Earthcore is one of Australia’s oldest outdoor dance music festivals – according to its founder Spiro Boursine, Earthcore even predates the term ‘bush doof’. After last year’s critically lauded 20th anniversary event, Earthcore is preparing for a massive 2014 instalment from Thursday November 27 until Monday December 1. DENVER MAXX catches up with Boursine ahead of the Pyalong event.
With a vast array of artists covering psytrance, techno and other dance genres, Earthcore’s lineup is a who’s who of what’s jamming in underground electronic music at the moment. On the evidence of dance blogs and Earthcore’s own Facebook page, German minimal tech artist Boris Brejcha is the act that a lot of punters are getting excited about, but as Boursine explains, his festival’s ‘headline’ artist is still a relatively unknown quantity in Australia.
“I reckon the most underrated artist on the Earthcore lineup is Boris Brejcha by a mile,” says Boursine. “He is an absolute machine and Australia is just not onto it yet. You know what I have noticed – that the major Australian dance festivals, all the headliners have been to Australia between two and ten times because the Australian market knows who they are. I reckon an act needs to be brought out two or three times before people will really flock to see them.”
However, with the sheer amount of sharing of Brejcha’s sets and tracks on music forums, it appears the passion and want for the German’s deep and compelling techno will see the fans queuing up to experience his sound at Earthcore. While this is a comforting thought for Boursine in 2014, he remembers a time that predated the internet, when arguably one of the biggest underground dance acts in the world still couldn’t sell out a festival.
“I brought Aphex Twin out in 1996 and sent him out into the desert at an event called Technofest,” says Boursine. “His set was something else, he played with a blender and would chuck the mic in the blender and sample that into his tunes, and we were all standing there watching like, ‘Who the fuck is this guy?’ He was totally out there. He had already released Come To Daddy and was massive overseas but it was still another 12 months until Australian audiences got it.”
Boursine sets out what he believes are the core principles of Earthcore: music and art. “Musically it’s mainly psytrance and techno, because I don’t spend a fortune on top-tier artists of the international festival circuit … I have more money spent on the event itself. I can focus my energy on the other elements of the festival outside of the music because I usually have the acts booked up to a year in advance. I have a lot of time to be able to focus on the other elements of the event. That’s my secret. It’s out!”
It seems fitting to end the interview by discussing the act that closed last year’s Earthcore, the 72-year-old Ronald Rothfield, who will be appearing again at this year’s event. The jazz-flute-trained psychedelic trance pioneer performs under both the moniker Raja Ram and as one half of lauded psytrance act Shpongle.
“He smashed it,” recalls Boursine. “He demolished the Hydra floor by playing for hours and keeping everyone dancing like crazy the whole time. He had more vitality than most of the people there my age and most of the people 20 years younger than me. It was a combination of awe for someone to command such a huge dancefloor and also a bit of jealousy that someone his age has so much energy.”