Since I’ve started my Quarion project, I’ve been traveling quite a lot but I never thought I would have gone so far down south: these last 3 weeks, I’ve visited 3 Australian metropoles and moved to a few spots in New Zealand…
So how come I could play down there?
Well, it all started when Australian Label Future Classic asked me to do a remix for Jamie Lloyd, one of their key artists. The track came out in December 07 and somehow found its way in the cases (and harddrives) of Anja Schneider, Jennifer Cardini, Steve Bug and countless others. I heard that even Richie Hawtin was playing my remix at the WMC this year! The track became a bit of an underground hit and seemed to have a good following in Australia, so when the label came up with the idea of organizing a tour “down under” that would showcase the Berlin electronic scene, I was lucky to take part of it!
Here was the plan: 3 gigs in Australia (Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney) with Jürgen from Jazzanova and Heiko Laux (Kanzleramt) organized by Future Classic and sponsored by Beck’s (how much more “Berlin” could you get?). In the meantime, I managed to find another in Auckland, New Zealand, so I was set for more than 2 weeks on the other side of the globe…
My ride to Sydney was a long one: leaving Berlin monday at 7 Am and arriving the next day in Sydney at 7 PM. Ouch. I basically spend the first day getting over the jetlag and chilling around Sydney with Jürgen and his lovely wife Fedime.
On thursday, we flew to Brisbane for our first gig at Bar Soma. Heiko Laux arrived straight from New Zealand and we were all motivated to play! The show was good, but there wasn’t a lot of people unfortunately. We had a blast anyway and keeping up with the german tradition of afterhours, Jürgen and Heiko went to another spot after the gig. But it was a different kind of “club”, more like the only bar in Brisbane showing the EM matches live (around 3-4 AM local time). Jürgen is a total Football fan and had to watch every match, even if it means staying awake until 7 AM…Now,I like football but I prefer to sleep, even more when our flight the next day to Melbourne is at 1 PM!
Melbourne was not looking too nice (it was gray and rainy) but I somehow got really attracted to the city. It has a really nice vibe, kind of like NYC. The show at Miss Libertine was really good, the place was packed! Jürgen set the floor on fire with his blend of disco/soul classics and fresh licks from the Sonar Kollektiv camp. Heiko also rocked the spot and we were just all having a great time. I also met up with Christian Vance, a talented producer and all-round nice bloke for whom I just finished a remix, not knowing that he was from Australia! It’s really all about coincidences…
There was a lot of talk about going to a “real” afterhours spot after our show, but a tight schedule and failing Taxi service prevented us to make it there…which was probably a good thing!
We were back the next day to Sydney for our last show, at the Civic Hotel, a superb spot (with an amazing sound system) in the center of the city. The place was packed to the fullest when Jürgen started and people were complaining that they couldn’t enter the venue! It was really like a sauna down there…I had a great time playing my live set and Heiko delivered an awesome Techno/House selection. We definitely finished the tour on a high note!
I had a massive chillout on sunday, basically having a good time with Chad and Nathan from Future Classic. I woke up early the next day to visit some tourist attractions around Sydney: the Manley Island (a bit boring, except for the Aquarium and its sharks) and the Sydney Zoo (awesome!).
I was off to New Zealand the next day and arrived in Auckland around 4 PM. Matt Chicoine (aka top notch Techno/Broken Funk producer Recloose) was kind enough to let me stay at his crib for a few days and I had a great time with him. We went around the city the next day, met up with peeps and checked out some record shops. I instantly had the feeling that the music scene in New Zealand was extremely lively, with many bands, DJ’s or producers taking part in it.
On Thursday, I took a plane to Wellington, which is the most southern city on the North Island. The town is smaller but had an awesome vibe: lots of cafés, bars and clubs, almost all following each other. I also took the time to visit the “Karori Wildlife Sanctuary”, a breathtaking reserve a few minutes away from the city. It’s made to contain only rare species of birds (like the Kiwi) and plants, so they actually built this huge fence around the territory to prevent predators (cats, possums, etc…) to enter and kill the endangered wildlife… An interesting experiment and beautiful location.
I took the ferry the next day, arriving in Picton (the first city on the South Island) and spending the whole afternoon biking around the harbor and the hills…it was just wonderful! I went back to Wellington in the evening and met up with Martin, a sound editor who worked on Lord Of The Rings (in New Zealand, you’re bound to meet Kiwis who worked on the trilogy!) and he showed some nice spots around town.
I returned to Auckland for my gig on saturday with the “Tranzsenic” train, specially made for everyone to marvel at New Zealand’s incredible landscapes. I did just that for 12 hours, staring wide-eyed at my window, as we traveled from sea views to hills, from snowy mountains back to the sea…
The gig at Khuja went really great and I had a good time spinning some more disco records. I also met some really nice people who solidified my idea about the vivacity of the New Zealand scene…
The next days went by really fast and after a quick visit to the Auckland Museum (which has an awesome section dedicated to Maori history and art) and a DJ set at Recloose’s radio show it was time for me to get back to Sydney then catch my long Flight back to Berlin.
All and all, it was an incredible experience for me to get all the way down there and meeting all these nice people who support my music. Many thanks to the Future Classic crew for bringing me to the other side of the world!