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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/
By Adam Madd
Hardwell is the seasoned-veteran DJ/producer that’s behind Spinnin’s mammoth new tune. Boasting multiple international new music Friday playlists already, How You Love Me is a pop infused single that features the hugely respected artists, Conor Maynard and Snoop Dogg.
As one of the leading pioneers in the world of electronic music, Hardwell runs his award-winning label as well as directing award-winning documentaries. All whilst tending to a cool 9 million on Facebook (and rising). Hardwell’s impressive plethora of work includes collaborations with Craig David, Jason Derulo and Austine Mahone. Having filled numerous headline slots at the biggest world-wide events, Hardwell has graced the stages of Ultra Music Festival, Coachella, Tomorrowland, Lollapalooza among others. Recently expanding his extensive reach with unique projects such as a live orchestra show at this year’s Amsterdam Dance Event. In addition, his Indian United We Are and Guestlist4good charity shows saw remarkable attendance. A hundred thousand people joined in order to aid children educationally within the Magic Bus program.
Pop sensation Conor Maynard is an artist who also boasts many strings to his bow. As the man behind vast Spotify streams, Conor’s incessantly up beat personality and determination has seen him gain the role of Charlie Price in the Tony award winning musical Kinky Boots, chart in over 25 countries, and reach an incredible 118m streams with another Spinnin release, Whenever.
Continuously pushing boundaries, Hardwell has delivered a smooth slice of tropical pop. Kicking off with the iconic voice of Snoop Dogg, Conor Maynard follows with a heavy dose of pop flavour with the subtle addition of shy Conor styled sexiness. How You Love Me is a sunny exploration from three monster’s in the music industry, flexing their musical muscles to provide us with a champagne filled celebration with the swagger of smug love.
Hardwell – How You Love Me (feat. Snoop Dogg & Conor Maynard) is out now.
In a few weeks at Elrow, Australia will be graced once again with the appearance of one of the world’s most astute and creative DJs; as well as being a long-serving servant of the industry, John Digweed. This year, his and studio partner, Nick Muir’s label, Bedrock celebrated its twentieth year of releases, John was also voted at number 35 in this week’s DJ Magazine Top 100 Alternative DJs (non-EDM), powered by Beatport’s findings over the past few years. He is one of dance music’s more celebrated and influential DJs and this week he found the time for a quick Q and A with Ozclubbers’ reporters Nathan Jones and Jamie Drew.
John, thanks for answering our questions and speaking with Nathan and Jamie from ozclubbers.com.au
N: Of course, Bedrock – yours and your studio comrade Nick Muir’s label – reached its own milestone this year and a big birthday, turning 20 years of releases. For anyone considering starting their own record label in 2018 or onwards – is there any advice you could give, or pointers for releasing your own tracks today?
JD: It’s not an easy world in the music industry - so always prepare yourself for setbacks and disappointments and take every element of success as a stepping stone to build your label’s profile, always try and release music you love and are passionate about as you will find you will work harder to make them succeed.
J: Pete Tong is celebrating 25 years of Essential Mix on BBC Radio 1 having begun in 1993 of which you have featured on it many times. With your radio show "Transitions" reaching 13 years next year do you hope you will reach the 25-year milestone as well?
JD: I try and take each year as it comes as I am incredibly happy with the success of the show, but I am not looking at certain years to celebrate to be honest.
J: Speaking of 25-year celebrations, the relationship between you and Sasha is enduring and actually began in 1993. It is one of the longest DJing relationships in the scene with a loyal fan base that is spread over generations. The fresh progressive sounds you both present to the punters keeps pushing the boundaries and is testament to your dedication and longevity in the scene. Is there any chance of another "Northern Exposure" release or any studio collaboration for that matter between you both?
JD: Never say never, but we are both so busy with our solo projects - I can’t see anything happening anytime soon.
N: Thinking about the future of electronic music, nightclubs and festivals, do you think that in years to come, we can look forward to plenty of events and a healthy following of dance music and clubbing? If so, where in the world are the important places to influence electronic music?
JD: The beauty of electronic music is that it constantly changes and evolves with new sounds, DJs and artists coming through all the time, along with new promoters providing their vision on how they would like to create a party. I think with the Internet there is no main important place of influence, it’s down to the organisers and the crowd to be in sync and create those memorable nights that you never forget.
J: Going back to the era when you played tunes on vinyl at clubs, I am sure you do not miss carting crates of records around - but do you miss the hands on feel and sound that vinyl produced when playing at big club nights? I know that Technics turntables were the industry standard at the time and am wondering (to decide a personal DJ disagreement!) if you spent much time playing on Vestax turntables and which turntable you preferred. Vestax or Technics?
JD: Always Technics
N: With another holiday season forthcoming, you’ll be playing New Year’s Eve at Output in Brooklyn (where one of your Live In… series was recorded), is there a plan for another multi-CD recording from there (or anywhere else)?
JD: There are no plans in the pipeline for the next “Live in” Album as I never ever plan them it’s always been chosen after I have played.
John, thanks again for answering our questions - we hope you enjoy your time in Australia and wish you a happy new year.
Elrow is touring Australia at the end of December. Read more about it here:
Tickets are still available for each city.
By Adam Madd
The ultimate New Year’s Day Disco, combined with laid-back Byron Bay vibes & lake views, is back for 2019!
Grab the squad, come down to the green, join the Greenfields team and the Brunch Affairs crews and see out the first day of 2019 off with a bang! If you like your music funky, then come and check out the House Master’s in the mix: DJ Spen // Dr Packer // BOOGS + more!
Sunset Safari New Year’s Day 2019 - Greenfields Albert Park, Melbourne
When: Tuesday 1st January (NYD)
Time: 1pm – 1am
Where: Greenfields, Albert Park – Corner Lakeside Drive & Queens Road, Albert Park
Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/269052340624628/
Eventbrite Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/new-years-day-at-greenfields-albert-park-sunset-safari-tickets-52515211411
DJ SPEN (Quantize Recordings)
Dr Packer (Glitterbox | Defected)
BOOGS (Thick As Thieves)
Sean Marchetti ( LIVE )
Also, a limited amount of Booths will be available on the day for $2500 which includes: 10x Tickets & 1L Belvedere vodka. Contact: email@example.com for more details
US house icon DJ Spen first laid his hand on the decks at the age of thirteen while growing up in his native city of Baltimore - he hasn’t looked back since.
Also known as Sean Spencer, the talented DJ and producer began his illustrious career in the mid-’80s as a hip-hop radio DJ making beats under the moniker Numarx, responsible for writing and recording 'Girl You Know It’s True,' later covered and made into a smash hit by Milli Vanilli. The years that followed saw DJ Spen move away from hip-hop and towards the classic Chicago house sound that would define his productions for years to come, after joining forces with famed production collective The Basement Boys. Working under the name Jasper Street Co., DJ Spen released his first 12″ through Basement Boys Records in 1995, the energetic gospel house cut ‘A Feeling.’ This was the first in a lauded series of releases for the label that brought Spen commercial and dancefloor success over the next decade, earning him international recognition as a house music pioneer. In 2004, DJ Spen split from Basement Boys, releasing through Black Vinyl Records and his own label Code Red before founding his second imprint Quantize Recordings, which has since become a regular outlet for his music. Alongside his own productions, DJ Spen has built a reputation as a talented and prolific remix artist, putting his own unique stamp on pop anthems from Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Everything but the Girl, Toni Braxton and more. If that isn’t enough, he’s still spinning eclectic and soulful jams in clubs across the globe, further establishing his status as an eminent figure in house music, both past and present.
Dr Packer is an alias of West Australian DJ/Producer Greg Packer, set up for Remixes & Edits of mainly retro music such as 70’s, 80’s, 90’s Soul, Disco, Funk, Hip Hop & Reggae. Greg although known more for ‘Liquid Drum & Bass’ regularly plays sets of ‘Old School Funk, Disco & Hip Hop. Greg purchased his first record in 1982 at the age of 10. That record was ‘Grandmaster Flash – The Message’! Greg grew up in Northampton in the UK, frequently listening to his mother’s disco records (to which he says he had no choice!). In the 70’s it wasn’t uncommon to hear music such as ‘Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now’ or ‘And The Beat Goes On’ played in the house, so the disco thing really was his first introduction to music, records became his life and he has collected 25,000+ over the years. Dr Packer has quickly become a mainstay in the sets of some of the biggest names in the disco world with the likes of Greg Wilson, Hot Toddy, Fingerman, Joey Negro and Norman Jay regularly featuring his edits in their performances. All of this support helped Dr Packer to be voted #1 in the Traxsource Top 20 Nu Disco Artists midway through 2015. At the end of the year Dr Packer came in at #4 in the Top 100 Disco Artists
Boogs is one of the true leaders of Melbourne’s underground club scene. Supremely talented, original and never reliant on trends, fads or visiting international DJs, his 7am residency at Revolver Sundays is one of the most celebrated, unique and infamous gigs in town. His three-hour sets attract a vibrant, loyal and seriously up-for-it crowd each and every week. Combining his incredible technical skills with an ear for the best new music, Boogs has consistently maintained a standard in excellence that sets him apart as a truly gifted DJ, inspiring both young and old generations alike. Always visionary and ahead of the pack with the freshest sounds, his reign over the Melbourne club scene spans almost 15 years and his influence stretches across Australia and beyond. The hugely popular Boogs’ Podcast is helping to develop a whole new legion of fans as more and more people discover his music online. As Boogs continues to inspire and entertain, the talent and vision that cemented his place at the top of Melbourne club culture is now more prominent than ever.
By Adam Madd
Rising L.A.-based ambient electronic artist shallou proudly releases his new single 'count on' today, as his mammoth 20 date, sold out North American headline tour draws to an end. 'count on' sees shallou (real name Joe Boston) apply his trademark fragile, emotionally-laden narrative over soulful melody and otherworldly, pulsating beats; it's a beautiful moment to mark the end of a huge touring schedule and to see out what can only be described as a life-changing year for the prodigious artist.
The Maryland-born producer has had an exceptional 2018, performing worldwide, including a sold-out London date, and garnering over 235 million collective streams of his releases to date. He has been championed by FADER, Complex, NYLON, Clash, SPIN, SiriusXM and even had his face adorning a billboard in New York City’s Times Square.
In tandem with the release, shallou has unveiled a new video, which was filmed in a beautiful Icelandic setting - watch it here. As with his exquisitely curated Nomad Series before this, the clip is a stunning visual accompaniment to his sounds.
The single release is the follow up to shallou's seven track 'Souls EP', which was released earlier this year boasting a dynamic list of collaborators (Kasbo, RIAH, Cody Lovaas + more). Expect more music to come in 2019.