Deepchild: Leftfield living
With Deepchild recently back on home soil for a club tour, we had a chance to quiz one of Australia’s most celebrated electronic music exports. Ever the articulate interviewee, the man spoke about his music-making, global roamings and why he’s “thankful and inspired”.
I’ve been really enjoying the Freakin Podcast you did, which was quite an ode to Detroit. What is it about the Motor City and its music that compels you?
Good, I’m glad. That particular podcast has been very well received – probably because it was curated more as a ‘podcast’ and less as a beat-mix chart-set (which is not greatly interesting to me as an innately sacred music-sharing paradigm). Detroit…well, I’ve been blessed by the place – primarily with amazing friendships borne through performing there. If you’re interested in seeing how the ravages of capitalism have laid waste to a gorgeous city, visit Detroit. If you’re interested in seeing how a thriving music-industry can be laid waste by wider American priorities, visit Detroit.
It is what it is though – it’s a place where I’ve made some dear friends in such a short space of time. Moreover, what’s exciting to me has being working with Detroit’s new artists and label generation, being involved with DEMF, and being exposed to a new, very non-pretentious music community/family – one with strong ties to the old-guard labels and producers, but with no interest in exploiting the clichéd ‘legacy’ of the ‘techno city’. Detroit is no more defined by techno than Berlin is, and that’s a great relief to me. Both are fetishised cities with deep wounds, and deeper stories of healing and rebuilding to offer the world. Both cities built on myths which failed grandly. That’s enough for me to be fascinated by Detroit’s cultural produce.
You’re heading out on a US tour from July. One image we’re getting from America at the moment is the overblown, commercial side of dance music, but what have your experiences been like at the other end of the spectrum?
Again, as mentioned above, I’ve been curiously blessed by positive experiences in this respect – probably because I’ve been surrounded by amazing individuals with great integrity, quite removed from commercial concerns. Aside from Miami, which I did find fairly overblown and commercial, I’ve continued to play parties like [KONTROL] at the Endup in San Francisco, or Flammable in Seattle, Bad Intentions in New York, and more recently in Boston and Chicago, as well as smatterings across the mid West – Portland, Idaho, Decibel Festival in Seattle and more. These are all long-running parties with such deep community integrity and passion at their core.
The real challenge, I believe, for America, is to access European and Asian artists more freely – the visa-regulations are incredibly restrictive, which limits the diversity of artists who can perform and cross-breed ideas within the USA (without risking deportation). On the other-hand – much like in Australia – the stalwarts of the US techno scene have a proven track-record of excellence. I’m fortunate to (now) have many of them as neighbours in Berlin – JPhlip, Alland Byallo, Derek Plaslaiko, Tim Xavier, to name but a tiny handful. I mean, there are SO many it’s overwhelming, not to mention my Thoughtless Music family from Canada. The reality is that there is a bubbling underbelly of techno and house-music in the USA – some of the most enthusiastic, joyful and open-hearted audiences I’ve ever played to, at opposite ends of the continent. Family.