When you think of Australia, the first things that come to mind are probably Kylie Minogue, Vegemite, cunts who get fatally stung by stingrays and other, lethal animals in volumes. However, Australia has in fact spawned a lot of excellent music over the years, from the likes of Juice Records, Southern Outpost and from a Hardcore perspective, the notorious Bloody Fist label. Perhaps lesser known, except for Hardcore connoisseurs, but equally good is Blown Records, spearheaded by Geoff Wainwright aka The Hardcore Fiend. After a long break from producing music, Geoff Da Chef was convinced by fellow producer Tymon to pick up on the music side of things again. Spawned by Tymon’s love for a specific track, ‘Rehabilitated’, which he really wanted to remix, the process of finding the perfect remixers was initiated. Some good 10 years after everything has finally come in place and so with the release of the highly anticipated ‘Rehabilitated’ remix project, last summer, I penned a few questions and sent them over to the main man of Blown Records.
Could you please tell us a bit about your background and what spawned your interest in music?
Which factors came into play in terms of shaping the form of electronic music that you, the Bloody Fist compound and other, likeminded individuals from Australia created over the years. Why do you all sound different to the rest?
GDC: Why the fuck would you want to sound like someone else??? I was on my own journey. I met Mark N after purchasing Nasenbluten’s first vinyl release and decided to use it in a mix tape. He was a great peer back then and very quick to tell me what he thought of an idea I had for a track. Usually “That’s a fucked idea”. He still hasn’t changed. I hated pointless over use of samples and the whole theme of Hardcore with the use of skulls and the whole fake terror and absolutely false or thin themes used by the Dutch instead of concentrating on a solid structure and clever use of samples. There are two kinds of DJ’s/producers and I stand by this even today, leaders and followers. Unfortunately most are the latter.
On that note, did rave culture from the UK influence you on a similar level akin to how it did influence Mark N from Nasenbluten?
GDC: Yes it did but earlier English acid era more so and then rave gave me the platform to go where club managers wouldn’t let me go, inciting what I was playing was drug music, even though I packed the place out every weekend.
In what way do you feel the most comfortable in creating music and which emotions do you want to capture, when writing music?
GTC: On my own. I’m best left to my own devices. I hate it when someone intervenes and says “You should do this”. I will make a point of not doing it. Everything I do is a little journey that you dance through. Depending on the theme usually set by the sample will create the emotion in a clever dance. With FUN being the undertone and simple structure and a less is more approach to the final product.
You’re arranging events yourself in Australia with a mixture of styles and it seems to me that there’s a small but yet vivid scene in Australia for electronic music. What’s your own perception in regards to this?
GDC: Most of the music in Sydney now is Mainstream shite. There is little pockets of underground here and there, fractured or at war with each other and forgetting the FUN factor and it has been a mission of mine to showcase quality artists in eclectic fun environment. I play all sorts of heavy electronic music but I can’t play most of it in Sydney because there is no platform to do so. So Never Mind The Bollocks is a small attempt of mine and I have the respect of so many across many genres in Sydney that I can pull these talents and present them.
When you’re not creating abrasive and challenging music, what do you do in everyday life?
GDC: I’m a chef! It pays the rent. I play records. I drink beer. I watch Formula 1. But lately I have blocked out most distractions and my focus is on getting releases out and pick up where I left off in 2002.
How ‘Rehabilitated’ became resuscitated
There’s quite a background history and also a buzz surrounding the current release on your own label Blown. Please tell us the story behind this?
GDC: It’s been 12 years in the making. Before Tymon was who you know him as now he was a Sydney based hardcore DJ called CTRX He and I were hanging out now and then, and he was trying to get me into producing again. He asked if he could remix Rehabilitated. He made me fire up the Ensoniq ASR10 and he recorded the samples. He made a track (which he lost or changed his mind on so it was nothing like his remix on the Blown release) He played it at some rave and got slammed by people saying “you ripped off Geoff’s track” etc. etc. I was going to release that with some other unreleased tracks on Black Monolith. Procrastination on my part and Robert Skinner’s part and Tymon pulling his mix for whatever reason and that was the end of that. The idea of using the Blown Label that I created for Central Station Records (now defunct) and release through sound base came up, but Stephen apparently through bad investments went belly up. Then through Mark N, Simon Wiltshire of UM records said he was very keen to do Blown for me. I can’t remember who I asked first to come on board with the remix. I asked the DJ Producer who firmly said no, that track should never be messed with. Then I said to Luke, when Blown 3 was released I got very little feedback about how it was doing. Against my requests Blown was pressed and distributed from California. I wanted it done in the EU.
Anyway, a certain English rave mag made it into my hands a year after it was published. There was a review of the Blown 003 release in it. It was written by Luke and in his review he said he found the record while in the USA and the rest was very complimentary. Needless to say Simon at UM sold “shit loads”. Anyway I said to Luke that is the reason I would like you to do it. 2 weeks later it was done. I gathered up the courage to contact a producer who is one of if not the biggest influences to me. Sal Mineo (U.V.C) (D.O.A) etc. I was shocked when he instantly said he would love too and he thanked me for remembering him. 6 months later he finished. I needed the Icing on the cake. I asked fellow countryman Swift Passenger of Shit. 8 months later. I get his version. I was still waiting for Tymon’s…. Eventually all tracks to Simon Underground September 2015. Careful attention to detail by Simon to keep the same look as all the other Blown Releases. Done.
In addition to Geoff’s story in regards to the remix project, we wanted each remixer to put into words, how it was to bring new life into an already classic Hardcore track. Unfortunately Tymon, U.V.C aka Sal Mineo from D.O.A. and Australian speedcore producer Passenger Of Shit, couldn’t find the time to do so. However, The DJ Producer took time out of his busy schedule and thus, we briefly interrupt the interview to let The DJ Producer have his say in terms of participating in the remix project.
Why did you choose to work on such an interesting and also challenging project?
TDJP: I didn’t choose it — it kind of chose me!!!
I know Tymon pretty well now…..this was some years back, but him being Australian, we were somewhere talking about Australian hardcore records & I said to him “Aww yeah you must know that label blown right?? Not many releases, but all awesome!!”, to which he replied “Awww fuck mate — that’s Geoff Da Chef – that’s the guy who taught me how to produce hardcore” — to which I was like “Awww no fucking way!!!”
Tymon said he had done a remix of ‘Rehabilitated’, that being one of the Blown tracks, I had spun for a long time — it was one of those “shock & awe” tunes that just used to brainfuck the dancefloor with its multiple bpm assault.
I think I may have said something to Tymon like “Yeah that would be a great track to remix” — and before I knew what was going on, Tymon had got Geoff in touch on Facebook — he was real amped for it – and it was agreed and I was doing it. Just like that.
How was it to remix and bring something new into an already classic track?
TDJP: I had already done multi bpm tracks before but not many, so thought it would be fun to go back to that and in doing so incorporate the original elements but with added break beat stuff……due to the title being ‘Rehabilitated’ and it not being that long after Amy Winehouse’s death, my brain just kept saying “Just try putting bits of her Rehab track in” — which worked so well on 1’st try it pretty much set the tone & combining the already existing elements, everything just fell into place.
Would you gladly take part in a similar project at another time or is this something unique, that can’t be replicated?
TDJP: Like I said at the start, this remix “almost” found me — and as it was a track that I held in high regard anyway and had played countless times when it was originally released, I would never have strategically thought ” Oh yeah I’m going bootleg that Geoff Da chef / hardcore fiend track” because I’m not about all that. No, this was totally organic, and when a project occurs like that, you just go with it.
And now back to Geoff Da Chef!
Did you expect the current project to blow up like it actually did?
GDC: I get a lot of vibe or hype from the entire planet because it was a label that wasn’t in one center or country. There is a lot of respect that I didn’t know it had so I knew there would be some wave when Blown 005 was finally released.
Where do you personally stand in terms of the whole industry approach to the large scale events, especially in Holland?
I have my opinions on the current mainstream hardcore and where its going, but all the smaller and creative and or sub genre need the mainstream which generates the $ so these big festivals can provide a platform for small genres/producers to be heard. But when the mainstream producers are all followers and are dictated by promoters to play a certain way because that’s what the punters want? Certain death is arising!! I thought the punters were going to see talent by creative performers (leaders). Not telling them how to perform or how there bass drum should sound. I have a new catch phrase I’m using in what I’m currently working on “Oldschool is the Newschool”.
Is Hardcore Techno gaining more recognition and developed or is it currently getting raped in your opinion?
GTC: Standing from the outside looking in, I couldn’t say anything about “recognition” but with popularity everything goes in circles of which I have seen many I don’t produce music for a living so I don’t have to reinvent myself every weekend or ever sound like the next DJ. I will always be underground. Every fad or craze or style gets raped but in the end Pop will eat itself!.
Do you have more exciting projects planned for the remainder of this year and the beginning of 2017?
GTC: Currently working on a Speedcore EP with Noise Hate Noize on Guitar. First track completed. There is a ruff version here