UpFunk: John So is their bro

Two DJs, which hardly need any introduction to Melbourne clubbers, are Dave Maslen and Shane Copal, holding down many residencies at some of Melbourne’s best clubs, they’ve also been busy working on original material together as UpFunk… Which they’ll be dropping like cluster bombs all over Melbourne this weekend. We spoke with our fingers in the last couple of days to try and determine what colour Speedos Shane will be wearing at Deceptacon on Cup Eve and I discovered these guys have a lot more going on than being a couple of Melbourne’s top DJs.

How and when did you guys meet?

We were both asked to play in the Red Room; Q Bar came to us both saying they wanted to open the room as another area. It all came about from that.

What styles do you guys dj predominantly?

Anything from Deep House, Minimal, Tech Funk, Mongolian Psy Trance, Irish Glam Disco

How long have you been working together on original music?

Just over a year now

Were you both involved in production or live performance before this?

Maz played in a jazz band for a few years on kit and vocals and worked on production as well. Shano was involved in production for a bit as well beforehand

The name suggests funky up-front music. Are you both writing similar music to which you dj or how does it differ?

Similar to a degree, we’ve kinda of tried to capture elements of all the different genres that we love. The end product however we hope has its own unique sound.

How do you get together and create new music?

We both live together and have the studio set up at home. Makes it easy if one of us has an idea to run to the computer and whip something up. Some of our favorite stuff has come about when we least expect it, so we prefer to have the set up right there just in case.

What do your studio set-ups consist of?

It’s all set up underneath the stairs at our place, fairly simple at the moment but it’s a never-ending addiction as far as equipment goes. You can never have enough.

How much material do you have to perform?

At the moment all of our work is production based, the live Upfunk sound is about 6 – 12 months away. We’re both perfectionists though so we are making sure that when the live stuff is out there it’s exactly what we want.

What ability will you have to improvise when playing live?

Being in a jazz band, improvisation is a key element when it comes to performing, what we are hoping to achieve in the performance side of things, is recreate existing tracks but always give the audience a different take depending on the feel or vibe of the gig.

Have you been working with other musicians or mcs?

We have Mike Budisnki on bass who we’re doing a lot of work with at the moment and who will be part of the live outfit. Also myself on vocals, Shano on the beats, a live percussionist and more to come.

What plans do you have in terms of touring?

At the moment we are working on pretty much a whole album, once we have finished this and have the live sets polished we will be setting our sights on doing a national tour.

Do you have any releases coming out soon?

There is a 4 Track EP not to far away.

Any dream people or heroes you would like to work with?

20/20 Soundsystem, Parliament, Greenskeepers, Moodyman, Nikki Webster, Booka Shade, Kamal, Solid Groove, New Young Pony Club, HotChip, DFA, the list could go on and on.


Because John So told us to.

I see you’re playing at Deceptacon on Cup Eve, anything special planned for the punters?

Shane is playing in Speedo’s. And you’ll be getting a huge slice of the productions that we’ve been working on for the last year.

Do you guys have an “image”?

Tight white pants and Hawaiian Shirts

What would you say to Michael Jackson if he asked you to dance?

“Hey back off!!! I’m not 12 anymore”

Why is rock and roll dead?

It’s not

Wicked, right answer.

For more info on the guys you can check out the following links and catch them on Cup Eve at Deceptacon and at their residencies:

SHANE: Q Bar, 161, Eve, Vineyard, Mink, Tryst, Circus Recovery

MAZ: Tryst, Eve, Escobar, Vineyard, Mink, Circus Recovery