It seems political pressure from conservatives could be behind the disappointing news
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We source our news and reviews from a number of sources. From our local volunteer contributors (writers and reviewers) around Australia, to syndicated news sources including Your EDM, Dancing Astronaut, MixMag, By The Wavs, MNML, No Dough Music, Techno Kittens, Drum and Bass News, BBC, Junkee, and Trance Family. Where the article has been sourced via syndication, you will find a link at the bottom of the article to the original source.
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By Adam Madd
Dr Packer, aka Greg Packer, is well known amongst the music scene for his remixes & edits of classic tunes from 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s Soul, Disco, Funk, Hip Hop & Reggae. Dr Packer has quickly become a mainstay in the sets of some of the biggest names in the disco world, with this support helping him to be voted #1 in the Traxsource Top 20 NuDisco Artists for two consecutive years running.
Dr Packer is one of the four main headliners playing at Sunset Safari at Albert Park Greenfields on New Year’s Day, alongside DJ Spen and local Melbourne heavyweight, Boogs. Leading up to his New Years Day set, he takes a moment to have a chat with Ozclubbers' founder @Adam Madd.
AM: Hi Greg, thanks for taking the time to chat with us here at Ozclubbers! First up, something that I’ve personally been curious about. How did the “Dr” part of your name come about?
DP: My real name is Greg Packer which makes my initials 'GP', also an old friend years ago used to call me 'the disco doctor' cos he also knew about my obsession with collecting disco & soul records.
AM: You’ve got a well-known name amongst the Jungle and D&B scene in WA as Greg Packer, but what inspired you to start playing soul, disco, funk, and reggae as Dr Packer?
DP: A lot of people didn't realise but I was already doing it on the side, just not producing it under the name 'Dr Packer'. I had a residency at a night here called 'The Funk Club' and did events under the name 'Boogaloo', this was me playing strictly all disco vinyl sets. I kept it on the down low as the diehard DnB fans would have started to think I was jumping ship, it was only when I decided to start producing it that I felt I needed to change my name, I wanted to keep my surname and just change the first part and start fresh under a new name.
AM: How dramatically the Perth scene changed since you first started playing in 1990? Would you say it’s for good or bad, and why?
DP: I think there are pros and cons, for e.g. back in 1990 people would be clubbing without mobile phones or any type of social media distractions therefore all attention was on the DJ, but then the technology these days is amazing playing off USB sticks and the music production sound quality is a lot better than back in 1990. Plus, in those days you'd rarely get the big festivals like we get now. There are probably loads of good and bad points if you really think about it, but I think for me I prefer now.
AM: Your disco remixes have been referred to as beefier, fatter version of the original. While it’s probably hard to select just a couple from the vast remix repertoire you have, can you list a couple of remixes you’ve done that stand out to you as favourites, and tell us briefly what inspired you to remix them?
DP: The ones that really stand out for me is my version of Donna Summer 'I feel love', which I did back in 2015. It was the one mix that was nailed straight away, and I still play it most sets now. It was a request from my mother, so I had to do it, but I am so glad I did as it ended up being one of my fave edits really beefed up and sounds amazing on a good system. Also, my version of 'Grandmaster Melle Mel - white lines' seems to be very popular and I get lots of love and requests for it. Just one day I thought about doing something other than straight up disco, and a lot of those early hip hop tunes were heavily disco influenced to begin with. I wasn't sure if it would get accepted on the dancefloor to begin with but now it’s often one of the biggest moments in my sets.
AM: You’ve been compared to the likes of Hot Toddy, Late Nite Tuff Guy, Joey Negro, Greg Wilson, Norman Jay, and Fingerman. What does it feel like to be in the same spectrum as these musical masterminds?
DP: Amazing !!!!! I mean I looked up to these guys when I first started out doing this and now, I'm often on the bill with them. I still feel like a teenage groupie around them, but I try to hold it together and remind myself I’m a 46 year old man !!!! haha
AM: You’ve just recently reached the no.1 spot on Traxsource’s top100 NuDisco artists, for the second year running! (Congratulations!) How did you feel when you heard of that achievement?
DP: Total shock !!! Last year they requested a high res pic of me the day before so it kind of gave the game away that I won it, and this year I didn't get that email, so I convinced myself I didn't get it, so when I saw that I had again I got a massive buzz.
AM: Where did your musical journey actually start? What inspired you to start DJing?
DP: I saw the band 'Technotronic' play at a concert in 1989 and they had a half time break, and they said there DJ will play for half n hr, so I watched him from a balcony above as he was cutting, scratching and mixing old hip hop, funk & house tunes. He was amazing, and that moment I had that thought in my head 'I need to do this', so by October '89 I'd saved enough money to get my first pair of decks, which means by Oct 2019 it will be 30 years for me as a DJ. Sounds like an excuse for a party !!!!
AM: What was your first record?
DP: Grandmaster Flash - The Message. It was in the charts at the time (1982) and my older brother bought it for me as a birthday present, the vinyl collection (or should I say addiction) grew from that moment.
AM: Can you list your top 5 records at the moment and maybe something about each that attracts you to them?
Qwestlife - Hit It Off (Glitter Box)
Sometimes I think cover versions can ruin a track, but in this case I like it as much if not a tad more than the original, fantastic update !!!
Spencer Morales ft Tasha LaRae - I Need Your Lovin (Opolopo Remix) (Quantize Recordings)
Pretty Much for the same reasons as the above tune, a cover version done extremely well and Opolopo nailed the new baseline
Patrice Rushen - Never Gonna Give You Up 'Joey Negro Mix' (Z Records)
I’ve been playing this for a little while now and I can’t leave it alone, love the new chords Joey added and a great production update to an already classic tune
Lenny Fontana & Shirley Lites - Fire 'Dr Packer Remix' (Midnight Riot)
I felt so privileged to be asked to remix a tune by 2 people that I admire very much 'Lenny Fontana' and 'Shirley Lites' who delivered a real authentic sounding disco number that sounded like it could have been released in 1979, I put my usual Dr Packer stamp on it
Slam Dunk'd , Chromeo - No Price 'Art Of Tones Remix' (Glitterbox)
I only just found out this was an 'Arthur Baker' production which surprised me, but a great nice chuck of modern disco smoothed out a tad by 'Art Of Tones' love it !!!!
AM: What is in the production pipeline for Dr Packer? What can we expect to hear from you in 2019 and onwards?
DP: As we speak I am working on forthcoming material for 'Glitterbox, Big Love Records, Masterworks' and hoping to get a rework album released for next year done officially, which is a lot of hard work but I’m up for the challenge. The tracks are ready to go, its more about the licensing side of things as I no longer wish to be looking over my shoulder.
AM: Can you recommend a couple of artists that our readers should be keeping an eye on?
DP: Nobody brand new has jumped out at me this year, but one artist 'Michael Gray' who is one half of 'Full Intention' has been sending me some stuff this year that has really impressed me, and I have supported everything he has sent thru. I look forward to the next inbox each time. Also the great Joey Negro has been killing me this year to the point where I have to force myself to not play too many of his tunes in my set. I could easily play a whole set of his stuff and I don't think I am alone in saying that.
AM: And finally, tell us something that we don’t know about Dr Packer?
DP: I used to be a brickies labourer. I was often referred to as 'The Dog' or 'The Beast' by my fellow tradesmen which was general building site banter. The supervisors and bosses would walk on site and say hello to all the tradesmen, and just walk past me (the labourer) as you wasn't even worthy of a 'Hello'. But now I’m often picked up from the airport in a limousine with a personal driver holding a sign saying 'Dr Packer', and then driven to a fancy hotel and sign autographs and take photos after my set. Complete madness !!!!
Thanks again for taking the time to speak with us, Greg!
Dr Packer appears on the headline bill alongside DJ Spen and Boogs at Sunset Safari NYD, as well as a solid array of local support acts!
Tickets are still available via link below:
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/269052340624628/
OzClubbers Feature Article - Alpha Agency
In this weeks Feature Article, OzClubbers is proud to introduce Alpha Agency - Australia's first all female & LGBTQI+ Booking Agency.
Alpha is the brainchild of a female music industry worker who had not only faced adversity as a woman in music herself, but also saw the struggles her female talent had faced over the years. During the recent Bigsound Festival in Brisbane I spent an evening with Kailei to find out more about her new venture. We ate tempura eggplant and between sake shots chatted candidly about being a woman in the music industry and her mission to support, empower and navigate a positive and successful career for women in music.
Tell us a little about yourself, Kailei?
I’m a booking agent originally from Sydney who quit her job and moved to Melbourne on a whim in May, then started a business three months later. And here we are!
How’d you get into the music industry?
I decided I was going to work in music when I was fifteen years old, so I studied Music Industry Business as soon as I finished my HSC. From there it was a lot of internships, free work, ‘blood, sweat and tears’ until I finally got my first full time job in the industry and kept on growing from there. It’s been a long journey and a lot of hard work, so it’s nice to be here doing something I really believe in which will hopefully help a lot of people along the way.
What experience do you have?
I’ve been an agent, promoter, artist manager, merchandise manager, event manager and publicist; so it’s shaped me into an allrounder which put me in a great position to start the business. I used to think I needed to be a specialist in one area of the industry but soon realised the value in having really solid experience in a number of sectors.
Why'd you decide to make Alpha all female and LGBTQI+?
Alpha stemmed from my personal experiences as a woman in music and also from seeing first-hand the constant challenges and feelings of defeat my female talent encountered over the years. I want to be able to navigate safe, positive and successful careers for people in music who don’t feel properly represented because of their gender, sexuality or ethnicity.
Can someone that doesn’t identify within these areas sign with you?
Yes of course. I’m currently speaking with a band who are fronted by a female vocalist with the other band members being straight, cis-males; however their music is about gender, sexuality and other ideologies that align with Alpha’s. We’re here to support anyone fighting the good fight with us through their music and influence!
Other than the fact that you’ll be all female and LGBTQI+ inclusive, what sets you apart as a agency/booking agent?
As an agent, I really understand the needs of female talent and form solid bonds with my artists which in turn brings out the most creative, successful and collaborative work. I also specialise and focus heavily in the corporate events and the brand sponsorship space which is a really important nut to crack for an artist.
When are you launching and have you got anything special planned?
Alpha is officially launched but we’re looking at throwing a party in summer to showcase our amazing talent roster and wet the agency’s head. It would be wrong not to!
Are their any collaborators you’d like to mention (that'll be involved with Alpha)?
I’ve collaborated with some wonderful, creative women for the launch of Alpha. A core ethos of the business is to outsource female freelancers for services such as web development, design, photography, publicity and marketing to open up more jobs for women in creative industries. So far I’ve worked with Angie Young, Xposed Media (publicity); Annie Walter, Annie Walter Design (logo); Kate Carmen, Rabble Rouse Creative (website and branding), Renee Peterson (copywriting) and Alex Drewniak (photography).
Can you tell us about who you have signed? What sort or artists/genres can we expect to see coming out of Alpha?
So far the roster includes (in alphabetical order) Ayebatonye, Feline, Rosie Kate, Sara T, Stacie Fields and Stara spanning in genres from Techno, to UK Garage, Drum & Bass, House, R&B and Dancehall.
Tell us about you plan to work with charities?
Working as an agent has an immediate impact on your artists but I sat scratching my head a few months ago wondering what other contribution I was making not only to music but the community. Alpha will continuously work with a number of charities and associations for a range of social issues in Australia, as well as those that our roster of talent hold dear to them and would like to support.
Any thoughts on the state of the music scene in Melbourne or Australia that you’d like to add?
Melbourne’s music scene is as strong as ever which is a big part of why I moved here from Sydney earlier this year. There are gigs on every night of the week, in all genres, all venues, all parts of Melbourne; it’s great and there’s such a solid music community down here. Needless to say, the lockout laws have really affected Sydney nightlife and it’s sad to watch so many iconic venues in Kings Cross and on Oxford Street shut down over the last few years when those places were my home and where my love of electronic music really solidified.
What’s your No 1 piece of advice for an artist that’s tossing up signing with an agent or going it alone?
Make sure that if you’re signing to an agency you’re signing because of the agent and not because of the status of the agency. You could sign to the best agency in the world but if your agent isn’t on the same page with your vision and the dedication to your act, it could potentially set you back further than when you were representing yourself. In terms of time to find an agent; you’ll know. Your bookings will be too much to manage solo and you’ll need someone to be repping you so that you can focus on making and/or playing music!
How can people get in contact with you?
You can contact us here (https://alphabookingagency.com/contact) or join the conversation on our socials!
Want a taste of Alpha talent? Check out Ayebatonye's Yours & Owls set from the weekend: https://soundcloud.com/ayebatonyedjs/round-the-twist-minimix-yours-and-owls-festival
YET AGAIN, Brisbane is being spoilt for choice as another great artist is set to return to the garden Capulet this weekend. OzClubbers was lucky enough to have a very candid chat with Jody ahead of this weekend's show brought to you by Lemon & Lime.
As always with OzClubbers we like to keep it local and ask questions that the fans themselves want to know. This Q&A was developed in collaboration with our very own Anjuna Brisbane crew! Big ups to A.B.C Crew Admin Jason Whyte and crew member Riley Keatch.
Artist Name: Jody Wisternoff
What’ve you got planned for us here in Brisbane on September 16?
Gonna be road testing a lot of new material from Anjunadeep10 which is nearing completion, a few new JW remixes, some classic WOW and just a bunch of hot shit basically! It’s gonna be a day to remember!
You’ve been to Brisbane a few times – what do you like about?
The parties are always daytime which I’m a huge fan of. This is a concept we’ve really embraced with the Anjunadeep open air events this summer! Capulet is such a fun spot to play, super intimate and a lovely friendly crowd. I usually end up getting kidnapped and going out afterwards too.
How do you prepare for a set when you’re travelling?
By listening to new music with my ears lol. But seriously, decent noise cancelling headphones are essential (BOSE) and a lot of planning in Rekordbox and Ableton. I generally like to map out my sets beforehand, although things usually change in the heat of the moment…
Any thoughts on the progressive scene at the moment?
In its broadest sense ie. including deep house/melodic techno/desert music etc, I think the scene is super healthy at the moment, worldwide! Our Anjunadeep parties are starting to get booked at some of the best venues in the world. Printworks in London coming up for example. The show we did at Mirage in Brooklyn in the summer sold more tickets than a lot of the super trendy hipster parties around at that time. Asia seems to be an expanding market for our sound right now too. So all in all I feel things are rocking at the moment!
How is the progressive scene different to other crowds? Eg a techno or EDM crowd.
I don’t really go to many techno parties and I know the EDM crowd is mostly very young. What I can say about the crowds we seem to pull is that people are generally extremely friendly and really care about the music. We get quite a few young ones (recent converts from trance) a few old ravers and everything in between - plus a good female to male ratio!
Our scene here is relatively small - as a DJ do you have any thoughts on keeping the scene alive?
Of course, because the scene is my livelihood pretty much. I can only do my bit really, a small cog in a big wheel.
You got into music at the early age. What’s around these days that parents could show their kids to get them interested in making electronic music?
I would suggest FL Studio (fruity loops) or garage band as an entry point. However, I did recently install FL Studio on my daughter’s laptop as an attempt to train her up as my young padwan but she only seems interested in playing Simms lol.
Any work started on Anjunadeep 10?
It’s nearing completion and I’ll be road testing some of it at the Brisbane show.
Who’s your favourite producer?
What do you listen to in your downtime?
A lot of oldskool hiphop (1986 - 1990) and Rave (1990 – 1991) eg. before the BPM’s went crazy and it all got corny. Not much country music, although I do love the soundtrack to Crazy Heart!
For more information
Check out his latest promo mix here:
Tickets are on final release so if haven't got a ticket for the show this Sunday 16th September get in quick!
Purchase Tickets: http://www.ticketebo.com.au/black-sheep-radio/not-forgotten-2.html Music Genre: Garage,House Facebook URL: https://www.facebook.com/events/253297158752517/ After the success of the sold out Stylus: Not Forgotten on May 12th, Black Sheep Radio returns for an evening of more club classics on August 4th, again at 2 Brothers Brewery. This time it is 7:30pm-1am.
Following unprecedented demand and the subsequent success of the first ever Road To ULTRA Australia in February of 2018, ULTRA Worldwide has announced the massive expansion of the globally renowned festival to two cities across the Australian continent. The inaugural edition’s colossal splash at Melbourne's Sidney Myer Music Bowl, prompted the expansion of the event to two full-scale festivals for the sophomore instalment in 2019. ULTRA Worldwide will return to Melbourne with world-class talent on 23rd February and will head to Sydney for the first time on the 24th. Details on tickets, line-up and venue will be revealed in the coming weeks. ULTRA AUSTRALIA 2019 DATES: Melbourne – 23 February, 2019 Sydney – 24 February, 2019 For more information, go to: http://www.ultraaustralia.com https://www.facebook.com/ultraaustralia https://twitter.com/ultraaustralia https://www.instagram.com/ultraaustralia