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Tornado Wallace

Tornado Wallace

Homosuperparty Discosodoma is about to ring in her second year of exisitence, and for this very special occasion they welcome one of their musical heroes - Melbourne's Tornado Wallace (ESP Institute, Beats In Space) - who has quite literally been taking the world by storm. One of the masterminds behind iconic party series Animals Dancing, Tornado Wallace has been whipping dancers into a frenzy with his eclectic melange of house, techno and leftfield disco from Melbourne to London and back again. The Discosodoma crew caught up with him to chat Melbourne party scene, world travels and Pret A Manger...

How did you come up with the inspiration for your name for those who are not familiar with it?

I thought it was a cool name so I ran with it. That’s the long and the short of it.

Throughout your career you have experimented with disco, nu-disco, house and some might say trance elements. How would you define your sound? Are there any specific genres you would like to explore in the future?

I get inspired by good music and it doesn’t really matter what genre it’s described as, but at various times I get stuck into a sound more than others so that can generally come across with my productions as well. I grew up listening to trance and house music so that will probably be at the foundation of anything I make in some capacity.

First London then Berlin seems to be the route for many artists and musicians from overseas. What prompted your move? Is there something you would always remember from London? 

I moved to London for a bit in 2011 because it was the only city my girlfriend at the time and I would be able to both simultaneously make ourselves useful in. I wanted to stay in Melbourne and she wanted to live in New York, so we chose London as an unhappy middle-ground. We both scraped by and learnt various things about ourselves but ultimately decided that it wasn’t for us. So we went back to our lives of me being based in Melbourne, touring Europe/US occasionally, and her moving about US/Europe with work visiting Melbourne every now and then before we both decided it wasn’t working. And that’s how my girlfriend and I broke up… Wait what was the question?

I miss the pubs in London. They were my favourite thing while living there. And Pret-a-manger.

You’ve been part of the Animals Dancing collective since the very beginning. What was your drive behind the parties and how do you remain true to your music policy and aesthetic?  

There was a bit of a trend in Melbourne at one stage, that overseas producers would get booked for Australian tours without really being that much of a ‘DJ’. That is, not knowing how to play good records, well, and for extended periods. So we thought we would try our luck on some DJs that we knew were awesome, but that maybe weren’t getting good shows in Melbourne due to a lack of not being a hot-shit producer – necessarily. This remains true six/seven years later, except that a lot of DJs we book also happen to have hot shit productions too, though it’s never the original focus. 

How does the nightlife in Melbourne compare to the cities you’ve lived so far in Europe? Are there things you would like to see changed?

Melbourne is lucky to have late licenses - and even 24 hour licenses are quite commonplace. This is something that you take for granted when you grow up there, but once you start traveling around you see that it’s actually quite rare. Because of this, Melbourne has always fostered DJs and musicians coming through, as there’s more time available for people to have a go. It’s still competitive, but it makes for fertile ground for people to take the music out of the garage/bedroom. I wouldn’t imagine anything needs to be changed in terms of nightlife. There’s a perfect balance of liberty and law which allows people to be able to do whatever they want within and without reason. Though it wouldn’t hurt if the local government loosened their collars a little more.

We see a lot of venues in London closing their doors for good, while local authorities make it more difficult to open up new ones. Is this something you have also experienced when putting up parties in Melbourne?

Not really. It’s common for clubs the world over to have a relatively short innings in the scheme of things. People eventually want to move on, but that’s ok because then a building or a space becomes associated with a time in people's lives. Just like the music that gets played there. With a place as dense as London it’s no wonder people find it tricky finding new spots. In Melbourne there’s a bit more room to make new things work.

Are there any projects in the upcoming months you could share with us?

I have an LP which I’m wrapping up now and should be out some time in 2016. And also hopefully squeeze out another EP somewhere while I’m at it.

What shall we expect from your set on the night?

I’m not sure myself. I’ll pack a bag of my favourite records and try play as many of them as time allows.

And finally, what is disco?

A theque, a genre, a fever, a ball, an inferno, a nap, a stick and a biscuit.

Catch Tornado Wallace at the Discosodoma Second Birthday on Saturday 9 April from 9pm-5am!


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Tornado Wallace