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Flex Cop

Flex Cop
Flex Cop

Fresh from the icy, vodka-drenched wastes of Mother Russia, playing at the Midsummer Night’s Dream music festival, back to our own sea-girt land for his first national tour, supporting his latest EP, Placebo. Flex Cop, aka Patrick Arnold, has just come back from a three-hour drive through rural Queensland to attend a wedding. Finally back in reception, he chats to SHAUN COWE about the trip and what it’s taught him about his different roles as a DJ/producer.  

“I wrote the Orange Mecanique album together with [Tunisian-based producer] Haze-M. He wrote four tracks and I wrote four tracks and we released them together on this album. Basically, his management got hit up by these people from Lithuania who organise the festival in Russia and they’ve gone: ‘Hey, we’re listening to this album and this is our favourite album. We want them to play at the festival this year.’”

To begin with, Arnold was worried that living in Australia would be a deal-breaker for the organisers, because of the cost involved with sending him halfway across the world. However, once the details were ironed out, Arnold found himself at the festival being asked to do a live set – something he’d never done before.

“I’ve been really keen to do a live set for a long time, so I said, ‘Cool, I’m happy to debut a live set.’  It was a really cool jam-style live set, which is pretty tough to pull off for electronic music, but I think it all worked out really well.

“It’s kind of hard to be a single producer and do a very involving live set, because I think there’s always a trade-off between it being too simple – and then you look like you’re not doing anything up there – and then you have some where it’s so complicated, you know, they guy’s just so busy tweaking knobs there’s just no interaction with the crowd. I think there’s a fine line between being able to tweak the music and react to the crowd and just getting too caught up in your own work.”

For Arnold, one of the strangest things to come out of the festival was meeting Haze-M. It was the first time the pair had met face-to-face, a phenomenon that Arnold claims is pretty common within the electronic music scene.

“Every single person I’ve collabed with, including vocalists, I don’t think I’ve ever met in person before him,” says Arnold. “I usually work through people at labels. I usually write my tracks as instrumentals – not thinking there’s gonna be vocals for them – then I’ve had people say, ‘Hey, listen. Would you be interested in having vocals on top of it?’ One label put me in touch with Stee Downes, another label put me in touch with Cari Golden… It’s all through correspondence.”

From the festival stage to the studio, Arnold then goes to chat about his upcoming show at the Geisha Bar in Perth and how DJing compares to live sets.

“The small intimate venues are great because you often get the crowd right in front of you and whenever there’s space behind the desks, and the promoters don’t mind, I like to just get as many people behind the decks with me, you know? I just want to have everyone right next to me. DJing is a lot of fun because you’ve got to be on your toes but there’s not so much that can go wrong and you can really have a good time with everyone around you and I think they appreciate you when it when you’re having a good time with them. There’s different things to enjoy about each style and each platform.”



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