DJ Ides Interview
DJ Ides InterviewI still remember the first time I met you. It was at Out of Order @ Lounge about 3 or 4 years ago. You were playing some wicked-electro-break-weirdness and I thought to myself, “damn this chick can play”. What or who got you into playing records for people to dance to?
I’m pretty sure it’s a “who” that got me into playing records for people to dance to – DJs. Musical curiosity got me mixing them. I’ve always loved music and when I first saw someone play an awesome set of electronica I was captivated by how the DJ (one of those early Steve Robbins\' Belfast sets if I remember right) would make the whole room jump with his early acid house and tech breaks, and how the hell he managed to lay it down like he did.
Lots of obscure people like that have given me inspiration with my taste in music and partying; long nights with Rod and Rudeboy at Filter, hearing and playing with the best of the best at Purveyors, partying with the strange and stranger at Hellfire. Yeah, weirdness is about right. Out of Order was also a fantastic opportunity for me and I used to have a fuckin brilliant time at that place! Was great playing alongside people like 10 Sui, Kid Kenobi, Danny McMillan and so many good nights out with some of the new kids and crews bringing breaks after Purveyors closed.
I’ve seen your name associated with just about every night beat associated in Melbourne. Care to enlighten us as to your first gig? Finer details please.
My first taste of DJing all happened by accident. On the night of the first party I organised (this was called “Impact” and happened in \'96 at the Strange Art Studios in the old Global Village Warehouse, Footscray), one the DJs showed up late and I guess it all took off from there. I had no idea what I was doing, you’ve gotta learn these things the hard way. Not long after that, my first billed/real gig was for the Spr*Mint Recordings launch party at Dream nightclub. The managers of Dream liked my mix of industrial, acid-tech from Germany, breaky UK acid-house and big beat and brought me back a couple weeks later for a residency at the original Hellfire Club and as an event manager for a few of their nights. Lucky bitch.
I can’t really comment on what being a female in a male dominated field is like, but you can. What it’s like to be a female playing beats with sweaty heads all around and illegal substances in everyone. Do you think people treat you any different because you’re a female?
I’ve been very lucky as a female DJ and as a DJ in any sense, so I’d never whine about being treated too differently or badly just coz I’m a gal. Let’s be honest, I’d be crazy not to love it when the sweaty bboys break for me & start throwing round nasty substances! Rod at Filter and my bro RSK used to always remind me that in Melbourne there’s never been too many gals that have made a big name for themselves in breaks and I’m really lucky to have been one of the first female names associated with the style in our city and throughout Australia.
Everyone uses what they’ve got in this scene – no female DJ I know is any different. There‘ll always be some hard points for girls too – it can be a little hard knowing when you’re being taken seriously; sometimes being treated as a novelty by punters and then being given more critical reviews; knowing what to think when you hear that you’re doing well coz your banging the promoter; always being the first one asked to change set-times...it’s just crap like that. Whether you’re a guy or a girl it all comes down to what you do when you get up there and if you can rock that dance floor.
In a nutshell, describe the type(s) of music you play.
Breaks… the new breakbeat sounds coming from Florida and Miami. Rolling basslines, electro kicks – anything I can cut up that has a funky, ass-shakin groove! Everything from electro to big beats & neo-lounge grooves, hip hop beats thru to house and old German industrial tech break tunes.
Talk to me about “Uptown Underground”. Where did the concept come from? Who are you running it with? How’s it been going so far?
After taking a little time off overseas relaxing, shopping and partying (I’m calling it my long service leave after nine years working every week), I came back wanting Uptown Underground to be all about making a round-table for likeminded DJs from all areas of underground electronic music in Melbourne. And to keep moving forward with the ideas and environment that I brought from my days working with Rod and Jason at the legendary Club Filter. I always like to deliver fresh ideas behind the line-up at every event and to give different sorts of DJs the opportunity to play to a crowd that just loves to party, but also to more discerning listeners. I love giving newer DJs, graphic artists, MCs, live acts and promoters opportunities to work alongside some of our more experienced DJs and live acts. It can only mean fun! Luckily I’ve also had an old friend and promoter from the good old bad old days join the team as my right-hand man for now. At the same time a couple venues came through with nights available. So here we go, back to the underground for me & Got Funk? in 2005!
The first night went really off with a bang...pimped out fun for friends and family. Feigan, LilStormer, Rowie and GKS all brought their very best for us. The second night should be even better – can’t wait to hear Erica play some true underground UK garage and unique beats, she’ll definitely bring some exceptional music and DJ style! Obliveus always pumps up the dance floor with quality and crazy energy, T-Rek will lay down lotsa originals and just good boogie music; like what we’re used to from his gigs at clubs like Honkytonks and Revolver Reco’s. Col will be bringing more technically minded b-boy breaks and GKS will get things started with party tunes to warm us up. Me? Well I just got sent a shit-load of unbelievable Florida and Miami breaks promos as well as some old school gems...try to get those hands in the air at the breaka dawn.
I seem to recall a night you ran down at that basement club in the city a ways back. Am I tripping or did this happen? Actually, I think I played one of them and I seem to remember a good time was had. Please elaborate because my head’s fuzzy on this one.
That was the night called “Scratch That!” at Basement 407 in the city. One of the best Got Funk? nights from my hazy memory. You played that night with Brand and Direkt doing your 3-deck thing...Brand went really mental scratchin shit up on that hell-dodgy, backward 3 channel set-up & you busted out some crazy d\'n\'b madness for the last 20 mins of your set! (Now I remember - OB1) The line-up was such a good mix-up of new talent across different styles – BluePrint, Mike Callander, Kendachi, Keltec and myself. That’s what it’s all about...dark basements, crazy music, hazy memories.
You brought out DJ Punk Roc last year if my memory serves me correct. What was it like playing with a certifiable legend of breakbeat? How’d the show go? Was he cool to work with?
Punc Roc was a funny, crazy guy and such an awesome DJ – perfect for the Got Funk? vibe! His show was unforgettable – jumped on the mic, went mental for about 3 hours playing some chunky nu skool sounds, funky ass-shakin\' beats and lots of time spent getting down with the ladies. We were surprised how much fantastic new music he’s been making and remixing in recent years, too. Still well ahead of his time and qualified from the school of hard knocks. He loved that he had the opportunity to come back to Melbourne after so many years playing to a crazy underground crowd. Fingers crossed we see him back here soon partying again well into Sunday night at Revolver!
Do you find time to make it out to many events nowadays? If so, which ones? Who’s bringing the goods for you?
I just spent a couple of awesome weekends out and about in Melbourne. Hitting some regular nights at Revolver & had a fucking brilliant time at Republika with the Brainstorm Session #4. Those guys and girl(s) are doing some really cool gigs, great energy and good n dirty breakbeat music. Also hit Lady Erica’s “Nice One” at Public Office. Don’t think I’ve heard any better music played at any gig in the last 2 years!
All time favorite track would be? Why?
Pauly Caudill’s “Don’t Stop”. If you’ve heard me play, then you’ve heard me play this track. This record is what Florida breaks is all about!
Have you made it into the production side of things yet or is this something you’d like to get into?
I love live music so I think I’d probably hit the keyboards or percussion and turntables in a band over becoming a producer. I wouldn’t rule it out but I barely have the time to get my hair done with all the DJing and promoting, let alone finding the hours to grow a good beer-belly in a studio. You’d be more likely to catch me on the DMC/ITF technical circuit. How cool would it be being the first girl in Australia to win?!
What’s the deal with red cordial?
Red cordial is good. Red liquorice is better. The 127 colour buzz!
DJ Ides plays with T-Rek, Obliveus, Col Medina, Lady Erika and GKS at Uptown Underground on Saturday 21st May.
Published: Wednesday, May 18, 2005 on www.residentadvisor.net.