We caught up with Piper and Catharsis, co-owners of the rapidly expanding label Lifestyle Music to talk about their innovative Australian Connection project and upcoming Australian tour. With two years in the making, the Australian Connection LP finally touched down on the 8th May 2017 and has been causing an international storm. Lifestyle are nipping down under from the 19th May – 3rd June 2017 to showcase the LP in Sydney, Perth and Melbourne. Australian dancefloors will not be the same after this.
They say, ‘good things come to those who wait’. This saying is true for a many number of things, however for Lifestyle Music’s recent Australian LP launch, maybe ‘good things come to those who wait and graft’ is more fitting. After two years of planning, researching, signings and mastering the full spectrum DNB masterpiece LP arrived with a bang on the 8th May 2017.
The Australian Connection LP (LFS061) showcases 9 tracks from 9 of the best DNB artists from Auz - Dauntless, Gran Calavera, Lockjaw, Euph, Okuli, VLTRN, Ewol, Terrence & Phillip, Manikin. Featuring a mouth-watering selection of heavyweight rollers and neuro tech bangers, the guys from down under will leave you blown away. Unsurprisingly, the LP has been praised globally from heavy hitting influencers such as Drum&Bass Arena, Noisia Radio, Neurofunk Grid and Skankandbass. With Sydney, Perth and Melbourne included in their tour, the Auzzie DNB community are making themselves heard.
Lifestyle Music are no strangers to the Auzzie DNB sound. In November 2013, Lifestyle snapped up Canberra’s don Lockjaw with the punchy tune ‘Big System’. This early relationship proved critical in the masterminding of the LP, as both Lifestyle owners, Piper and Catharsis, worked closely with Lockjaw to sculpt the project. Lifestyle’s musically adventurous nature and positive attitude for international collaboration is something to be admired. Undoubtedly, the LP will turn more eyes and ears towards Australian producers which was the primary goal for Lifestyle.
What are your early memories of DNB?
One earliest memory of DNB would Skibadee's birthday bash at Fire in 2009. This was the first proper drum and bass event I ever went to and I can pin point that as the moment, walking away from that event, just in awe, wanting to know everything about the genre.
After that I became heavily involved in the Brighton scene, going to a lot of nights and owe a lot to the events around that time like Frequency, Auxiliary, Evolution and Devotion (I'm still nagging the Frequency boys to have one more party for old times. Dave, Jam and James, sort it out!!)
How did you and Catharsis meet?
Me and Catharsis first met through an old girlfriend and her mutual friends in London around 2011. Me and her used to go up to Cable and it was around then that I met Felix and got to know his label. I initially worked with him promoting Lifestyle releases on my Youtube channel, then a couple of years later I get a message saying he was moving to my hometown Horsham. I'd always wanted to run/work for a label so It just made sense to join forces. The rest is history as they say :)
When was Lifestyle Music born and what drives the passion behind the label?
Lifestyle had always been going as 'Lifestyle Recordings' but 'Lifestyle Music' was born a couple of months into when I started working. We felt we needed a change, a sign of a kind of rebirth and that things were different.
In terms of what drives the passion, it's just a ridiculous love for drum and bass music which probably boarders on slightly obsessive. Running a label was always a dream of mine, so it's now really cool to have the opportunity. It's great to unearth producers and work with talented, like-minded people and also get recognition and support from some of the big dawgs in the scene
The amazing Australian Connection LP dropped on the 8th May 2017. How long did it take to make?
The idea has taken 2 years from when I originally said let’s do something aimed at Australia. It was hard work, but gradually the planning, collecting tunes, researching artists etc was all worth it.
You’ve been teasing the LP for the past month causing all sorts of crowd hype. Does it feel surreal it’s finally landed?
Definitely feels surreal. The last year has gone so quickly with organising and gearing towards the end goal and now it’s here its mad. I don’t think it’s probably going to hit until we get off the plane! It’s a weird one when you’re on the inside of a label, rather than say someone looking at what we are doing. You sometimes forget saying to mates ‘oh yeah we are going to Australia for a tour and LP launch’, that it is a big deal!
Nothing like this has been done before in Australia, so we thought why don’t we do it! We really wanted to help the DNB scene out there and gain some movement. Australia has got some very talented artists coming through and we wanted to create a platform that would get them heard. It’s really easy living in the UK to solely concentrate on our thriving scene, but DNB has such a worldwide following these days it felt right to collaborate with artists outside of the UK.
How long is the Auz tour?
The Auz tour is 3 weeks, playing 3 different shows in 3 different cities... It's a holiday as well really, it's not so often you get to be over the side of the globe so we thought we'd make the most of it.
What are the cities you are playing in and the dates?
We've started off in Sydney, where I currently am writing this for you, doing a night with the Haunted Science crew (They been so cool! Shouts to Fez, the big man Billy and Orpheus) Then we're onto Perth for a big show at Metropolis Fremantle on May 26th with Good Karma (Hold tight Tez, Phillip and all the GK heads) then wrapping up in Melbourne at Sub Club alongside Enigma Sound and Tech Collective on June 3rd. The guys over this neck of the woods have been really supportive of the idea and project, honestly I can't thank them enough for helping to turn this crazy dream into a reality!
Who are the artists involved?
Dauntless, Gran Calavera, Lockjaw, Euph, Okuli, VLTRN, Ewol, Terrence & Phillip, Manikin are our 9 DNB warriors for the LP. These artists are starting to make big names for themselves. We did want to make the LP bigger by adding more artists, unfortunately ongoing ties to other record labels meant we couldn’t do that. Since we have released the album we have found even more hidden gems! It was kinda of like, fuck, why did I not find you sooner! But again, discovering these new artists shows the promise of Australian DNB.
Did you always plan to create an LP?
It started out as a 4 track EP with Euph and Lockjaw. It was only really 9 months ago where we found more artists and got more tracks lockdown that we realised we could do an LP. As the project got even larger and momentum was building we set our sights for a 9 track, 9 artist LP.
The LP has a varied and hard to pin point sound. Was this intentional and did you give artists creative freedom?
Thank you, we appreciate that. We don’t want to pigeon hole Lifestyle’s sound too much, especially only being called a Neuro or rollers label for example. I guess we are not really big on the synthy, dancefloor DNB, so maybe there is some kind of sound we go for. I am a big fan of all kinds of DNB and the intention for the LP was to mimic this love. We actively set about approaching different sounding producers, so they could have their creative freedom. The sound producers create when given the freedom is much better, rather than trying to restrain them into specific guidelines. Ending on Manikin’s tune ‘Stay’ was a really nice way to round off the album.
The LP is getting attention quickly from the likes of Drum&Bass Arena, Noisia Radio, Skankandbass and Neurofunk Grid. Did you expect the DNB community to react like this?
To be honest, yes. The whole nature of the album, the uniqueness of the project and the tracks gave us a really good platform for people to enjoy listening to it. People are always craving to find something new and different and we are proud to be able to provide that. We are lucky that Lifestyle already has a solid following and is a respected label, to give us that extra boost.
Could you predict for us one tune that will get most international attention?
Picking one tune is pretty difficult as they are all really special in their own way. For me though it would either be Gran Calavera's Panorama or Ewol's Short Attack. Both those have seen huge support already and kill it in the dance. For Felix, I know he creams over VLTRN's Valkyrie. We actually just played a last minute set at Subsonic Music festival's warm up party in Sydney yesterday where he doubled it with Lockjaw's Cells. It was a serious moment, one that's going to live with us for a while...
London is undeniably the DNB hub for the UK, does Australia have an equivalent?
It would probably be Perth, there seems to be an abnormal number of producers that come from there – even half the artists showcased on the LP are from Perth. It’s the hometown of Pendulum, who are arguably the biggest name to come from Australia. With Perth being the most remote city of more than a million people in the world, it’s awesome to see their buzzing scene.
Australia is 31.5 times bigger than the UK! How does their DNB community stay connected?
It’s mad how vast it is! Getting from Perth to Melbourne takes 3 and a half hours by plane, which is the equivalent of flying from the UK to Moscow! With the country being so spread out the DNB scenes are somewhat disconnected in some respects. I think we take it for granted in the UK how easy it is for us to get to a rave in another city. You could easily get on a train to Manchester, Bristol or whatever, but in Australia you can’t do that unless you buy a plane ticket, hotel room etc. What we are really excited about, is giving the opportunity for some artists on the LP to play in cities they have never visited before in their home country.
Are the guys from down under going to tour the UK?
Haha, that is an idea I hadn’t thought about! Potentially in the future it is something we could look at. I know all the Auz guys would love to do a tour of the UK, but paying for 9 flights from Australia and accommodation is a bit too much at the moment.
Is there going to be an American, Belgium, Italian connection in the future?
I am going to have to stay yes! We have already got some things moving. To be honest Italy and Belgium are countries that we would really like to work with. We are very keen to carry on this worldwide series of musical collaboration, as music is the one true universal language! Both the artists and the countries deserve the recognition. There’s been a lot of times where people were unaware that an artist was from a country outside of the UK and we love being able to help them discover new music.
The Auzzie’s love to party. Will there be time for fun or is it all business?
We never actually set with the aim to go to Australia but the idea just grew in our minds. Going out there to promote the LP and Lifestyle as a label just made sense. We will definitely have some fun as well, the Auzzie’s do know how to party! After all, the label is called Lifestyle, we can’t sit behind the computer all day haha!