Are you still based in Canberra?
Born and bred! Besides a brief stint living in London town back in 2006 (some cracking parties back then).
Canberra is not a particularly big place, how’s the underground scene there?
Canberra has always had a thriving, close knit underground scene since way before I was old enough to go out partying.
Unfortunately, I have personally witnessed the demise of nearly every single last left night club and festival venue in the city over the years due to a rapid rise in rental costs, liquor licencing costs and residential properties spreading too close to the last pockets of music venue hope – which of course comes with sound complaints. To top that off a global pandemic hit and we are left with just two last venues in the city that regularly offer electronic music. It’s a real shame to think that when I started Djing there were countless pumping nightclubs and late-night venues in Canberra and now we are left with nearly none at all.
The positive side to this is that the ‘underground’ scene is building up and forming together stronger than ever with new ideas for the future.
What’s it like trying to make a name for yourself in a place like that with deep house and breaks?
I started Djing and dabbling in music production in way back in 2002 when I was still in high school.
I have been fortunate enough to have held residencies, helped promote parties and have awesome friends who ran some of the best parties this town has ever had and still do.
The scene was quite strong in Canberra in the early to late 2000’s, so I had many great festivals and late night venues to play at! The scene here has always been very open minded to different forms of electronica, so I find the vibe here less biased towards one genre to the other here than some other AUS cities tbh.
How did you first start playing music and how did you evolve into electronic music?
The first music I ever loved was The Prodigy’s ‘Music For the Jilted Generation’ when I was literally in primary school! I got into Gatecrasher style trance in my first year of high school. So I have basically had a love in electronic music since I knew about music.
I started making tunes with Fruityloops v1 and have stuck to it till this day.
There are a lot of breaks in your portfolio, where did they come from?
It is an interesting story.
I moved on from my passion of Trance music on to Progressive House and Techno in the early 2000’s. Then in early high school years I actually randomly won a crate of vinyl full of the entire Finger Lickin’ Records discography via a competition on the ‘In The Mix’ website. I didn’t even know I was in a competition! But I just got home from school one afternoon and there I was with all of the best Breakbeat the world had to offer at the time. This basically got me into Breaks and then as I was already into Progressive, it merged to become my real love of ‘Progressive Breaks’. I always wonder if I would have DJ’d and Produced so much Breaks if I never won that random crate?
Which artists have been your biggest influences?
In reality, there are way too many to name through many genres, though I have to mention the big guns like: The Prodigy, The Chemical Brothers, Aphex Twin, John Digweed, Sasha, Nick Warren, Andy Page, Hybrid, Phil K, Hernan Cattaneo, Underworld. The list goes on but they have to be some major inspirers.
What’s been happening recently?
Due to the pandemic, no DJ gigs besides the odd livestream and recordings on Mixcloud and select radio shows. Though lots of music production has been happening which is a plus.
Oh and I got engaged! (Congratulations! – Anthony.)
Any upcoming releases we should keep an eye out for?
I have an EP coming out on ‘Late Night Music’ in November with two new originals ‘Distant Source’ and ‘Fargone’ with some fantastic remixes from Jamie Stevens, B-Tham, Kazuki and Tidy. I have had some great feedback on these tracks so far! It’s a fun EP as every track in the package is quite different so it makes for an exciting release.
Do you prefer to DJ or play live?
Djng is always fun and less stressful, but live shows which are much more rewarding.
I aim to do much more live stuff after the pandemic.
I also do a side project live show with Tidy under our name ‘Stact’ which has been the best fun I have ever had performing live. Its more of an experimental breaks/drum and bass/ idm project that we do completely live and improved on the spot with pallets of sounds, synths, vinyl and drum samples we have made. Basically, a live jam that never sounds the same twice. https://soundcloud.com/stact
What are your top 3 plug-ins to use in the studio, and why?
They change over time but at the moment I’m loving Gulfoss.
It is a live eq that balances out the sounds on the fly as they play. It’s really smart AI in a simple interface. It does wonders to the mix.
Native Instruments Guitar Rig has always been something I use on all sorts of sounds to re shape and texture. I use it in a much more subtle way than its designed for, but it really works for me.
I’m also loving Pigments by Arturia at the moment also, it’s a really full textured synth. The Arturia range is amazing.
Where can we hear you DJ? Do you have any future ambitions for your music?
The last gig I was billed for was to warm up for Booka Shade in back March but that got cancelled due to the pandemic, so at the moment you can only hear me on various livestreams and radio shows that I will always announce on my Facebook page: www.facebook.com/fourthstate
The future is shrouded in mystery at the moment.
Is there anywhere you’d really love to play, or any labels you’d love to release on?
I’d love to play at Rainbow Serpent festival for sure! And my main goal is to support John Digweed one day and especially feature on his Transitions radio show.
Getting a release on Johns label Bedrock would be paramount.
What do you like to do away from music?
I love to get away from the electro-concrete jungle and head into real nature. camping, the beach, bushwalks etc.
Who are you listening to at the moment?
I’m always finding new tunes and shazaming ones I love in mixcloud and soundcloud sets of artists that I keep adding and following on those platforms. And I’ve been listening to John Digweeds Transitions radio show religiously every week for years and years now.
What’s planned for the remainder of 2020?
Write more tunes, try and play at a real gig and get to the beach as often as I can.
Interviewer: Anthony Huttley