Gareth Bryant

Gareth Bryant

Gareth is Scene Magazine's editor.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009 15:07

Captain Kane : Interview

Deck Fiend
With the Trip, Kicks night rocking crowds down Byron way we thought we should catch up with DJ Captain Kane to see what all the fuss is about. Especially as he’s about to unleash his own secret potions on the Trip, Kicks decks.

Wednesday, 03 June 2009 16:39

Chris Lake

Bedroom Producer

The likes of Carl Cox, Sasha, Danny Howells and Sander Kleinenberg are big fans. He’s remixed the likes of Deadmau5, Robbie Williams, Lily Allen, Kylie and even the Rogue Traders. He is Chris Lake and you can find him in the Bedroom this Friday.

Wednesday, 29 April 2009 13:52

Matthew Dekay

UNPREDICTABLE WAVES

He prefers the studio to the decks but a support slot for trancemaster Armin Van Buuren has got Matthew Dekay more than a little excited.

Your musical styles transcend through numerous different genres - is that a case of you bringing a multitude of influences to your productions?
Honestly I never really think of what I bring into my productions. Of course I am influenced by what I like but [that] has always been more than just dance music. I think my recent productions are even harder for people to pigeonhole. I don't do this on purpose, it's just something that comes naturally. It's also something I encourage young producers to do, to not try to produce in a certain style. I think the most interesting dance music comes from people who get their inspiration from outside the dance scene :-) (not Beatport)

How has your classical music training shaped your career as a producer and a DJ?
I think just one basic rule, to nine out of ten times start with a gimmick or a melody when I start producing music. As for DJing, I think of my DJ set always as a classical composition. It's not about each track, it's about the flow of the whole thing. The painting as I call it. It will take you everywhere. Usually I tend to play more beat-driven tracks with some melody peak tracks here and there. I like to create a sort of wave movement when I play live, not just peaking because to me that's kind of boring.

The Matthew Dekay DJ show - how important is it to you to have a dancefloor that's all sweat and arms as opposed to a crew of chin-strokers applauding your mixes?
I see every show as a challenge. If nothing is happening on the floor then I try to make a change. If there is already something going on, I try to keep that same vibe and give it my own twist.

How vital is it to your set to get tracks that share a common groove when DJing?
I can be short on this one. Whatever feels right...

There are so many different labels thrown around clubland to describe different DJs/acts sound and style - can you define what progressive means to you?
Progressive as it is today means nothing to me anymore. It was meant to be forward thinking dance music like the real meaning of the word progressive. Today it became a genre, the same is happening to minimal music. It's not about the choice of sounds but it's about the artistic intentions/ concept. As I said earlier, I think the most interesting dance music comes from people who get their inspiration from outside the dance scene.

When you find yourself on the bill with a superstar like Armin, do you approach your own set differently?
I think it's important to stay true to yourself and do what makes you sound like yourself. I will be probably playing my peak set. But I will not go further than that, because first of all that is not my sound, and second I leave that up to Armin :)

What's the next agenda item you want to achieve with your career?
Produce tons of new tracks in my new studio in New York. Work with wonderful singer/ songwriters and most importantly have loads of fun.

In five years time, how will the Matthew Dekay story read?
I don't like to think about this! Hehe ... I think the book should be unwritten. It's all about the journey. It's all about surfing the unpredictable waves. Let’s just read it in five years.

Matthew Dekay will be supporting Armin Van Buuren at The Met on June 4.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009 11:42

Areyouit?

CHANGE OF SCENERY

If you’ve been flicking through the pages of your Scene Magazine over the last month or so, you no doubt have been seeing the big white question mark asking Are You It? So what the f&%k is it all about? Well the folks at Boom Entertainment, who run and operate Planet Nightclub, are overseeing a venue makeover for their other club, located next door to Planet, on Warner St in The Valley. Boom’s General Manager Hollie Paterson spoke to Scene about the changes taking place at 25 Warner St.

So you guys have some developments happening at the moment - what's the lowdown on what you're creating at the venue?

We are really trying to create an inclusive atmosphere, the crowd has recently had a fantastic shift and with R&B crossing genres, it really opens up the patronage mix. We have noticed since we swung our doors open in May last year that the Valley music fans have been often popping their heads in and we  have become a part of their nightly spots to check out and enjoy.

What's your vision for the club? Is there a particular vibe/atmosphere you want to instill for your patrons?

Being focused on entertainment, we are sourcing some of the best local, interstate and international DJs including a contract with DJ CXL; the (former) New Zealand DMC Champion. An interactive music experience is something we like to achieve. We had Chris Brown and Rihanna make a guest appearance and partied Halloween away with us last year; it was a great chance for their fans to see them up close and personal. We have Jessica Mauboy appearing next month for a live performance also, exciting stuff!!

How important is it for you to have the punters actively involved with the creation of the club's new image?

Well, we have a good idea already about what the punters want, as we are offering that now, but as we see the shift in the crowd we want to specialise our service to cater for all these new patrons.

The competitions you're running for the resident DJ, MC, dance crew - what will the winners be walking away with?
The winner from each of these categories will be offered a contract to perform regularly at the club and we will help market them with our affiliates to help kickstart their career; our focus will be using the club to help showcase some really great,  undiscovered, local talent and teaming them with some of the veterans and mentoring them.

You also have The Face - what is this all about?
This will be the face of the club. This is a quirky category that we created for fun. It’s not all about looks, this is about discovering a personality or character that encapsulates the essence of what we believe our club stands for. It's a fun campaign to bring out some of the faces of our loyalists and recognise their efforts in supporting the club weekly and giving the crowd a chance to vote for these people they see each weekend. It's a campaign we may visit a few times a year; the patrons are having fun with it at the moment as it’s novelty to come in and have them and their mates hook up in the photo booth and make the cut, we have been overwhelmed by the response so far!

Let’s take a trip in the Delorean - 12 months from now, where do you predict this club will be positioned within the marketplace?
In 12 months we believe that we will still be sustaining the title as Brisbane #1 R&B club; we may not be the biggest but most definitely the best!!

As we draw closer to a new decade, do you think the clubbing scene is ready for a change of pace in terms of what venues/clubs offer their clientele?
There is always room for change, staying on top means evolving naturally. Some people get stuck on continuity but in the entertainment industry this can be detrimental. Taking a few risks can speed up your evolution and as we are experiencing, take things to a whole new and better level.

For more information jump aboard the web and visit www.areyouit.com.au

Wednesday, 29 April 2009 13:45

Dabruck & Klein

PLAYING WITH THE BROTHERS

There’s basically nothing more formidable than a talented German. When two talented Germans come together to form an epic DJing, production and remixology duo, there’s no other option than to pay attention. Introducing Dabruck

Wednesday, 04 February 2009 22:28

Crystal Castles

Daft OrderDaft Order

Not surprisingly, the recent passing of American guitar great Ron Asheton has been felt far and wide across the musical landscape.

His sudden death certainly resonated with Canadian electro duo Crystal Castles, whose multi-instrumentalist Ethan Kath reserved great admiration for Asheton's trailblazing work in legendary proto-punks The Stooges.
Wednesday, 15 September 2010 12:01

Tornts Interview

Gangster Trippin’

A Melbourne rapper who rips at the heart of the city with relentless angst and brutality, Tornts is someone who enjoys to dabble with danger. Since signing to Broken Tooth Entertainment in 2002, his previous records - ‘Adding Insult To Injury’ (2003), ‘Decimation Recordings’ (2006) and ‘Hells Burn’ (2008) - have set up a steady platform for which Tornts can unleash his trademark fury.

And with his new offering, ‘The Deadbrain Diaries’, his violent, motor mouth continues unabated. It’s a tough, bleak, uncompromising record even by Tornts’ standards, bolstered by the collaborative efforts of a team of Melbourne hip hoppers who all lend their distinctive mark to tracks like ‘Merciless’, which features long time collaborator Brad Strut, and Kid Selzy who crops up on ‘Strife On My Mind’, not to mention input throughout from Bigfoot, Diem and Billy Bunks, who all form part of Tornts’ infamous Hired Goons crew.

Yet the biggest step that Tornts has undertaken is to work with other producers for the first time. Beat Butcher, Ciph Barker, Chemo and Ciecmate all appear, laying down some heavy beats and doing for Tornts what they have done in the past for Killah Priest, Sean Price and Hell Razah, as well as many other prolific artists.

Tornts tells me that it was refreshing to step away from the production for a change: “[It] left me able to think and concentrate even more on writing tracks, that’s also why I finished the album a lot quicker than my others,” he says. “I set out to make a killer world class album that represented my city to the fullest and would get respect wherever it was played, whether it was in Melbourne, London, New York or any other spot on this tainted globe.”

So, the record has given Tornts a broader palette to build upon, and the extent of the damage is clear from the outset, given the relentless nature of the album’s 18 angry tracks. There is no question that this is a side of Melbourne which Tornts is living and breathing.

“I write street music about things going on around me from a Melbourne sicko’s vision,” he says. “A lot of people don’t realise what’s going on in their city. I like to be a twisted journalist and also get my thoughts down on the page and out of my wretched brain.”

As social commentator (although I do prefer the term ‘twisted journalist’), his rhymes are no more potent than on the track ‘No One’, where he’s “watching gamblers lose their houses on the pokes”; or the cold reality of ‘Wastelands Avenue’, where Tornts spits about a city “out of order”. It’s here where Tornts confronts the wannabe Australian gangsters who proclaim allegiances to false ideals. “You rap about glory and guns when you are not Sicilians,” he says by way of a diss, and possibly forming the only real joke on the album.

‘Hit Never Miss’ is the single, one that swings a violent hook, and best demonstrates Tornts as the confrontational rapper that he is already well established for. While ‘Wish I Was Dead’ is a visceral if brief suicide note, painful in its descriptions of hoodies that suffocate. ‘Reapers My Chauffeur’ is another particularly morbid vision: “we’re living in apocalyptic ages,” he says, “with no saviours.” Part protest, part call to arms, those who particularly savoured Tornts’ ‘Hells Burn’ record, and its screaming images of unbridled fury, will clearly not be disappointed by this new epic effort. “I called it ‘The Deadbrain Diaries’ because … I write a lot so I’ve always got pages piled up, they're like twisted diaries about different themes or what I've seen or been through,” he says.

But as one of Melbourne’s hardest hitters, Tornts is keenly followed but rarely seen, preferring to vocalise his disdain for the city from the underground. It may not be romantic but it’s certainly respectable: after all, how can you speak the brutal truth of the streets without living amongst it? As a result, his live shows are sporadic, and at the time of going to press, there is no news as to whether he plans to tour the new record.

But given its success already, the album is already proving to be a testament to the thriving Melbourne hip hop scene of which Tornts is proud to be a leading member.

“The Melbourne hip hop scene is smashing it at the moment,” he tells me. “Our city is bringing the goods. There’s been a big resurgence of proper hardcore street rap. “It’s dope that production has got a lot better too. People like Illuminate and Wik Beats are bringing the heat: proper 2010 production, not just bullshit throwback beats. There’s always some crap floating around too but that goes for any music scene, really.”

‘The Deadbrain Diaries’ is out now.

Wednesday, 01 September 2010 16:10

Truth Serum Interview

Speaking the Truth

Local hip hop and rootsy groove septet Truth Serum are looking forward to bringing their well developed sound to the Step Inn and Manifest later this month.

For those unfamiliar to the laidback hip hop/ soul sounds of Truth Serum, which is unlikely since the local seven-piece have thoroughly circulated the south east corner, they’re now ready to release their long awaited EP, ‘Step Correct’.

The original members - Sean, Shano, Christophe, Seany D and Andy B - began Truth Serum in the spring of 2005, experimenting with their sound, and have since then cemented themselves in the Brisbane scene. Vocalist Zoe Lindsey, a newcomer to the act, explains the recording journey so far.

“Because Truth Serum has been together for about five years, they hadn’t really released anything, a lot of the tracks were already written and because it was the first EP, there’s some older songs that they needed to get out of their system,” she says.

With an eclectic assortment of instruments: including the flute, harmonica and electric guitar, these guys know how to capture a sound that you could assume would never work with these clashing musical instruments. Consequently, Zoe says it’s hard to pigeonhole their sound.

“I always say we’re roots/ hip hop with a bit of funk and soul elements as well. It’s hard because everyone comes from different musical backgrounds so there’s different influences all coming through. We don’t really like to say hip hop because that has certain connotations and we’re not really strictly hip hop but we do have rap in the band.”

With the band losing and gaining members over the years while evolving their sound, Zoe became one of three girls to sing with the band.

“Layla stepped in to do harmonies with me, and Libby who plays the flute was like, ‘well I can sing as well’, so all of a sudden we had these three-part harmonies happening with hip hop, which you don’t really hear,” she says.

The group is also eager to play at the upcoming Manifest festival to spread the good news of their EP.  

“Manifest seems to be a bit more electro and hip hop based, so I think we’ll be well received. It’s always nice when you play gigs with other hip hop acts where you know there’s going to be a crowd that’s really going to get it.”

Truth Serum launch their EP, and support Schoolfight, at The Step Inn on September 3. They also play Manifest September 24-26.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010 11:51

Syntax Interview

Life’s A Musical

After parting ways with Gold Coast hip hop crew Trace Elements, Syntax is carving out his own style, starting with his debut album ‘The Musical’.

Although he loved working with Trace Elements, Syntax always felt the desire to do his own thing. It took a while to get there, but the result features production by M-Phazes and features Mules, Matik and SDub.

“After two years of aiming towards doing my own album, I didn't feel like it was quite right. I moved down to Melbourne to get a bit more of a head space ... to find my musical roots and inspiration. While I was there I pumped out another seven tracks, went back to Queensland and recorded with Mules who did a whole bulk of the production work and that's when the album really found its feet."

"After two years of doing tracks where I didn't feel like I had enough, finally in the last few months, these brand new tracks jumped out to inspire me to put together an album. That’s where ‘The Musical’ gets its title from. Life is a musical; it's taken two years purely because I've been living life in the meantime and it's my life set to a musical score.”

And Syntax isn’t shy about telling how life is through his music; touching on everything from politics to getting pissed. He didn’t want to feel like any topic was out of bounds for discussion so just put it all out there.

“My family are all political-minded; they're all poets, they're all scholars and theologians - well they like to think they are - so there's always lots of political talk and angst at the dinner table. That’s been bred within me so naturally I had to take those things into the studio just as much as the other things that any guy in his 20s would do, which is getting drunk and trying to find women. We all experience it, but I just decided to put it all down.”

His debut hasn’t even been released yet but Syntax is making use of all the creativity that’s flowing by working on a new album with Brisbane producer Cam Bluff.

“When you've got a good producer the ideas just flow. I didn't want to waste time letting these ideas sit and permeate so I just thought 'do it now. I'm basically sitting around doing promo, why not kill two birds with one stone while my brain is buzzing?’”

‘The Musical’ is out August 27.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010 13:32

PNC Interview

Velociraptor

Signed to P-Money’s Dirty Records, Auckland via Palmerston North rapper PNC (Sam Hansen) is headed across the pond otherwise known as the Tasman Sea later this week for a show in Brisbane.Your MySpace page says you have the “best flow in New Zealand”. How did you earn this rep? That's an aspect of my music that people have always seemed to enjoy. All the artists I listened to growing up had exceptional timing, so it's something that I pride myself in exceeding at.

What’s the most important thing in a rap song to you; lyrics, flow or a maaad beat?

Production is probably the most important part if I'm being honest. I think a weaker MC with top notch production is going to succeed a lot more than vice versa. The combination of all of three is the mark of a great artist. I call it the triple threat!

You had some really cool influences on your MySpace page. One of them was Kanye West – tell us, what did you think of his ‘808s and Heartbreak’ album?

It grew on me. At first I found it strange. It was like Michael Jordan playing baseball. I really enjoyed the songwriting, and I wished he'd just given the songs to an actual singer to do. But the more I listened to it and got over the weirdness of him singing, I respected what he achieved with it and I think it was good record.

How did you first get involved with hip hop?

In my bedroom, trying to make demos. I wasn't the type of guy that grew up around a lot of people doing it, and got into ‘cause it was what my friends were doing. I have just been obsessed with music ever since I can remember, and I just got into trying to make it the more I listened and discovered great music.

Do you have any influences outside hip hop/ R&B?

Definitely. I'm inspired by all music. My last album, ‘Bazooka Kid’, had a very strong 80's synth pop influence. My Mum played a lot of classic rock artists like The Band and Rolling Stones when I was growing up. I think it’s good to broaden your horizons, and I like to listen to all types of genres to sort of clean the hip hop palette now and then.

So why name yourself after a city? I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a rapper doing that before, except for maybe Flo Rida. How much do you love Palmerston North?

It was never a name I actually sat down and chose. Maybe the first rhyme I ever wrote said "new chapter/ it’s the PNC Raptor..." at the start. I just I always thought the velociraptors in ‘Jurassic Park’ were ill, and I was the Palmerston North version haha! I kicked that verse on student radio once and the DJ started calling me that, and I used it as a screen name on the net so when people listened to me post audio on forums that was the name they knew me as. I later dropped the Raptor part.

If you could do a project with any rapper, dead or alive, who would it be?

If I could pick anyone it would have to be Jay-Z. He's definitely the artist that influenced me the most and made me want to start MCing myself. Other favourites would be Eminem, Andre 3000 and Nas.

If you never got into the rap game, what would you be doing right now?

Man, good question! I think that's the main reason I've been able to succeed thus far in the music industry, because I can't see myself doing anything else. I guess it’s a ‘do or die’ mentality. I'd probably be back in Palmy working at KFC, which was the last job I had before doing music.

Is there anything you dislike about hip hop culture?

Plenty of things. The biggest problems with the music today is the lack of artistic integrity and diversity. It's disheartening when you hear people NOT wanting to be noted as lyricists because that isn't what sells, so they just carbon copy the next man. I enjoyed the days where everyone had their own lane, and the landscape of hip hop was really varied.

Catch PNC at Shooters Nightclub on Tuesday March 23.

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