The Homostash crew have garnered quite the reputation for introducing us to special guests that have quickly become members of the Superstore extended family, and we have a feeling that their upcoming guest Deepchild will be no different! A regular for many years at iconic queer parties ranging from Sydney's Club Kooky to Berghain and Panorama Bar, the newly arrived Dalston resident can't wait to unleash his signature brand of sassy, jackin' queer AF house and techno on our lazerhole! AND... Not satisfied with simply playing at Homostash, he has recording a VERY special track especially for us, available as a free download to all of you! We caught up with him to senses of place, dancefloor debauchery and plans for Friday's Fetish edition of Homostash!
Deepchild! We can’t wait to welcome you soon for your Superstore debut! What have you been up to so far in 2018?
Thank you SO much - I have to admit, I’m VERY new to London. I've moved from being a long-term resident of Berlin by way of an 18 month stop-over in Sydney, and the pace of London is still entirely new to me! I’ve basically spent the better part of the last 6 months finding my feet here, working on new new material (as both Deepchild and Acharné), bouncing between here and Berlin, New York and Amsterdam, and trying to build a tribe amidst it all. Dalston Supertore has been on my radar for years as a pretty special place, community hub and spiritual homeland for more than a few of us on the fringe, and it's an honour to be playing there. I’ve taken myself there for a few quiet drinks over recent months, and this upcoming show feels like it might be part of cementing my new place in this little corner of London.
You have played some incredible venues and festivals, ranging from Berghain and Tresor in Berlin to Exit and Pyramid Rock festivals, what has been the highlight of your career so far?
This is always a difficult question for to answer, as I’ve found that the most rewarding moments for me as a DJ / performer have frequently been the least obvious ones. There’s certainly been a great honour to play incredible parties like Berghain / Panorama Bar, but I’ve felt most deeply blessed by opportunities to tour internationally to far less-known communities for whom the role of music and dance is truly vital and central to spiritual survival! My roots in the mid nineties in Australia were really centred around the sense of belonging I found through queer and alt parties like Club Kooky and Frigid in Sydney, and I've maintained enduring friendships (and more!) through these gatherings to this day.
I certainly don’t subscribe to the notion of an ‘underground / overground’ polarity, but I've really felt deeply grateful for both ends of the spectrum. Anywhere the divide between performer / audience dissolves is sacred ground for me. Recently I’ve been doing more community work and mentoring for young artists, and this kind of work feels as nourishing for me as any large club show I might have performed. It’s ALL about intention and remembering what music and dance can genuinely do to help heal and liberate. Speaking of which, I’d love to be a regular part of something (like Homostash, for example) again after so many years of touring solo - I think its on my London bucket list. To be part of a tribe of sorts again. This feels like a good place to start, no?
What is your earliest musical memory?
Most likely either Neil Diamond or Willy Nelson, played on an old cassette in the stereo in my father's old Chevy Blazer, driving across the desert in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
We love your edit of Alicia Keys’ Fallin’! Do you take a lot of your inspiration from popular music?
I am hugely inspired by contemporary pop and RnB - I feel as much as dance-music conventions from the ‘underground’ filter up into the pop charts, the opposite might be seen to be true. The influence of artist vocals from Brandy or Aaliyah on the UK Bass scene, for example, is massive. I'm fascinated by the economy and production chops of the pop form, and I have so much to learn from the mainstream at large. Drake, Rihanna, Beyonce, Alica… to me they are wonderful partners to Blawan, Basic Channel, Kowton, Hessle Audio….
What does your production process look like?
It’s very much constant and organic. I’m constantly taking notes, downloading reference sounds, tracks, reference material. I tend to sculpt sounds from the ground up, often using a lot of field recordings of found sound, and writing compulsively, generating thousands of loops, hooks, beats etc - all in Ableton Live, which i use as an audio sketchpad as well as for creating arrangements.
These days I’m almost 100% in the digital domain (no fancy studio) and I’ll use whatever tools are at my disposal. I’m not precious about hardware or special plugins. The writing process (for me) is generally quick, dirty and rarely begins with a blank canvas. The challenge is to capture a vibe as quickly as possible, and finesse later. In general, less is more, so I try to adhere to a lot of limitations… eight or less tracks, few effects etc etc... Vibe, vibe, vibe!
What is the craziest thing that has ever happening during one of your sets?
I’m quite sure someone has taken a dump on the dancefloor, but memories are too hazy at this stage. I’ve certainly had the plethora of cliché (and often uncomfortable) enthusiastic fan moments, but (in the past) that was certainly my own biggest liability. I’m pretty clean-living these days, but in a previous incarnation I might have placed myself and my arsenal of live equipment in harms way through ill-advised use of certain substances. Funnily enough, my first concern in situations like this was always for the equipment I may have been inadvertently knocking off tables, rather than for my own sanity. I’m an old grandpa by relative standards these days ;)
Your home city Sydney is one of the queer capitals of the world – what are your favourite things about the city?
The coffee, the joyous physicality of the culture, the small but precious and defiant light of the aforementioned queer / club community. Again, if you are Australian, there really is no illusion that you are at the centre of the world - it's just not true. Australians are bastard children, stranded in paradise. Whilst often I feel there’s an odd sense of entitlement from certain quarters of the upper-middle class, the sheer affluence of Australia (financially and naturally) imbues a sense of possibility, of potential, of robust self-confidence. I am ashamed of the reactionary conservatism of our government, but in equal measure so humbled by those who chose defiant positivity. It’s clichéd but films like Priscilla, Queen of the Desert do speak so much to what I love about Australian culture, and the mix of heartache, terror and surreal beauty which the land facilitates.
As well as Sydney, you spent a while living in Berlin – how do you think your adopted home has influenced you as an artist?
Berlin was beyond glorious to me but it felt time to start a new chapter in London. As far as Australia is concerned - its a confounding and wonderful place. Deeply conservative, but also an amazing hybrid of cultural identity without a clearly defined ‘cultural identity’. I think this has produced some fascinating artistic output, and a genuine robustness amongst Australians who, as we say, tend to just ‘get on with it’. I’m grateful for the Australian ability to laugh at oneself, to work hard, travel far, and be willing to reinvent. White Australia really was the ‘cast off’ of Britain, and this breeds a certain larrikin sensibility I appreciate. People like myself are criminal descendants, thrust into Indigenous land - and this poses an interesting challenge - how do we, as outcasts, compassionately respond to a (beautiful) environment whose people we have essentially dispossessed? For me, this narrative goes deep.
Berlin has influenced me deeply as an artist, and as a person. I feel like it's a culture which fundamentally values and protects notions of fairness, kindness, equity and justice - values its has to cultivate proactively in the light of WW2 and beyond. It really was a city that took me under its wing, and has profoundly changed me forever. In many ways it IS an artistic paradise, but Berlin for me was always more about a set of ideas for living, than a physical space. At the end of the day, it left me with the quiet reassurance that we have ALL done terrible things, and yet we are also all seeking the basic hope that we are enough. There’s a vulnerability which the city breeds if you choose to embrace these lessons - but ultimately it was a city which offered me a courage I didn’t think I had.
If you could collaborate with one artist, living or dead, who would it be?
Donnie Hathaway. But god, how could I add anything to what he had?
You have recorded an exclusive track for our Superstore and Homostash family, can you tell us a bit about it?
I have indeed, and it's a pleasure. I feel like it's important (personally) to mark moments which feel a bit special with small gestures of gratitude… and this is mine. Whilst I’m continuing to produce as both Deepchild and Acharné, I've wanted to start experimenting with more raw, tool-based approach as DJ Boyfriend - and this track is my first experiment under this moniker. Its a sort of homage to a bunch of the old Dance Mania stuff which has really got under my skin in recent years. Raw, basic, jackin’ music!
If you had a time machine and could go dancing anywhere or when, where would you go?
Paradise Garage, 1987…
If you had to sum up what you will be bringing to our lazerhole for Homostash in five words or less, what would they be?
Love, hope, fierceness, friendship, techno.
Catch Deepchild at Homostash: The Fetish edition on Friday 9 March from 9pm-3am at Dalston Superstore!