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Ajax: The anti-king of water conservation

It’s not often we find ourselves invited to press conferences here at inthemix… truth be told there’s not a whole heap of artists in the dance scene who can command that sort of attention. It’s usually reserved for mega-selling mainstream concerns like Kiss or Celine Dion, and who’s really interested in covering that? So, imagine our surprise when the call came through to attend a press conference being held by Ajax, Australia’s reigning inthemix50 #1 DJ. Let’s just say our curiosity was piqued. When we learnt it was to be held inside a sauna on Oxford Street in Sydney… we knew we had to be there.

The conference was held to mark the launch of Ajax and Miami Horror’s brand new mix album Sweat It Out Volume 1, which is set for release on May 17th through Ajax’s recently launched record label called (you guessed it), Sweat It Out. So, that’s the sauna them explained, right? “It’s young, it’s a bit dumb, it’s not trying to be too smart,” Ajax explained when we asked about the inspiration for the label’s name, which is in line with the dance scene’s current infatuation with all things sweaty, wet, dirty and damp (songs from electro-pop acts like Muscles and Gameboy/Gamegirl also maintaining the theme). “Plus, I’m a sweaty bastard, unfortunately now when people see me out they actually take notice.” The new record label and CD sees Ajax taking on the moniker ‘anti-king of water conservation’, no doubt a contentious name for some with global warming such a hot topic. “I asked the Justice guys if they ever cop shit from Christians for using the crucifix,” he rationalised. “It’s just a playful thing on the whole water conservation issue.”

Other than the future destruction of the planet, no doubt another hot topic in today’s modern age is the impact of illegal downloads on the record business. One has to wonder why Ajax decided that now was the right time to make his grand entrance to the industry? “It’s probably the dumbest thing to do, to start a record label in this climate,” he laughed. “It’s really hard to get off the ground, especially with international distribution. You’re not really selling records and CDs anymore, it’s all [paid] downloads. We really noticed that with Gameboy/Gamegirl, our first release. It went #1 on Beatport, but we wouldn’t expect to sell a lot of CDs, we expect to sell a shit load of downloads… and ringtones!” he laughed, before quickly asking a nearby label cohort; “Have we got ringtones?”

Our next line of questioning had to do with Ajax’s own production work, which has been alarmingly quiet of late despite his promise in an early 2007 interview with ITM that he’d have an EP out very soon. To date he’s completed a couple of remixes, but we’re still yet to see that EP. Will it finally surface in the not too distant future? “I’ve been through so many producers!” he joked. “I had Kim Moyes [The Presets] in, that didn’t work… I got Angus from Sneaky Sound System and Andy from Midnight Juggernauts drunk and had them in my room, and I couldn’t keep them there. I don’t know what it is, but I just keep losing them.”

“Basically I’ve got two weeks to do it [the EP] or the whole project is over. The thing that’s also delayed it, the KillaQueenz – a hip hop act on our sister label Grindin’ – I’ve been trying to use them on there. So rather than just being a dance thing, now it’s got vocals too. It should be out in a month and a half.” With a reputation as one of the first DJs in Australia to push the ‘mash-up’ style of DJing when it broke through, it’s anyone’s guess exactly how the EP will sound, although Ajax gave us this food for thought; “It’s kind of like an edgy ‘Pump Up The Jam’. It’s hip-house with vocals. It’s colourful, bouncy, sweaty…”

Towards the end of the interview I thought it was time to slip in a question about his much hyped position as #1 on the annual inthemix50 DJ Poll. Having held the top spot for the past two years, Ajax wanted to make it clear that he’s happy to pass on the crown in 2008. “I don’t want to seem ungrateful, but it’s just I don’t like the adage where you become [known as] the #1 DJ rather than [known for] what you play. To be honest I’m an anxious guy anyway, and it makes me nervy when people say ‘ohhh he’s #1!’ I don’t enter scratch competitions like Craze; I’m not actually that competitive when it comes down to it,” he justified, before dropping something of a bombshell; “I’d actually like to withdraw… [but] I know inthemix won’t let me!”

And with that the press conference was done. Pictures had been taken, questions asked and answers given. Will Ajax’s long awaited EP make it out sometime soon? Will he remain in the #1 spot on this year’s inthemix50? Will he be victorious in his quest to have dancefloors drenched in sweat courtesy of his brand new label? Time will tell, but we’re pretty sure the last point is a given.

Click HERE to check out the full photo gallery from the Sweat It Out press conference, and if you’re a fan be sure to check out ‘Sweat It Out Volume 1’ when it’s released May 17th through Sweat It Out/MRA. Ajax, Miami Horror and co tour the country to launch it over the coming months:

May 17 – Oxford Arts Factory, Sydney – Ajax, Miami Horror, Act Yo Age & Redial

May 24 – 3rd Class, Melbourne – Ajax, Miami Horror, Gameboy/Gamegirl & Act Yo Age

Jun 6 – Lick It, Brisbane – Ajax & Miami Horror

Jun 7 – DJs Ain’t Rockstars, Adelaide – Ajax & Miami Horror

Jun 12 – La La Land, Byron Bay – Ajax, Miami Horror & Redial

Jun 13 – Huge In Japan, Gold Coast – Ajax, Miami Horror & Redial

Jun 14 – Bourgeoisie Bogan, Perth – Ajax & Miami Horror

Jul 4 – Lot 33, Canberra – Ajax

Jul 23 – Lake Jindabyne Hotel, Jindabyne – Ajax, Act Yo Age & Redial