Australia is enjoying an electronic music renaissance like few other places on the planet right now. From Mall Grab to Francis Inferno Orchestra to Fantastic Man and Harvey Sutherland, it’s safe to say the country’s many talents are representing the country with some esteem on a global level right now.
But it’s not simply Australian artists going international for which the country should be proud. Whereas three-day electronic music festivals were, in-the-main at least, generally confined to Europe, these days Australia has a plethora of quality festivals that can rival even the best that Europe has to offer. At the forefront of this is relatively new movement is Subsonic.
Having recently celebrated their 10 year anniversary (this year’s edition took place from November 30th – December 2nd), the festival, located some 200km from Sydney, featured a stunning array of local and international talent, including Zip, Fumiya Tanaka and Sammy Dee. Australian artists meanwhile, were equally well represented, with the likes of Monika Ross, Claire Morgan and Kerry Wallace all playing starring roles.
Now a label as well as a festival, we thought it a good time to put some questions the way of , the label manager at the festival-affiliated label of the same name and a man who recently contributed himself in stunning fashion with the brilliant sounds of the Cotie Rotie EP, which came backed with a brilliant remix by French live act, DoubtingThomas. So with the dust finally settling on this year’s festival and with much more in the pipeline, we caught up with Dylan briefly for a quick natter…
Hey Dylan, thanks for having a chat with us. Your label Subsonic Music Ltd. Is set to release ‘Paradiso Vol.1’ this month. What can you tell us about that?
It’s a celebration of the festival printed onto wax! We had this idea of having a musical compilation of artists close to the festival and/or playing at the event for a while now, and have done similar digital releases in the past but now with the opportunity to have it pressed to vinyl it was just the perfect timing. The namesake comes from our beloved Paradiso Stage which in many ways is the beating heart of the festival.
How did the whole EP come together? Why did you choose the artists you did?
All these artists’ output has been so strong recently especially across the vinyl platform so it’s quite a holistic and timely release in many ways for both them individual artists and the festival celebrating 10 years. And importantly all these artists are a close part of the Subsonic family and have all played on the Paradiso Stage too.
On the A side, Alexkid and Stephan Bazbaz have played the Paradiso this most recent edition with an electric response. They are kept in nice company with the ever talented B side artists Retza and Katie Drover being crowd favourites in previous years (and likely future years too!). Additionally, we will be releasing more vinyl EPs in 2019 with all 4 of these amazing artists releasing with us in the coming year.
You also just released your own EP ‘Cote Rotie’, alongside Chad B, which features remixes from the brilliant DoubtingThomas. We noticed the release was based on off-field recordings from France. What was the inspiration behind recording an EP in this way and will you be looking into making more music based on field recordings in the future?
I was in the vineyards of Cote Rotie pursuing my other passion (wine!) and have always taken a little field recorder with me whenever I’m on tour or holiday…the crunches, the bells, the voices, the chatter, the footsteps through the vineyard all wound up in that EP with the amazing DoubtingThomas with such fresh interpretations we ended up deciding to lead the EP with those two remixes. And yes absolutely, I love using these especially if they are personal, it brings an organic and unique touch to what is usually quite functional digital dance music. So more of this style release coming in 2019 for sure, and having just got back from the USA, I took some really interesting bits of audio from my trip there that will be gracing an EP soon no doubt!
Is there one release on the label that you’re especially proud of more than any other?
The most recent vinyl is really a step in the direction you can expect from us as a label and delivers the more stripped back sounds we like as well as the upfront house that we love too without losing continuity in my opinion, so I am quite proud of this one!
What else have you got coming up over the past while?
2019 will be a big year for the label. Leaping from our relaunch in 2018 we have had a really rewarding but steep learning curve, especially with our vinyl output, and look forward to using this new knowledge and constant discovery to mix our Australian artists with the international talent that have inspired us and of course the plethora of talent that comes through the festival. Also some digital releases will be coming too, again focusing on the wealth of output coming from Australia at the moment. As for the festival, you’d have to speak to the festival directors Scott and Marco, but something tells me they are having a much-deserved rest right about now!
Dylan Griffin and Chad B’s Cote Rotie EP (featuring remixes by DoubtingThomas) is out now. Buy/listen to the release here
Paradiso Vol I (ft. music by Alexkid, Katie Drover, Stephan Bazbaz and Retza) is out now via Subsonic music. Buy/listen to the release here