“We write music that makes us feel good,” says one half of Bag Raiders, Chris Stracey. Seven years after their ARIA chart topping, J Award nominated debut album, the pair’s mentality hasn’t wavered. They style music with passion, drive and, above all else, a commitment to the idea that genres or rules should never stand in the way of a good time.
“We’ve always kept things as varied as possible”, says Jack Glass, pointing to the early Bag Raiders mix tapes for which the group formed. These bedroom mixes, pressed to CD and distributed in the clubs and streets of Sydney, moved from hip hop, to rock, to dance and everything in between — their carefree nature in many ways a blueprint for everything Bag Raiders to come.
As classically trained musicians, the pair has always had a love for music, but a love for dance music wasn’t solidified until their involvement in Sydney’s burgeoning club scene in the mid to late 00’s — specifically as punters and DJs at the now (in)famous Bang Gang parties. Glass and Stracey brought a hybrid live show to the club and began making edits, blends and remixes for themselves and their DJ friends to spin.
“When we weren’t on the dance floor we were in the studio”, says Stracey, and in 2008, with their very first original track “Fun Punch” (Bang Gang 12 Inches / Fool’s Gold) they struck a hit. A slew of remixes followed for bands such as Cut Copy, Sneaky Sound System and The Ting Tings. But it was their 2009 single “Shooting Stars” that propelled them well and truly into the spotlight.
A year later their self-titled album on Modular Recordings brought further standouts like “Sunlight”, “So Demanding”, “Snakecharmer” and “Way Back Home”, going gold in Australia and sending the boys into a touring frenzy for three straight years.
When they finally stopped to gather breath, Chris and Jack decided on a change of scenery and made their way to Los Angeles where, once again, they set about paving their own road. At the very height of the EDM bubble the boys got to work on new, more introspective material, focusing less on big drops and production bells and whistles and more on live instrumentation and the craft of songwriting. The result was a set of EPs on Island / Universal — Waterfalls, Friend Inside, Checkmate and Beat Me To The Punch.
With a brand new live show the Bag Raiders again hit the road to smash out a thirty date tour across North America, selling out in all major markets. People were paying attention as their next shows were as the hand-picked support band for heroes Duran Duran and Chic. This period also saw remixes for Riton, Banks and Kimbra proving that the boys, though constantly looking for new directions, will always have one foot in the club.
In 2017 Shooting Stars exploded back into the charts worldwide riding the wave of a series of internet memes, a Jimmy Kimmel feature and more. A fitting way for the Bag Raiders to dive back into the spotlight and bring their varied and fun-loving take on music to a whole new audience.
It’s still strange to most. A new act bursting onto the scene, amassing hundreds of thousands of plays in the blink of an eye. They’ll soon have fans screaming their names at shows around the globe. This is how electronic music superheroes are born.
Hailing from The Netherlands and branded with their signature skull, Dutch-duo DROELOE have taken the ‘future bass’ scene by storm. What began with a SoundCloud account--where they uploaded their own music and curated their favorite releases in their “Pokoe Pack” mixes--soon developed a reputation for creating impeccable percussion-heavy future bass infused with the catchiest melodies.
Comprised of producer Vincent Rooijers and visual designer Hein Hamers, the duo’s emphasis of both the music and the visuals through both members’ strengths has seen them weave intricate stories through both the music and the visuals.
Early 2016 they caught the ear of San Holo, who brought them aboard his bitbird imprint, teaming up for a string of successful single releases. “Make My Day” accumulated over half a million SoundCloud streams, but it was follow-up single “zZz” which hit #1 on the Hype Machine where the duo really made their mark. Tastemakers across the industry, including Martin Garrix, Mr Suicide Sheep, Majestic Casual, Trap Nation, and CloudKid all supported DROELOE.
Since then, the duo has gone on to put together a string of successful official remixes for bitbird, NEST HQ, and Atlantic which have all placed within the Top 10 of the Hype Machine charts. Their official remix of “We Don’t Talk Anymore” by Charlie Puth and Selena Gomez’ has over 10 million Spotify streams and was premiered via Billboard. They followed this with the release of “Shibuya” on Elysian, which solidified their position in the bass realm.
DROELOE returned to their bitbird label home where they released “Wake the Warrior” which quickly amassed over 500,000 SoundCloud streams and a stunning self-directed music video for the single premiered via Trap City which showcased the duo’s creativity imagined in a hyper realistic visual perspective.
They followed up with Monstercat label debut “Bon Voyage” on November 7th which has since accumulated over 1 million streams across all platforms and a feature in the Best of Monstercat - 2016 compilation album once again cementing their growing reputation in the digital world. The release of the single was highlighted by a viral teaser campaign which featured the duo “hacking” into the Monstercat website, publicly defacing the Monstercat artist roster, and leaving encrypted messages within the code. When decoded, the messages revealed several altered previews of the song paired with stunning animations that revealed slightly more about the release with each video.
2017 saw them kick off the new year with another Hype Machine #1 and a Lowly Palace debut with “In Time.” Once again, the duo showed off their visual prowess and knack for creating engaging visual content by digitally animating the shapes and textures within the single’s artwork to bring the song’s story to life.
They also kicked off their first North America tour dates joining San Holo on the road through March.
With their current trajectory indicating future stardom, one might say the question isn’t “will it happen?” but rather “when?”.
Jensen Interceptor has become known for providing his versatile brand of techno to clubs and warehouses around the world. Gaining respect from his peers, supporting the likes of Sven Väth, Gesaffelstein, The Hacker, Boys Noize & Dopplereffekt ; Jensen has consistently kept up with the elite at top speed. With his selections ranging from Electro, Miami Bass to EBM; Jensen's audience's are always promised a sonic journey like no other.
Whilst still considered a fresh face to the electro scene, Jensens musical career stretches back to the early 2000`s with his first project Light Year. A collaboration with long time friend Jordan Feller, birthed from Australian underground dance heavyweight Bang Gang 12 inches. The pair then went on to release with other techno staples such as Turbo Records, Kitsune & Spectral Sound.
Going further than simply an entertainer, his remixes and productions have been released on some of the most influential labels in electronic music like Boys Noize Records, Cultivated Electronics, Bromance and Central Processing Unit. These releases have been supported and played by DJ's such as Dave Clarke, Helena Hauff, Dubfire, Maceo Plex, Trevor Jackson and Radio Slave.
Barely halfway through 2018 & Jensen has already had a slew of releases with iconic imprints such as Unknown To The Unknown, Private Persons & Stilleben Records. If that wasn't enough for the electro enthusiast, J.I has launched his very own record label with long time collaborator Assembler Code called 'International Chrome'. Starting strong with the much talked about first release 'Trigger Zone' which sees Jensen teaming up with electro royalty The Hacker.
It's safe to say with his continually growing catalogue and ever evolving performances, things don't look be slowing down for Jensen. Always bringing a unique and powerful performance to every dance floor - Jensen Interceptor: Engage clutch, shift into top gear.
Just A Gent
Few artists deserve the title of “prodigy” more than 20-year-old Just A Gent.
After teaching himself to produce when he was still in primary school, in 2014 – at age 16 – Just A Gent scored a set at national festival Listen Out after winning a triple j Unearthed competition. That kicked off a star-making two years that saw him remix artists like Alison Wonderland, Peking Duk and ZHU, clock up millions of
SoundCloud plays on his 2015 single Limelight, get noticed by Skrillex and sell out shows around the country – all before he could legally step foot in a club.
Now comes Stories To Tell, out August 26, an EP Just A Gent wrote, produced, mixed and mastered himself from his bedroom in Maitland. At eight tracks deep, Stories To Tell is no throwaway release - it’s the product of two years of relentless creating and the drive to a make something that would stand the test of time. Sharing the EP is a milestone moment for producer Jacob Grant. “I’ve wanted to release something this big for a really long time and now it’s finally happening,” Grant says. “I make so much music - I have hundreds of songs sitting on my laptop - so it’s really satisfying to be sharing it with people.”
Two singles from Stories To Tell - the supersized Heavy As A Heartbreak featuring LANKS and fan favourite Loaded - have already done big things, the former hitting the #1 spot on blog aggregator Hype Machine and spending five months on high rotation on triple j.
Jacob’s influences for the EP were “drawn from so many places,” from the music of Odesza and Point Point to sci-fi movie soundtracks and video games. At the core the tracks are electronic, but they aren’t wed to a particular genre, running the gamut from bangers to experimental tracks featuring his own pitched-up vocals and chilled out headphones music. As he says, it was “meant to be a mix”.
Just A Gent also drew inspiration from the vocalists he worked with on Stories To Tell. Despite already being a star in North America, Grant chose to tap into Australian singers for his EP, from Melbourne’s LANKS to triple j unearthed darling Melissa Ramsay. Just A Gent says it’s about paying it forward to the local scene that he thinks, “Keeps getting bigger and better”. Many of the songs on the EP were sent back and forth between him and the vocalists; a workshopping process that Jacob says helped him see his beats in a new light.
Leading the EP is the emotive new single Rolling Dice, which saw Just A Gent collaborate with vocalists Ella Voss and Joey Chavez. “They sing in a duet almost and they work so well together. It almost sounds like an Angus & Julia Stone type of vibe,” Grant says. “It’s pretty amazing. They killed it on the vocal.”
The Stories To Tell EP is the latest in a year of big moments for Just A Gent. He’s just signed to Lokal Legend in the U.S., the label responsible for breaking Kiesza, and in July he premiered his first live show in a packed set at Splendour in the Grass.
Lex Deluxe is a connoisseur of all things movement.
Drawing inspiration from artists far and wide, Lex has the ability to travel from genre to genre without breaking the groove. From Optimo to Todd Terje, Letta Mbulu to Peggy Gou, you’re transported from 1962 to 2043 before you know even what’s gone down.
With recent appearances at Splendour In The Grass, This That and Groovin’ The Moo, hopping on main support for Confidence Man, The Presets, Total Giovanni, DJ Seinfeld and CC:DISCO!, Lex has well and truly carved her name into the Australian dance scene.
Her musical interest goes beyond just DJing, Lex has a backlog of releases ready to hit the global airwaves. Taking 4-to-the-floor beats paired with wacky, rare samples, Lex Deluxe’s forthcoming tracks exceed her reputation.
Don’t take your eyes off the prize, this one ain’t just your average artist. She’s exclusive. She’s luxurious.
From throwing parties at the age of 19, to working in events for VICE and Ableton and hosting shows on triple j and FBi Radio, Luen has come to maturity within Australia's musical landscape.
In the last 12 months Luen has performed at Splendour in the Grass, Groovin The Moo festival and supported Peggy Gou, Wolf + Lamb, Red Axis, Dj Seinfeld, Honey Dijon and more. She recently returned to play her sophomore 6 hour set at Sydney’s most-fabulous-and-respected club nights - Pavlova Bar and has become a regular at Melbourne’s Revolver.
More recently Luen's been working with DJ's Jad & The and Dom Bird to bring forth the curated Beats Of No Nation podcast. Behind the decks Luen takes a wide approach, mixing house and techno classics with tasty and rare oddities. Her 9 track compilation 'Taxx Vol 1' dropped in May and the Taxx music zine (ft Nabihah Iqbal, Noise In My Head and Ewan Jansen) is available in stores and online now.
Motorik Vibe Council
It was dark days, back in 2011. The party was flat, the records had no fizz and the rave had expired. Enter the Motorik Vibe Council. Coming at this game hard, with a mission to raise the level of party discourse. Educated at Bang Gang High, with further studies at the Berghain Institute of Techno and careful post-grad research with legends of the game like Ewan Pearson. One of them even has an ARIA award for excellence in the field of dance. Careful there, these boys are coming in hot!
Moving their self-titled parties virtually every single time, from basements of abandoned comedy clubs to male strip joints/life painting establishments, constantly pushing the boundaries of style, taste and the law. Eventually, the Vibe Council found themselves inside a warehouse, and, as they say, a legend was born.
3 years of non-stop lasers, neighbours calling the police due to too much untz, and many half-naked/face-painted rave legends getting heaps wild to the forward-thinking techno/house/whatever you want to call it sounds of the MVC. It’s been emotional. We’ve hosted the first ever Australian shows of Brodinski and Gesaffelstein, had bouncing castles in the middle of the dancefloor in cavernous warehouses, had Tiga play a sweatbox which happened to have more than double the legal capacity crammed inside and - somehow - still managed to get away with it.
To quote the 4 muntketeers themselves: “We like pushing the envelope. We don’t adhere to any particular style, but we do rep hard for Sydney - it’s our home, and we try make it a welcoming place for anyone who shares our views on life, rave and drum machines.”
Their nascent record label has released hits from local boys gone good The Finger Prince, Jensen Interceptor, Light Year and CSMNT61, plus hits from international legends of dance like Louisahhh!!!, Harvard Bass and Sinden (coming in July!). Rumour has it that drum connoisseur K.I.M. of The Presets also has a forthcoming slice on the MTK Pizza of Rave. It’s exciting stuff - absolute seat of your pants excitement.
They are proud to be the point of call in Sydney for legends like the Bromance crew, including family members Maelstrom and Louisahhh!!!, as well as the aforementioned Tiga and his brother Thomas Von Party (of the world famous Turbo Recordings Supermarket), as well as hosting cheeky little numbers with crew like Harvard Bass, Guy Gerber, Cagedbaby and Jon Convex of Instra:mental.
The Vibe Council continues to play all over Australia, as well as increasing the volume at their parties, which of late have included sold out shows at the Metro with Brodinski and Gesaffelstein (for the second year in a row) as well as their spiritual home at Elsewhere on the Gold Coast, plus the occasional smash-and-grab run down to Melbourne to play at anything Delaney and the Baha Brothers are running.
Most of all, though, they are focused on providing you, loyal reader/listener, with the tools to be a self-contained legend of dance. Anything that makes you reach for the lasers, it’s in the bag, and, most likely, heading your way on the airwaves.
See you at the partee/drive home/anywhere you can turn it up!
2017 was an incredible year for MUTO. Reaching millions of streams on Spotify, being hand selected by ODESZA as main support on their European album tour and conquering a 26-date tour across Australia, were just a few of the milestones this proud Sydney-sider ticked off over the past 12 months.
Recent records like ‘Wildfire’ and ‘Say Nothing’ have further grown MUTO’s musical stature, with both being added to high rotation on Triple J. First came the emotionally driven adventure, ‘Wildfire’, followed up by ‘Say Nothing’, a stunning composition highlighting MUTO’s uncanny ability to craft warm electronic textures around Emerson Leif’s vocal prowess. It’s this record that listeners truly can’t get enough of, as it nears 5 million streams on Spotify.
As we reach the half way point of this year, MUTO’s decided it’s about time he gave us the third taste of his highly anticipated EP. ‘Tessellating’, featuring the vocals of neophyte Oliver Dibley, is a stellar record that yet again shines light on his tricky approach to production. It’s a gorgeous tale of the interchanging nature of a relationship, the way they chop, change and bend dependant on whose lens you’re looking through.
With a cohort of champions such as Flume, Odesza & Hayden James and being touted as one of Triple J’s BREAKTHROUGH ARTISTS OF THE YEAR, MUTO’s prepped to unleash his first extended body of work in his ‘Arcane EP’. Coinciding with the release this July, comes his inaugural Splendour in the Grass performance, backed by a 10-date Australian Tour.
‘Arcane’ is a sonic rollercoaster of a debut 7-track EP, flaunting his production prowess. Released through Australian independent label Of Leisure and Universal Music, MUTO is prepped to enlarge his Australian following and take future escapades into Europe and the US, spreading his appealing brand of electronica.
After a beautifully busy 2017, there’s no question that the live stage is where MUTO thrives. With a large solo tour and festival announcements incoming, MUTO will continue to grow and flourish, whilst also hunkering down to produce his next collection of magically engineered sonics.
Taking a step around the current state of electronic music, Polographia’s nostalgic approach takes the royal jelly of times past and pushes it into tomorrow, threading together an array of emotions to construct a heat-warming sense of peace and sentimentality.
Debuting in 2011 with the self-released EP Sunsets, Polographia joined the likes of Rüfüs, Motez and What So Not in signing to Sydney-based label Sweat It Out!. Following up with their second EP Natural, their ethereal sounds and incredible live show have led to high-profile supports for local & internationals pioneers like Rüfüs, Snakehips, Tycho, Glass Animals, Shlohmo, Chrome Sparks, Giraffage and Shigeto.
Delving deeper into their songwriting capabilities and amassing millions of streams across online platforms, Polographia’s latest EP Friends showcases their signature sentimental groove, tinged with a perceptibly growing maturity in the production and collaborations with vocalists. Featuring favourites ‘Sly (feat. Winston Surfshirt)’ and ‘Feels Alright (feat. Looks Fade’), Friends enjoyed acclaim from all corners of the industry, supported by tastemakers triple j, Majestic Casual and thissongissick.com on top of remixes from Fortunes, Godriguez (Sampha The Great’s Producer), Viceroy and Psychemagik.
With firm roots in the electronic realm, Polographia’s live show sets them apart from others in their field. The power of Polographia’s live setup derives from the organic approach to production that they uphold; the intricacies of their sound have always developed from the instruments themselves.
Last seen at Groovin the Moo 2017, Polographia have unveiled their first single since Friends, 'Heart Attack feat. Rush Midnight'. Invigorating, mature and oh-so catchy, this is the Polographia track you have all been waiting for.
POLOSHIRT is the collaboration you've been waiting for. The coming together of singer/rapper/multi-instrumentalist Winston Surfshirt and live production duo Polographia, the joint project is the culmination of years of friendship and late night studio blazes. This musical alliance is set to fuse together and highlight Winston’s unique blend of funk, soul and hip hop and Polographia’s timeless approach to electronic sounds. On stage POLOSHIRT bridges the gap between cartoon and reality through visuals and fashion, they truly deliver a feast for the eyes.
With influences ranging from 70's slow jams to 8-bit anime, POLOSHIRT is a familiar sound with a modern approach ready to be served.
POLOSHIRT is booked exclusively by UNDR Ctrl for Australia & New Zealand in conjunction with the Niche Talent Agency.
Purple Sneakers DJs
Purple Sneakers has existed for the past twelve years with the purpose of showcasing emerging club music from Australia and around the world. Bringing together an enthusiastic team of contributors from across the country, Purple Sneakers is the centre of a forward thinking, music loving community. Purple Sneakers DJs have been central in continuing this ethos, taking it to clubs and festivals all over the world. From the early days at the Abercrombie to now, they’ve played just about every Australian festival there is to play and have participated in campaigns for brands like Nike, Converse, Adidas and many more.
Over the years, the Purple Sneakers DJs roster has featured the likes of Purple Sneakers’ founder Martin Novosel, Nick Luke (Moonbase), Gabe Gleeson (Indian Summer), Randall Stagg (Fresh Hex) and more.
Now in 2018, Purple Sneakers DJs are moving forward with a new chapter. Purple Sneakers DJs: Next Generation celebrates a new generation of creatives who are passionate about what they do and are ready to impart the work of tasteful young artists upon dancefloors everywhere.
The new lineup features FBi Radio/Pretty Broad’s Caitlin Medcalf, Purple Sneakers Subeditor Holly O’Neill & FBi Radio’s Eddy Diamond, and is managed by Purple Sneakers managing editor, Emma Jones. Each with their own unique path as to how they came to be part of the Purple Sneakers family, they represent a fresh and new part of the Purple Sneakers journey so far. Among all three DJs, they have experienced the industry in their own capacities and bring their own unique sounds, styles and experiences to Purple Sneakers DJs, making shows a diverse experience.
The core members of PSDJ’s may have changed over the years, but if one thing is for sure, it’s that this new team of selectors are dedicated to bringing adaptability, flexibility and a wide scope of music knowledge to the table and dancefloors everywhere. Over the next few months, Purple Sneakers and Purple Sneakers DJs will be celebrating this next generation of the collective with parties, mixes and a whole bunch of other exciting things to come.
San Holo (NL)
Blending guitars and vocals, Dutch artist/producer San Holo creates a distinctive, forward-thinking style that places him high on the list of trailblazers in today’s electronic music landscape.
San Holo first got interested in music while driving around with his dad in their native Holland—but never envisioned himself as becoming an electronic music DJ. He developed an early affinity for guitar and punk rock—playing in bands at an early age—which led to him attending Codarts University of the Arts in Rotterdam for a music degree. And, while he went in to study the guitar, he couldn’t help sneaking into the production classes.
“I had so many ideas for making music and was getting tired of always looking for players to help fill the spots. I realized you are able to build entire songs around a laptop and that started my interest in production. I never walked into a club until my music started being noticed by people wanting me to DJ.”
In 2014, he took a friend’s advice and started adding his production skills to some classic hip hop songs, shapeshifting them into his own remixes and putting them up on YouTube.
He released his debut EP COSMOS on Heroic. Featuring anthemic singles “Fly” and “Hiding,” these tracks led fans to discover his re-working of Dre’s classic “The Next Episode”—which blew up on the blogosphere and SoundCloud community, launching San’s future in the process. The remix ended up garnering over 160 million YouTube streams, putting San on the map with his “Don’t Touch The Classics” series.
The release of his hypnotic single “We Rise” in early 2015 was another turning point, coming out on Nest HQ (OWSLA) and receiving Skrillex's praise and attention. Later in 2015, he established himself as being at the forefront of groundbreaking bass music through the release of his Victory EP with Monstercat and singles “IMISSU” and “Can’t Forget You” with Spinnin.
His sound began to translate to real demand—kickstarting his touring career, and a performance at the legendary Tomorrowland for the first time. It was during this time that San also made the pivotal decision to start his own label, bitbird (which would release “Light” a year later), co-founding the imprint with a friend he knew from his old rock band days and bringing on his manager as a partner.
As A&R of the creative record label, he’s established an acute ear for signing under the radar talent which has resulted in an evolving signature sound for the imprint, including discovering the talents of Taska Black and DROELOE.
“Producing is very different than playing live, but you have to work at it just as hard,” he says. “How to build your set and figuring out what people respond to. It’s very tempting to just feed the crowd whatever they want but you have to resist that. You have to find that balance between playing what they want to hear, and exposing them to some of the more experimental music that can open minds.”
Released in 2016, the track “Light” has hit over 100 million streams on Spotify—garnering traction and airplay throughout the global dance music ecosystem. Grateful and humbled by the groundswell of acclaim he is receiving for “Light” around the globe, San says the best is yet to come.
“I was blown away by the response because before “Light” my fan base had always been kind of underground SoundCloud fans,” he says. “But I feel it’s never about just structure when you are making music. It’s you crafting that signature sound, the magic and the harmonies you put
behind it that stays with people. I believe if you put on one of my tracks you will recognize within a minute that I produced it because of that.”
In advance of Coachella 2018, San Holo recently released the tracks “The Future” ft. James Vincent McMorrow, the smash hit “I Still See Your Face”—which landed San Holo his first top 40 record in The Netherlands and a performance on the #1 talk show in Netherlands, “DWDD”, and a spot at the acclaimed Lowlands festival in the cross-over tent. San Holo has also recently released “One Thing,” The Trip EP, and “Right Here, Right Now”—featuring a stellar music video—and shows no signs of stopping.
Well groomed, well mannered, well spoken, well dressed, well liked: Set Mo are the DJ / producer duo your mother didn’t warn you about, and in fact, would be glad for you to invite home for dinner — before happily sending you out for an evening of 21st-century-sophisto-disco debauchery with the boys. They seem so nice and trustworthy. (Well, until you’ve witnessed the sweaty, multisensory, marathon-set mayhem of their already kinda legendary Stamina Session club nights, that is.)
Comprising Sydneysiders Nick Drabble (short back’n’sides) and Stu Turner (goatee and ponytail), Set Mo came together in 2012 when the two DJs, who’d often found themselves on the same bill, decided their sounds were so complementary that perhaps they should test how tag-teaming tracks back to back would sound. Pretty good, as it turned out. Studio forays soon followed, resulting in tasty classic house-tinged, guest vocal-driven cuts including Comfort You (feat. Fractures), Chasing Forever (feat. Alphamama), Keep On (feat. Erin Marshall) and the breakout White Dress (feat. Deutsch Duke). Yeah, you heard that one, right?
The distilled sound of a blissed-out Australian summer — albeit, written in London after an eight-day bender in Ibiza — White Dress was the 11th most-played track on Triple J in 2014, and has clocked up more than 20 million streams on Spotify since its launch. Licensed for full release in 11 countries outside Australia (where it was on etcetc), via heavy-hitting majors Universal (Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Baltic States) and Warner (GSA & Russia), in addition to proving popular Stateside, it was a particularly big winner in Germany. “We’re really into artists like Booka Shade from Germany that maybe play a bit deeper than us,” Nick opines, “and I think that influence came through and struck a chord, resonated with people over there.”
Since White Dress broke, Set Mo certainly haven’t been resting on their laurels. Mid-2017 saw the release of vocal house beauty, I Belong Here (featuring lilting Townsville-bred singer/songwriter Woodes on the mic), which received high-rotation support from Triple J, props from UK Radio 1 tastemaker, Pete Tong and Spotify nods of approval via New Music Friday in Australia, Germany, France, Sweden, Norway and Iceland. The past 12 months have also seen a relentless series of sold-out shows and high-profile festival sets, including closing the main stage at Beyond The Valley 2017, opening the new year playing to a capacity crowd at Field Day 2018 and smashing dance floors at a string of sold out show on their 24 da. Vitally though, the guys managed to find plenty of time to record new music — stuff that just might surprise you.
Nick and Stu are huge Groove Armada fans (“I can remember exactly where I was, as a kid, the first time I heard Superstylin’,” Nick enthuses — “it changed my life”). In a way, the new material’s approach and production process echo that of GA’s wildly diverse 2001 album Goodbye Country (Hello Nightclub), which was recorded during nine hermetic months at a studio in a barn in the Cotswolds boondocks. Set Mo didn’t ‘go bush’ quite that long, but last year, they did get away from it all — in the process, getting away from what’s come to be thought of as their signature sound.
At one point, Stu explains, “We spent 10 days in the country on a writing trip, rented this house, set the studio up and were just writing day and night, punching out as many tunes as we could.” Going totally off-grid “was amazing, there was no internet, no mobile network, just this shoddy landline,” says Nick, “and we didn’t give that number to anyone but our girlfriends and our manager.” They also put in time at unfamiliar studios in far-flung places like London, Amsterdam and Berlin. With the change of scenery, lack of distractions and offline peace’n’quiet, says Stu, “we found ourselves writing this stuff that wasn’t a million miles removed from what we’ve done in the past, but it was different — we were experimenting with different tempos, different sounds, and we came up with these songs… There’s a cohesive sonic pallette, but stylistically they could be confusing to people who are purely White Dress fans.”
Hence the decision to (wait for it, this is big) release a new tune each month throughout 2018, which kicked off with February’s drop, Nightmares, a gritty breakbeat number featuring British multi-instrumentalist Scott Quinn on vox. Though their rep thus far has been built on hooky lyrical tracks — and Nightmare’s sure no noodly minimalist instrumental — there’s been more left-of-centre surprises from Set Mo including their moody March drop Unity. “We want people to know we’re not just doing 4/4 beat, vocal stuff,” says Stu. “We love artists like Chemical Brothers and Groove Armada, or Moby and Jamie XX — you listen to their albums, they’ll have big, deep electronic dance tracks, and then delicate, soft, beautiful songs. We don’t want to be pigeonholded as just house DJs. We’re so inspired by different styles of music, and want to express that,” says Nick. Concludes Stu, “No matter what type of music we’re making, when it comes down to it, we’re songwriters, we’re writing songs.”
Best believe, it ain’t all about four-to-the-floor. Set Mo have got much more in store. Each month, a new track, as a matter of fact.
Shantan Wantan Ichiban
A radio presenter, master of ceremonies, party promoter and one of the countries finest DJs. Shantan does it all.
Holding it down at triple j, Shantan Wantan Ichiban has been the go-to guy when the national youth broadcaster has needed someone with great music selection and microphone presences to bring the party to Australia across the airwaves. He has built a name for himself filling in regularly for Nina Las Vegas on ‘House Party’ and Linda Marigilano on Good Nights, and has just recently taken over Saturday Nights after Mix Up playing a wide spectrum of club music. Joining the dots between hip hop and house to get have you raving well into Sunday morning.
In addition to triple j and for several years now, Shantan has had a significant presence on Sydney’s FBi 94.5 FM. Not only does his show ‘Stolen Records’, play the broadest selections in urban and world music, but it is also one of the most popular shows airing in their Wednesday 6-8pm Sunset slot.
Similarly as a DJ, Shantan has proved to be one of the most versatile on the circuit. He has created some of Sydney’s most successful party nights across a wide range of genres. Through brands such as ‘Dutty Dancing’, ‘Player Haters Ball’, ‘Pop That’ and ‘Pineapple Republic’, he has built a reputation for fun parties turning even the darkest and dankest of rooms into a ‘queue-around-the-corner’ night club. Not surprisingly, Shantan possesses the uncanny ability to transform the quietest and most introverted party-goer into an ass-popping ratchet on the dance floor (just look at the Dutty Dance photos!). Some say this ability was learned but the legends have it as he was born with it.
Shantan’s gift to put together energetic sets across different genres has made him one of Sydney’s most sought after DJs. With an arsenal of Hip Hop, R&B, Trap, Indie, Dance, Throwback Pop Anthems and electronic music to pick from, his sets often obliterate any given dancefloor due to the sheer amount of dancing. He can be found playing festivals like ‘Splendour In Grass’ and ‘Secret Garden’ and is a resident at club venues such as ‘Goodgod Small Club’, ‘The Ivy’, ‘The Standard’, ‘Kit N Kaboodle’ and more.
Adding to an arsenal of already impressive talents, Shantan is also a master of ceremonies extraordinaire. With a personality and voice that commands attention, he has hosted stages at Festivals including ‘Field Day’, ‘Parklife’ and ‘Foreshore’, plus numerous concerts ranging from Mix Master Mike to Presets to Armand Van Buuren to MF DOOM.
A modern day renaissance man. A radio presenter, master of ceremonies, party promoter and one of the country’s finest DJs. When he does have free time, Shantan partakes in elbow modelling and breeds champion snails – which he races. What a guy.
“Shantan is a bonified rude boi party starter! I would get down on his dance floor any day.”
Anna Lunoe (DJ, Producer, Singer, Legend)
“Shantan Wantan Ichiban is the physical embodiment of 3 million lolcats who escaped the internet. Each one of them is desperate to play a new song that’s wildly different to the one currently playing but Shantan makes it happen and keeps the lolcats (and the crowd) happy for his entire crazy and diverse set. He can get the whole club moving with just one well chosen song, and can keep them moving for 5 hours without playing one shit song.”
Levins (Twitter Celeb, DJ, Hot Dog King)
“Australia’s number 1 DJ, if not the world”
“Every time I see Shantan he always kills it. This one time when he wasn’t looking I plugged a USB drive into his laptop and stole a ridiculous amount of musical weapons to DJ with. He hasn’t found out yet though..”
Sampology (Lord of di Dance)
Total Giovanni are a band that emerged out of the creative experimentation of five old friends Vachel Spirason, Julian Lichtenstein, Joseph Charles, Dave Reidy and Matthew Hadley. With varied backgrounds in music, dance and theatre the band played their first show in November 2013 and quickly built a formidable reputation for their unpredictable and incendiary live shows. In addition to displaying a unique musical rapport, these live shows involved visual experimentation and explosive physical performances that combined to set off a word-of-mouth phenomenon.
Within only a few months of their first show, without any promotion or label interest, they were performing sold out club shows at respected venues such as the Toff in Town, Shebeen and Howler.
In 2014 the went in to the studio for the first time and subsequently released a string of four singles, initially on the independent Melbourne label Two Bright Lakes and subsequently with Remote Control records. These songs received a great volume of air play on both RRR and PBS as well as JJJ and received a great deal of positive press include favourable reviews in Pitchfork, The Age and NME.
In 2015 they played Golden Plains festival and despite being arguably the least known act on the bill, their explosive and visually spectacular afternoon performance led to them being honoured by several thousand punters with the elusive golden boot (an except of which can be seen here- youtube link). This breakthrough performance announce Total Giovanni as one of the country's most exciting emerging independent acts and led to the band selling out 5 consecutive nights headline shows at the Gasometer Hotel in May 2015 and bookings to play at some of Australia's most prestigious music festivals including Splendour In The Grass, Sugar Mountain, Secret Garden, Outside In, Beyond The Valley and the opening night of Melbourne Music Week.
In 2015 their self-funded and self-made video clip directed by Sherwin Akbarzadeh won the band many new fans both around Australia and abroad and has since been viewed over 700,000 times across youtube and Vimeo. November 2015 also saw the band nominated for three Music Victoria awards for Best Live Band, Best Electronic Act and Best Emerging Artist.
Total Giovanni continued to play festival shows in 2016 while privately working on writing material for their new album which they hope to record this year. They are currently preparing for their imminent return to Golden Plains 2017 where they will be debuting a completely new visual spectacle to accompany their new musical material. The band are then looking forward to touring this show with a national headline tour booked for April/May 2017. With their 2014/15 singles having now accumulated over 3 million listens on Spotify, the band are very much looking forward to bringing new recorded music to their growing fan base world-wide.
UNDR Ctrl DJs
UNDR Ctrl DJs is a collective of DJs from our talent roster and extended music family. From servicing venues for weekly entertainment to hosting festival stages, event launches, corporate functions and so much more, UNDR Ctrl DJs is a versatile booking solution for you to capture every mood, every moment and every beat.
We manage calendar schedules, program artists, arrange itineraries and logistics and work directly with clients to create bespoke music packages to suit every brief. Our talent is tailor-made for every event.
Underground, overground, left of centre, front and centre… UNDR Ctrl DJs have got you covered.
If you’re interested to find out more, then please get in touch: email@example.com
Sydney trio World Champion (Will Campion, Julian Sudek and Reg Harris) make their triumphant return with new single and video “Gun”, out today via Future Classic. Stepping back into the limelight with their first release since 2015’s Avocado Galaxy EP, the psych-soul-electronic outfit are back to shower fans with their signature sound we’ve been craving.
Campion and Sudek originally formed the band after bonding over their love for psych-pop and electronica. Julian was a founding member of Mercy Arms and has since played with Canyons, FLRL (Jono Ma, Kirin J Callinan) and most recently George Maple & Bag Raiders. Will Campion has both been a bedroom producer, and alongside local Sydney musician Bus Vipers formed indie outfit The Chevaliers. World Champion started as a studio beast; a patchwork of ideas and jams that they’d individually been sitting on for years.
World Champion quickly shot to critical acclaim with their debut EP Avocado Galaxy (2015) and the lively track of the same name, that was dubbed by Noisey as “zingy synth-pop at its finest". Gaining rotation across Triple J, FBi Radio and BBC 1, the EP set the tone for the band’s electrifying live show, which inspired fans to tattoo themselves with avocado galaxies and saw the band play at some of Australia's biggest festivals including Splendour in the Grass, Lost Paradise, Mountain Sounds, Groovin' the Moo and Volumes alongside boutique events in between. Having toured alongside the likes of Toro Y Moi, Chkchkchk!, Jagwar Ma and Parcels, the trio now gear up to drop their latest single "Gun" and a mammoth 7-track EP set to arrive this summer, showcasing the band's best material to date.