Purveyors of partying, the Purple Sneaker DJs, started one of the biggest indie club nights in Sydney back in 2005. Now, throwing parties around Australia and having hosted the likes of Kele, Gigamesh, MNDR, Odd Future (DJ set), Star Slinger and more, they’re launching their own singles label and debut original track. ANNABEL MACLEAN chats with brainchild Martin Novosel, aka PhDJ.
Purples Sneakers DJs – Martin Novosel and Randall Stagg – have supported the likes of Miike Snow, Sleigh Bells, Bloc Party and The Rapture and warmed up dance-floors at Big Day Out, Parklife, Field Day and Splendour In The Grass. Having released the popular We Mix You Dance series of compilations, the lads have now turned to original production, releasing their debut original track Last One Standing featuring the vocals of Amy Pes from Sydney indie outfit Tokyo Denmark Sweden on New York dance label Plant Music and their very own Purple Sneakers singles label. “Making music is something that we did anyway in our own time,” Novosel says down the line from Sydney. “Randall became the other half of Purple Sneakers DJs and then one day we were like ‘what we’re doing is alright’.
“We started playing it out and we were like ‘well why don’t we release it?’. Everything we do has a pretty organic process. I think the modus operandi for my whole life is just do what you like. If you love it, do what you love. If you love it, you’ll do it over and over and over again and hopefully you’ll become ok at it… I would do all of this stuff even if I wasn’t getting paid for it.”
Novosel also has a background in A&R and artist management, having managed the likes of Sparkadia, Philadelphia Grand Jury, Clubfeet and more. He says it was a logical step to launch a singles label. “We’ve had clubs for the last five or six years – so we put on bands and DJs and producers… when you’re doing that, a lot of these times these acts are playing their first show or one of their first shows and I see that as A&Ring in a sense anyway.
“We’re getting these acts way before they’re popular so I reckon we’re the A&Rs here. We’re already doing that in a live capacity and in a club capacity so I don’t really see the difference in picking up an act and going ‘hey we like that song, let’s dig that band up and put them out through our channels’’.”
The lads are in the midst of starting a new, 100 capacity club, in Sydney called Discovery which will focus on new music which will see the likes of Tokyo Denmark Sweden, Pigeon, Bastian’s Happy Flight, Carl Fox playing. Purple Sneakers DJs will be residents alongside Emo from What So Not, Spenda C and Lancelot.
“Because it’s small, we don’t have massive fees to pay acts and stuff so it’s always going to be new bands,” he says. “The bookings are ridiculous. People dug the vision that we came up with.”
Purple Sneakers DJs played Groovin’ The Moo earlier this year (Novosel even bought along his dad to the festival: “I don’t think he’d ever seen crowds like that and he’d also never seen me in party mode either… He got to meet all the bands and stuff – he had no idea who the bands were – like there were the Hilltop Hoods and he was like ‘I don’t know who they are’.”), and South African festival OppiKoppi. In fact, Novosel says they’re hoping to tour with South African bass-hip hop crew P.H.Fat next year. “They’re fucking awesome,” he says. “They’re just these bass rap guys who are just fun party dudes and they have the best live show. The idea is – hopefully this’ll happen – we’ll bring them out and they’ll tour with us on our next tour so probably around next March or April.”