Karlsav: Breaking In
Perth’s Karlsav is no stranger to Sydney and Melbourne shores. When ITM last caught up with him he was touring off the back of strong friendships and networks formed through this sites very own breaks forums. Twelve months later and it’s with a couple of 12 inch releases to his name and a successful year co-producing one of Perth’s premier local breaks nights that he returns. ITM caught up with Karl on the eve of his Sydney/Melbourne whirlwind tour.
How has the last 12 months been, what have been some highlights?
The last 12 months have been really busy. With production and dj’ing as well as promoting Destination?, its been an eventful and rewarding year. Highlights were when I had my first original tune signed and subsequently released on Erase Records out of Greece, winning best new talent and best local tune at last years PDMA’s. But probably the biggest buzz was Destination? Winning best new club night as that is a culmination of a lot of people’s hard work and dedication to bringing a wicked party to the masses.
What have you been up to outside of music?
I recently bought a house which has allowed me to have a dedicated room for my studio. Previously it was located in my bedroom which didn’t really allow for long sessions with my partner sleeping in the same room. Ive become an Uncle as well (soon to be twice over with another youngin on the way in my sisters family). Ive also been trying to get back into playing rugby but I am waiting on a broken arm to properly heal that I attained from an Adam Freeland gig a few years ago. Full range of movement is back but there is still a bit of a twinge in it that needs some re-hab!
You’ve been playing around Perth regularly in the past twelve months but there has definitely been a focus towards the Destination? nights, which you help promote. How is the night going and how has it influenced you in the past twelve months?
Destination? Has gone from strength to strength over the last 12 months. The Signal Drivers and myself had our first productions signed last year with more to come, Taxman has really forged a solid reputation not only with his breaks sets but also his fluent crossover into Drum and Bass. The musicians have really set a solid benchmark with each gig they have done. In particular, Brad on the digi-bone has made a bit a cult name for himself not only in Perth but nationally and internationally with many questions coming such as “What the hell is a digi-bone!”. The improvisational skills of Hey Hey and Bones are also a particular highlight with how they are able to play over any dj with ease.
We recently did the first “Destination? Down South” tour with gigs in Bunbury and Margaret River working closely with the Balcony Records crew. We have really put a focus on pushing the locals that are doing things in the scene to help develop it for all to enjoy. Dj’s such as the Mortal Realistics (Fine China and Mortal Flow)and Loose Screwz from the OneAM crew, Fractured Beats from Loaded Dice as well as giving up and coming djs and bedroom bangers a chance to play out in front of a crowd. Dj’s such as Mono Lisa, Tarquin, Diistortion, Marky have all really shone at some of the past Destination? parties. Philly has been one of the stand out Dj’s for us this year playing flawless set after flawless set. Ambar owner and prominent Dj Liam “FMT” played at our last show and showed his experience by rocking his club’s dance floor big time. We also have put on Australian Acts that may not have a huge profile but that we believe are the next generation of dance music in Australia to do big things. Artists such as Bitrok, Dirty D, and Perths Dubai based Heretik have all played Destination?
Over the last 12 months Dopamine, who needs no introduction, also played for us last year and Dj’s Stalka and The Sound Advice Dj’s, both who are from Sydney and both run regular nights over there came over to experience the Destination? flavour. I’m most excited about our upcoming guests, Steve Lind from Canberra who is one of the resident Dj’s for the Chinese Laundry who has been dubbed by those “in the know” or those who “don’t mince their words” as one of the Top 3 Party Breaks Djs in Australia or “Australia’s own version of Krafty Kuts”. Also we have Nick Division who is an MC and promoter from Melbourne who is responsible for the “Bughauz” parties at Brown Alley. He will waxing some smooth lyrical, can’t wait!
You picked up a couple of accolades for your production work at the Perth Dance Music Awards in December. You’ve also had a couple of releases in the past year. You must be feeling more confident with your production work at the moment. Any more upcoming releases? Any hints on the year ahead?
Definitely more confident with my production, however its always a “learn as you go” thing. I’m forever learning new ways to do things and fine tuning how I did things before. I was lucky enough to have some experience with production with my work in bands during the 90’s of which most came straight across into electronic music production. In terms of releases, my remix of “Signal Drivers – Widgety Dub feat Dlux” has just been released at all good download stores on Erase Records. Its been getting great play from around the world and was just reviewed in this months Dj Mag. I have just signed two new original tunes to UK label “Unstable Label” run by Paul “Era” Southgate. Ive done a remix for a local Perth Indie rock band which was fun and a bit different to what I would normally write. For the year ahead Im going to really concentrate on getting as many originals out there as possible. I have a couple of remixes to do for Unstable as well which I will be sinking my teeth into in the coming months. The odd “unofficial remix” may pop up over the next few months as well. But I can’t really go there if you know what I mean wink wink nudge nudge.
You’re best known as a breaks producer/DJ. Have any other influences crept into your work? What does breaks mean to you in 2007?
I am a big fan of chillout/downtempo stuff as well. A couple of the sets I have done recently have been “sunset sets” if you will and have featured stuff around the 90 – 100 bpm mark. One particular set that stands out was the one I did for the Destination? Tour down south at the “Caves House” Sunday session. The sun was going down, the beer was flowing and there was the most beautiful sunset over the trees. Perfect time for a chillout set. I also did a remix of Sarah McLaughlin’s “First Noel” for the Beatport competition that was run. It didn’t win but it was a cool little chillout thing I did that has been popping up in my sets from time to time. Breaks in 2007 to me will be a year of new producers, new artists, new dj’s. There is just so much talent about to come out of Perth its not funny. Aside from new stuff from Signal Drivers and myself, look out for the following names over the coming 12 months in production: – Lo Key Fu, Micah, Heretik, Phetsta, Beetslappaz – and that’s only scratching the surface.
Who are some artists influencing you a the moment?
General Midi has always influenced me in everything I do. More recently a “JHz” style of sound has been creeping into my production, that is the blippy lead lines and womping basslines type sound. Dopamine has always been an influence in my sound as well, you know, the cock rock 80’s, long hair, flares, lead line type sound.
What tunes are rocking your crate/CD wallet at the present moment?
Karl Sav – Robotic Melodic : new original of mine coming out on Unstable Label
Bitrok – Digital Rhythm: Forthcoming tech funk stomper from Brisbane Duo who have recently been signed to Title Fight.
Signal Drivers – Widgety Dub: Both the original and remix I did have been getting quite a bit of airplay in my sets.
Karl Sav – Funkenstien: scary, stompy and it even has its own dance.
Dan F & Jariten – Halo: An absolutely beautiful tune out now on Sound of Habib records. I have been starting my sets with this lately and has the most beautiful ambient intro before dropping into a chunky tech funk roller. The Dopamine remix has also been featuring in just about every set I have played over the last 6 months or so.
You’ve got some upcoming dates in Sydney and Melbourne. What can people expect?
Lots of fresh stuff from myself and other local Perth producers – I have about two more originals just about finished to take over with me which will be getting the “test” on the dance floors plus a good mix of old classics, new releases and a mix of good fun too ;). A fair bit of unsigned stuff as well from friends around the world.
It’s by no means your first time playing in another state. Are there plans for more touring in 2007?
Yes, I plan on getting out to the other cities in Australia that I haven’t played at yet in the latter half of the year and I am also planning on doing a tour of the UK and Europe in the first half of 2008.
So, what’s next on your agenda?
Production, production and mo…….. Western Force winning their first home game in the Super 14 (which at the time of writing this will hopefully come against the Hurricances this Friday !
Breaks fans in Sydney and Melbourne be sure to check out Karlsav on the following dates:
16th March – Break Inn, Chinese Laundry , Sydney
17th March – Wanna Break v Sound Advice, Burdekin Hotel , Sydney
6th April – Bughauz, Brown Alley, Melbourne
For full event details check out ITM What’s On.