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DJ Yoda

Dj-Yoda

London turntablist Duncan Beiny aka DJ Yoda will help Perth punters bring in 2014 with one of his trademark audio-visual sets at The Perth Flying Squadron Yacht Club for Cuban Club on New Year’s Day. He speaks with JOSHUA HAYES about the show and a new project that will keep him Down Under for the first quarter of 2014.

Beiny is a regular visitor to Australia having last brought his AV show to WA for Southbound in 2012. His latest visit will be a little different though – for starters, he has his first New Year’s Eve off in over ten years. “I’ve got some friends out there (in Australia), so we’re going to be hanging out in Sydney, I believe. I’m looking forward to that,” he laughs.

Also notable is that his Australian tour is the start of an extended Down Under stay to work on his third solo album following 2006’s The Amazing Adventures Of DJ Yoda and 2012’s Chop Suey. “Part of my plan for Australia actually, is to use the down time in my tour to try and get together this new album that I have a concept for. It’s a good time for me to work when I’m in Australia because during the days, I don’t get disturbed by phone calls and emails from the UK; I tend to get left alone,” Beiny says, noting that he recorded his latest mixtape, How To Cut & Paste: The Asian Edition during down time on his last Australian tour.

Ideally, Beiny would like to have the album finished by the time he returns to the UK, which would enable him to release it in 2014. “If all goes according to plan, I should be there for three months this time,” he says.

Beiny is coy about how he is approaching the album, although he does note that “the concept for this new album is something a bit different from just working with a different established artist on (almost) every track” as he did on his first two albums. The Amazing Adventures Of DJ Yoda and Chop Suey saw Beiny collaborate with a range of artists, from legendary rappers like Biz Markie and Greg Nice, to contemporary acts like Action Bronson and Roots Manuva. “I’m really lucky because when I put together both of my artist albums, I sat down and made a list of people I would ideally like to work with, and in both instances I managed to tick off virtually everyone on that list,” he says.

Chop Suey had been a long time in the making, but it was worth the time Beiny committed to it. “In one sense when you’re making an album – well, for me anyway – I try and make it for me first. If it makes me happy, then that’s more than half the battle done,” he says. “It took me a long time to make that album but, by the time it was finished with it, I really loved it. That way if it hadn’t hit with people I wouldn’t have even been that bothered, but the fact that it has had some really nice reviews and a lot of my peers have liked it, is a bonus.”

In 2002, long before he began dabbling in AV sets, Beiny had already been named one of the ‘50 Bands You Must See Before You Die’ by Q Magazine for his ability to deliver sets that combined turntable wizardry, crowd pleasing tunes and a good dose of humour and since then, he has continued to push himself in new creative directions.

In between a busy schedule touring, Beiny has explored a range of musical genres with his How To Cut & Paste series (The Asian Edition was preceded by Country & Western and The Thirties editions) collaborated with a classical composer on a Concerto For Turntables and shared the stage with magicians, acapella groups and a 14-piece brass band.

“The whole idea with all these different projects I work on, is that I just want every year to be different for me, and I don’t ever want to tread water and do the same thing, just so that I keep things moving and try new things and try different things,” he says. “I’m totally into this idea of taking DJing and turntablism outside of the typical scenario that you might normally expect it to be in.”

In the same way, Beiny was an early adopter of audio-visual DJ technology, which enables him to scratch and blend videos as a DJ does songs. “It’s a real mix of bits from YouTube and movies and TV shows, anything that I think is cool as well as music videos,” he says of his AV sets.

He has since become one of the world’s most prominent AV DJs for the same reasons that he was honoured by Q Magazine a decade ago – skill, humour and a constant creative drive. “I try and make an effort to make sure that the show changes week in, week out,” he says. “So anyone that has seen an AV show by me before in Perth, or wherever, by the time I come back the whole thing should be completely different to what you saw last time.”

DJ Yoda plays The Perth Flying Squadron Yacht Club for Cuban Club on New Year’s Day.

Get your tickets here.