Pat Brick aka DJ Life has been on a steady rise since his debut record released in 2019 with Echocentric Records, corresponding with the labels first release. The Aussie DJ and producer has since had a total of eight releases with prominent underground labels such as Dansu Discs, R.A.N.D. Muzik, and most recently, Lobster Theremin’s Distant Horizons sublabel. The energetic and fun take at combining prog, trance and techno has landed DJ Life’s name amongst the top in his league of sound.
We caught up with DJ Life on this edition of MIXED BY to discuss a bit about his music production, influences and the Australian underground dance music scene.
We’ve been in the pandemic era for quite some time now, how has the Australian dance music scene shifted since that all began?
Australian dance has moved and shifted so much in the past 2 years. Most of our influences have coming from online, messaging , mixes and a big local radio scene (Skylab,PBS,RRR,Area 3000) I think there are more defined acts and events which exist now that everyone has had 2 years to upskill, dig and refine their acts. Obviously there has been massive moves into Progressive house/techno/trance because of everyone’s love for doifs (park raves) down here but there has also been a huge psytrance/Bass/rave/tech-step/dubstep uptake. In Melbourne our scene has very much been struggling with some seriously hectic lockdowns and not much support from the government for the clubs/event space, but this week we’ve had a glimpse of normality which I am supersupersuper excited to see and go to a full capacity event and see some dance music!
There are plenty of exciting artists coming out of Australia with an old school prog, trance and techno influence. Why do you think that is?
Bunch of super amazing artists coming out with great music at the moment in Australia. Everyone has had 2 years to upskill and finally progress from DJ’ing to end up producing, so naturally the Prog trance/tek influence has creeped over to everyone’s production skills! Australia is a pretty social place as well, I think a lot artists are kind of meeting up with each other, sending tracks around and sharing tracks within Facebook groups, so it spurs everyone to look a bit deeper to find hidden gems and sounds they think will push the boundaries.
Who are some producers who have influenced your musical style, both past or present?
In the past, the producers that really influenced me to move into music production were D.Tiffany/DJ Zozi and Roza Terenzi after some amazing livesets at Inner Varnika as well as local legends Dan White (Rings around Saturn), Daze and Sleep D. They kickstarted my love for electronic dance music that wasn’t Anjunabeats (I admit it!).
At the moment I’m taking inspiration from Old tech-house, Swingy flippy fun, Cruisey housey trance, Prog , Psy , Techno stuff! Solar Suite , Guy Contact , Lisene , Adam Pits , Youandewan , Reflex Blue , Fiber Optix , Remotif , Nathan Micay , Maara , Rey Colino, Moopie , Nathan Melja , Huerta , Gene on earth , Liquid Earth/ Urulu , Suki/Sniper1 , Anderson , LOIF
Combing through your discography, most, if not all your EP releases have been pressed on wax. Is that something you aim for and are you an avid record collector?
I’ve been pretty lucky with my entrance to the dance music world, working with a lot of my favourite labels from the get go has meant I get a pressing each release (Yay!) . Its not usually something I filter a release opportunity by, but I think that if a label is keen on pressing a record they naturally put a bit more effort to promote and send those records around to the right places.
When i get to Hand a record to a friend it usually gives me a lot more satisfaction than sending some promo links around to my friends. I used to spend all my money on records but recently I have not been collecting as much :( corona and shipping is a massive annoying thing to deal with in Australia, if an old prog record I want is in the UK or Germany for $10, it ends up being a $50 record in shipping and taxes by the time it gets here, Usually warped/Scratched up. My plan is to build a massive Discogs want list then do a mass ship to a friend in the UK (Hi Marlon)
There are no shortage of exciting raves and festivals in Australia, can you tell us some of your favorites? If you had to pick playing at an outdoor festival versus a club, which would you prefer?
Silly season has begun for us! When the sun is out there is something on every week until the start of the working year (April). I have a bit of both coming up! Easily love playing at outdoor events, As a patron I feel like I can get so much more into running amuck outside and being silly, but I really want to delve into big, over the top of your head sweepy trancey goodness where you cant breathe that well because of the festival sub bass is in your chest! Classic festivals like Inner Varnika , Hopkins Creek , Pitch music & Arts have set the tone for what I want to play at!
Some new cool ones I’m super Excited to go to is a NYE Festival called Tabula Rasa. I have a Bunch of Friends playing ;) and am super excited to be out in the bush again! Of course when the club is going off it is more of a dense shot of music, where sounds are more upfront and quick where you are just vibing to the crowd and its like a big friendly party.
If you oversaw booking a line-up for a night at a party, who would be on your dream line-up?
DJ Life b2b Solar Suite – 3 Hours
Youandewan b2b Huerta – 3 Hours
D.tiffany, Roza Terenzi, Moopie B3B – 4 Hours
Space Cadets (Adam Pits & Lisene) – 3 Hours
Give us a walkthrough of your approach to the creative process of writing tracks?
Usually I have a sound or particular noise that I hear from other tracks that I’d like to emulate. My main Creative process is thinking about what time and place I would hear the song, and then how i’d like it to progress from there. For example From my upcoming Craigie Knowes EP, I was very much thinking late nights, cold air sweeping across your face , or a big sweat box where everyone’s tops are off just having a great time. I like to think of the situation where I’d like to hear it and what mindset I would be in as a listener.
What do you have in store for the new year? Can you give us any hints as to what to expect from you in 2022?
Aussie Summer Festivals!
Then Europe Tour! I’ll be coming up along with Solar Suite and Guy Contact June 3rd to the UK for as many months as I can stay. Pester your local Promoter and send them to firstname.lastname@example.org