Gareth Bryant

Gareth Bryant

Gareth is Scene Magazine's editor.

Wednesday, 03 February 2010 16:23

Charlie Hustle Interview

Get Your Hustle On

Brisbane DJ Charlie Hustle is one of those DJs that likes to push the boundaries of sound and mess with your mind, creating mixes you never dreamed possible.

There's no limit to what this DJ will do to stir a crowd, going as far as to morph a Dolly Parton track with hip hop great Ol' Dirty Bastard. Luckily for us, such creativity is within our midst - a talent that will hopefully continue to infiltrate the club scene for a long time to come.

 Talking from Sydney, Mr Hustle is enjoying his first break in two years. Despite officially being “on leave”, this cheery Brisbane lad is more than happy to discuss work as he believes there's still a lot to be said about DJing, and is happy to promote the art he loves.

“(With) DJing people tried to tell me that there's all these rules you know and that 'you can't do this and you can't do that', and I sort of wanted to say, 'Well, why the fuck can't you?'” he contorts.

“I think a good DJ is a combination of everything - you've gotta have technical skills, you've gotta play the right stuff and you've gotta have a bit of presence behind the decks cause no-one wants to see a boring guy looking at his laptop,” he chuckles.

One of Hustle's first ever gigs was alongside one of Brisbane's most revered DJs, Sampology, and local DJ Clayton, where they played together as Triple Trouble; a four-turntable show.

Charlie is set to reunite with Sampology for his Super Visual Smackdown performance, including local acts Tom Thum, Katch & Tones and the Surecut Kids. To open for Sampology, renowned for his amazing visual compilations combined with fiery beats, is something Charlie says he's stoked about and can't wait to get the party started.

“We'll all just be doing our DJ sets to warm-up before Samp starts up his visual show,” he tells.

“Basically he mixes video clips and the audio using the program Serato that a lot of other DJs already use. It's not always the official video clip either, sometimes it'll be something he's edited himself or something he's found on YouTube, so it's pretty cool,” he enthuses.

Charlie Hustle will play at Sampology's Super Visual Smackdown, at The Globe Thursday February 4.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009 13:50

Rumpus Room Interview

Loose But Civilised

When you think crazy, hilarious and stupid antics, catch-ups with good mates, bean bags, pints of New, graffed toilets and the gravel pit, you’re imagining the nightly scene at West End’s Rumpus Room.

Opening December 23 2005, on the corner of Russell and Boundary Sts, Rumpus Room has become a haven for creative types and suits alike. A week away from their fourth birthday, owner/ operator Nathan Heng says the bar’s reputation is built on the simple modus operandi of throwing a house party.

“What our real motto is, is that Rumpus is a house party every night and that we’re throwing a house party and if I’d let you do it in my house, then you can do it in the bar. And the behaviour we’d expect in my house, we’d expect in the bar. And apart from that, then it’s just have fun like a house party.”

Great values on which to build a top-notch bar. Another element of Rumpus that has proven a winner, is their ability to market not only Brisbane’s local DJing stocks (think Sampology, Cutloose, Slynk, Butterz, Noodles etc), but also attract the likes of Katalyst, Mr Choc, DJ Revolution and DJ Perplex to their decks. Over four years, the bar has had many a memorable night, too many to list here.

“Our best night was Good Vibrations our first year (2006) when James Brown played. We had a bus come back from the festival [Ed note: I was on that bus; what a zoo of humanity! Peeps doing cartwheels down the aisle, new lovers making out in the back seat] and Noel Boogie played the Rumpus. The other nights we remember are the Dojos, just ridiculous Dojo parties. We’ll be doing one of them a year from now on; they’re too outlandish to do too often, we’ll get shut down!”

With a venue that feels like home and plays the kind of music you don’t find in many other bars around town, the trifecta for Rumpus is their bar service.

“That’s what it’s all about, that’s what we’re here for. We’re here to throw a party, and the best way to throw a party is to have everyone not lined up waiting for drinks. And because we know an awful lot of the people who do come in as well, so you already know what they drink and that’s part of our success.”

Help Rumpus Room celebrate their fourth birthday in style on Wednesday December 23. There’ll be an array of local West Ender’s spinning the tunes and one Matchstick, marshalling the troops for the madness that will ensure.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009 14:41

Cassette Kids Interview

Fast Forward To Success

Rounding out a full 2009 spent recording their debut album and supporting the likes of Lily Allen and the Ting Tings, Sydney quartet Cassette Kids are taking a quick spin around Australia to test our their new material.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009 15:51

DJ Brisk Interview

Old Timer

Pounding out UK hardcore and new style Gabber for close on two decades, the UK’s DJ Brisk knows how to work a dancefloor into a sweaty froth. He’ll be doing just that when he lands at the Planet later this month.

You've been in the game for a long time; how do you maintain your enthusiasm for the industry and getting the dancefloor jacked?
Yes, it’s been a while now. Studio work can sometimes be an arduous task for me as I’m not the most patient of people, however, it definitely pays dividends when you get to roadtest your material in front of an audience. It’s very satisfying watching a dancefloor go mental to one of your productions and it’s that feeling that keeps me hooked on what I do. Music is the drug!

Back in the day rave music was the only kind of dance music; were those years a lot more pure in terms of the music and culture that surrounded the scene? Or is dance music today equally rewarding for you?
The main change over the years has been that of musical segregation. In the late 1980s and early 90s, many different styles of music were played on the same dancefloor with DJs such as Carl Cox, Grooverider and Top Buzz all playing early ‘rave’ music, before they were individually organised into genres such as drum n bass, techno and hardcore. It’s good that each individual style and sound has its own identity in its own right, but it’s also perhaps a little linear and restrictive in terms of what, when and which types of music get played on today’s floors. It would nice to see more variety and get back to the original rave ethos applied to the modern events (although I do understand that only certain styles will work with others of course).

Technology has obviously played a major role in the art of the DJ - you've seen the evolution of the craft. Aside from track selection, are any elements of what made a great DJ back in the 80s/ 90s still relevant to the current breed of DJs who are learning to play off programs such as Serato?
Technology has evolved from both a production aspect and a performance aspect however, regardless of the format you use to deliver the music a good DJ has to have his own style, selection, technique, flair and charisma. These are invaluable in the field of the DJ and these cannot be purchased, only experience can provide these tools.

When it comes to your sets today, do you still find yourself learning new tricks / ways to approach a mix?
With the advent of the onboard effects units in certain club mixers I’ve definitely incorporated some tricks into the set. However, my style is one of continual mixing (tracks permitting) so there’s limited space to add too much of this as I’m constantly focusing on the next track in the set. I think there is a fine line between being effective with tricks and perhaps suffering from overkill; sometimes less is more. That said, I’m currently playing with Ableton amongst various other products to see how I can further enhance my performances. There are definitely a lot of cool and innovative products in the market right now.

Aside from your DJ work, you've been as influential in the scene as a label co-owner. Is it as rewarding to be pushing other people's music on punters as it is to play to thousands of folks?
Definitely. I enjoy listening to new ideas and ways of working and it’s always exciting to hear quality music from new producers. As a label we are always looking to find and support new talent and it’s even better to be an integral part of their development as an artist.

Australia as a hardstyle community - where do we rank worldwide in terms of appreciation and development of the scene?
I’ve always thoroughly enjoyed coming to Australia and part of the reason is the enthusiasm and knowledge of the crowd. You guys may be pretty remote down under, but you all know your stuff! There have been many more Australians making an impact musically in the harder dance scenes in recent years too. I’m regularly playing tracks from various producers across the country and it’s definitely buzzing there right now.

Catch DJ Brisk alongside Toneshifters, DJ Weaver, Suae and a local line-up at 3Styles Reloaded, at Planet, Friday November 27.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009 13:48

GPO's Discovered Interview

On The Prowl

DJ competitions are a dime a dozen, but every now and then one comes along that stands out from the crowd - enter Discovered, GPO's remedy to the status quo.

GPO has put a spin on the traditional comp, adding bigger and better prizes that’ll have all you bedroom warriors out there clamoring for your spot in the heats! â€œPioneer has just released the CDJ-2000 and we wanted to do something to coincide with their release because of the hype that has surrounded them,” says Trav White, GPO's marketing and promotions manager.
“So we sat down and brainstormed how we could incorporate it into what we were doing within the hotel because we knew it was going to be a fairly big talking point.”

The overall winner will walk away with two brand new CDJ-2000s, plus a Pioneer mixer, Ableton software, headphones, a studio session with the crew from Vicious Records, a set at the 2010 V Fest, a scholarship to SAE, plus guest residencies at the GPO and Ruby Tramp. Now that got your attention didn't it? â€œThe biggest element of this prize is the publicity, I've been doing this for a few years and I've never seen a DJ comp with a prize of this size. The publicity element also acts as a kickstart for their career ... I think having all these elements included in the prize provides a huge stepping stone to getting their name out there.”

Entries close on November 6, which will be followed by a selection day at GPO on November 8 featuring industry personnel. â€œInthemix has sponsored the selection day so we'll be having a BBQ down here with some industry people ... and all of us will be going through the mixes that have been submitted, which will hopefully result in a good cross section of all dance styles being chosen.”

The competition will then kick off on November 20, with four DJs battling it out each Friday night until the quarter finals on January 21. â€œWe will be judging DJs on their mixing and song selection as well as their stage presence and possibly the most important element of all, their self promotion, which we value highly at GPO.”


Go to http://www.gpohotel.com.au/discovered for more information and to sign up, entries close November 6.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009 10:00

Chali 2na Interview

John West Special

He’s got one of the most distinctive voices in modern hip hop and now he’s headed our way again for Island Vibe; could somebody ring Chali 2na and tell him to remember his straw hat and crocs please?

Chali 2na is a step up for the reggae and roots festival; a true icon of world music, the former Ozomatli and Jurassic 5 MCs hip hop education has been one taught on the hard streets of the Bronx and Los Angeles, a spray can in one hand, a note pad in the other.

“I didn't get serious until I moved to Los Angeles and the school I went to - the people who I went to school with, who were my peers, eventually became something,” begins the West Coast resident, who carries on with that very endearing American trait of calling everyone he doesn't know 'sir' throughout the interview. “After school, Sun Doobie from Funkdoobiest, DJ Muggs from Cypress Hill (and) Everlast used to come up to the school all the time; all these different people would eventually become something in the Los Angeles underground.”

He is, of course, omitting probably the most famous of all his fellow high school mates - Cut Chemist, with whom he went on to form Jurassic 5 after serving an apprenticeship with different groups at seminal West Coast hangout, The Good Life Café. But it was art, not music, which first alerted him to the emerging hip hop scene.

“I had a friend who had pictures and stories of all things hip hop - before anyone knew what hip hop was - and that was the way that I was exposed to graffiti, and he eventually started painting on everything in Chicago. When I moved to Los Angeles, I met a brother called Jack Frost and we just started painting as hard as possible. But under my sleeve I had poetry and stuff like that; I wrote raps, but I really was a graff artist.”

That evolution is still taking place with 2na still painting, though by his own admission; “My brother in-law says 'you never really finish a painting, you just agree to stop working on it'. And that's kind of what I do, you know what I mean? I'm like, ‘that's good enough, let's leave it at that'.”

But music is now his main focus, with his first true solo album, 'Fish Outta Water' the results of his own unique approach to getting the business done. “There was no real purpose, no real method to my madness. I think if there is a method, I just kind of just go in; some of it comes out fast, some of it is just lyrics first and I find the music. Some of it is the beat first and then I find the lyrics. There is no real time limit on it at all.”

If you haven't grabbed 'Fish Outta Water', you’re really missing out, with 2na roping in some heavy hitters like Talib Kweli to add punch to this deeply personal effort, which label politics stopped from seeing the light of day until recently. An experience 2na agrees has left him feeling “free after getting my master and my money”.

He has, however, not been resting on his laurels with a 2008 tour of Australia with his younger brother's outfit, Galactic, wetting his appetite for his upcoming Island Vibe Festival appearance. And while that might seem like an odd fit, 2na genuinely loves to experience new sights and sounds.

“I was exposed to a lot of things at an early age and now participating in music and being able to travel around the world and connect with different cultures and different musicians like that, I am picking up different things and it's beautiful.”

Spoken like a true pioneer.

Catch Chali 2na, for his only Queensland show, at this year’s Island Vibe Festival, at Point Lookout on Stradbroke Island October 30-November 1. His debut solo album, ‘Fish Outta Water’, is out now.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009 14:57

Brett Robinson Interview

On Ya Smirnoff

For the majority of you peeps reading Scene, the weekends are spent partying your booties off at any number of events around town. From club nights to summer festivals, boutique showcases and bush doofs, there’s an event for every man and his dog.

But have you every pondered whether you and your mates could put on your own event? How hard could it be? Grab a couple of major acts, find a venue and voila - you’re rolling in the money, right? Arrrgh, no! But thanks to the Smirnoff Promoters Grant scheme, three fortunate souls are going to be given a massive financial leg-up to host their own music event.

A panel of judges - including Jonathan Wall (Co-Founder and Creative Director of Fuzzy Entertainment), Tim Hardaker (General Manager of inthemix.com.au) and Brett Robinson (Director of Future Entertainment) - will scour the many, many entries this amazing competition is going to attract, looking for ‘unique’, ‘fresh’ and ‘innovative’ approaches to hosting music events. Oh, and if you’re not quite motivated to enter, how does $10k sound? Enough incentive?

“From our point of view (the judges) we’re looking for the people who come up with the most unique concept,” Brett Robinson says. “It doesn’t have to be something that is an obvious or straightforward event that we see today - it may be something that is quite innovative or has a very different take or presents music in a different light. I’m pretty keen to see what people come up with and how it all works out.”

In an industry currently saturated with outdoor festivals and with new club nights starting up every second week, competition to attract punters' hard-earned cash is fierce. As is the type of event to stage. In a scene that routinely sees rock merging into the dance sphere and hip hop often holding hands with commercial pop, the selection of music and the type of acts you present to revellers is an important call to make.

“I think it’s either making it a very clear decision to be quite directional, quite unique and promoting a music style that might be fresh, new and interesting and putting that forward. Or it might be, like in our case (at Future), when it comes to festivals, trying to provide a good even spread of music that covers a number of genres and attempts to be everything for every man.

“So if you’re going with a big group of friends and you all have pretty diverse tastes then you can spend the day seeing a little bit of what one person likes and a little bit of what another person likes and almost share each other’s experiences and try to understand why somebody likes that particular genre.”

Now that you’ve decided on the acts you want to play and the type of event you’re hosting, what skills do you need not to become another promoter statistic like last year’s party boy wonder Corey? “Number one is resourcefulness,” Brett says without pause. “Number two would be energy and commitment, y’know, and real drive to make a successful event. With all the events that we conduct now they’re definitely not easy to stage, and there are so many different components that go into it.

“Whether it’s the selection of artists to the marketing and promotional plan to the choice of venue and the production standards - there’s a whole range of different things that goes into promoting. So that person who’s committed to the task and is quite resourceful and thinks about every aspect of the event and delivers something quite interesting to people to walk away really happy is probably the key (to success).”

On the flipside, Brett, what are some of the pitfalls that usually claim the eager and young? “Maybe it’s biting off a bit more than you can chew; maybe over extending yourself in a financial sense or being too ambitious and thinking you’re going to do 2000 people when you’re only going to do 500. I think promoting is about being realistic and understanding your market and presenting something that is modest and not beyond your means.”

For more information about the Smirnoff Promoter Grants scheme visit http://www.facebook.com/SmirnoffAustralia The competition closes Friday October 2.

Wednesday, 09 September 2009 15:20

Steve Hill Interview

Mr Masif

I’ve DJ’d in over 50 cities around the world, recorded close on 200 productions and I’m the owner of Masif Recordings, Y2K, VW Recordings and S-Trax. I am Steve Hill.

You sit on both sides of the fence in terms of being both a DJ and record label owner - do you prefer one over the other?
I love both. I make tunes to play in my sets so both go hand in hand. I couldn't choose one over the other really. There's nothing like making a track and seeing the crowd go off when you drop it. I love the business side of the music industry as well and being a control freak it's great to be overseeing all aspects of everything I do.

You've mixed one of the three discs on the new 'Wild Energy - Gold Edition' release; how does this remix showcase your current tastes in hard dance?
I've always had a crossover side to the hard dance I play. Lots of riffs and vocals, very uplifting. While most of my mixes are more underground, I still love playing big tunes and this ‘Wild Energy’ mix reflects that; 100 percent guaranteed floorfillers from my record box from the past year.

When you table the sales of all your productions, you've sold over half a million copies. Do you ever sit back and contemplate the success you have achieved?
Right now I'm in the UK finishing my next artist album, ‘HTML’ (stands for Hard Trance is My Life). It's 100 tracks over five CDs. There's no time really to sit and reflect what is the past as the present is so busy and I have to plan the future constantly.

That said, what's next for Steve Hill?
Lots of touring, producing and running the Masif empire. I've got to get this artist album finished which has been two years in the making... then I'll tour it worldwide. I've got 12 countries locked in to play at in 2010 so it's going to increase the Frequent Flyer points I've amassed!

Ed Real nicknamed you the 'King of Euphoric Hard Dance'; as someone at the forefront of the scene, how do you see the dance music industry evolving over the next five years?
I think the scene is already going through a huge evolution. Digital has killed vinyl. Facebook and MySpace have killed the traditional 'flyer’. Festivals are killing the superclubs. It's exciting times; you either change with the scene or the scene will change you, you've no choice. So don't fight it, embrace it and enjoy it!

'Wild Energy - Gold Edition' is out now through Central Station Records.

Wednesday, 01 July 2009 15:23

Nikki S : Interview

London Calling

Australia’s Nikki S has made a huge name for herself in London’s trance scene through promoting clubnights and building her own rep behind the turntables. She’s back in town for the Elevation gig so we thought we should catch her for a chat.

So how does an Australian girl find herself in London as one of the leading DJs of the psychedelic trance scene? I went to London for a two year traveling holiday back in '99 and after going out to a lot of parties like Frantic I gradually became more involved in the scene through running my own club nights (Endorphin, Innovate, Release, Extreme Euphoria etc) at some of London's top venues (the Fridge, Heaven, Shepherd’s Bush Empire). At one point I was promoting several club nights and tours around the UK, managing the largest hard dance roster in the world, running a record label, DJing and producing my own tracks. By 2007, after eight years of hard work, I had landed gigs playing alongside the top names like Astrix and Infected Mushroom.

How's your debut artist album coming along?

It’s getting close now, but it’s taken me a while as I've used it as a learning tool for production skills. I thought the best way was to start a project.

Style, sound-wise, what can we expect from this release?

It’s on the psy-trance vibe. There are some tracks with a tough prog element to them moving right up through the spectrum to the more high-energy and tranced-up psy-trance. It's my mission for every track to have a killer groove!

You're returning to Australia, and Brisbane, for the Elevation show - what sorta tunes are you packing for the trip?

The Elevation set will be on the deeper tip as I'm playing before Nick Sentience whose headlining. So I'll be testing some of my new tunes alongside some fat, groovy psy-trance.

When it comes to playing away from the UK, do you approach your sets differently to cater for the local scene?

I have found that the sounds from the psychedelic scene translate well all over the world. It's a very globally united sound even though there are so many sub genres. What goes down well in the UK goes down well in Oz or even Brazil. People go to these parties all over the world with an open-minded and adventurous spirit.

Nikki S plays at Elevation at The Step Inn on July 4. Also playing are Nick Sentience, Simon Qudos, JFrantik, DJ Fez and many more.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009 13:21

Nick Sentience : Interview

Elevated Beats

A stalwart of the electronica scene for the last ten years, the UK’s Nick Sentience is headed down under for a series of shows. Brisbane welcomes the man who can spin anything from electro to trance and breaks, early next month.

You've been in the dance game for a decade now - how have you seen the scene change over that time?
One of the biggest changes has really been the MP3 revolution; it has totally changed the entire music industry. Some has been for the benefit, such as the ability to reach a world audience at the touch of a button, but other parts have been negative such as the file sharing mentality of today's world, which has put a lot of artists out of business.

So you have your third artist album ready to drop in July - what can we expect style and sound-wise from this release?
It's a real mixture this time. I've taken influences from all over dance music such as progressive, trance, electro, psy, breaks and also real instruments in a very cinematic way. I'd love to produce music that is used in movies one day, so I've tried to add some ambient and experimental sections around the dance beats to give it a more epic feel.

You've played the world's best clubs - what's been the most surreal, amazing experience you've had DJing?
Being filmed by the BBC during one of my Creamfields sets was up there on my list of things I didn't know would ever happen to me.

Do you like to head out to the club when you're not DJing? What's your form like on the dancefloor?
I enjoy going out and I have always got on the dancefloor, especially when I run a club. It's the only way to tell if you have put on a good night. I always think that if the music playing will get me on the floor, then it might work for others too.

You're headed to Brisbane to play Elevation - what sort of bangers are you packing in your DJ kitbag to get us dancing liked crazed monkeys?
Plenty of new tunes from the album will be in my set, it’s going to be great to have lots of my new tracks to play. I will also put together some new edits of classic tracks, as the dance floor loves them.

Nick Sentience headlines Elevation at the Step Inn Saturday July 4.

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