Techno is one of the more enduring forms of music – or as some people say, the heavy metal of electronic music. MIA CAMPBELL-FOULKES sat down with co-founder of Sydney techno label Motorik and one member of the Motorik Vibe Council, Patrick Santamaria, to discuss celebrating five years, their upcoming show at Tetsuo NC this Saturday, July 8 and the electronic music scene in Australia.
So you picked up from what you have and sorted of stayed the same?
I guess so, I mean music goes through evolutions definitely, but that primordial aspect of what the music is, that doesn’t change – that stays pretty similar.
Do you think for Australia this a reemergence of techno or do you feel this to be a fairly underground scene…. Seeing as you had a very positive feedback from the crowds.
It’s a pretty underground thing, there’s no sugar coating it. But it’s often the case with these niche kind-of things. The followings are really strong, even though nothing’s really getting played on commercial radio, or any radio in many cases, the kids that are into it – they’re researching it on the internet, finding it for themselves and getting a real good connection with the music which is like something really special.
In Europe it’s more at the forefront, more accepted or commercial, (techno at least) do you see Australia following suit at any stage. As a lot of Bass music sub cultures start to wrap up, do you see Techno make a breakout in this stage or will it still remain a fairly niche thing.
I think it’s growing in Australia, slowly and steadily. When we first started the parties and the labels and doing what we do – it was because it didn’t feel like there many outlets for that in our hometown, so we started it for that reason and now it feels like, the kids coming up these days – they all want to travel, go to berlin, experience the Berlin techno scene and that wasn’t even on people’s radars back then and I think it’s growing healthily. I think there are a lot of great producers coming out of Australia and really good DJ’s as well. I think the fact that Australia has the isolation that it does, also provides a fertile breeding ground for original stuff to happen. I think it’s on its way up in Australia for sure.
What’s the reception been like?
It’s good it’s good. It’s nice to know that what we’ve been growing in our hometown has been reaching ears all around the country. It’s quite reassuring, because we run a record label as well, a lot of the big moments and tracks on the tour have come out of stuff from on our label. So it’s nice to see a following for the label and for our artists. It’s the first time we’ve been able to experience that first hand.
I’ve noticed a few phrases that allude to pushing the boundaries of the law. Would you say that what you try to do with Motorik Vibe Council is more than just the music – are you trying to push a social/ political agenda to your audience?
All of our conceptual stuff comes from the music, if there are any social or political tones – it’s coming from the music. The things that we’re interested in – this hedonistic party vibe is a little bit of a push back against things like what are happening in Sydney with the lock out laws and a bit of a difficult environment for young people. I think what we’re doing is a reaction to that definitely. But yeah, the music comes first and those emotions are coming from the music. Give people an environment that is removed from ‘normal’.
Collaborations have always been a thing in the music world but it seems more so now, than ever it’s easier to shares ideas and form connections. On the EP you’ve got a lot of collaboration efforts. How do you go about finding people you like to work with?
So we started the label because we wanted to promote something that already existed and we wanted to put a light on it because there wasn’t really another level really catering to this stuff. … We were running a studio in Sydney for a couple years, we had 5 studios in this one building and then a whole bunch of people on the label working in there – so a lot of people were making tracks in there, sharing rooms and it was a really collaborative space – we kind of all just got together and hung out and made music or just had lots of kick ons there. That was a really good time for what was going on in the label.
So I guess constantly being around all these artists, who are the one’s to keep our eyes out for this year or ones that have always been great artists but haven’t really had a chance to push out into the spotlight?
There are kind of two ends of the spectrum. We’ve got guys who have signed up and put stuff out on the label early on and they’ve kind of blown up and gone on their own trajectory and that’s awesome… like you’ve got Jensen Interceptor and Made in Paris. Jensen Interceptor is in Europe at the moment and really made a name for himself and Made in Paris put out her first record out on our label too and she’s kind of doing all the big festival tours now and so she’s spread her wings and is now flying freely… If we can have one success story like that a year, that’s massive for an independent techno label coming from Australia. I think the up and comers on our label are Word Life who have just put out their first EP at the end of last year and their doing some cool interesting new things.
You mention the label a lot more in comparison to Motorik Vibe Council as an artist collection. What take premise/ holds more importance in general.
Good question. I don’t know because we’re kind of juggling it back and forth all the time because I guess building the label gives us a lot of creative fulfillment – helping our artists out and making music. I think that’s at the root of all that we do and then Motorik Vibe Council is the collective of guys that run the label and put on the parties and I guess by doing the parties and the tour we use the profile to help promote our label. I think that’s how it works. They’re hand in hand.
What does the future of Motorik Vibe Council look like?
Well while it’s still exciting and interesting and there good things happening we’ve gotta have the energy to do it and at the moment it’s super exciting because we’ve got really great artists, there’s great parties happening around the country that we want to be a part of the scene is still very exciting for us so we’re going to keep pushing as hard as we can – I’ve got no plans of slowing down.