Pete Denis wrote:
So tell me, are you in Sydney or Melbourne? How was the DISCO scene back in the 70's, then in the 80's??? Where you a deejay then? Still at it today??
I am 47. I live in Sydney, Australia.
I still dj for private corporate functions & friends these days.....the odd club gig still pops up now & then.
I came to Sydney in '77 when I was 16 & was taking a course in radio & television as I wanted to be a radio announcer.
I used to hang out at the local nightclub called The Zoo. It was named that after the discotheque featured in the film "Thank God It's Friday".
There was a DJ by the name of Rusty Nails who played there who also had his own radio show on Sat aftternoons between 5-7pm.
It was a national show that went all over the country.....the first dance music show on Australian radio. The show was called The No.1 Song In Heaven after the Sparks track of the same name.
I loved the disco & funk music straight away & wanted in. I did not know what "mixing" was at that point.
I would go to a few other clubs after work & would hear music I did not have. When I asked the djs where they got their vinyl I was told I'd have to pay top dollar to have them imported from overseas.
I was serviced by the local record companies which only gave us a very limited supply of locally released 12" singles.
The pressings were horrible & thin. I found out that U. S. pressings of the same tracks were much louder & had a better bass response.
I started importing most of my tracks from Disco City (Australias' 1st dance music store) & used to hang around the store like a bad smell until the owner (sensing my keeness in all things disco) offered me a job.
Within a year I was working 6 nights a week in clubs & 5 days a week in the record store.......pillaging every box for new tracks.
The ethnic clubs & the gay clubs were where the serious underground music was played & I was playing more commercial straight clubs.
This allowed me to play a great variety of music but prevented me from playing beautifully mixed sets because management wanted me to "talk" all the time promoting certain things inside the club!
I couldn't get a job @ on the gay scene despite me frequenting the clubs so I opted for playing in a few ethnic clubs where they loved their music & the last thing they wanted to hear was someone speaking.
By 1979 disco was a serious concern with clubs competing for patronage which helped raise the standards all round. Better clubs/decor/sound/djs/music.
Because Australia is on the other side of the world we were equally influenced by music from all countries & imported from all over the globe.
We had no "NY" sound....we had no "miami" sound we had no "northern soul" scene......what we did have was the best of all music from all over the world & we as djs were like huge sponges soaking up all flavors from all continents. A very international disco sound.
I remember spinning about 40hrs a week in the clubs & also doing about 20hrs homework before playing tracks in clubs.
I used to tape every night I played & then listen back to the tapes after work (fast forwarding to the mix points) to see how the mixes sounded & to see if I could better myself in that regard.
I was a vinyl & "mix" junkie by now. Nothing but perfection for me & my crowd.
One of the first mixes between 2 records I heard that made my ears prick up was a mix from Mcfadden & Whiteheads "Ain't No Styoppin' Us Now" into Instant Funk "I Got My Mind Made Up".
The records "talked" to each other in the mix. Sing it if you know it.
"Aint no stoppin us now...(anytime) were on the move ( tonight is fine)ugh!"
I went a bit mental when I heard that & knew that there was a lot more to mixing than meets the eye or ears for that matter.
Djs out here in Australia had residencies at clubs usually 3-5 nights a week sometimes more from the mid 70s' up until the late 80s'.
The rave scene exploded out here in the late 80s' & that scene actually splintered the club scene. After the initial rave scene died down a lot of clubs started putting on different nights with different dj lineups so instead of 1 or 2 djs a week holding down a club, you had up to 10 -15 djs a week playing short sets of 90 -120 mins.
The days of residencies & playing long sets were over.
To this day it is hard to dj a set in a club out here for longer than 2 hours.
This is nowhere near enough time to take people on a complete "journey".
I'd always done the live remix thing with double copies of records to create a new or more exciting version than the normal 12" release.
Looping/phasing/echoing & later, scratching as I got into turntablism & placed 2nd in a Australian DMC mixing finals in 1987.
Thank heavens I worked in a record store so I could always borrow an extra copy of something.
2 copies of everything can be pretty exspensive when you're importing.
When I started working in the record store I also came into contact with subscription services such as Disconet.
These re-edits inspired me to start editing my own versions of tracks for the clubs.
I even started my own dj remix service available on cassette only called DV8 Productions.
I did these edits with Stephen Whiteman another edit crazy dj like myself.
We had to stop doing these cause the local record companies almost caught us out!!
After editing I got into production work. I worked with a fellow DJ Craig Obey who had a recording studio & we formed a production outfit called Funk Corporation & did a lot of post production & remixing for quite a few dance artists in Australia through Warners between '99-2003 when our partnership ended due to personal differences & financial difficulties.
We did however recieve a nomination for Australian remix of the year in 2001 for Love Tatoos "Party".
This is a wicked funky disco based house track. If you can find a copy it's worth a listen to hear my production skills.
It came out through Hussle in Australia & Ministry Of Sound U.K.
I am now semi retired from djing & putting a proposal to the Australian Government to get funding for a documentary I'd like to make on The History Of Australian Dance music which is taking up all my spare time when I'm not doing my horrible 9-5 job in a call centre.
There you have it.......from radio to clubs to production & managing record stores along the way all over a 30 year period.
Hope this gives all you guys n gals a little bit of insight into my history.
Paul "flex" Taylor.
P.S. in case you're wondering .....the "flex" is short for flexible....musically speaking.