ITM’s Looking Local: HAHA Industries, Sydney
“We’re a Sydney-based crew with a hankering to deliver you quality music nights left-of-centre,” write the HAHA party people, and that pretty well sums it up. HAHA has been bringing good times to Sydney dancefloors for several years now, with resident DJs Dean Dixon and Dave Fernandes – otherwise known as D&D – holding it down.
The crew’s focus is often on the home team, with Sydney treasures alongside interstaters, and the venues-of-choice avoid the obvious. When an international is called in, they’re of the calibre of Juan Atkins, Deetron, Hunee, Tim Sweeney and Vince Watson, to name-check just a few. This weekend, the dancing is happening at HAHA’s occasional home of Marrickville Bowling Club, with Basic Soul Unit in control. For this edition of Looking Local, we delve a little deeper into the party where ‘stranger things have happened’.
First up, can you tell us a bit about the HAHA crew and how the parties were born?
Dean: Well, there are four of us that run HAHA now: Al, Dave, Helena and myself. But it all began when Al and Jonno, who’s now back in the UK, were living in this terrace house in Surry Hills with a couple other people. I’d met Jonno down in Melbourne where I was living and I was basically in transition between here and there and was crashing on a mattress in their hallway upstairs at the time!
The idea popped up somehow to throw a house party to get all their friends together and that and the party that followed was one hell of a kicker. The one that followed that was even bigger. I mean, the entire house was packed, the front yard, the backyard – there were people even standing on the stairs between the floors just to have a place to stand inside the house!
Anyhow, they were much bigger than we’d ever anticipated. And that seemed to upset the boys in blue, as well as the landlord, and so we were left with either not having any more parties or taking the parties elsewhere. And they were really good times with so many of our friends DJing and partying together. So we searched around for a similarly homely venue and stumbled upon the Abercrombie Hotel and ended up putting on parties there for about three years. Which was a monthly operation of loading stacks of vintage TVs, turntables and speaker stacks in and out of the venue. The crazy things we do!
HAHA CLASSIC #1
Joubert Singers- Stand On The Word (Larry Levan Mix). “A great 5 a.m. closing tune. Works a treat! The track really makes people come together and celebrate the moments that are created each night on the dancefloor.” [Picked by Helena.]
Dave: Since then we’ve entered into the realm of hosting and touring internationals, taking on artists we feel need to be seen and heard here in Australia and even getting involved with organisations to hold events for like the Sydney Fringe Festival in September.
Helena: We’re passionate about the way we do things, staying to the left side of the spectrum…pricking up dancers’ ears with new and old, classic and obscure. We believe that music moves people, soothes the soul, brings people together, alike and different, brings peace, and creates a strong sense of community.
Being able to provide people with an outlet to let go, dance to the music and forget about who is watching or judging, is something we aim to create. We are here to support other musicians and entities that we believe have the same aspirations. None of it was ever really planned; it just all happened….and seems to keep on happening!