Massive interview with Boris Otterdam aka Noistruct, Australian breakcore producer, party organizer and (co)organizer/owner of independent labels 8-bit recordings and his new project Ende records.
Lets start from the beginning. How did you find out about breakcore? How old were you? Who showed it/ played it to you and how it change your life:) ?
– I was a big metalhead in the 90s. I bought the soundtrack to Spawn and heard Atari Teenage Riot for the first time. I’d never heard anything like it. It was 1997 and I was 20. I was already slowly getting into electronic music over the last few years, like Chemical Brothers and The Prodigy but this was a lot different. Shortly after I bought “The Future Of War”. My housemate at the time had a friend who delivered pizzas and constantly cranked gabber in his car. Usually while delivering, with the windows down and at full volume. He heard ATR and told me it was basically “gabber”. He made me a gabber tape with artists like Speedfreak, E-De-Cologne, Quindoor, Lenny Dee etc. and shortly after I started buying Terrordrome and Thunderdome compilations and getting into hardcore techno.
In 1998 I was at art school and was in an animation course off campus. At the first class I met this guy who was also into ATR and asked me about “Digital Hardcore Recordings” and whether I’d heard any of the other bands on the label ATR was on. I said “no”. He burnt me a copy of “Harder Than The Rest” and the next day brought it to class. Ironically he dropped out the next week. I played that CDR to death and was obsessed with it.
A friend of mine I used to see at local band gigs – Adam. Was also a big fan of ATR. I showed him the compilation and he was blown away. Everything on it was pretty amazing but hearing EC80R and Christoph De Babalon and Alec Empire solo was a bit of a revelation. I started to realise there was a lot of depth and experimentation to this music. I bought a copy of the other compilation “Riot Zone” and Adam and I both listened to it a lot. Hearing Bomb20 for the first time was life changing. Adam was obsessed with Bomb20’s “Lory vs Bomb20” in particular.
This was the same year I met another guy at art school who got me into experimental noise, shoegazer and abstract electronic music. A few months after meeting him I started a noise band with him called “Analogue Seaotter”.
In the same year. I was ranting to everyone who was polite enough to pretend to listen about how amazing I thought this music was, while making noise recordings and experimenting with electronic music myself. A friend I used to make comics with, showed me a program called Soundforge and how you could cut and edit sounds with it. I started sampling fragments of my CD collection and making my own “digital hardcore”. I did this for about two years until I bumped into Adam in the city one day and he showed me a track he made on his CD discman. He told me he used a program called “Fruity Loops” which was better than Soundforge. He basically slowed down the amen break on ATR’s “No Remorse” and added a bassline he made and some Bill Hicks samples. It was amazing and within a few days I went around to his house and started learning how to use Fruity Loops.
In 3 years I had gone from getting into DHR to finding more, to collecting and hearing as much as possible to making it myself. In May 2000. Adam became “The Last Ninja” and I became “Noistruct” and we started 8-Bit Recordings together. By that point we only had about 10 tracks each. But we were both inspired by how this was as much of a movement as a style of music.
At that time I was organising local punk and goth bands shows and I decided to add Adam and myself to one of the lineups. We literally stood on stage and took turns playing tracks off of FL with two PCs on stage in front of us. People were either repulsed or amazed or just curious by it. One of the punters introduced himself to us as Michael. He was making tracks on FL as well. He was then producing as “SFB342” but eventually changed it to “Deadcode” he became a founding member in 8-Bit Recordings.
By mid 2001. I had secured a local pub venue for a regular night and The Last Ninja was ready to release his debut CD “The Rushed EP”. In between 2000 and August 2001. Adam and I spent hours scouring the internet for more breakcore (as it was now being called) and digital hardcore as well as becoming fascinated by the darker or heavier side of electronic music. We came across the C8 forum, Widerstand, D-Trash, Bloody Fist, Killbot, Ambush Records, Zhark International, Rephlex, Force Inc, Mille Plateaux, Hardliner Recordings etc. We started hearing more and more artists and getting more inspired. At that time the notion we could find something as mindblowing as Desert Storm Breakcore Squad for free online was exactly what we needed to inspire us to produce more. We also started hunting electronic and “experimental” sections at record stores and finding other releases and compilations and getting into IDM artists like Cex, Autechre, Gescom as well as discovering early drum n bass and jungle like Goldie, Photek and Source Direct.
I never got into ATR and thought “I wanna do this” It was just addictive. The more you learned and the more you wanted to hear and after hearing other DHR. It became clear that was not going to be enough. By the time I’d been shown how to make noise and use programs. I knew this was what I wanted to do. So I just kept doing it.
There is a theory that every music style was inspired by certain drug that was popular at the moment of time in the particular group of individuals. So how do you think which drug in more fits to breakcore?
Many breakcore producers have used or do use drugs, have been inspired by it or use it for creativity or just escape. I’ve produced tracks while on drugs and played a few shows high. But in terms of whether or not breakcore was influenced by drugs I’d say yes and no. Breakcore has a very politically active and resistant beginning. Even in the 2007 documentary “Notes On Breakcore” it’s mentioned how breakcore was a reaction to how hardcore and gabber was becoming a misogynist, macho driven male dominated arena (which it’s now ironically becoming all over again). It was being invaded by skinheads, fascists, drug dealers and wannabe gangsters. Breakcore was sonically and therotically a desire to reclaim the original freedoms and activism of underground techno. One of the things that some producers wanted to react against was the apathy that the drug scene in techno had become so prevalent. People weren’t interested or cared about anything in some cases. They just wanted to get high and party.
Breakcore I don’t think will ever be inspired or defined by any one particular drug. It is inspired and defined by the people who want it to be an expression or reaction of what they disagree with or I guess what inspires them. Therefore it’s up to the individual interpretation of what breakcore means to them to decide if a drug inspires what they do. As a collective worldwide scene there’s no drug that can be representative of it’s sound and intent.
What are your political views and what do you think about using music as a propaganda of the political ideas? In many European countries breakcore scene is very close with anarchist, squater, punk and radical left wing movements… How is it in Australia?
I have a lot of political views and opinions. I don’t think I can limit to them one idea. I wouldn’t call myself an anarchist or marxist for example. I form beliefs in my own way, I don’t have a system. One thing I’ve learned about politics is the potential for masking a more benevolent intent or corrupt ideal is pretty easy. There’s just as much hypocrisy and extremism and zealotry in the left as there in the right. I usually view people with hardline political ideals with distrust as a result. I believe in being open to any possibility and objective to any argument.
I think that music can be used to express a number of ideals. But when it’s used to express politics or personal politics it can be highly influential and inspirational to many. Particularly people who are at a point in their life where they might benefit from that type of exposure to it.
The Australian breakcore scene is complex and varied. In the major cities in the eastern states it’s beginnings were close to the already prevalent and established underground techno scenes and in doing so had in some cases a politically active presence, particularly in local activism and ties to anarchist groups and collectives like OHMS Not Bombs in Sydney.
Collective/labels like System Corrupt and Black Lotus for example already had close ties to the underground techno scenes when they began organising parties and exposing Sydney and Melbourne to breakcore. Local hardcore and gabber, drum n bass, jungle and experimental noise scenes were also in some cases supportive. Such as independent label Dual Plover Records and drum n bass crew Krachmacher.
On the other side of the country it was a different story. The breakcore scene there was developed by people who’d never really been near underground techno parties or raves and all came from goth, metal, punk, indie rock and experimental noise scenes. This is due to the growth of scenes in the east being similar to those in Europe with illegal parties and warehouse raves, encouraged by large industrialised cities, dotted with abandoned buildings and spaces with which to host parties. Where as Perth’s regressive heritage laws mean that if a building is no longer used it is quickly demolished. Most of the underground techno scene in Perth around the time 8-Bit Recordings started was pubs and nightclub venue hosted raves and parties. Although elements of WA hardcore label/collective “Hardline Recordings” had established DJs and producers with ties to local hip hop and techno scenes and there have been underground rave and bush parties in WA (some in Hutcho’s case going back more than 10 years at that point). The scope of the eastern states was much bigger and more varied due to the difference in population and characteristics of the cities there. Local experimental scenes and jungle/drum n bass scenes were supportive of the scene there. Hardline Recordings were hugely supportive and influential and encouraged us to keep going.
In terms of individual producers, DJs and promoters that make up the scene. Some are highly political and some are just interested in the music for it’s intensity and qualities that separate it from other styles. I’ve met some that were just techno Djs and treated it like it was the next big thing and that’s all it will ever be. They never had any real vested interested in it. Just saw it as the latest trend. Some who used it as a stepping stone to becoming a big name DJ and use it to gain credibility to become part of another scene and now moonlight in it to add scene cred to another scene they desperately want to be involved in like say jungle. Some who used it as a way to expand their customer base for their drug dealing.
Production wise the variety in approach and production was influenced not just by popular overseas producers but by local elements and the crossbreeding (pardon the pun) of different scenes that supported and encouraged it. For example in the early 2000s groups like Diablo Negro and Suicidal Rap Orgy grew out of the local hardcore/breakcore scenes and brought a new approach to hip hop. It wasn’t uncommon for Dual Plover/noise artists like Lucas Abela or Sean Baxter to perform with breakcore artists. It was so common in the Australian scene for these genres to be in each others pockets, that it was not unusual when breakcore/noise fiend Guy Sterling aka 7U? started a black metal/cabaret fusion in “Rank Sinatra”. There was never once any question of whether this or DJ Rainbow Ejaculation or Toecutter after he toned down his previously abrasive style was suitable for playing or being a part of the scene.
Australian breakcore producers are notorious for unique approaches to their production and influence. Many producers have an affinity to the cut and paste sample, abrasive broken beat approach that Bloody Fist made Australia famous for and some producers will openly declare that it’s part of Australian breakcore and hardcore’s heritage. During the mid to late 2000s the influence of European producers like Xanopticon and Canadian megastar Venetian Snares began to become more noticable with some producers. Likewise a more gonzo amen over song popmash or neurofunk drum n bass style became noticable in others. Maladroit for example has always been a plunderphonic mashup of every type of music known to man fused with straight cut breakbeats and gabber kicks with no major effects or VST present. Glued together with samples either questioning or satirising conspiracies in some cases. Epsilon, Deadcode and Abortafacient enjoy incorporating chiptune and video game melodies into their music and Dysphemic (responsible for the criminally underrated full length album “Corporate Warfare”) began as a blistering tracker style cut and paste d-jungle murderer into a more clean and precise IDM style of brakcore before finding success by expanding into drum n bass and eventually dubstep. Unlike some producers who started making dubstep. Dysphemic’s music represented a natural progression in style that was unmistakeable and retained his signature production methods. Epsilon also has an undercurrent or familial abuse and the darker side of suburban life. Manifestevil incorporated his love of horror films and scores into his production. Cat Grrl explored misandry and misogyny, Main$tream used his music to vent at everything and anything including personal fallouts and Drillbit’s love of grindcore and metal was hard for him to hide in his music. For most of the mid to late 2000s. Popmash became a prominent aspect of the breakcore scene which was welcomed by many and reviled by some who missed the darker, more abrasive element of breakcore. This was however a brief dalliance which was almost completely dead by the end of the decade with those who pushed it declaring it showed “breakcore is dead” before exiting the scene. despite the fact the success of some artists and emerging labels and web labels showed otherwise.
Throughout that time and still now. There is rarely a question of whether or not someone is “breakcore” or “hardcore” enough to play at each others shows. Although there are some promoters who do specifically cherry pick lineups to only serve the same acts for financial purposes. This is rare. The scene here is usually more free and open mainly due to the way people who are into these genres and styles don’t get to see them live very often or accept that we don’t have the population to be that picky as to make a purist angle to the scene.
Most of the people I’ve met in the Australian scene are genuinely interested and dedicated to keeping it alive. Although some have been burnt out or grown bored for their own reasons and since left it. Bloody Fist is often credited for opening the door for many of us…which they did. But Bloody Fist was it’s own scene years earlier which they built from nothing and although supportive of breakcore – would probably prefer to be credited for their efforts. Their influence direct or otherwise was notable and they did help to expose producers like Epsilon and Peter. It would be an understatement to say that many punters at their parties and shows in the 90s weren’t just entertained and impressed by what they were doing but wanted to do it or become part of it themselves. Maladroit and Passenger Of Shit are two notable producers who have admitted to being inspired by what Bloody Fist did.
In the 2000s. Many of the Bloody Fist members were still active and were very supportive to the then burgeoning breakcore scene. Even if Mark N now refers to it as “mid 2000s breakcore cabaret bullshit” He and others didn’t think twice to play alongside them and include their music in their mixes.
In the early to mid 2000s. There was now an underground breakcore scene in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. With producers also appearing in other states and some like Minikomi and Namshub/Kiki Ill making headway from states like South Australia and Queensland independently, where there was no major live breakcore presence.
Throughout the 2000s peaking in around 2007. The Australian breakcore scene was a network of collectives and labels that were flying to and from cities, playing at each others parties and supporting each others efforts. As well as that, the breakcore scene was varied and open in approach that it happily played alongside hardcore/gabber, experimental noise, idm and chiptune and drum n bass/jungle scenes. This saw alliances formed and more exposure to local producers and DJs. Although the scene has not been without it’s disagreements and rivalries. The end result was some released output, further exposure for some producers in overseas tours and releases, and major international producers touring Australia such as Enduser, Nomex, Maruosa, Drop The Lime (although long after he abandoned breakcore for that ghettotech dogshit), Patric Catani and Sickboy. This exposure lead to events like The Distorted Festival in Melbourne in 2005 (based loosely on the Maschinefest Festival) where local producers played alongside the likes of Enduser.
Some producers like Maladroit, Killjoy, Passenger Of Shit and Xian enjoyed mild to major overseas success through either (or both) consistent output or frequent touring. Notable events were Maladroit’s appearance at Breakcore Gives Me Wood in 2005 and Killjoy and Bint’s tour of Europe. There have also been notable expat Australian producers who found success re-establishing themselves overseas such as Anklepants and Company Fuck.
Although labels and collectives like Bloody Fist and System Corrupt in particular are what Australia are known to the worldwide scene for. Only about 10% of producers and DJs are well known outside these shores. Radio shows like Thematics and Illegal Frequencies, labels like Painfree Foundsound, Night Terror Recordings and Gang Sign and various internet forums and facebook groups have tried to assist in exposing more of the scene here and have had varying degrees of success.
Despite disagreement from both within and outside the scene. The Australian breakcore scene is still alive and well. Some cities have frequent parties, some don’t. Mostly it’s active in releasing and soundcloud exposure. With the current climate for independent electronic producers in general in Australia and around the world…..
There’s only so much you can do to change that.
Notable labels/collectives that were breakcore related or were known to support breakcore (off the top of my head) :
Perth: 8-Bit Recordings, Sound Gallery Recordings, Ghetto Electro, Science Girl Records, Hardline Recordings, PLUR Recordings.
Melbourne: Graylands, Black Lotus, Lo-Fi Killers, No Sleep Til Bedtime, Hell’s Bassment, Night Terror Recordings, Enzyme/Dawn Industry, Sub Bass, Illegal Frequencies, Krachmacher, Cybernoize, Gehenna/Disrupt Sound Systems, Public Disgrace, Benegesserit Haus Nurseries, Noize Kids, Crack, Destroy Ordinary, Tekno Mulisha, The Grey Sea, Hopskotch Records.
Geelong: MTR Records, Killbot Records.
Sydney: System Corrupt, Goulburn Valley Poultry Fanciers Society, Teradatkil, Powerviolence/Combaton, Ozmafia, Gang Sign Records, Null Recordings, Dual Plover, Irontwist, Fuck House Productions, Killerwatts, Travelcore, OHMS Not Bombs.
Newcastle: Bloody Fist Records, Noise Machine, Eps666, LVL3, Killing Sheep,
Blue Mountains; Shitwank, Painfree Foundsound Institute, Blue Mntns, Hazo Music Derby, Poochomp, Blue Mountains Nudist Colony.
Brisbane: Silo Productions, Next-Gen.
Massive!!! Let’s get to more personal: tell about your musical project Noistruct. For how long does it goes, how would you describe your sound and tell some funny story from one (or more) of the parties you were playing at. (Also it would be cool if you send some pictures or photos or whatever graphics to put in interview)
I started making noise in 1998. Originally as a member of a noise band called “Analogue Seaotter” and then on my own under my band pseudonym “Boris Otterdam”. In 1999 I made a limited run cassette called “Doof Kitton Demos” which was a bunch of early attempts at digital hardcore and noise recorded to cassette. I think I sold maybe 3 and the rest I gave away.
In early 2001 Adam (The Last Ninja) and I decided to make a demo CD of what we were doing. We put 5 of our best tracks on including collaborations we did together. Adam made a cover for it and we mailed it to labels we liked and gave some to our friends. At the time, I was still using the name “Boris Otterdam” and we made a label name for the CD out of a word I’d made up “Noistruct”. I suggested “Noistruct” for the label name because it described what we were doing at the time. Deconstructing music to make noise out of it (based on the heavy sampling from personal CD collections we were using).
This name only got used the once for this CD as Adam came up with a new name “8-Bit Recordings” which suited the production methods better. I adopted the name “Noistruct” in place of “Boris Otterdam”
So I’ve been producing music since 1998, although I’ve been playing in bands in some form or another since 1993.
How would I describe my sound? Predominantly I produce breakcore since it’s my primary passion in music production. But “Noistruct” has reflected all my interests in electronic music production since I started making it. Even from the first demo and the first CD release “Techilepsy” it’s never been limited to one style. Noistruct has produced breakcore, industrial hardcore, dark dub, abstract hip hop, breakbeat, drum n bass, jungle, d-jungle, glitch, IDM, glitchstep, fuckstep, broken beat, digital hardcore, industrial, powernoise, speedcore, extratone, industrial hip hop, drum n bass, hip hop, wreckstep and mashups. Since 2002 I have also been making beatless noise, film score, isolationist and dark ambient under the name “Mandark” and since 2014 producing very straight drum n bass and jungle under “Holt”, minimal techno as “Notex” and ghettotech as “Teen Laqueefa”. I’ve also recently started a live guitar/bass industrial project called “Crone” with my housemate James of the Australian punk band “Raygun Mortlock”.
Noistruct’s varied output is a direct influence of the different types of electronic music that have inspired me over the years. When producing music I usually go for the darker and more experimental elements of breakcore in particular rather than the trendy popmash, dubstep or ghettotech elements. Somewhere around the mid 2000s, someone decided that breakcore was too boring in it’s current form and used progression as an excuse to make it more palatable to mainstream audiences. The argument that breakcore can be anything you want it to be is fine if you want to try something different with it. But if you change it so much that it just resembles all of the rest of the boring predictable electronic music out there then you’re taking away from it what made it individual and exciting in the first place.
How this music should be spread? What do you think about “conflict” of net-labels (with the bedroom producers) VS big “20$ for cd” labels with “professional” bigstudio producers?
Well it used to be a network of independent labels and producers making cheap websites trying to flog their wares. But with the rise of filesharing – particularly the fact that breakcore producers are among the biggest filesharing users. Especially for finding samples, programs, VSTS etc. It’s become a shitfight for soundcloud exposure and the natural desire to be more than just a bedroom producer.
There has been a lot of resistance from within though. If it’s not the has been Alec Empire telling people “real breakcore is made with live equipment and not computers” or the breakcore tourist “Drop The Lime” bagging bedroom producers in the “Notes On Breakcore” documentary (despite the fact that everyone starts as a bedroom producer). It’s gone through a lot of changes in the last decade in particular.
There’s advantages like the advent of Bandcamp and Soundcloud. Aside from the original web labels such as God Rekidz, Night Terror Recordings and the influential D-Trash which were pioneers in online free labels. The introduction of Bandcamp has allowed producers to make and upload their own releases as well as start their own web labels. Although it’s been criticised as being lazy and unoriginal to start a Bandcamp label. It’s not really the making a web label that is most important. It’s the idea of exposing not only your own but other producers works to a wider audience. You still have to promote the web label a bit but it allows you to show what you’re into or what the scene is like where you live. That’s what it has in common with the early web labels. The intent to help expose more artists you like.
I’ve paid to put out vinyl and CD releases for myself and others in my working with 8-Bit Recordings (my former label) and ENDE Records (my current label). And I’ve given releases away on bandcamp and contributed to other web labels (including Annoying Beatz). Back in the days of CDR. I used to make up burnt CDs of my tracks and leave them on the floor with the free music papers and and handbills at music shops. Former 8-Bit Recordings producer “Pselodux” actually used to make up burnt CDR albums with full colour artwork, insert them into the electronic genre rack at popular independent record stores in Perth and then go up to the counter and ask if they were carrying “anything from Pselodux”. They’d look it up and not find it and then he’d say “I’m pretty sure I saw it on the rack” and lo and behold they’d find it and put a price tag on it.
When I started producing I was selling CDs and CDrs for moderate prices. The first CD “Techilepsy” was $7. I’ve sold paid for production and sold my music in physical mediums and I’ve give it away online for free. The only thing that shits me really is all of the fake mp3 sites charging people for tracks I made and intended to give away for free. Or seeing torrents of my discography containing mostly stuff you can get online free anyway.
In 2015. I think breakcore has been hit hard by two elements. Firstly, it’s hard to sell as a physical medium although vinyl and CD does still sell here and there. Italian web label Viral Conspiracy has recently branched into producing CDs to sell alongside their free releases and my label ENDE will be releasing a CD split with German breakcore producer “Breakforce One” later this year. The point is, it may appear that selling breakcore is almost a dead option. But there are a lot of people out there willing to keep trying. That’s something to admire. It’s strange because many of the scene is still downloading and sharing left right and centre but still willing to buy records and CDs. Not all of them but at least some. On the Wikipedia entry for breakcore it says that “breakcore is one of the first styles to really use filesharing and the internet to grow”. That’s true in a way. I used to spend time on soulseek on the chat page for breakcore back in 2002-2003 and you’d see many producers trading and collaborating with each other’s work. I ended up meeting and chatting to producers who went on to do reasonably well – such as Droon and Blaerg.
The other thing that has hit breakcore hard is Venetian Snares. Apart from being the biggest and most successful producer in the genre. He is now considered a benchmark for new producers to emulate. Which is sad. The amount of producers I’ve met over the years who just want to be a carbon copy is disappointing. When the genre was young. Every producer you discovered had their own take and a signature sound (such as Cdatakill, Noize Creator, Parasite). Through no fault of his own Snares has become the rule rather than the exception. His opportunities and connections have allowed him to become the biggest and most well known producer but instead of inspiring people to make breakcore it’s mostly inspired people to make breakcore exactly the same as he does.
Although there are still great breakcore labels and producers like Ruby My Dear still finding some decent success. I can’t help but wonder if the combination of overkill from soundcloud and bandcamp exposure and the touring, superstar behemoth that is Venetian Snares hasn’t made it harder for breakcore to have it’s own identity and allow other producers to rise to the top. The amount of times I’ve seen people on facebook groups and forums refer to breakcore as “a style of IDM” or “not as good as Venetian Snares” (a reviewer called Kristian Hatton at Cyclic Defrost once described my album “Cordite Bay” as “not as good as Venetian Snares”) and it’s that ignorance to what breakcore once was that has eroded the ingenuity it once inspired.
There’s also extensive arguments to breakcore being ruined by popmash and the desire to turn into a dancefloor joke. But Christoph Fringeli, Zombieflesheater, Dev Null, Hecate and many other original old school producers have already covered that on the C8 forum.
In terms of big name studios or producers? Who are they? There’s quite a few good labels still operating for breakcore. But what can they offer that you can’t offer yourself? Too many producers want the labels like Peace Off and Ad Noiseam for example to make everything happen for them. But with a limited audience that a style like breakcore has. You really have to prepared to put in your own fight and make your own effort. If playing to big crowds and getting big dollars for recycling break patterns with a CD mixer like Snares does is what you want in life – you’re in the wrong game.
What kind of venues are you prefer for the good party? Club? Illegal Venue? Private house?
A good party or performance just depends on your mood and the crowd’s mood I guess. The best ever show I did was at a former abbatoir in Coburg Melbourne for Public Disgrace in 2010. It was after a disastrous gig I organised at a dogfart toilet of a punk bar called “The Barleycorn” where they didn’t give riders, didn’t hire staff, provide a soundguy and even double booked a buck’s night over the top of our show. Which was pretty funny in the end. I’ve played to around 250 and I’ve played to 1. Either way I still try to give the best I can. If the crowd aren’t really into it though it can bum you out but sometimes you either gotta work harder to or just give up and entertain yourself.
That Public Disgrace show was my all time favourite. It was in a tiny room they set up the PA in and I had punters yelling out requests and basically a full dance floor (in a tiny room but nevertheless). I played over set time which the guy after me was happy to let me do – because he was dancing to it as well. It ended up being raided by the cops who stole my ID because they were disappointed I didn’t have any outstanding charges or drugs they could steal.
The venue doesn’t really matter. I’ve played big well organised techno shows like Therapy Sessions Melbourne and The Distorted Festival. As well as in kitchens, carparks, tunnels, drains, parks, bushland, bedrooms and backyards. The vibe of the show and the crowd is the only thing that matters. You can play a set in your shed to 20 drunk punk friends and if everyone is either entertained or amused then it’s still fun. Passenger Of Shit organised an outdoor show in 2013 and even though the weather was FUCKING CYCLONES!!! and the stormiest storm you’d ever seen!! Where local train lines were covered with avalanches and public transport was effected – we played regardless.
It was one of the funniest things you’d ever seen. A group of hardcore heads gathering under a tarp in the middle of the bush in The Blue Mountains standing 10 centimetres away from a PA speaker because anywhere else you were drenched. We played with a plastic bag over our laptops and gear to keep them dry. It was ludicrous and some people complained later (The Disturber who begged to play this show didn’t actually cancel just didn’t show up or even tell anyone he wasn’t coming) but I thought it was the funniest things I’d ever seen and most of us just laughed about it. I ended up getting drunk on cheap red and smoking a blunt with Drillbit though and this caused me to pass out mid set. Not the fist time I’ve done that either 😉
It’s like the DJ Fail page on Facebook that tried to make fun of a breakcore show where the crate assembled deck table fell apart during a guy’s vinyl set. But like a trooper he carried on, leaning down to hit the cross fader. Regardless of whether you’re in a big venue or under a bridge with a generator. You should appreciate the chance to play and if the crowd are enjoying themselves and you agreed to play. You have to fucking play. Unless you are unconscious or injured or both – you have to play. I’ve played on so much speed I was sure I was going to die any second and probably looked like I was freaking out by my expression, but I finished my set regardless. Doing things like not showing up or bitching about the conditions just show the crowd what an arrogant douche you are. You probably either harbour secret desires to be a big time rave promoter or DJ or probably just aren’t suited to underground techno in the first place.