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Interview & Tracklist : https://bit.ly/3o33Ivn
Guests are encouraged to explore a bit further into their collections with an opportunity to step away from the dance floor if they desire.
For the twenty sixth episode we welcome esteemed Sydney DJ/Producer writer and broadcaster Andrew Wowk. Andrew is a versatile selector who has a wide range of musical interests that reflect the broad range of events he plays and supports. For this mix he showcases some classic early Chicago house channeling some much needed good vibes that are a contrast to the ongoing current lockdowns in Sydney.
Kick back, turn it up and have a dance or wiggle in your lounge room or backyard and soak up some of that energy and enthusiasm.
1. 2 In A Room – Do What You Want (Deep Instrumental) [R&S]
2. Lidell Townsell – Nu Nu (Nu Apella) [Clubhouse]
3. Tyree – Hardcore Hip-House (Joe Smooth Remix) [DJ International]
4. Sneak Essentials – In Da Clouds (Da Dub) [Strictly Rhythm]
5. 95 North – Who’s Who? (95 North Dub) [Henry Street]
6. Gemini – Z Funk [Peacefrog]
7. DJ Pierre – Muzik (Life Long Mix) [Strictly Rhythm]
8. Code 6 – Quad II [Nu Groove]
9. Jammin’ The House Gerald – Believe (Instrumental Bonus) [Dance Mania]
10. Chip-E – MB Dance [DJ International]
11. A Guy Called Gerald – Voodoo Ray [Rham!]
12. Adonis – No Way Back (Remastered) [Trax]
13. Mike Dunn – So Let It Be House [Westbrook]
14. Fast Eddie – Jump Around [High Voltage]
15. Armando – Land of Confusion (Vocal Mix) [Westbrook]
16. Lidell Townsell – As Acid Turns (Original 12” Mix) [Trax]
17. 2 Body’s – Body Drill [House Records]
18. Fast Eddie – Da Da Da Underground (Da Tweak Mix) [DJ International]
19. Acid Wash – Love Trak [Trax]
20. Maurice Joshua – I Got A Bick Dick (Mark Archer’s Schlong Acid Tweak Mix) [Music Mondays]
21. Phuture – We Are Phuture (Original 12” Mix) [Trax]
22. The House Gang – Bango Acid (Original 12” Version) [Trax]
23. The House Gang – Cool J Trax (Rx) [Trax]
24. Underground Resistance – Sonic Destroyer [Underground Resistance]
First, I wanted to say thanks for putting together this mix for RecThera.
No problem, thanks for asking me to! I really enjoyed doing it.
What was the inspiration for this mix? It’s a bit different to what I have heard you playing out.
There were two main things that led to this mix. Firstly, because of COVID-19 I’ve had long stretches of time without gigs, which has actually given me more time to go digging, as I haven’t had to prioritise finding music for the vibes/timeslots of the gigs themselves. Because I would primarily be booked for techno gigs pre-COVID, that meant a lot of the music I was looking for would be within that wheelhouse. Having less gigs to specifically prepare for has meant I’ve had more time to just dig for music I love without thinking too much about whether it’s “relevant” for a gig. I’ve also been getting asked to record mixes for various podcast series, and usually been given total creative freedom to play whatever I want. This has led me to dig for and buy music I really love, but don’t get to play out as much at gigs and use that for the mixes I’ve been asked to put together.
Secondly, I’ve always loved playing a couple of older tracks here and there during my sets, but I very rarely play an entire set exclusively comprising older music. I recently (during the very brief window when we had parties again in Sydney) played for Jack The House, a party that focuses on late 80s and early 90s acid, house, and techno, and I had such a great time that I wanted to capture that feeling in a recording. It’s not a track-for-track re-tread, but it’s a good snapshot of the overall aesthetic of the set I played at the event.
This mix is definitely quite different to what I typically get booked to play, but it’s music I genuinely love and would happily play more often if given the chance. I have a lot of fondness for the early days of house, techno, and electro, when artists were really pushing the boundaries of what music was and could be. So many of the tracks from that era are timeless, still sounding fresh (and even futuristic) today.
Something I wanted to achieve with the mix was for it reflect my contemporary taste/aesthetic, while also honouring the time period that the tracks were made in. I also wanted to avoid just playing a bunch of anthems, because there are already plenty of mixes out there covering the well-known tunes from the era (and honestly, I don’t think that I would do anything that much better than what is already out there to justify putting another “anthems mix” out into the world). With that in mind, I did a lot of digging through my collection plus went down rabbit holes on Discogs, Bandcamp, etc. to basically put together a collection of tracks that I think reflect what I love about that era of music but also stand the test of time and could easily fit into my sets these days in terms of style.
Tell us a little bit about the Music For Change project and how that came about.
Myself and Jessica Tassone have been friends for a while, and we both firmly believe it’s important that – just like it did in its formative years – electronic music continue to shed light on and help catalyse tangible change to social issues. House music served as a way for marginalised people to come together in a safe space. Techno began as an outlet for disenfranchised minorities to comment on the political and social climate of late 80s/early 90s Detroit. Those early days really demonstrated the power that electronic music (and music in general) to make a tangible difference in people’s lives.
We don’t think we’re doing anything revolutionary by continuing that tradition, but it does feel like the number of people using music as a force for social, political, or cultural change is a much smaller (but still extremely passionate) percentage of the overall “scene” than it used to be. We just really want to keep that spirit alive alongside others who are doing the same thing, and hopefully in the process make a positive impact on the world.
What has been influential for you musically in the past, and also more recently?
This is something I’ve actually been reflecting on the last few months. With the extra time I’ve had due to not playing gigs, I’ve been going back through my collection and clearing out tracks I don’t want anymore, rediscovering forgotten favourites, and so on. In the process I’ve also tried to figure out what the thread is that ties together the really wide range of music I’ve loved to play and listen to since I first started DJing. I realised that what has consistently inspired me is artists staying true to their vision.
The various producers and DJs I’ve looked up to, from my early heroes to my contemporary influences, have always just done what they believe in, making and playing the music that they love instead of being bothered with whatever is trending. In the process, they’ve often experimented with the art of DJing and writing music, inventing new techniques, finding ways to blend seemingly disparate styles of music together, and sometimes pioneering entirely new genres (or fresh takes on pre-existing ones).
That ethos is really what I’ve carried with me since I first started DJing and writing music (even though I may not have been consciously aware of it), and it’s something now that I’m acutely aware of and try to stick to as much as possible.
What are you listening to right now?
I’ve been on a 90’s pop hits binge actually! I just finished listening to Alanis Morissette’s album Jagged Little Pill for the first time in years as I was answering the questions for this interview. Fun fact: That was the first ever album I bought with own pocket money.
Who or what is inspiring you musically and otherwise?
Musically, it’s that same “renegade/maverick” attitude that I’ve always loved. Specifically though, that seems to be manifesting in a love for the kind of up-tempo (150-170bpm) mutant blends of footwork, jungle, hardcore, acid, and electro that artists like Anna Morgan, Tim Reaper, Dwarde, Mathis Ruffing, LUZ1E, A.Fruit, and Fiesta Soundsystem are playing and producing.
I also try to take influence from things outside of music. I love taking the thoughts and feelings that are sparked by movies, television shows, video games, books, and even academic literature and seeing what that translates into when placed in a music context. In particular, I finished a video game recently called The Medium, which was a psychological horror game that addressed some very dark, mature themes, and I’m finding when sitting down to produce music, I’m naturally gravitating towards writing more stripped-down, moody soundscapes that tend to unravel slowly.
Where can we see or hear your next project?
I’ll be doing a guest mix for Ani Klang’s radio show “Klangxiety Attack” in October on the up-tempo, chaotic tip, mixing up a variety of electro, jungle, hardcore, breakbeat, and acid.
In addition local crew Extract The Motion have asked me to record a mix for their Select The Motion series, which I'm working on at the moment. It will be on the dark, moody, and tribal tip.
There is also my weekly radio show “Time To Track”on Bondi Beach Radio, where I play new music from all over the electronic music spectrum and feature guest mixes from Australian and international artists.
I’m also working on some more original music and remixes under my End User License Agreement production alias, which I’ll post about on my Facebook and Instagram as they get completed.
Anything else you would like to share?
Not that I can think of! I just hope everyone enjoys the mix!
Andrew Wowk. Soundcloud | Instagram | Facebook
Music For Change Bandcamp | Instagram | Facebook