enchanted. Then Godskitchen and Two Tribes 2004.

It’s always interesting seeing DJs mold with technology as they progress through their careers. Coming from vinyl and moving through numerous different set-ups over your time behind the decks, what’s your chosen format nowadays?

Hah hah, I love it. I call myself a “Mattel DJ” or Fisher Price “My first DJ” now. I run on Serato Itch, with a Pioneer controller and one 1200mrk2, you know to keep it real… I’m resigned to fate in the fact that a laptop makes tune access so easy. However I refuse to simply sit behind a laptop or become a button pushing DJ, it’s not how I view DJing. I was once told by a prominent drug addict that I “Was an analogue clock in a digital age”. I told him it was unbecoming to quote lines from Ocean’s Eleven, even worse George Clooney.

Do you think vinyl still holds a place within current DJing?

I recently found that the four hardstyle vinyls I was forced to buy towards the end of my tenure in the rave scene make excellent placemats for dinner tables. If I was having people over for dinner who were DJ’s yeah for sure. Then again I’m sure someone would discuss how eating dinner off a “Bass Agents” 45 ruins the meal before it is cooked.

Look it’s sad to say but I think Vinyl is all but lost in the mystic romanticism of history. A 1200 is such a beautifully designed object and a vinyl is such a physical medium. They stir up something so raw for a lot of DJ’s, the bumps, that boom off the tone arm. I love vinyl, so so much.  But Vinyl is very much the old person on public transport that MP3’s are getting out of the disabled seat to let it sit down. The digital age really has remodeled everything that a DJ is. In 2005 a DJ walked in to a club with a thirty kilo bag and a hernia. Now a DJ walks in with two USB’s. Tell me who wins.

Whats your view on the current state of our local scene?

It’s a lot healthier than a few years ago. I think that crowd numbers are going to be a big problem in general for all music as the economy contracts. People are going to have a lot less to spend on going out. While it’s all about the bush down here at the moment. For all progressive and trance from all reports it sounds as though Sydney is becoming the place to be.

Your ethos on running events was to always concentrate on quality artists, rather than ones that will purely sell tickets – what are your thoughts on the saturation we’re now seeing of the ‘Promoter/DJ’ hybrid, what are the DJ stocks like in Melbourne in your opinion?

I think some the best promoters come out of the DJ pool. Having said that the worst aspect of our industry is that there are a lot of DJ/ promoters that run parties and play tunes for the wrong reason. While they run as a business there is no heart. A lot of DJ promoters will cut their noses their noses off to spite their face. It’s sad when what was such a healthy scene has been whittled down to cash or fame, for what being famous in Melbourne for six months before you turn around and all your bridges are burned. If you want fame or cash grow a set of dreadlocks, get some specs and right a fucking song about someone being a cinema.

Over the years you’ve played pretty much every set-time imaginable… what are your thoughts on the art of the warm-up set?

I think it’s under rated in terms of importance. The warm up set whether it be opening the venue or playing before a headliner is always a trickier slot, that’s where guys like Phil K, Agent 86, Dave Juric, Trent Mcdermott and James Brooke have really made names for themselves.

What makes a DJ good in your eyes?

Love for what he is playing and being able to read a crowd and then take them on a journey with what he has in his crate. Technical ability or skills refine a DJ. A DJ is only there for the crowd, not for their own self worth.

And last but not least – your upcoming set at Prognosis on June 16th @ Loop will be the debut under your new alias, Trademark. What can we expect?

Look the tunes I’ll be playing are designed for the bedroom. I’m just saying that I wouldn’t be surprised if the dance floor descends in to an orgy. If that happens I’m not cleaning the mess up. Expect a bit of pop-locking, old-skool, hip-hop, funk, then leading into glitch. But it really depends on what I feel the crowd is after 😉

Interview by J-Slyde