Record label, vibe providers, radio hosts, rave dwellers, tastemakers, producers, DJs and any other tag you want to add, Motorik have generally got it covered and do it better than most. We were lucky enough to grab vivi from Motorik for a chat about throwing parties, pushing homegrown techno, running a record label and their plans for the year ahead.
Thanks for putting the mix together, what are some of the vibes covered in the mix? Is it all new music? Slept on stuff, unreleased Motorik tunes etc?
vivi: This is a bit of a retrospective kind of vibe for me – I recently got my one of my record bags back after being missing for a year, so I had all kinds of 12’s and stuff on USB that I thought I had totally lost. It kicks off with old school Superpitcher on Kompakt (before he became half of Pachanga Boys) – and this tune is one of our MTK supahits. That “oh-woo-oooh” gets me in the feels every time. Then Adriatique and Agents of Time – both so driving, kind of dark and mysterious – I love flaring them out and pitching them down in the club, it’s so moody and dense. Then we kind of get really party vibe going on – lots of XTC NRG – some new stuff from Tiga’s label, Twin Turbo and an ALL TIME super club hit from Ewan Pearson (a guy near and dear to the Motorik! family) remixing Alter Ego. I dare you to not shake your butt to it. In terms of hits, though, you can’t go past Kill Frenzy’s Gorilla. I play a club called Cakes at World Bar frequently-ish and every fucking time this tune comes out. It’s grande ravé. Is this thing still going? Yeah, it is. Um… Okay, this is Christian S, The Power of Now, on the globaldance titans Comemé. I played this right after Tiga when he was here recently. I swear to god, I was terrified, but this little number did all the work for me. That percussive breakdown? FORGEDDABOUTIT. Life will never be the same after you get tropical to it. Next is some brand new Kollektiv Turmstrasse. I’d not paid attention to these guys, but Steve Bug played this tune in a recent Boiler Room and I was like… “wot?”. It’s sick. Out on Diynamic. Strong vibe. Then there’s new Crosstown Rebels from Fur Coat. I spent a day tripping on acid with Damian Lazarus once and I now actually completely understand where this is coming from. He’s a bit of a kook, just like me. This is total music for kooks – kooks dressed in black and a kind of moody vibe about them. From here on out, it’s all about the hits m8 – a classic pre-MTK mix of Azari and Gesaffelstein (I may have prepared this earlier, heh) going into one of our first ever Motorik releases by The Finger Prince which is pretty slamming like bruh, and then some euro-techno to take it home with Spirit Catcher and a Dubfire rub of Smith and Selway. I hope it was rewarding to listen to as it was for me to try and mix about 15 times in the early morning hours.
It actually reminds me of playing at Elsewhere on the Gold Coast, to be honest. My favourite place to play in the world, and home to one of my fam, Stretch Cranes, and the legends Audun and Giv. LOVE YOU GUYS.
As far as parties go in this city, Motorik have always done you’re their thing, not followed trends and created a place that so many punters call home. It feels like you guys have always really pushed stuff creatively with using different spaces and venues, and making your parties an experience as opposed to just slapping a lineup together with an international and some locals at known Sydney club.
Q/Can you tell us about the motivation to put on warehouse parties and provide something different?
vivi:Lately it’s been hard to not do anything different – changing laws and social mores mean that we’re are, now as 4 years ago, we have to push the envelope harder, every goddamn time. It’s expensive and it takes up all of our time, but it’s great. Seeing people wide-eyed as they walk into a MTK going “What the fuck have you guys come up with this time?” is a -very- good feeling. Plus everyone that comes is rad. We enforce a no-fuckwit policy and, despite some challenges, it’s stuck and worked for us. Viva PLUR, right?
I always am a little reticent to put any more of a spotlight on our motivations and how we actually do stuff, to be honest. It’s better off kept to our chest. It’s definitely not babes or money though, although both/either are lovely, thanks.
Actually – I’ll say this: we’re fiercely proud of being from Sydney, and we believe that this city makes some of the finest performers in the world, and we try to not line the pockets of touring agents (by booking very expensive international acts) in order to give more exposure to our MTK fam. There’s a nice balance to be split between the two poles, and I reckon more than a few local promoters should hang their head in shame, to be quite honest, for the dire lack of support that they give to local performers.
Any particularly fond memories? Motorik birthdays? Internationals you guys have toured?
vivi: Fondest memories? Gotta say that our birthday parties are always the biggest things ever. Although, having Gesaffelstein play his first ever Australian show for us alongside Brodinski one cold night in November 2012 at Club 77 was awesome. Every party is special, though. It’s like having kids. You can’t choose. The amount of work, argument and heartache that goes in are the same, and the payoff is always amazing every time. I have to say, personally, my favourite headliner was Daniel Avery. He’s the best guy and a lot of fun, and a truly magical performer. I have a crazy yoga-man connection with Thomas Von Party, too, who runs Turbo Recordings alongside his brother. A lot of globaldance love.
Mostly, though, as I said before, it’s the growth of the people we hold close to our heart. My Motorik! partners in crime, The Santamaria Brothers, have recovered from the heartbreaking split of their last band (lol jokes sorry) and are currently writing some fucking exciting shit as CSMNT61 and an as yet to be titled thing with some other mystery men, plus their collab with wild-man of the technosexual scene Kirin J Callinan (he’s actually the sweetest man on earth. My housemate Tan has a mega crush on him too, it’s cute) . Gus Da Hoodrat and Frank aka The Finger Prince have turned into Dreems and Francis Xavier, respectively, and both are getting mega vibes globally. Gus aka Dreems in particular, although Frankie did get 4 of his songs voted into the top 100 ITM australian dance music songs of all time recently, so I think he’s got enough ARIA awards holding his bed up to not give a fuck about being popular, really. Jensen Interceptor… that guy. I love him. He’s gone off to do his INTL.C thing so we don’t have much to do with each other, but he is #1 partyman and his new releases on Boysnoize Records rule. Very proud. Plus Wordlife and my erstwhile deejay partner in crime Linda Marigiiano. So many memories. So much achievement.
Name three classic records that have been staples at your parties over the years?
1. Pachanga Boys – Time
2. Andre Kraml – Safari
3. Green Velvet – Flash
What is the strangest place you have thrown a party?
vivi: Urgh. Tough question. Basically the hardest one to sort out and the one that inspired the most “WTF” was in a paint-ball course, somewhere in the burbs. We had to spend hours washing the paint off everything. There’s photos of crew hanging upside down from the airplane they have mounted on the ceiling – my insurance guy is probably looking at this right now and cancelling our coverage. Kim Moyes aka K.I.M from The Presets totally killed it that night. Good vibe.
How hard is it running a record label in Sydney? Do kids buy Techno?
vivi: It’s bloody hard. It doesn’t really matter where you are. Nobody’s buying digital stuff, really, they just illegally download it. I’ve seen the illegal download stats for some of our stuff, and I could cry. None of our stuff recoups, although that’s probably because we spend quite a bit of money on mastering it right and getting awesome art from the legends at Babekuhl. But it’s an amazing way of getting our message out to the world and we have so much global interest because of it. From little things…
Any no brainer tips for someone looking to start an independent label?
vivi: Do something different. Get a great distributor (Xelon in Melbourne are good, so are Intergroove in Berlin). Network LOTS. Try not to alienate people (sorry everyone). Actually, that’s a lie: polarise opinion. The world has no room left for “meh”. Have a pair of balls and stand up for what you truly believe in. I’ll pass on another flerm-core remix or pitched-up vocal, although if you like that sort of thing, go wild, but keep it away from me. There may be a video of myself and Tom Piper dominating a discussion at EMC last year about this particular subject, if anyone feels like googling it. Some good knowledge in there!
What’s your favourite Motorik 12?
vivi: Actually… we don’t have one. Believe it or not. Although, in good news, our first ever 12” is about to hit the press and features hits and misses from The Finger Prince and Melbourne legend and Revolver resident Mike Callander (who I will be partying with this weekend to celebrate), remixed by Vakula and Christian S. It feels like a big step out into the world. I think there’s a Motorik! branded single-sided 12” that CSMNT61 did for Christopher Esber in collections of fashion editors around Sydney, but that barely counts.
For anyone that isn’t familiar with the Motorik vibe Council, can you tell us about who is involved and what they do? Also tell us one annoying or weird habit from each member?
vivi: Oh god. I kind of covered part of this, right? Andrew and Pat aka CSMNT61 aka The Santamaria Brothers (sounds like a white soul outfit – right? – because they are!) are the former bassist and geetarist from The Valentinos. Angus Gruzman is Dreems and occasionally he takes his Gus Da Hoodrat suit out – one of the founding members of The Bang Gang and Bang Gang 12 Inches, and is an all round vibe inspiration to us all. Finally, there’s Frank, who is Francis Xavier (and with Gus, The Finger Prince). He was in a band called Infusion that I spent a lot of time listening to in high school. Oh, and me. I did stuff. I started Picnic with Kali, which I left when I realised that I loved tunes that were bangin’ and having it lad, and she didn’t. Oh well. It’s been a few years and we have recently even been able to talk to each other a little, too. Breaking up is hard to do (Sorry, I’m joking here too. We’re old mates and she’s doing a bang up job with Picnic). I have the annoying habit of never shutting up. Frank suffers from a lack of enthusiasm unless it’s a new synth, in which case he’s like Tigger. Gus has the annoying habit of inspiring us to bigger and better servings of… stuff… in the AM. As far as The Santamaria Brothers go, they have an awful habit of getting into arguments with me all the time, because we’re all wildly passionate about EVERYTHING even if it’s just what’s going on a fucking pizza. I have a lot of love for all of them.
Lastly, what can we expect from the Motorik camp for the rest of the year? Any major releases? Tours, festivals exciting projects etc?
vivi: Too much stuff to even begin talking about. Our 4th birthday party will be on in July and it’s going to be wild. Keep an eye out. As far as everything else goes… many excitement on horizon, I just can’t actually say anything or I will get killed by one of the Santamarias. Loose lips sink ships, right? Keep an eye out, we’ll announce on our Facebook when we can.
This Sunday the lords at Motorik are throwing a party with fellow Sydney legends Pelvis. They are taking over the Chippendale Hotel for a massive Long weekend shindig. It’s ALL SPECIAL and it’s ALL GOOD and you should come and buy tickets if you’re reading this.