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Wednesday, 27 July 2011 10:52


On The Front Foot

Fred Woller has a theory about why home cooked meals taste so good and why music has the power to heal. He even has scientific evidence to prove it.

“In California there's a group called the Heart Mass Institute and they did an experiment in the ‘70s where they took three recordings of the ocean waves,” he says. “In the first recording they simply took a tape recorder down by the ocean, but in the second recording they took a group of people who were experiencing intense feelings of love and peace. In the third recording they took a group of people experiencing intense feelings of negativity and recorded the ocean waves amongst these people.

“Later the three recordings of the ocean were played to a huge subset of people and there was a huge correlation of people who heard the first recording and felt calm, and with the second recording they felt overwhelmingly positive, but on hearing the third they felt extremely unhappy.”

Fred believes the feelings and intent of people present when a recording is made will affect the listeners regardless of whether they know what's happened.
“I kind of extrapolate and I believe that's the case with all forms of creation so it doesn't matter whether you're painting a painting or cooking a meal. The presence, the intent and the feelings that you hold in your heart at the moment when you create are imprinted in that thing and when you share that with other people it affects them.”

Fred and his musical counterpart Yuval Shalit - who are Lubdub - stay mindful of the feelings and the intent they would like to imprint in their music, which Fred loosely describes as being uptempo, electronic dub mixed with world music.
“So when we create this music we create it with love, we create it with the intent of boosting immune function and cleansing blood and we literally put sticky notes around the speakers and around the computer to remind us of particular words and particular things we want to imprint.”

He explains that at outdoor psychedelic electronic festivals where they usually play, most people share similar ideas about music's healing properties.
“Music is this incredible medium to just communicate a message and unite people in love. Without a doubt the whole culture of dub, reggae and world music - a lot of people making that music are doing it from a place of respect and a yearning to see the world different to the way it is today. And I do feel that it has the power to do that.
“I know it has been an amazing force in my life and despite how bad things look on the planet at the moment I have incredibly high hopes.”

Conversely, Fred admits that music can at times be a rather destructive medium. “A lot of the mainstream electronic music when you go out to these parties - they're in nightclubs, everyone is drunk, they're fighting, there's a lot of ego, there's a lot of masculinity, a lot of aggressive energy and I certainly don't feel like I'm going through a healing process when I'm in a space like that.”

The word 'Lub-dub' is a medical term used to describe the beats of the heart. “Yuval has a nursing friend who mentioned it to him. We both fell in love with it because our music is heart-based music, we write music from our heart, it's music that is designed to connect people in a state of joy and create a space where people can express themselves through dance.”

Although he has a strong background in computers and has studied audio engineering, he describes Yuval to be his polar opposite.
“Yuval is a self taught musician who plays about six or seven instruments. He plays guitar like Hendrix. He's left-handed; he picked up a right-handed strung guitar and started playing it upside down. But his background is very much from a place of self exploration. He's never had a formal lesson or anything in his life because he just picks up instruments and learns them.”

The two have been making music together for eight years, with Yuval moving to Australia from Israel after spending a few years in India.
“He is an amazing human being; he is my best friend in the world and his music really comes from the heart … it's a beautiful friendship and it's also a beautiful match.'

LubDub performs at Reggaefest 2011, at Missingham Park Ballina, September 17-18.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011 13:48

Chewy Chocolate Cookies


When preparing for a DJ set from Chewy Chocolate Cookies, you should first set the oven temperature to 175 degrees celsius.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011 12:49


Heating Up

Bristol-born Hydrophonics cut his teeth in the world of drum n bass in Nottingham, playing at Detonate alongside the likes of Andy C, LTJ Bukem and Friction.

Now a Brisbane resident, Hydrophonics has parlayed his DJing talents into entertainment company Rescued, and is bringing out Friction next month, having already hosted Andy C earlier in the year.

Besides the weather and superior beer, what brought you to Oz?
A change of scenery and new beginnings; it's a good pace of life.

You must’ve been to some monumental drum n bass shows in the UK; what’s been your most memorable?
Playing at the Ram Records 15th birthday party at Detonate in Nottingham was pretty special; True Playaz nights at Fabric are always massive too, not to mention The End, that place was the bomb.

As a promoter, what do you see as your biggest challenges?
People that don't understand drum n bass yet! There’s a lot of mainstream music that seems to take over the clubs here and the scene is smaller, so it's harder putting on nights here than the UK.

How do you keep these guys happy and entertained when you have them in town?
Vodka Red Bulls, rum and Cokes and beers! It's a good place to show people around too; dinner overlooking Story Bridge is usually the go.

How healthy do you think the scene in Brisbane is at the moment?
The scene in Brisbane is wicked, parties are getting good numbers and the crowd is always really up for it. To take it to the next level the bigger clubs need to look at what they're missing out on and realise the potential with underground electronic music. Nights such as Detonate in the UK pack venues with this kind of music on a weekly basis, so it's only a matter of time before it really takes off here.

What do you look for in local DJ when your filling your support slots?
Tune selection is important as well as set progression. I'm not a big fan of an entire set of jump up or breakcore; I think it's important people can play to the crowd as well.

Hydrophonics supports Friction and SP:MC at Monastery Sunday June 12.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011 13:14


Southern Fried Cooking    

With the likes of Tiga, Laurent Garnier and Diplo already playing his productions out, young Italian, NT89, is fast becoming a name to be reckoned with.

How important is it to you as a producer to have the respect of your peers? It helps me with gaining confidence about my own productions and ideas. It also shows me that I'm going the right way, and obviously it helps with promoting and gives my music exposure to a bigger audience.

As a studio assistant for the Bloody Beetroots you worked with them on their ‘Smash Your Stereo’ album; what experience did you glean from that opportunity?
It was a very cool experience I had never done before. I learnt a lot, production-wise  - I can't obviously spoil anything.

As one of the younger producers coming through the ranks, how important is it to be producing your own material?
It's the main thing, I mean there are an incredible amount of DJs in the world; you need to make something special to standout.

Are you a student of electronic music - its history, evolution, cultural significance?
Yes, and that's mainly why I'm making electronic music. It has always been my favorite music since I was a kid; I don't have a rock, punk or hip hop background like many have. I got Daft Punk's 'Homework' album as soon as it came out thanks to my older English cousin Alan; he was a big fan of electronic music and had Erol Alkan playing in his house in 1995.

As a genre, electronic music is relatively still in its infancy; that said, in terms of of unchartered areas of the scene, are the possibilities endless with what a person can create these days?
Yes, electronic music has endless possibilities, that's why it's so amazing and appealing to me. The only problem is that today too many bedroom producers tend to imitate too much and this cuts down the amount of originality, quality and freshness in the scene.

Signed to Fatboy’s Southern Fried label; what was your reaction when you were first approached to sign?
I was obviously very excited. They're really nice people there, I felt like finally I was starting to make good, and was astounded that someone so important believed in me. Amazing!

NT89 plays Monastery April 29.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011 12:31

Bag Raiders 13.04.2011

Dizzee For Cristal

Fine purveyors of electronic music for more than five years - has it really been that long? - Sydney’s Bag Raiders are veterans of the scene. Abroad at the moment, Chris Stracey found time out of his tour itinerary to share a cup of coffee while filling in the blanks about Jack Glass and his current international adventure.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011 12:19


Horny Trumpet

You can keep him entertained at dinner parties by gossiping or idly chatting about current affairs. He can keep you entertained on the dancefloor with any number of patented moves. He is Tenzin.

Thirty minutes on the dancefloor with Tenzin providing the soundtrack will usually leave most clubbers wanting what?
At around the 30 minute mark most clubbers are usually squeezed up against the front row. So I guess they’d probably want a bit more dancing space. 

To be a globally celebrated party hound, what must one do to achieve such status?
You need to train your liver from a very young age. It also helps to have parents who are alcoholics. It's not something you can learn; you’re either born with it or not.

When you head to Brisbane for a show, you always think of what?
I always, always think crazy crowds, amazing shows and even better after parties. 

Do you enjoy getting away from the Sydney scene, playing to audiences who don’t get to see you each week?
Yeah, definitely. I haven't been playing in Sydney much at all recently. It's really great to have a fresh crowd excited to see you play.

To the honest layman, can you describe what is was like being the musical director at all the shows at Australian Fashion Week?
Well it's pretty good on the day of the runway shows; heaps of pretty girls etc. But there is a lot of pre-production work that goes into getting everyone happy with their music.

You’re at a dinner party; what conversation threads would keep you entertained?
Current affairs or gossip.

Any plans to get busy in the studio?
My new single 'Horny’ is coming out very soon through Onelove, which is a collaboration with none other than my best mate, Timmy Trumpet.

Has Charlie Sheen’s steam finally run out?
I gargled 30mls of tiger blood every morning last week; it really fixes a hang over, but Charlie's days are numbered.

Tenzin plays The Met April 23.



Wednesday, 23 March 2011 13:52

DJ Gemstar

Not A Musical Nerd

She’s one of the most recognisable DJs on the Gold Coast. Now DJ Gemstar is heating up the production console, with radio airwaves her next target.

Last time Scene chatted, you were working on a couple of tracks. ‘Can You Feel Me’ is your new one; it certainly has plenty of dancefloor sizzle - what were you looking to create?
I wanted to create something fun and something that people would want to dance to.

Do you have plans for an artist album? Or are you staying focused on the DJing side more?
Yes definitely, it is something that I would like to do. I have already done the Wild Summer CD and that was great, but first I would like to concentrate on the producing side so that when I do my own CD, I can have my own tracks on there.

How enjoyable is it to play your own productions and re-edits to a packed dancefloor?
It is such a great feeling to look out over the crowd and everyone is singing the words; it really makes you want to keep going and produce more tracks.

Are you a musical nerd? Do you spend countless hours trawling the net for fresh tracks?
I'm far from a musical nerd, but I must admit that I spend countless hours on the net looking for new tracks.

When did you first get the urge to start DJing? How quickly did it turn serious?
The urge was there before I could even get into nightclubs. Dance music has always been such a huge part of my life. When I finally started to play it took me a good six months to pick it up and as soon as I felt confident enough it instantly became my full time job.

Is DJing and production now the career focus for you? What would be your ultimate goal to reach?
Yes it is and has been for a while as this is my passion and my dream. My ultimate goal is to have a number one hit like all DJs want, so I guess production is my main focus for now.

Is there a major difference between Brisbane and Gold Coast clubbers?
No, not really. I mean it depends on what clubs you are going to, but all in all they’re all musically educated and up for new styles .

DJ Gemstar plays Electric Playground Mar. 25 and Vanity Nightclub Mar. 26.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011 11:22


Made For Television 

Sparse, moody and hauntingly beautiful are just some of the ways to describe Seekae’s latest album, ‘+Dome’. The electronic trio have crafted a sonically rich, at times dark and menacing record brimming with industrial-like noises that blur into a palette of flavours, which will remind you of the aching cold of winter, but have you yearning for the minimalist beauty of a blue sky set against a snowy mountain peak.

One-third of the Sydney group, Alex Cameron is pleased with the results of ‘+Dome’, their sophomore release. “When we first started making the record we wanted it to be different from our last in that we wanted it to be one body of work. We didn’t want it to... the last record we did, we felt it was a bit of a mixtape of the stuff we’d been doing over time and we kinda wanted, I guess, make this one a whole piece... in a way, like a work in itself.

“So that was our goal to keep it very consistent and flowing, and that’s why we spent a lot of time picking the tracklist and the order of the songs and how each song runs into the next one. We were thinking it was going to be more of a hip hop record at first - this was maybe 18 months ago. Then all of a sudden we were a lot more comfortable with faster tempos and more intricate rhythms. So, I think if we’d stuck with hip hop, we would’ve felt like a bit of a cop-out ‘cause that’s what we were doing before then. It’s nice for a change, and it ended up... we knew what we wanted, but didn’t know how to get there, but ended up there in the end.”

While their final destination was unknown, Alex and his bandmates: George Nicholas and John Hassell, did traverse a different path during the gestation period for ‘+Dome’.
“It was almost an entire new procedure. We didn’t use the same programs that we used for the first record (‘The Sound Of Trees Falling’) - the workflow was totally different for this one. Because this was a studio album, we spent a lot of time together collectively putting together pieces of work that we’d had... we’d had a big break, so it was good to come back and get into a space that the three of us could work together.”

Released at the end of this week, Alex admits the deadline to finish the album was never really a concern, though it did creep up on them.
“It sorta came together well towards the end. We were in a position where we thought we weren’t going to have it done - most bands go through (a period) where you feel like you’re not going to get anything done. We gave ourselves a deadline and it worked in our favour towards the end. We’ve always known that we work better with a deadline. We had years to do this record, and we ended up compacting the writing into the last six months because we knew we had to get it done ... it was a lot of fun making the record; we all had our individual melting down moments, but it was a lot of fun overall.”

Three years have passed since Seekae’s debut longplayer offering, a time that has seen them tour with the likes of PVT, Decoder Ring and Midnight Juggernauts - this time spent on the road proving invaluable to their songwriting procedure.
“It definitely did. We tested a lot of material out on the road, and sometimes when you’re writing music and you’re only halfway through a song and you play it live; crowd reactions or how it sounds on big systems are very important to us because those bigger systems are what we’re going to be playing live on.
“We’ve always focused on our live set just because people buy tickets to shows, they don’t buy albums. We want to find a nice middle ground between our live shows and how we sound on record. We want people to come to our live show and hear the record or hear the record and want to come to our live show. We want the experiences to be different but complementary.”

Another avenue that Seekae have explored to get their music out to a wider audience has been through television advertising, with the band licensing their track, ‘Herodotus’, for a Hyundai ad last year. But don’t start calling Seekae a Moby replicant just yet.
“It was, it’s very odd,” Alex responds when quizzed about having the band’s music attached to a corporate brand. “The ad was being played so much, it kinda detached that song from the record. It’s hard to imagine that song being on the record now. It wasn’t necessarily a hard decision (to license the song) because musicians need to find new outlets, particularly for financing - we wouldn’t have been able to do this record without doing the (Hyundai) ad.

“Our viewpoint on the whole thing is that we don’t necessarily want to put all our music on commercials, but there comes a point in time where you have to say, ‘that song does work, it’s been on an album and people love it - maybe it’s time for it to go off in the world’. If people were still buying records, musicians wouldn’t be so inclined to go down that path. It was a very interesting time, maybe a once in a lifetime experience for that because it’s very rare that any musician gets picked up for a car commercial. It was certainly eye opening.”

Despite the national exposure the Hyundai advertisement did generate, Alex says the band still lives in relative anonymity.
“Breaking through on a local, national scale has been tough for us. I don’t know if someone like ABC or Triple J is going to play us at those peak times. It is growing for us, and we’ve done some tours nationally with people and the more people who see us, the more people will understand us and what we’re about, and get into it.”

‘+Dome’ is released March 25. Seekae play Woodland Friday April 15.

Cover photo: Mclean Stephenson

Wednesday, 16 March 2011 11:23

Cosmo Cater 16.03.2011

No Workplace Harassment 

He’s one of the old guard when it comes to Brisbane’s DJ scene. Cosmo Cater is a name that needs very little introduction to most local club’s dancefloors, not to mention courtrooms as well.

Wednesday, 09 March 2011 15:56

Danny T : 09.03.2011

#1 Whiner 

With the Brisbane Roar in this weekend’s A-League Grand Final, there’s plenty to cheer for local punters. Adding to the celebrations is Danny T, who scored the #1 - ably assisted by Oh Snap!! -on ARIA’s Club Chart last week for ‘Whine Ya Waistline’.


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