Subsonic Music are the BBR Resident Artist Takeover (BRAT) session crew for the month of October, in the lead in to their Dec 2016 festival. Tune in live Fridays 8pm-10pm (AEST). For the first session Subsonic co founder Marco Mazzucco, aka Marcotix, joins hosts Coco and Ben in the studio for a jam and a chat about Marco’s musical influences and some background behind the festival itself.
Coco: You’re listening to the Subsonic Music Bondi Beach Radio takeover, it’s Friday night, everyone’s getting excited about the weekend, and we’ve got Marco Mazzucco, the half father of Subsonic Music in the studio here tonight, hello Marco
Marco: Good evening, good evening, thank you for having me
Coco: Its your show theoretically speaking ….
Marco: Ok well you’re welcome to be here! So tonight we are going to talk about ports and Casino’s and how amazing they are for Sydney
Coco: Casino’s are really good for Sydney and the city is flourishing … and by the way guys please do really come to Keep Sydney Open, the march, this Sunday midday … we have to be heard here and speak up if you feel even a little bit is going wrong in this city right now, it’s time to come on the streets
Ben: Step it up people
Coco: Step it up and speak up. So Marco before we start talking about the festival, who are you? Your bio says you’ve been in Tokyo, you’ve been in New York, and you’ve created music festivals, you’ve run club nights in various states and various countries in the world ..
Ben: Is that actually true?
Marco: Ha, its all a lie! I’m actually from the Shire …
Coco: So what got you into music? Why are you DJing now? What was that moment? When did you start?
Marco: I’m not sure when I started … I grew up in Tokyo, and that’s what started getting me into the music. I was lucky enough to be a foreigner in Tokyo in the early days, so when I was 14 they couldn’t tell how old I was so I was able to enter and go to lot of events at clubs, and that’s how I started my passion for music … and then they shipped me off to university …
Ben: … when they found out how old you were …
Marco: ha yeah, ‘hey you need to go to uni! get out of here we’ll send you to New York’, and then I arrived in New York with this big passion for music, which was trance music at the time, that was a long time ago … and then when we got to New York there was kind of nothing happening in what I liked, and I quickly found another group of people who were probably about my age now, and we kind of got together with the passion for music and started doing events there. This eventually lead to a record shop, and bigger events, and all kinds of shenanigans …
Coco: Well that’s mad! So you ran a record store in New York city?
Marco: Yeah, it was called ‘House of Trance’. It was legendary store for its time, we were quite radical, we were well known so anyone who was around St Marks Place or East Village in the late 90’s they probably would have seen us because we were quite a colourful bunch, in many ways of the word ..
Coco: Is it still around?
Marco: The shop is not there, but the person that was left with the shop currently runs one of the best after hours nights of House, Techno, Minimal, in New York
Ben: So the love lives on right?
Marco: Yeah I’m glad the evolution over there has been happening, and they are also running a festival over there, very similar to Subsonic funny enough … and actually I only found out about this about a month ago, when I ran into Omar from Fud Fucker Burning Man … I’d like to thank Omar for connecting all the dots and putting us all back in touch, so I hope to be going to New York some time in 2017 and reconnecting with my old friends who I haven’t seen for more than 20 years …
Coco: And you’ve been connecting a lot lately, you’re always going somewhere, you’re always going places, you’ve just come back from a pretty big tour not just around Europe but also around the Pacific area … where have you been?
Marco: Well recently I was just in New Caledonia, with the guys from Transit, I’d like to thank Greg Pepperpot for helping us connect there, where they did a Subsonic Music Festival launch, on what I must say is probably the best venue I have ever been to in my life!
Ben: Ok well we can cross that one off our question list for later on … best venue!
Marco: Yeah, this tropical island with a bar .. New Caledonia has a really small population, I think 200 or 300 thousand, and the party was 600 or 700 strong, great people, amazing, blew our mind. Also they took care of us really well, and everything was just amazing, seafood was amazing, the place was amazing, the people were amazing
Coco: The photo’s looked amazing … and we actually caught up with you in Poland, and you were playing at a couple of festivals there, also at the Plötzlich Am Meer festival which is actually run by two guys that might be joining us at the actual festival in December this year?
Marco: Yeah, they are coming down. They are very similar to us, they are running club events in Berlin on a monthly basis, they have quite a few different things running, a record label, their festival was great, I must say by Sunday, Monday good energy, was staged on the beach where the amazing Play Date rocked it for the first sunset of the festival, best set these guys Play Date haha .. don’t know where they were from but they were amazing … but it was a really good experience, they gave me a really good set on the Sunday evening
Coco: Which you rocked by the way as well if I may say so
Marco: Thank you, that was very scary because the sound system was gigantic, L-Acoustics and amazing, was great feedback from the crowd, and just a beautiful festival
Coco: It was a beautiful festival … and that’s really interesting, what’s that Cloud 9 place all about? I keep on seeing Cloud 9 and DJ’s and producers playing there, where’s that?
Marco: That was about two weeks ago, that was in Fiji, it’s more of a lounge bar
Ben: It’s a famous surf break isn’t it? Tavarua?
Marco: yeah Cloudbreak, is probably the most famous one there, and Maholo Island … but yeah amazing, about 6 kilometers off the mainland, on the reef, a floating bar, and every once in a while they do some mad parties, and hopefully we are going to do something a bit longer there in the next few years, but amazing place, if you are ever in Fiji go there, good music, good food, pretty loungey vibes
Coco: You mentioned you played a bit more of a down tempo chilled set, which is quite uncommon …
Marco: Yeah! I shocked a lot of people with that! Everyone likes to put me in the middle of the night, and I don’t get many chances to play a bit more down tempo
Ben: So we might see some Marcotix warm up sets coming up then?
Marco: Ha, yeah more than happy to do it! Its one of the most challenging sets actually, to pull off correctly, but that one was really loungey, deep, a bit more sexy, sensual, and I’ll get the mixes up on my Soundcloud in the next day or two
Coco: That’s www.soundcloud.com/marcotix
Marco: That’s right, don’t forget it, it’s the picture of the guy that looks a bit scruffy …
Ben: Not the other scruffy guy, the good looking scruffy guy
Coco: Thank you so much, we were thinking of having a bit more of a jam session, and then we’ll explore the festival a little bit more …
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Coco: The spirit that‘s going on here in the studio is pretty much what you’ll be witnessing at the festival which is happening first week in December, Riverwood Downs, Mountain Valley Resort, about two and a half hours up north from Sydney … and we want to know more! So Marco … how do you decide … because the lineup I think is probably one of the best ones ever this year … and how do you decide on who represents? Because it’s really the artists that represent the brand at the end of the day, how do you decide which local and international artists represents Subsonic?
Marco: Well, with the internationals, especially the techno house and deep and minimal stuff, we kind of just go for a combination of music that we play ourselves, because both myself and Scott are DJ’s, and also for personality because you know I’ve been travelling extensively the last few years and I’m trying to track down DJ’s that have the right kind of character, fit, not only the music, because we believe that a DJ’s persona comes out in their performance. I mean I know a lot of great producers, making amazing music, tracks that we play that are dance floor amazingness all around, and then sometimes some of these people come and they give their performances and they are pretty, lets say …
Coco: … unamazing …
Marco: … unamazing, not so fantastic a we’d like, so we really believe that the character behind the DJ is a big thing, and their presence in the booth, and how they know how to handle people … my favourite DJ last year was Maayan Nidam
Coco: and which artists are you particularly excited about this year?
Marco: I’m very excited to see Seth because I think everyone has seen his Youtube videos, some of us have seen him perform, but his character and persona fits perfectly for Subsonic, so … I don’t think he is listening but if he is … pressure’s on buddy! Because we are expecting a lot from you!
Coco: Madmotormiquel is coming as well from Berlin
Marco: Madmotormiquel is definitely growing, he’s been playing all around the world this year. Very lovely sound, he rocked it at Fusion before me
Coco: Oh yeah you played at Fusion, right
Marco: Yeah Fusion festival is amazing, amazing. In fact Fusion festival is one of the biggest inspirations for Subsonic. I started Subsonic with Scott about four or five months after having been to Fusion
Ben: Did you go with Scott to Fusion?
Marco: No, no, but I dragged Scott there the next year of course
Ben: ‘You gotta check this out man’
Marco: yeah, Fusion is next level. I’ve never seen a festival with so many people be so underground, and roots, and be about the right things, they don’t even advertise the lineup, people just go there for the festival experience which is what we try to create, which is a bit more than just music. It’s a combination of music, arts, performance, and all around vibes and colours, and just beautifulness
Coco: Well that’s the thing right, but Subsonic has just word class stages, and the decore, it does make the party, and you can’t predict the weather but even if its pissing down with rain … it’s the decore that actually makes your world at the end of the day
Marco: The first year the decorations was a camo net, but that was a long time ago. Since then we have brought in a lot of artists and decorators from around the world, we had one of the main builders from Bar 25 in back in the day, she kind of set the ground with the Paradiso stage, and then the Australian crew Glitz n Grime from Melbourne have taken that one over, its one of the favourite stages of the festival. We get all kinds of crews. One of the most loved stages last year was the River Stage, and that was done by Joel Gibson who is Sydney born and bred, he blew us all away with the level and quality of his stage. He works a lot at Fusion festival together with the German teams.
Ben: So a bit of local, a bit of international, everything comes together? Makes it work?
Marco: Yeah we try and bring the world together
Coco: Well that’s the thing, there is just so much local opportunity, that’s what I love about the festivals as well, is that the locals have their fair share, there are so many talented local artists in Australia. So as an aspiring musician how do you play at festivals? What would your advice be?
Marco: To local DJ’s? I think to get seen you just need to play, play, play. Get out there, get your club gigs, take every gig seriously, even if there is just 5 people in the room, you never know who those 5 people are. It just takes a bit of time, and once the right people hear you, with the right set, you’ll get booked. We brought over one guy called about a month ago Beep Dee and out of all the DJs he was the most impressive one, he’d never left South America, Brazilian guy, and we flew him all the way here and gave him a fair share, I gave him my set as well and he ended up playing four and a half hours, and just rocked it completely
Ben: I was there, I listed to those four and a half hours and it was very good
Marco: yeah and he was kind of a no-body here and he was fucking amazing, so yeah you’ve just got to go for it, don’t conform, play your sound accordingly to the right crowd, and don’t play tracks that you don’t like
Ben: Be yourself right
Marco: Yeah its all about expressing yourself. The crowd can see it, especially when the crowd is good, they can feel it
Coco: Ok, so did you have a favourite act? Subsonic has been going for seven years now, is there a stand out act?
Marco: For me the most amazing show was definitely Chic and Nile Rogers, obviously Nile Rogers has got more experience than the three of our ages combined, so extensive, out of all the acts we played, even though we are mainly a techno festival, he’s the one who managed to get everyone there, everyone dancing, like literally the whole festival was there for his set, and he rocked it
Ben: It’s a cross generation type of music
Marco: Yeah and its got nothing to do with techno, but we had all the international DJs and local DJs on the dance floor, I saw … I won’t give names because they may get upset … but I saw a few of them crying … and he was just going for it, his vibe and his persona is just how every musician should be, whether a DJ or a live musician, he’s got the right attitude
Coco: I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many people cry out of joy than at Subsonic. I remember actually the Robag Wruhme set two years ago, it was just so beautiful that people were hugging on the dance floor
Marco: That I have to give the credit to my beautiful business partner Scott and his friends, and we’re not so involved in those scenes, but luckily there are a lot of people around us that like what we do and give us a lot of advice and tips, and push us into other sounds that we are not too involved in
Ben: Man I’ve got that Massive Attack album, Mad Professor and Massive Attack, and I’m sure there are loads of listeners out there who have that, and Lee Scratch Perry I know they’ve been working together for a long long time, have you seen or heard much of them lately, or are you ready for a nice surprise?
Marco: For me actually the last time I saw Mad Professor I had a bit of an experience you could say … I believed that I was the Mad Professor and tried to jump on the stage! But I don’t think we can talk about that too much on the radio!
Coco: Ok so we have a quick Q&A to wrap things … favourite slot when DJing?
Marco: Middle of the night, definitely my favourite, when everyone wants to blwo their mind
Coco: Favourite set length?
Marco: 3 hours plus
Coco: Favourite drink while DJing?
Marco: Zacapa Rum, definitely
Coco: Still or sparkling water?
Marco: Depends when … sparkling at the table, still at the DJ booth
Ben: Favourite cheese? Do you like cheese? I like cheese
Marco: Anything but cheesey music
Ben: Biscuits or quince paste?
Marco: Ok bring me the stinky stuff. This year I had a French friend travelling with me and she left the cheese out of the car, under the van, for four days at a festival, and then that was when it was ready to eat … apparently that’s the French way! I was a bit sceptical but, hey you guys were there with me
Coco: Yeah that was the rainy night
Marco: Yeah and we had the stinkiest cheese ever, and it was amazing
Ben: I do remember that, although not that it was under the car for four days …
Marco: Yeah I didn’t tell you that at the time!
Ben: Ok, last few questions: Digital, CD, or Vinyl?
Marco: Whatever I’ve got at the time. I’ve been mocked for my CDs..
Ben: Cats or dogs? Or cats and dogs?
Marco: Cats and dogs is good … although I prefer children
Ben: Olive oil or coconut oil?
Marco: Olive oil at the table, Coconut oil in the bed
Ben: Tea or coffee?
Marco: Coffee in the morning, tea at night
Ben: And last but not least, manual or automatic?
Marco: Manual definitely, you have to feel what you are doing
Coco: Thank you so much ….
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