Hijak Special Bios #7 – Able8

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Last but never least on our showcase list (although of course there’s no such thing as least w/ Hijak) is one Able8.  Melbourne niche beats’ nicest fella and overachiever with a ridiculous amount of qualifications to boot. The pies/fingers ratio is off the hook right here.

Top shelf future beats production with a couple of albums out, label king at Uncomfortable Beats, a zillion tracks on small label compilations all over the shop, and sure-fire collaboration with such talent as Melody Myla, Benny Diction and U-Wish.  His dedication to beats in Australia is truely remarkable, as will be his DJ performance at Hijak.

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Uncomfortable Beats/Able8 Bandcamp:  uncomfortablebeats.bandcamp.com
Able8 Soundcloud:
 soundcloud.com/able8
Able8 Facebook:  facebook.com/able8

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HIJAK – LABOR DAY SPECIAL – SUNDAY 15 MARCH @ GRUMPY’S

Hijak Special Bios #6 – U-Wish

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Originally hailing from Perth, James Harris aka U-Wish has solidly been carving a niche out for himself for the last couple of years.  At this upcoming Hijak special, you can expect him to be right on point as usual with his unique blend of hip-hop, future beats and bass music.

One of Melbourne’s most in-demand DJs on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights around small niche venues, U-Wish also keeps himself flat-out organising events for his project Cymatic Society, producing and releasing his own beats, and assisting with getting other artists’ tracks together for Uncomfortable Beats.

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U-Wish Soundcloud: soundcloud.com/u-wish
U-Wish Facebook:  facebook.com/u-wish

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HIJAK – LABOR DAY SPECIAL – SUNDAY 15 MARCH @ GRUMPY’S

Hijak Special Bios #4 – Aoi

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Coming live with brand new material debuting exclusively at Hijak is multi-skilled b-boy and Melbourne underground sensation Aoi.

This guy is on a quest to be the best where it counts for things hip-hop.  His portfolio is impressive to say the least.  eight albums (many of which are free at his Bandcamp), the Spotwelder remix tapes, a couple of other mixtapes, seven MC albums under his now-deceased alias of Prince Mackerel (who died in a terrorist attack on Disneyland), spittin’ bars under his new moniker of Slums Mack for a host of single tracks with rap group Stonecuttaz, and beats maker for TMFSE (as part of a whole album on US label Smoker’s Cough), Jak Tripper, Lukey Cage, Noemotion Goldmask and The Baroness (w/ Class A).

His appearance at Hijak will cement his position as one of the most solid acts you should be following in Melbourne’s matrix, with a live set performed without screens, utilising his self-professed caveman technique using a pair of samplers and turntable to work his magic.  Do not miss out on this one if you know what’s up.

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Aoi Bandcamp:  aoibeats.bandcamp.com
Aoi Soundcloud: soundcloud.com/aoibeats
Aoi Facebook:  facebook.com/aoi3000

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HIJAK – LABOR DAY SPECIAL – SUNDAY 15 MARCH @ GRUMPY’S

Hijak Special Bios #3 – Merc Swazey

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Merc Swazey is an exciting and hilarious live hip-hop MC headlining the show, with brand new material debuting exclusively at Hijak!  This new work utilises his new alibi highlighting the undeniable swag of Andre Agassi.

Formely a rap-battling heavyweight in New Zealand known as Hash, Merc Swazey was created on a whim to satirise and have fun with current rap trends in an on-point and engaging manner, but still as formidable as a real hip-hop MC from his rap battle days.

Swazey has worked with trap producer NettSmoney to create a tropical and catchy rap flavour that’s humourous and catchy as fuck, yet grounded in solid and talented lyricism and rhyming patterns second to none.

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Merc Swazey/Nett$money Bandcamp:  nettsmoney.com/album/loud
Merc Swazey Soundcloud:  soundcloud.com/merc_swazey
Merc Swazey Facebook: facebook.com/merc.swazey/

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HIJAK – LABOR DAY SPECIAL – SUNDAY 15 MARCH @ GRUMPY’S

Same Shit, Different Bucket – Updating Rituals in the Doof World

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It’s come to a time where I’m about to leave this urban landscape of Melbourne.  I’m about to come home to northern NSW.  There’s not much of a scene up here electronically, except for outdoor electronica aka Doof.  This is filling me with apprehension.  I’ve always felt slightly at odds with this culture, and my want to get beyond it was a partial reason for leaving in the first place.  I’m still trying to come to terms with this scene at turns marred and defined by its embedded rituals and sounds.

So many questions come to mind.  What’s going on?  Where are the brackets these days? How can we define our collective Australian electronic music cultures in a country bred on imports? One place where the war on ideas and approaches seems more pronounced between old and new is in the outdoor scene, and in definition of the never-resolved issue of What Is Doof ™.

The introduction of more popular veins of dubstep in 2009 to the outdoor Australian world found many new champions to extending cultural vocabulary, a lot of whom were previously embedded as psytrance purveyors, punters and performers. Labels like Hopskotch Records began releasing former psytrance artists of the well-known institute Zenon Records producing Canadian and Bay Area glitch-hop almost exclusively.

Independent northern NSW small festival Deliverance imported acts like Eprom and Ill Gates, the latter of whom evangelically converted many young producers to these newer possibilities in sound through focused tours of performance and workshops. At that point, Tipper and other acts were already gaining an increasing fanbase from the outdoors, and psytrance lovers were in open revolt as to what they saw as “their” scene.

It seemed at that time like a revolution. However, old modes of behavior and custom started setting in, and the same old hierarchies re-emerged in full force to structure and govern what was popular within this microcosm.

One could say that the problem with newer forms of outdoor electronic music claiming to break genre programming in Australia is that it’s still psytrance. Similar melodic devices and keys are used to still render that sort of “bush” sound. A great many of the new school of producers I’ve seen at work or interviewed still author with software like Cubase, Fruity Loops and Reason, and still use the same VSTs.

This isn’t to dispute what they do in terms of quality, but overall approaches to writing music haven’t evolved. At worst, newer “glitch-hop” tracks can sound like cheap emulations of their influences.  Those who reach a level of mastery have learned that computer programs can’t emulate hardware with any real level of accomplishment, although it’s always easy to flex smoke and mirrors to fool the open, or those who have more a cest la vie attitude to their musical consumption, which creates less/more conflict.

I say less/more here because some wish to preach tighter sound architecture as preference, but occasionally get a little too passionate, which in turn raises the hackles of those who don’t want this business of craft evolution to interrupt what is otherwise a very fun party.  But criticism and rejection of older ideas is necessary in any evolving craft.

Some Australian psytrance producers – on the other hand – have evolved their craft in terms of what hardware they use, and have embraced use of modular analog equipment and so forth. If you’re already passing a judgement that a genre is going to be shit, then perhaps you’re not listening to the detail of sound architecture. Part of learning to enjoy music is accepting what you’re listening to without judgement. When I write reviews for music, it’s an essential that I try to find the best in what I’m listening to first before I take my blade to it.

Punters are more or less exactly the same when I see them outdoors. They’re still taking the same ol’ drugs, dancing the same ol’ dance, talking the same ol’ shit. The level of sophistication they do this is well-worn in, with accordance with what model of car they’ve decided to work on (so to speak), but all the rituals remain the same.

I actually have learned to revel more in some of these forms of ID and rituals as time progresses. Some more nefarious issues, however, have become massive barriers I simply must acknowledge for my own sanity. One is the same beautiful-people schoolyard culture that used to have me hiding in toilets on lunch breaks, or attempting to fit in when I obviously didn’t.

Some of our rituals are beautiful, some are stagnant, others reek of desperation, while operate exceedingly arrogantly and resist query. For things to evolve, it’s more to do people’s levels of personal conduct and integrity, outside of the ever-permeating hive mind. However, in niche scenes, it usually takes a couple of popular people to adopt a trend before the rest of the sheep come to flock, so we also need this hive mind to a relative degree. But when we identify with it exclusively, problems come forth.

The same application of schoolyard ethics still exist out there in the paddock, except more like a doof version of Lord Of The Flies. In many cases, this new school of outdoor partiers are as unforgiving and as vacuous as any bogan or bimbo at Stereosonic, except they think they’re in some sort of upper echelon, which means they’re even more ignorant and high-powered. In many cases, it’s entry-level EDM lovers who start to embrace the niche trends that keep the wide-eyed magic in the scene, not the older, jaded ones. Perhaps they’re the ones who continue to carry the torch of our idealistic dream.

As we reach a level of confidence, that’s when we have the tendency to not only trim and neaten our own tastes, but unconsciously apply these edits to others. Sometimes this has a less-than-fortunate ending, as strong egos rile up and combat each other when situations become personalised.

Evolution doesn’t have to be forced. It doesn’t have to mean you have to adopt this month’s style of electronica, which to me shows that essential herd mentality rolling on in full force. If you’re going to break your programming, try embracing your true individuality without compromise. </culturaldogma>

Written by Kristian Hatton

Hijak Special Bios #2 – Kayhat

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Controversial director of Haarp Media and Hijak, and also up to speed on the decks.  As a DJ, Kayhat has an eclectic history starting from 1995 at the age of 15 as a community radio announcer at Byron Bay’s BAYFM. Since organising his first electronic music event series in 2006, he has organised nearly 100 events in both northern NSW and Melbourne.

He DJ’s an eclectic blend of sounds from techno to footwork to UK bass to trap to hip-hop.  To celebrate his last set in Melbourne for quite a time, he’ll be playing an extended afternoon set, focusing on his impressive mid-2000s minimal house collection of vinyl, but also making forays into up-to-date sounds of UK bass, future beats and house music.

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Kayhat DJ sets:  mixcloud.com/kayhat
Kayhat Facebook:  facebook.com/kayhat

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HIJAK – LABOR DAY SPECIAL – SUNDAY 15 MARCH @ GRUMPY’S

Hijak Special Bios #1 – Warpa!nt

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Sebastian Elkner aka Warpa!nt has been gaining more notoriety as a performer in the last year in Melbourne’s bass music scene. He has played support for international heavy-hitting bass acts such as Thelem, P-Money, Royal T and Grouch. He has previously released an EP of originals on Hopskotch Records with more slated for release soon, and is currently involved with bass music crews Dark Riddims and The Wall.

His current project with partner-in-crime Sarah “Shuttersound” Buckley-Jones – Strutcity – is more focused on techno, house and breaks styles built for a strutting dancefloor of ravers, as recently showcased at the Rainbow Serpent Festival.  His set will likely focus on this newer flavour of sound, generally of the UK bass field in autonomic and housey style.

This one will set the tempo and groove for HIJAK – LABOR DAY SPECIAL, and let you all know that this is going to be a party not to miss out on!

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Warpa!nt DJ sets: mixcloud.com/warpaint/
Warpa!nt EP: hopskotch.bandcamp.com/album/
Facebook page: facebook.com/warpaintbeats/

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HIJAK – LABOR DAY SPECIAL – SUNDAY 15 MARCH @ GRUMPY’S

Friday 25 September – Future Weird @ Footscray feat. Scotch Egg, Curse Ov Dialekt + more

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Future Weird is our event of the week, screw all the other expensive town ones!  Japan native and Berlin alumni DJ Scotch Bonnett will be playing at a massive all-night party in Footscray this Friday.

DJ Scotch Bonnet is the new solo project of Shigeru Ishihara, aka DJ Scotch Egg.  A maverick, crazed with energy and excess creativity, Ishihara’s chance meeting with Matsunaga Kouhei spurred an isotopic explosion of activity and inspiration; the result was new dope style distorted bass and beats now championed by offshoot label, Small But Hard.

Swapping GameBoys and 8-bit limitation for a hefty distortion unit, Ishihara delves deep into bass-driven hip-hop breaks, and melds dense distorted beats with his signature pop sensibility.  Ishihara has collaborated with: E-Da’s (from Boredoms) in Drum EyesBo Ningen’s Taigen Kawabe , Dokkebi Q’s Gorgonn in dub distorting Devilman, and plays bass with electronic pioneers, Seefeel.

The other guests for this event conform to their own formula in terms of generic explanation, but you can expect a blend of hip-hop, hard/breakcore and glitch aesthetics.  This stellar line-up of niche maestros includes Curse Ov Dialect, Passenger of Shit, OVe-NaXxGelidoSnuggy ManSpasmoslopImpatient 8 – bachDJ California CrisisRippleStinkwood and Tarun (DJ SET)

Future Weird is going to be a not-for-profit charity fundraiser.  All profits raised will be donated to Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Crisis through the Red Cross, and it’s only a $5 cover charge. This event is crowned off with it being an all-nighter, located at Hot Spots squat at 20 Buckley Street, Footscray, presumably BYO.  They also have huge sound with four subs and five tops, and the visual will be turned out by Kate Geck and Xenosine.

Future Weird is one of those under-rated winners, and I wouldn’t be anywhere else for the world.

Thursday 24 September – Haarp Media VIP Sessions #1 feat. Ollie Olsen @ Grumpy’s

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Ian_Olsen

Who Is Ollie Olsen??

Olsen is now active again as member of three-piece noise and soundscape band Taipan Tiger Girls, who have launched their first full-length album – 1 – in a live show at the Old Bar on 31 July.

As so far as history goes, Norwegian-bron, Melbourne-raised Ollie Olsen developed interest in electronic music in the mid 70s and studied under German composer Felix Werder. He went on to work on a range of experimental work, sound installations and dance music, as well as creating film and television soundtracks.

He was an important part of Melbourne’s punk/post-punk scene in the late 70s/early 80s as leader and vocalist, and with others formed punk bands like The Reals and The Young Charlatans. Post-punk work includes such confrontational bands as Whirlywirld, Hugo Klang, Orchestra of Skin and Bone and industrial techno outfit NO.

In 1984, Olsen was asked to appear with band Whirlywirld in cult classic feature film on the Melbourne underground punk scene – Dogs In Space. He also directed the soundtrack, which featured such artists as Iggy Pop, Boys Next Door, Brian Eno and INXS vocalist Michael Hutchence.

Hutchence was lead actor in the movie, and made friends with Olsen. They afterwards collaborated (along with band members John Murphy and Gus Till) in music project Max Q, a classic Australian electronic album with a theme of political paranoia. They mixed the album in New York City, which was remixed by DJ Todd Terry.

Olsen came back to Australia and was a part of the early techno scene in Melbourne. He played in cities across the country and co-managed label Psy-Harmonics with Andrew Till (Gus Till’s brother and current label manager of Machine). His various projects and collaborations at that time included Third Eye, Antediluvian Rocking Horse and Shaolin Wooden Men.

However, as his music was always uncompromising, he became less interested in generic dance music, and went back to the underground to refocus on his personal projects. After release of album Emptiness in 1999, Olsen re-embraced his noise roots with collaborations on electro-acoustic projects like I Am The Server, and worked with many artists from Australia, Japan (notably The Boredoms) and South Africa.

In 2008, Olsen collaborated with Melbourne electronic composer Steve Law on their drone-based project Mutagen Server. This led to a showcase at Melbourne’s planetarium, along with Robert Henke (Monolake/Ableton designer), who was showcasing his Laying Buddha album.

So as you see, Ollie Olsen has an incredibly diverse and rich history, of which he will be sharing with us all for this most rare of DJ sets. He will also be showcasing other more contemporary experiments into newer genres like witch house.

Please come join us for this very special occasion to celebrate a true Aussie legend of our scene.

Haarp Media VIP Sessions debuts this Thursday at Grumpy’s (125 Smith St, Collingwood). Support DJ Kristian Hatton will be playing his unique blend of contemporary niche genres and old-school know-how from 8-10pm, and Ollie will set it on fire from 10am-12am.  Entry is free.

Friday 10 July – Mahala presents Marc Marzenit @ Railway Hotel Brunswick

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So yeah, we said we’d be back later this month, but the good folk at Darkbeat asked us to give props to this new crew starting out – Mahala.

We’re all about helping the little guy, so we’re going along with the shout-out.

Mahala have scraped their dosh together to present Marc Marzenit (Paradigma Muzik) from Spain. In these sitchos of new crews putting on internationals, the biggest gamble is a promoter’s first international show. Please give your full support if Melbourne techno and house are your thing.

The last time MM came down-under in October 2010, he scorched Melbournites at a party series called No Nonsense (supporting Guy J and Satoshi Tomiie). He’s also soon to release an artist album on Henry Saiz‘s label – Natura Sonoris.

Supporting acts on the bill are Rollin Connection, Lister Cooray, Stockholm Syndrome, Handsdown, J-Slyde, Pat Tassone, Matt Waters, Baz Za, Oliver Winton, Technich, Dave Juric and Scott Freedman.

OH WAIT, DID U SAIY FREE TICKET?!

My fucking oath we are. If you hurry up quick snap and ask us nicely for a double pass at haarpmedia@gmail.com , you’re right on the money, my dude.

Now what was I doing? Oh, that’s right, lapping up the sun in Thailand. If you’re around Koh Chang, come see me play some beats Friday 3 July at Siam Beach Resort on the Lonely Beach side of town. Woops, didn’t mean to cross-pollinate 😛

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Genre: Techno, house

Time: 8pm-late

Place: Railway Hotel Brunswick, 291 Albert Street, Brunswick.

Cost: $15/20 + BF – TICKETS HERE

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