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Perth Dance Music Awards

Screen Shot 2013-12-03 at 7.52.45 PMIn this week’s edition, we remember the two inductees into the PDMA ‘Hall of Fame’ written by DJ and ABC newsreader and reporter, Lara Hyams and Peter Palmer – ex owner of Geisha Bar and The Loft and currently of 399 Bar. Plus we take a look at the three nominees for ‘Best Producer’.

HALL OF FAME – 2013 Inductees

JOHN ‘GULLY’ RODGERS by Peter Palmer
One of God’s better people left the dance floor this year but his tunes, smile and decency will remain forever. The ‘breaks’ maestro was synonymous with Perth clubbing for a generation and his impact as a promoter and DJ is beyond compare, but he will be most fondly remembered as the ‘genuine article’ – a real person who walked tall in a late night world inhabited by fakes and flakes.

Gully was at the forefront of Perth’s burgeoning underground scene in the ‘90s, a resident at the premier inner city venues and a passionate pioneer of new styles long before they became the norm in our fair city. His achievements in club land are revered and well documented. He was a founding member of the ‘West Coast Beats Cartel’ and the architect behind legendary club night Backbeat that was at the forefront of championing breaks in Australia. Gully also brought numerous international DJ’s to Perth and played alongside many seminal artists while touring Asia, Europe and Australia to great acclaim.

But Gully’s ambitions stretched beyond the hedonism of club land, literally building his own DJ academy to impart his enormous knowledge to a new generation of aspiring DJ’s and establishing an accredited DJ course that was offered at selected schools in Western Australia. Putting aside his glittering resume what made Gully unique, was his absolute lack of attitude and the absence of ego that normally accompanies someone of his standing and influence. Gully was in love with music not his own persona and he took great joy in celebrating the pleasures of a great tune with everyone. His passion was infectious and his warmth contagious. He lived life large and devoured every minute he was gifted. Gully’s legacy is a simple and beautiful one. People loved him. What greater legacy can anyone leave?

JEREMY JUNK by Lara Hyams
There’s a catalogue of memories derived from thousands whose revelry comprised sheer aural pleasure. A fusion of creative sounds, lavish scenery and thoughtful production that predates this decade and the generation before us. They tell the tale of days gone by, when Perth’s dance scene shed its anonymity and was offered a podium place on the world stage. When this city became a destination for DJs worldwide, renowned for its hospitality, skill and insight. Those indelible chapters were made possible by Jeremy Junk.
A specialist in brevity, a compliment from Jeremy needn’t be verbose, and could merely be uttered as “Nice work, awesome” to a DJ who played a warm-up set for Roger Sanchez at The Globe.

Jeremy, a highly skilful DJ in his own right, chose to share his vision with others by becoming one of Perth’s most successful promoters ever, through establishing his company, Delirium.

It was nothing short of a brave venture, hosting big names on multi-stages at venues that seemed beyond our comprehension. It had never been done before, and became something of a mad haze for statutory bodies to comprehend and ultimately, approve. It involved taking music lovers from small club sessions and transforming their interests to listening to acts for hours on end in the company of thousands.

The events were extensive and a small few from an elongated list included Delirious in 2002 where Belvoir Amphitheatre was transformed to accommodate Adam Beyer, Joel Mull and Peace Division. Mulberry On Swan was turned into four stages for Sunshine People and featured Kaskade and Tiga in 2004 and later Cassius, Crazy P and James Zabiela in 2005. Belmont Racecourse also rid itself of equine and made way for Mark Farina and Jeff Mills at Science Fiction in 2004. And throughout those years came other acts including Derrick Carter, Green Velvet, De La Soul, Josh Wink, Doc Martin and many more.

But arguably one of his most prominent acts to land on our shores, hailed from France.During his set, rhythmic baselines aligned with the heartbeats of a discerning crowd captivated by a music spectacular. Heads nodded in tandem whilst music purveyors became memorised by the craft of a maestro. Crowds become immersed with the distinctive riffs of saxophone, with gentle snares programmed like clockwork and speakers emanated with the sounds of Man With The Red Face by Laurent Garnier.

While his energies weren’t restricted to promoting and DJing, Jeremy became a household name on the radio station RTRFM. Hosting one of the longest-running programs Looney Tunes, Jeremy, or MRW as he was more recently known, would take to the microphone and play everything with tech flavours. A memory of another, recalls “It’s 6am Friday morning…. and this is Vernon’s Wonderland.”

But tragically, earlier this year, the world lost Jeremy Junk and the man that bestowed so much to so many, left behind a long-lasting legacy. And whilst we may not be able to cast our eyes upon him anymore, we can still cast our memories his way, whenever we want to.

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