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    • Nordic-By-Nature
      By Nordic-By-Nature
      Every March, the spotlight shines on Miami.  The Winter Music Conference (WMC) & Miami Music Week is on now, followed by Ultra Music Festival (this year celebrating its 20th Anniversary – kicking off from tomorrow at 6am AEDT via livestream: ultramusicfestival.com Sat/Sun/Mon).  With the ‘who’s who’ of the Dance Music industry embarking on the Florida Beach Music Capital, it also features the annual ‘International Dance Music Awards’ (IDMAs in its 32nd Year).  This year’s winners included:
      Best Male Artist (Mainstream) – Armin van Buuren
      Best Male Artist (Underground) – Carl Cox
      Best Song – ‘More Than You Know’ – Axwell /\ Ingrosso
      Best Music Event – ‘A State of Trance’
      Best Label (USA) – ‘Ultra Music’
      Best Streaming Service – ‘Spotify’
      Best Female Artist (Mainstream) – NERVO
      Best Podcast / Radio Show – ‘A State of Trance’
      Best Music Festival – ‘ULTRA MUSIC FESTIVAL’
      Best Label (Global) – ARMADA
      And more…
       We in Australia are fortunate to host some of the biggest Artists, Events & Festivals from across the globe.  We recently were introduced to the ‘ULTRA Music Festival’ family (‘Road to Ultra’ held in Melbourne) which was a huge success and over the next few months, we’re super excited to host some of the biggest Artists in the scene!!
      Armin van Buuren is currently playing LIVE at ‘Armin & Friends Pool Party’ at the SLS Hotel – South Beach, Miami.  Next up is Australia’s MaRLo watch here: https://www.facebook.com/arminvanbuuren/videos/10155429810793316.
      Friday 20 April - Logan Campbell Centre, Auckland
      Saturday 21 April - Festival Hall, Melbourne
      Tuesday 24 April - Metro City, Perth (Anzac Day Eve)
      Friday 27 April - Family, Brisbane
      Saturday 28 April - Hordern Pavilion, Sydney
      Plus Locals: Sydney: Nick Reverse // Spektrum DJs // Wild Fox
      Melbourne: Josh Wain & Paul Lynch (Autosea) // Leighboy & Handsdown
      Friday 20th April, 2018 – Festival Hall – Melbourne
      Saturday 21st April, 2018 – Sydney Showground
      Saturday 19th May 2018 - ULU Cliffhouse, Bali
      (Many Aussies are travelling for this one)
      Friday 8th June – Hisense Arena, Melbourne
      Saturday 9th June – Exhibition Halls, Sydney Showground
      WILD NIGHTS TOUR – CASCADA, DJ SASH!, DJ ALIGATOR, N-TRANCE, LOVE INC. (featuring vocalist Simone Denny)
      + Special Guests: Nick Skitz + MC Kidd Kaos
      Tour Dates:
      Friday 15 June – Eatons Hill Hotel, Brisbane
      Saturday 16 June – Big Top Luna Park, Sydney
      Thursday 21 June – HQ Complex, Adelaide
      Friday 22 June – Trak Lounge, Melbourne
      Saturday 23 June – Metro City, Perth
      By GALLEON
      In the lead up to their Australian tour and the release of their new album, Cut The Strings, Ozclubbers' @GALLEON chats with Booka Shade about their music, the album, and just life in general!

      We warmly welcome you both Arno & Walter back to Australia for your run of dates in March. You have frequented our shores regularly in the last 10 years. What is it that keeps bringing you back down under?
      Ever since we first came in 2007, we have found an enthusiastic and loyal fanbase who not only cherishes the classic tracks, but also embraces more recent songs such as LOVE INC .
      We played some of the biggest festivals such as big day out, future fest etc, but also enjoy the headline club shows, like Melbourne last weekend and the ones coming up in Brisbane, Auckland and Adelaide (during fringe festival) .
      As the new album is only coming out in a couple of weeks, we play a lot of unreleased album songs in Australia, and it´s great to see the reaction of the crowd.
      Your previous live shows have never disappointed and always left the listener wanting more. Can you let us in on a few secrets as to what we might experience this time around?
      I guess it´s not really a secret when I say that we simply LOVE performing on a stage. that´s what we are really good at (together with producing music I hope) .
      And on this tour, also because the sound of the album is more ´back to the club´, our setup is very condensed , we have all channels for synthesizers, effects, drums under control on stage, we can react quickly and can interact more spontaneously , which gives the set great energy .
      With your last album Galvany Street, you took a different approach to your previous albums, which included the use of more hardware and  featured various collaborations. Does Cut The Strings have any similarities to Galvany Street or have you gone back to a predominantly club approach?
      After our 2013 album EVE we had the feeling that we had said everything in terms of bass lines and riffs. we had the feeling we would only repeat ourselves if we continued in our ´usual´ way, and as artists, we definitely always want to progress, evolve, not repeat.
      Which sounds risky, because we have a career we could perhaps simply continue for years and years.
      But that would be too easy …. :-)
      So on GALVANY STREET, we made an unusual step and produced an album outside of the techno box, no techno 4/4 beats , no ´booka synth riffs´ , a lot of vocals, even pop song writing.
      Most of the vocal tracks are together with Craig Walker, former member of the UK band ARCHIVE. btw he´s got a new project coming up called THEM THERE.
      We also collaborated with Fritz Hilpert from KRAFTWERK on a Dolby atmos mix of the entire album which was released as Blu-ray disc and is part of the Box Set we released.
      We needed this time out to recharge our club batteries and indeed, we found new inspiration for club music !
      And now, with this new enthusiasm for the club, comes CUT THE STRINGS .
      After the galvany street the only guideline we had was that we wanna go back to more clubbier music and that we don‘t wanna work so crazy long on tracks as we did in the past.it should be more spontaneous and open minded.
      You have worked with Troels Abrahamsen (vocalist on Kolsch 'All That Matters') on your latest single and title track, Cut The Strings. How did you get to know Troels?
      We actually contacted him years ago, shortly after ´all that matters´, and recorded a first version of what would later become CUT THE STRINGS.
      But then the GALVANY STREET project came in between and we put the song aside for a while, and picked up work in the autumn of last year.
      One of the novelties of the album CUT THE STRINGS is that we worked much more spontaneous and finished the production process quicker.
      On previous albums we easily worked for 2, even 3 years on an album. Again, that´s something we wanted to change in 2018.
      With your latest live show, do you individually have specific functions within the show or do you collaborate on all aspects?
      The work spaces are clearly defined since we first started: Walter plays keyboards, vocoder, sequences, Arno plays the drums and whenever we play longer sets, he does a DJ part in the middle of the set.
      When writing Cut The Strings, did you find any tried and tested production techniques useful?
      We used some instruments that we didn‘t use for a long time ,  for example an old EMS vocoder which we bought from Ian Stanley a former member of the 80‘s group tears for fears.
      You can hear it on tyrell and of course EMS love.this little box has a very special sound.
      How much do you find your methods of producing music evolve with the vast amount of software and plugins available?
      Even if it is so easy nowadays to do a good sound with all the plug inns which are out there ,we‘re always looking for new sounds with a character which can help to improve the trademark sound of Booka Shade.
      Not easy but it‘s worth it.
      It‘s all about challenging yourself and not be stuck in a formula.
      How do you both remain resilient and at the top of your game while touring given the long hours and continual amount of work needing to be done to make your performances so memorable?
      We have a pretty good time management, considering we both have families and a lot of obligations aside of music. also, we live a rather healthy lifestyle lately, and it´s incredible how much you can get done in a day and how much more energy you can have even with little sleep.
      Looking into your back catalogue, you both have an extensive history as producers under various aliases and in several groups stretching back to the better part of 30 years. Would you ever consider reviving any of the older projects you both worked on together (for example Superstring)?
      Ha ha, you´re digging deep …… well not everything was gold , but having said that, most of the rights from the 90´s should have long fallen back to us, so you never know…. go listen to old demos and releases every now and then and then look for sounds and sequences on old hard drives. you can imagine, there are dozens of old computers and hard drives ...
      In the last few years you have set up Blaufield Music. Tell us a little about your label and its functions.
      We had founded the label Get Physical together with our friends M.A.N.D.Y. , DJ T. and Peter Hayo in the early 2000´s and left in 2008, so we needed a new outlet for our music. and every now and then we release songs from friends of ours, for example fellow berliner CHI THANH, who has produced a magnificent remix for Body Language btw).
      Could be that after the summer we´ll release a project of friends of ours from Melbourne.
      Within the music industry, you as individuals and collectively as Booka Shade are known for having a great reputation and being highly professional while always remaining humble. Are these qualities you would recommend any DJ, producer or musician should withhold in order to maintain longevity in the scene?
      Absolutely. most people who have been successful over a longer period of time (not just two summers) are very professional, work hard and stay grounded.
      Who would you say has inspired you the most musically over the last 30 years?
      Depeche mode, The Cure, New Order, Sven Vath
      Do you have any tips as to who is about to blow up in the next couple of years?
      ARTBAT from Ukraine are having a good run atm, look out for them.
      Finally, feel free to tell us a fun fact that we wouldn't know about Booka Shade.
      We love gardening in our free time.

      Album Pre-order:  https://sweatitout.lnk.to/CutTheStrings
      Booka Shade – Australian Tour Dates
      Friday 9th March: Pitch Music & Arts Festival, Mafeking Victoria
      Saturday 10th March: Days Like This, Victoria Park, Sydney
      Sunday 11th March: Prince Bandroom, Melbourne
      Friday 16th March: The Met, Brisbane
      Saturday 17th March: Powerstation, Auckland NZ
      Sunday 18th March: Royal Croquet Club, Adelaide Fringe Festival    
    • AdamMadd
      By AdamMadd
      Ozclubbers video review by Louise Lou Lou & Mc Wormie from the Lu-Lu & Wormie Breaky Show on 97.1 Sweet FM & Marizma Snips aka MC Mj (Music Promoter)
      Tracks reviewed:
      Metroplane - Word of mouth
      Alex Preston - Feel It
    • OzClubbers
      By OzClubbers
      MasterClass, the premier online education platform, announced today that legendary DJ Armin van Buuren is teaching his first ever online class. The class is open for pre-enrollment starting today at www.masterclass.com/avb. Enrollment in the class is $90, or $180 per year for unlimited access to all new and existing MasterClasses with the All-Access Pass. Each enrollment option can also be given as a gift.
      Armin van Buuren, one of the most influential figures in the global dance scene, has topped the Billboard charts, attracted tens of millions of worldwide listeners to his weekly radioshow “A State of Trance,” and landed a record-setting five No. 1 DJ awards from DJ Mag’s Top 100 DJs. The Grammy-nominated artist’s work has spanned major evolutions in dance music, from spinning with vinyl in small clubs to headlining global dance festivals.
      In his 20th year as an artist, van Buuren will share insights about what it takes to get established in the competitive and ever-changing business of dance music. Students will get an intimate look into the artist’s creative process as van Buuren creates a track from scratch specifically for his MasterClass. Aspiring producers will learn his pillars for becoming a world-class DJ—production, performance, and promotion. The class dives into the more technical aspects of producing, including mixing, arranging, and building dance-worthy drops.
      “Nowadays, to be a successful artist and DJ, it’s not enough to just know how to spin records. If you want to stand out, you need to make your own records, write music, and make remixes and mashups for your DJ sets. I’m truly excited to share my passion for producing music and DJing in my MasterClass,” said Armin van Buuren, MasterClass instructor. “It’s the first time I get to show you my secrets and tips, and everything I’ve learned in my twenty years in this business.”

      “Armin is an international icon of dance music. Despite his musical genius, he has stayed humble, hard-working, earnestly connected to his fans, and has never lost sight of the joy in his work. His passion for teaching is infectious. There really is an art and science to making people dance — it has to do with sculpting sound, mixing, and arranging songs for maximum impact — that’s Armin’s mastery, and he’s certainly one of the best to ever do it,” said David Rogier, CEO and Co-Founder of MasterClass.
      MasterClass is an online education company which provides classes from world-renowned instructors, making it possible for anyone to learn from the best. Each class offers a unique learning experience which includes video lessons from the instructor, interactive exercises, course materials, peer interaction, and more. All classes are available online for individual purchase at www.masterclass.com.
      The post MasterClass Announces Armin van Buuren to Teach Dance Music appeared first on Trance Hub.
      Source: Trance News
    • OzClubbers
      By OzClubbers
      In a age where most are playing “live” with laptops Stevio is one of the few guys out there doing live techno with modular synths. Great to see live and a real techno iconoclast. This interview reposted from  junodownload.com
      It’s not easy for an artist to maintain a genuine independent ethic in this day and age. Amid the drudgery of internet exposure, whether it be shameless self-promotion or carefully marketed anonymity, there are not many who choose to make and share their music in a truly independent way. Some of Steevio’s working practices, such as making his music without a computer, are actually quite en vogue these days, but for the Sunderland-born, North Wales-dwelling techno producer this approach has been a way of life since before the dawn of house music.
      A quick look at a long-neglected Discogs entry mentions his involvement in one of the UKs first electro-funk clubs, The Sidewalk, and he’ll happily recount the days spent playing guitar for acid rock outfit Dead Flowers before the first strains of techno seduced him – and all of his mates – in the space of about two months. After a number of years spent throwing free parties in Newcastle with fellow cohorts in the Roost Records acid techno collective, a crackdown in the policing of raves meant a change of scenery was needed, and Steevio and his partner Suzybee relocated to the pastoral climes of North Wales, and the Mindtours label was born.
      After meeting Tom and Joe Ellis and Leif on the outdoor party circuit in the area, he nurtured their unique production talents while also steering his own music away from 130-140 bpm techno into a slower, more intricate 2-step minimalism. As a loose-limbed scene of sorts started to form around the pockets of artistry hidden out in those rolling hills, so was born the Freerotation festival.
      Beginning as a 300-strong gathering in 2007 (bar one fabled test-run at an Outdoor Activity Centre in the hills), in five years the event has become one of the most highly regarded electronic music festivals in the world. The line-up is certainly niche, appealing to deeper, more experimental shades of house, techno and dubstep, but of equal importance is the atmosphere the event inspires. Held in a mansion with the Brecon Beacons as a backdrop, the weekend is the pinnacle for meaningful dance music.
      Understandably, the commitments of Freerotation have meant that Steevio’s music has been sharing headspace with the logistics of a three-day festival, and so it’s been a while since a new Steevio release emerged. As of Spring this year, a new four-track Mindtours release emerged under the no-nonsense banner of Modular Techno Vol. 1, yielding the first publicly available results of his decision to switch to a modular studio set up.
      “Every day I record at least three hours of what comes into my head at that moment, so I’ve got absolutely tons of material,” Steevio explains when pressed on the origins of the material onModular Techno Vol. 1. “I thought I’d put out the stuff I’ve done last year, because if I don’t it’ll just disappear and I’ll never use it. It’s slightly dated compared to the stuff I’m doing now, but I just wanted to put it out.”

      There’s an undeniable rawness to the tracks on the record, which comes not least as a result of the live ethic Steevio places on his production process. All his tracks are recorded in one take straight from the hardware, as he tweaks the elements and triggers the patterns on the fly. Much of this approach is spurred on by the modular equipment he uses; in essence a self-built performance device tailored specifically to your own individual needs.
      “It’s really about control over the way that the patterns come together,” Steevio explains. “I’m using similar sounds to the ones I’ve always used, but with a modular you don’t arrange the music. It’s basically different trigger patterns and fractalised sequences looping and interacting in complex ways. Everything happens in the moment, so it’s about getting as many controls in front of you as possible to do as many things as possible.”
      It’s been a slow process of learning and developing for Steevio, when he had been sequencing his tracks on his computer, but the purpose of this re-shuffled work practice seems clear. “It’s about how you wire it all up so that in a live situation you think ‘oh I wouldn’t mind hearing that happen’ and you just reach out and turn the knob and it happens.”
      It’s certainly a brave move to uproot your way of making music, not least for an artist who had already carved a clear sound for himself. The defining characteristic of Steevio’s music, at least for the past decade, has been intricate, inter-locking drum patterns with a pronounced funk to them, while the melodic elements come in equally lean and fluid forms. “I got bored of hearing the same 4/4 motifs like snare drums and claps on the beats 2 and 4, which is the common house method of punctuating the rhythm,” Steevio states. “I just sat down and said I’ll never ever use those things, so it leaves it open to me mixing different polyrhythms together to make new rhythms.”
      Polyrhythms take average beat programming into a more complex realm, arguably made much simpler if you have a timeline sequencer on a screen to map the patterns out on. “When I went to the modular, the first thing I tried to do was keep that approach but it had to be slimmed down a bit,” Steevio admits, having ditched software sequencing and resigning his computer to a glorified tape recorder. “My tracks aren’t as complex as before, but that’s OK. I quite like the fact that it has made everything a little bit sparser. It makes you get the best out of what you’ve got.”
      Steevio sits on the reams of recorded material he generates, as his understanding of the modular way develops, letting months pass by until revisiting the results and whittling them down to workable tracks. With an ever-strengthening command over his music in the instant that it’s being produced and moving away from laborious arranging and editing, it’s palpable to see the correlation with his rock band roots. “It’s just like practicing on an instrument,” Steevio enthuses. “When you first start you’re a bit clumsy. You haven’t quite got the control, but as you go along you get slicker and slicker.”
      It’s safe to say there aren’t many artists producing tracks quite like Steevio at the moment, and he’s the first to acknowledge that it’s difficult at times to see where his brand of bumping, complex techno fits in at a time when Ostgut Ton and Sandwell District rule the day. In some ways the Freerotation line-ups reflect Steevio’s quandry about the lack of music that delivers what the experimental principles of techno promise.

      There’s a spread to the styles to be found at Freerotation, from deep house through to a more jacking Chicago style, from hypnotic techno to tough minimalist bangers, from wild dubstep variations to ambient soundscapes. However all those elements have a common thread running through them which knits the whole weekend together. Whether it would be classed as “techno” or not, all the music played embodies that spirit, that dance music can mean more than just a soundtrack to a night out.
      “I find it very difficult to programme techno people at Freerotation,” Steevio reveals, “because there’s been quite a lot of house people on over the last few years and it’s started to get that sort of reputation for being a bit more house-y than techno-y.” Be that as it may, with Detroit’s DJ Bone and Tresor mainstay Pacou prominent on the bill this year, it’s not as though proper ballsy techno isn’t being catered for. However it doesn’t detract from the fact that Steevio is still struggling to find many people meeting his expectation of what techno should be able to do.
      “I’d really like to find some good techno,” he says hopefully. “Most of it’s just really formulaic, I’m wanting to hear something fresh. For me, our resident Sam Watson has got that sort of techno that I’m quite into. The deeper, more hypnotic, tripped-out sort of stuff.”
      As with many parties, an aspect of Freerotation that sometimes gets overlooked by the crowd is the residents. Not so much the likes of Move D, Portable and Soulphiction who feature heavily each year, but the core collective of DJs and producers from Wales who together help steer the festival. As well as Sam’s particular brand of techno, Steevio also talks emphatically about the selector talents of Joe Ellis. “I just think ‘why is this guy not a famous DJ?’ He just seems to see through the music, and sees what a lot of other people can’t see.”
      As well as Sam and Joe, the crew of musicians includes the more established likes of Tom Demac, Tom Ellis and Leif. Steevio has had a guiding hand in all of their production careers, from helping to master and release Tom Ellis and Leif’s first vinyl appearance, to inviting Tom Demac to bolster some of his early releases in the Mindtours studio. Even with individual careers, everyone from this close-knit group of friends remains a part of the loosely-formed Freerotation Collective. However the festival itself doesn’t always provide the best platform to fully appreciate the combination of their sounds as a unit, what with all the peaks and troughs of the rest of the weekend in between. Now though additional events are planned for later in the year, and the sonic identity of the collective has a real chance to establish itself.
      First up will be Freerotation Tenerife 2012, which is taking place on the last weekend in September. While the Canary Islands might seem an unlikely destination after Wales, the opportunity has come about through an old friend of Steevio and Suze’s who lives on the island. After years spent talking about it, a site was found and a 24-hour party has been planned, running from the Saturday afternoon to the Sunday afternoon with a pre-party the Thursday before. “It’s starting off modest and we’ll see how it goes,” Steevio explains. “The site’s out in the country, and it’s good for a big party, so if it works out this year we could make it into a proper Freerotation.”

      The party will be a collaboration between Freerotation and Mazaribah, a local cultural organisation. As such, the Freerotation-curated acts will be bolstered by some local artists too. “Obviously we had to vet it a little bit,” says Steevio. “We didn’t want just anyone to turn up and play something, so we had a little listen. At the same time we didn’t want to just come steaming in going ‘here’s Freerotation’, we wanted to try and make it a collaboration.”
      Keeping up the tendency of the event to choose unconventional locations, the next stop for Freerotation will be Blackpool in December. One Of These Days is being billed as “the festival of festivals”, bringing a wealth of successful leftfield bashes such as Bloc and Primavera together for a weekend in the Winter Gardens complex on the North West coast. Instantly it’s clear this is quite a move for an event such as Freerotation, which has kept itself relatively off the radar over the years, so it wasn’t without negotiation that the collaboration came about.
      “I wasn’t going to do it at first, it seemed too far removed from our underground leanings,” says Steevio of the initial proposal. “I sent an email out to all the guys in the collective and everyone wanted to do it, so I talked to the organisers a bit more about our concerns about it being a sponsored event. They’ve been really reasonable the whole time. There wont be any sponsorship signs in our room, so I’ve made sure that it’s Freerotation-friendly before I agreed to do it.”
      With just twelve hours to play with at the event, the line-up for the room needs to be kept quite streamlined, and as with Tenerife, most of the artists will be from the collective, providing a platform for them to operate more closely. There will of course be some choice guests included, but the intention is to let the residents do their thing.
      As for Steevio’s own musical endeavours, there’s plenty of material ready to be pored over and fashioned into a release, but still his main focus has been developing his modular set up. From its previous appearances at Freerotation, the sheer scale of the machinery made it seem nigh on impossible for a gigging situation, and yet Steevio’s entire approach is geared towards the music being made in the immediate moment.
      “Before it was taking me an hour and a half to set everything up,” he says, “but now I’ve bought a multi-core it’s gonna take twenty minutes. I am working towards it being an actual live show.” Due to the fragile nature of the equipment, flying is out of the question for any gigs Steevio and Suze get for their audio-visual show, although opportunities await them across Europe and as far as Japan. However a plan is being hatched to get a van and traverse the continent, once again harking back to Steevio’s earliest musical explorations.
      “Some of the best fun I ever had was in the bands,” he recalls. “We chucked the gear in the van and drove around Europe, slept on floors and met loads of people. You tend to get to know people better that way. Sometimes I think the whole flying around, going and staying in a hotel, it’s a little bit unfriendly and cold.”
      It’s just another prime example of the independent approach that typifies Steevio’s attitude to what he does. While the music he makes and that he’s most connected with is relatively critical, there’s no air of pretension to be found anywhere. After all you wouldn’t work this hard for it for this long if you weren’t in it for the right reasons.
      Words: Oli Warwick
      Main image: Tasha Park
      Reposted from junodownload.com
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