30 years coming: Late Nite Tuff Guy takes off

With a career spanning more than 30 years, Cam Bianchetti is one of Australian dance music’s true originators, from his 90s acid techno guise as DJ HMC (turning out seminal records like Phreakin and 6AM) to his 00s reinvigoration as the king of disco and funk re-edits, Late Nite Tuff Guy.

When inthemix last spoke with LNTG for our Honour Roll series last year, he’d only recently overcome a chronic fear of flying that had kept him grounded in Adelaide for much of his career, and was very keen to tackle his first proper European tour.

When we speak this time, in light of his addition to the national Stereosonic tour, he’s still jet-lagged, having just gotten back from that very tour. As Bianchetti prepares to embrace the international renown that’s been waiting for more than 20 years, we spoke about the thrill of playing Berghain and his upcoming LNTG album.

You’ve just gotten back from your first ever overseas tour – and it was quite a huge one, wasn’t it?

Yeah, almost four months. About three and a half months.

Where did you cover?

Pretty much all of Europe. Went to all of the UK and Germany, Belgium and Holland, went over to Croatia and Spain, went to Egypt as well – had a gig in Cairo, which was pretty amazing.

How’s the clubbing scene in Cairo?

Well, it’s different. It’s not quite what I expected. I think people party differently over there. I’m so used to people over here, and in the UK especially, throwing their hands in the air and screaming and carrying on, drinking like animals. They don’t quite do that in Cairo. They’re a bit more laid back.

Is it a bottle-service style, like in Lebanon?

What happened in the club is that the people brought in their own alcohol, and they had it on the table and they just served themselves. They don’t really drink like we are used to here in Australia. So it was kind of like bottle service, though they didn’t buy, all they bought from behind the bar was mixers for the alcohol. It was different.

Any other highlights from the tour?

Definitely playing at Berghain and Panorama Bar in Berlin. Probably the best gig I’ve ever played, I think.

A life time aspiration?

I’ve been DJing for thirty years and that has to be one of the best gigs, if not the best. It was absolutely incredible.

What set did you play? What time?

Oh god. In Berghain I played on the Sunday from nine till twelve in the morning. And Panorama Bar, I played on the Sunday from five till nine in the evening, which was absolutely insane. I’ve never experienced anything like that before. And I got absolutely amazing reports from people after I’d finished playing, so that was pretty cool.

Are you still considering making a permanent move to Europe?

No, I’m not [laughs]. This question is gonna haunt me forever. I thought about it while I was overseas, and it’s just easy for me to live in Australia ‘cause it’s such a good country and Adelaide is a particularly easy place to live. I can just get up and go whenever I feel like it, so I don’t really have to settle in a place like Berlin, or in London or Amsterdam, anything like that. I can live here and do exactly what I want to do.

So the last time we had a chat with you, your SoundCloud page was really buzzing and getting a lot of attention, and then came the big tour. But besides the tour, what have been some of your career highlights from the past year?

I guess setting up the new label, Tuff Cut. That’s been a lot of fun and the records have done really well. Obviously, going on tour. Jumping on a plane – there’s something I didn’t think I would do!

How did that go?

It wasn’t easy, and I did it all without taking any form of drug. Like I said before, the desire to go out there to play music is a lot stronger than the fear of flying.

And you mentioned on Facebook recently that you’re coming home to some new studio equipment, thanks to Jamiroquai?

Well, a little while ago, Jamiroquai put up a competition to remix their first single. I think it was thirty years since it was released. I’m a big fan of Jamiroquai and I particularly like that track so I thought I’d enter it, not really thinking that I’d win or anything like that. And it happens that I did win and got all these prizes, which was really cool. I got a mixing desk and some new monitors.

Speaking of studios, in a chat with Resident Advisor last year, you said that you’ve got thousands of tracks stored away. What sort of release schedule have you got coming up?

I’m recording an album, a Late Nite Tuff Guy album, at the moment and I’m hoping to get that out in November. There are a million edits that are waiting to come out – I haven’t even put them on Soundcloud. So, I’m always busy. I spend a lot of time here doing music. I have a lot of time on my hands; I try to only DJ one night a week. I’m always making music so there’s lots of music there, lots of original stuff and lots of edits as well.

So out of all those re-edits, which one is your personal favourite?

I really love the edit I did of the Change track Hold Tight. That’s just got an incredible vibe to it. Every time I played it overseas the place completely erupted. It has such an incredible sound to it.

You’re going to be jumping on the Stereosonic tour soon. Are you looking forward to it? How are you feeling about that one?

I think it’ll be good. I’ve done Stereo before, obviously just the Adelaide side, but this year doing Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney is going to be pretty exciting. I’ve had a look at the line-up and I haven’t really played alongside any of the other artists, but I am looking forward to hearing Cajmere and Jamie Jones.