Sydney DJs: Then and Now 2007-2015
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Sydney DJs: Then and Now 2007-2015

Words by Levins

Ah, 2007. A simpler time. For some things. Names of musical genres were way more complicated, but that actually made things simpler. In 2015, ‘deep house’ actually means 200 different genres, all with drastically varying degrees of deepness. Admitting that you like house that’s too deep – or worse yet, not deep enough – could send you black wide-brimmed fedora first into a vicious dancefloor fight. We knew what we liked in 2007. We liked music with stupid names. Baltimore club, electroclash, baile funk, hyphy. If you were lucky enough to know what the fuck these stupidly named genres were, you knew that the only variables were bitrates. In 2007, nothing sounded hotter than 96kbp MP3 that you’d ripped from some French cunt’s MySpace page.

For a while, if you wanted to hear only the hottest MySpace rips, there was just a handful of Sydney DJs who did it best. There were parties like Bang Gang, Bandits, Disco Punx and Ro Sham Bo, featuring DJs who made it their mission to educate a dancefloor full of munters who wouldn’t remember a thing the next morning. These were the guys in everyone’s Top 8, and now where are they?

Before The Reunion brings all these forgotten legends back together for the first time in nearly a decade, we asked them what they were doing in 2007 and what they do now.

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NAME: Jimmy Sing (Ro Sham Bo)

WHERE WERE U IN 2007: I was trying to run a shop called Jimmy Sing’s Record Stand, two doors down from Fatima’s on Cleveland St. It was some kind of attempt to sell new import records to a tiny audience of DJs that were just burning CDs and starting to no longer buy records. It didn’t help that the store’s opening hours were Wednesday and Thursday 6pm – 9pm and Saturdays 12 – 5pm. I closed the shop in 2008.

WHERE ARE U NOW? Now I’m trying to run a club in the city called Goodgod where the DJs want to know if the USB link cable between the Pioneer CDJs is working tonight. That said, lots of the people who used to buy records from Jimmy Sing’s Record Stand are still around the club playing records. Dunno what that means.

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NAME: Charlie Chux (Disco Punx)

WHERE WERE U IN 2007? I was laying the foundations for what was to be a hazy end to the noughties, out 8 nights a week, these were fun times soundtracked by electroclash bang0rs and house music – anything from Modular to Turbo and lots of French stuff. Notable parties attended included Anna Lunoe’s Bamboo Banger party at the newly reopened Oxford Art Factory, Bad Kids Recreation Club at Bar Broadway and classic Wamp Wamp Wednesday blow-outs – always such a vibe. I was just about to move from one of the most epic party houses of our generation, “The Mansion”, to another notable share house with a strong kick-on pedigree, “Crown Striz”. Both were formative buildings for my party years, an insanely long list of incredible people I have lived with all added to this golden period and made 2007 the best year I can’t remember

WHERE ARE U NOW? STILL DJING! I think elements from the fluoro years really made an impression on an impressionable 23 year old and made me see really what it could be. Although I’ve pumped the brakes on the kick-ons, and it has been a while since I last held Levins down on the bonnet of a car on a Wednesday night, I’m still out and about and DJing more than ever. These days I’ve turned my focus to music production, and this year has a number of solid releases scheduled. Aside from my personal music ambitions, I’m still in full stride with Heaps Decent, running music workshops with kids. Between DJing and Heaps Decent, I’ve literally been all over the country this year.

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NAME: Catcall

WHERE WERE U IN 2007: I was making early era Catcall tracks inspired by M.I.A and the first Ro Sham Bo mixtape Levins gave me at the end of 2006. I was also hanging out at Sleater Brockman parties like Bad Kids Recreation Club and RO SHAM BO. I was drinking Savvy B and working at Roseville Cinema making choctops and watching the end of all your favourite senior skewed feature films. It wasn’t until 2008 that I became the real party monster.

WHERE ARE U NOW? Right now I’m working at Giant Dwarf, screenwriting, directing a short film, playing tennis and doing a lot of yoga. I now drink a lot of riesling and attend more comedy nights than club nights. Welcome to old age.

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NAME: Levins (Ro Sham Bo)

WHERE WERE U IN 2007? In Newtown, stealing Kato’s wifi so I could steal the hottest shit quality mp3 remixes of songs that nobody even remembers now. At FBi Radio, making 2 hours of in-jokes and trainwrecked mixes with Ro Sham Bo every week. At Modular, trying to convince venues all across the country to pay an obscene amount of money for my mates DJing as ‘Modular DJs’. On MySpace sending cool bulletins and spending hours making my profile page all sparkly. At every single music festival, not watching any bands or DJs.

WHERE ARE U NOW? On the internet, googling cool things like “how to change a nappy while driving”. On Instagram, posting pics of my kid. At Two Thousand, trying to use the word ‘turd’ in every article I write. At Goodgod, putting on parties like Halfway Crooks and The Rhythm of the Night.

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NAME: Jaime Doom

WHERE WERE U IN 2007? LIVING IN EBAY, EATING DINGAS, PLAYING RECORDS, TRYING TO PICK UP GIRLS ON MYSPACE, SLEEPING ON HOODRAT’S COUCH, WEARING MEMBERS ONLY JACKETS & GOING TO THE COURTHOUSE A LOT.

WHERE ARE U NOW? LIVING IN EBAY, EATING BROCCOLI, PLAYING WITH MY KIDS, TRYING TO GET A GIG AT CLUB RETRO & THINKING ABOUT THE GOOD OLD DAYS.

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NAME: Kato

WHERE WERE U IN 2007? I was in living in Sydney, famous in Newcastle, DJing at a party called Bandits, running another party called Wamp Wamp with Levins, partying with Andy Campion and according to Facebook I was in a complicated relationship?!

WHERE ARE U NOW? Still in Sydney, still deejing, not famous in Newcastle anymore. Now I make music as part of Wordlife, work in a record store, deal vinyl on the side and I’m also working on building record labels, Lego and less complicated relationships.

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NAME: Hentai, AKA Shwing Dusty AKA Dux Nuts (Disco Punx)

WHERE WERE U IN 2007? I was in every Myspace top 8 imaginable, I was draped head to toe in Ksubi, I was best friends with everyone on the dancefloor, I was at Disco Punx, I was at World Bar, I was at Wamp Wamp, I was at Charlie’s mansion, I was shopping at Capital L and I was driving to Thornleigh McDonalds real late at night.

WHERE ARE U NOW?
I got fifty Bentley’s in the West Indies
(It doesn’t matter!)
I got a pocket full of cheese and a garden full of trees
(It doesn’t matter!)
I just won the bingo bought a crib in Rio
(It doesn’t matter!)

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NAME: Moriarty (Ro Sham Bo)

WHERE WERE U IN 2007? RO SHAM BO RADIO Tuesday nights 6-8pm

WHERE ARE U NOW? LOW MOTION RADIO Tuesday nights 6-8pm

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NAME: Gregg Sandwich

WHERE WERE U IN 2007? Riding the L90 to the city with the other half of Bad Teeth to search for the elusive Trough Man (rest in piss).

WHERE ARE U NOW? Getting into jazz and turning 30.

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NAME: BLAM! a.k.a Luke Yeah a.k.a Midnight BLAM! (Disco Punx)

WHERE WERE U IN 2007: I was living in the middle of Surry hills in a share house that was prone to kick ons. I was a slightly absent student at the art school around the corner and buying records from Spank when I could rub together enough money. We re-launched Disco Punx parties at the Gaff and then quickly moved to the un-renovated dive bar, Phoenix, where we used to smuggle cases of beer into the club during soundcheck for everyone to drink through the night.

WHERE ARE U NOW? I’m slightly more clean living these days, living down in Bondi. I’m working out of here too so am well and truly stuck in the bubble. My pants are looser, I’m seeing more daylight and the time between hangovers is increasing. I can’t remember the last club I went to though. I’m probably due for a return anyway.

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NAME: Elston (Ro Sham Bo)

WHO WERE U IN 2007? Mi Goreng, then Spruce Lee, then Toni Toni Lee, then Johnny Seabiscuit.

WHO ARE U NOW? Physique!

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NAME: Shantan Wantan Ichiban

WHERE WERE U IN 2007? When I wasn’t kicking it with M.I.A. in my stylish Beckham do and designer hanky, I was making a nuisance of myself anywhere Ro Sham Bo were playing. You might’ve seen me bouncing around the stage yelling “brap” and “make some noise”. Mindblowing stuff.

WHERE ARE U NOW? These same “braps” have made their way into the triple j 2015 image. Listening to the national youth broadcaster you will hear my signature stupid noises more than a hundred times a day between songs. I have also been seen wearing the occasional five panel and/or bucket hat. There are also unconfirmed rumours that I have been spending quite abit of time with Tinashe.

THE REUNION takes over Goodgod Small Club from 9pm this Saturday. Ro Sham Bo, Disco Punx, Catcall, Jaime Doom, Kato, Gregg Sandwich, Shantan Wantan Ichiban. Jimmy Sing will be re-opening his record stand for the night too! 15 bucks entry.

RSVP here

the reunion ro sham bo

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