Underground, Dance and Electronica with Chris Honnery
This Saturday, revered local DJ Phil Smart will take to the decks of the Abercrombie for a four hour set at the weekly free event, Strange Fruit. Since launching a little over a year ago, Strange Fruit has established a reputation among the cognoscenti for delivering some of Sydney’s finest house and techno DJs, playing free of any promotional pressure or musical brief (either explicit or implicit) to deliver a certain sound (think Crosstown Rebels bubble gum ‘deep house’, etc.). Giving the likes of Smart, Simon Caldwell and Ben Korbel carte blanche to play whatever they like on a peachy sound system is an initiative that has had, and will continue to have, a positive impact on Sydney’s clubbing scene, introducing unsuspecting and discerning technophiles alike to superior variations on sounds they will hear elsewhere. And now to move from the general to the specific attraction of this weekend’s headliner: Smart has been spinning since the 80s, playing alongside some of the foremost club acts to tour Australia – think Michael Mayer, Mano Le Tough et al – and establishing himself as a favourite amongst those who know their stuff. In addition to his DJing exploits, Smart is the co-founder of record labels Think and Thunk, which were responsible for early releases by Infusion and Pocket, and has released his own original material and remixes under various guises, including Headland, Altitude, Sprocket and Earthlink. (This writer has fond memories of raving away as an ‘underager’ to Earthlink’s ‘Blink’ many moons ago.) In recent years, Smart has been one of the driving forces behind Burning Seed, the Australian version of Nevada’s annual Burning Man Festival, that is held annually in the Matong State Forest over five days in November. Smart has a chance to take dancers on a ‘journey’ by playing an extended set this Saturday, and you’d be ill-advised not to come along for the ride.
Deep Impressions posterboy Ricardo Villalobos has created two remixes of Philadelphia trio Crash Course In Science’s track ‘Flying Turns’ which was originally released way back in 1981. (To put things in perspective, that’s one year before the original Tron movie was released!) This isn’t the first time Villalobos has reworked an ‘ancient’ club anthem – the Chilean has previously remixed Energy 52’s anthem ‘Cafè del Mar’ and Tangerine Dream founding member Conrad Schnitzler’sesoteric piece ‘Zug’. On his latest ‘reanimation’ Villalobos has turned his attention to a track that combines corrugated synth lines, proto-techno rhythms and vocals, which has previously been re-edited by J Rocc for a release on the Stones Throw label. The remake/remodel of ‘Flying Turns’ was prompted Einzelkind and Frost discovering the original track; inspired, the pair compiled their own re-edit (which is also included on the remix EP) and decided to recruit Villalobos to lay down his interpretations, before bundling everything together as a remix package that’s now available on their label Pressure Traxx.
Canadian producer Colin De La Plante, AKA The Mole, has dropped the latest EP on the fabled Perlon label, ‘History of Dates’. The Mole’s breakthrough occurred back in the sun-kissed spring of ’08, when his debut album As High As the Sky appeared on Wagon Repair. Since then, he has toured with Mathew Jonson’s avant-garde acid techno troupe Cobblestone Jazz, and released records across a host of different labels, including Prins Thomas’s Internasjonal imprint, Ostgut Ton and now of course Zip’s canonical Perlon stable. The Mole’s forthcoming EP includes a rework of the track ‘Lockdown Party’ by Terre Thaemlitz under his DJ Sprinkles moniker. Sprinkles is an intriguing character, who moved to Japan from the US over a decade ago, and is known to explore the link between music and politics, having written and lectured extensively on gender and social issues over the years. Sprinkles has enjoyed a prolific first half of 2013, releasing a mix for Japanese label Mule Musiq, Where Dancefloors Stand Still, and a compilation of his remixes produced between 2006 and 2013 entitled Queerification And Ruins. If the combination of two of the more eccentric figures in the dance milieu being showcased on Perlon records doesn’t float your boat, then you really ought to expand your palette. As the erudite Thaemlitz has said, “many times our understandings can be greatly misguided or twisted in prejudiced ways by musical mainstreams… When you bring up music on a global scale, and the spread of certain styles, we are simultaneously conjuring and concealing issues of cultural imperialism. For me, the fact that Western pop music dominates the planet signifies something brutal and grotesque: globalisation.” I’ll curtail the anti-capitalist sociological rant there, but I dare you to tell me you’re not interested in hearing Thaemlitz’srework of the oddball Canadian after reading that. The Mole’s History of Dates EP dropped only last week, and for those with a penchant for extraneous info, it is the 94th release on Perlon.
Deep Impressions: electronica manifesto and occasional club brand. Contact through firstname.lastname@example.org