Words: Bonnie Ryan-Vance
At the end of 2014, I was fed up with life, so I decided to take a vacation to Melbourne from my hometown of Wellington, New Zealand. The friends I visited instructed me to purchase a ticket to Let Them Eat Cake festival, and it still stands as one of the best decisions I have ever made. Until that day, I had barely been exposed to any electronic music at all; I was taken with the sounds, the vibe, and the people that shared a love for it.
I phoned my parents while waiting for my flight home and advised that I would be quitting my job as soon as I was back. Three weeks later, I was on a one-way flight to Melbourne. I still feel nostalgic thinking back to my very day of House and Techno, so I decided to speak to some other Electronic music lovers that I have met over the years to find out what made them fall in love with it, too.
Please note: Responses have been condensed and edited.
Casey – DJ and Organiser @ Disco Volante (OneSixOne)
I think my love for electronic music all began in early 2006. I’d just started partying, so house parties were a plenty. Artists like Booka Shade, Claude Von Stroke, Justice and Midnight Juggernauts were massive. They ultimately stood out, and inspired me to get more involved in the electronic music scene. I was lucky enough to move to the city towards the end of 2008, where I was able to find and promote for clubs and parties, purely with the vision to learn more about and listen to more electronic and house music. Record labels such as Ministry of Sound, Vicious Recordings, Sweat It Out! and Untzz 12” had control over me! It wasn’t until late 2015 while running my own electronic music event – Disco Volante – that I decided to start DJing, and I’m excited to say that coming into 2018 I’ll be producing my very own electronic music!
Billy – Soundcloud Aficionado / Bedroom DJ
There is this section of Jamie XX’s 2011 Essential Mix where he mixes in Gill Scott Heron, Genius of Time and the XX before coming to this climatic bone-shaking drop with an edit of James Blake’s Libra. To this day that mix and drop probably stands as my all time favourite. I remember clearly the first time I heard it while studying for my law exams – I felt like I needed to go preach about it on a street corner so other people would listen to it. During the intro of that same mix, Jamie XX makes a comment that, although he plays in a band himself, he finds it more inspiring to watch a DJ play rather than a band. Some people might not understand that comment but I know where he’s coming from. For me an impressive DJ is someone who can take you on an emotive and captivating journey through different sounds and feelings, while remaining in total control – like a modern day conductor. When done well it can be a powerful and awe inspiring thing… Of course, the producers of the individual tracks are extremely talented, but hearing an individual track in the format of a full mix is, in my opinion, the best way to exhibit its potential to have a profound effect on the listener. The sum is greater than the parts, so to speak.
Jackson – DJ and Artist @ Konnektd
What really led me into exploring electronic music was not a song but a series of parties that were held a couple years ago. Word of mouth made me curious… [and] the idea of the word “party” quickly changed for me. While still in high school, the only parties we really experienced as teenagers were held at a friends’ house to celebrate their turning of age. Hearing that a ruined, abandoned old factory that was where the party was located was all too bizarre for me and I had to check it out. At first, I felt skeptical. The place was insanely huge and worn down… The stuff you’d see in movies where a guy gets torched or a place you’d commit a satanic ritual. No bullshit. It was close to midnight and since it was around the corner from my abode, I thought I might as well attend… Being led through broken fencing, we followed the maze to the sound of music…and we finally found the room, crammed with a crowd of people worshipping a makeshift desk. Surrounding me was a heap of rubble, dust, lasers and music. Electronic music. Techno music. I was still in awe as to what I walked into. Only a walk away to experience something so raw, but still an elegant way to pursue the full throttle of electronic music. I got on my cell phone and dialled my other friend… ”Stop what you’re doing right now and come check this out!”
Faith – Music Enthusiast & Yoga Teacher
When I first discovered electronic music, I was fifteen, living in Kuala Lumpur and had just started going clubbing for the first time. I remember a friend coming into homeroom at school and putting on Dimmakmmunication by The Bloody Beetroots because they were touring Kuala Lumpur… and so began my long-term love for electro, which eventually evolved into a love for Drum and Bass/Dubstep when I moved to Melbourne. Five years down the line, I returned to Melbourne after living in America for a year and Survivor! had just opened in 2012. A friend came over a few days after I’d just moved back and put on Raw Groove by Homework, and I frothed it because I’d never heard anything like it before! A couple of days after that I went to my first ever Survivor sesh, discovered acid-house and well…
Vanessa – Techno Enthusiast and Revolver Veteran
Electronic music… I guess has always been a prominent genre in my world. I was born in the eighties, with my older sister who was born in the seventies. She used to bring out WildFM CDs from an early age with songs like DaRude’s Sandstorm and DJ Jean The Launch being smashed out on regular rotation. But I have this one memory, from a kick on a few years ago (where all good things begin) where my friend Jono played Maceo Plex Can’t Leave You on the little portable speaker we were rocking at the time, and I remember thinking and yelling out loud “HOLY SHIT THIS IS SICK”. I reckon that was the time in my life I though “Yep, that has done it for me”, and the love for Techno was born. That and doofing… but lets be honest, you don’t want me to start on describing the bass faces that began in the dust…
Matt – “String Theory”, Resident DJ and partner @ Autosea
For me it was a single event that birthed my love for house and techno. I was fresh to Melbourne and with techno virgin ears I stumbled into Survivor Club of Legends late 2013, none the wiser of what I was walking into. Carl Craig had just jumped on – which meant nothing to me at the time – and it took me a good hour or so to get into it. From then on, i’ve been completely hooked. Coming from a Drum and Bass scene in New Zealand, the subtleness of techno was all new to me. I think that was what drew me in was that Carl was in complete control and I loved that. The music reached me on a deeper level than previous electronic/DnB gigs had, they were all high-energy mosh type gigs but this was completely different, there was a vibe/feeling I had never experienced before. At one point, I remember turning to my mate and saying “Man, I think this music is made to make you feel good!”, and the rest was history!
Mitchell – DJ and Co-founder @ Autosea & Burn City Disco
I first made the conversion to dance/electronic music 2008 – I remember it very clearly. There were a few of us who had our eyes opened and have never looked back. At the time I was listening to a lot of American hip-hop and rap. In particular, I had been getting into an American West-Coast sub-genre called Hyphy. But when a friend showed me Apocalypso, the second studio album from The Presets, my taste buds did a kick-flip and I was sold! I thoroughly enjoyed the release, which then prompted me to dig further into this unfamiliar style of sound. From there I backtracked to their first LP, Beams, which to this day still contains some of my very favourite tracks. I then burrowed down a Modular rabbit hole. The label – which these two records were pressed on – also housed the likes of Cut Copy, Bag Raiders, Canyons, Van She, Architecture In Helsinki and many other artists who influenced the later years of my high-school experiences. I recognize the change of direction as an important stage in my life and I still have intentions of getting a tattoo in representation of The Preset’s track Girl and the Sea.