Posture, or Toby Perks, is one of the rising talents in Sydney’s dance music scene. His soon to be released debut EP, Brain Dance on his own label, ‘Velodrome Recordings’ is out on February 11. Spending the start of 2021 coordinating the release of his first EP and working at Sydney Festival I found the time to have a chat with Toby and get to know a bit more about the up and coming artist.
By his own accord Toby makes ‘brooding breaky techno’. “I always find it hard to describe my style of music because I feel it sits between genres but it always takes on an emotional tangent of dance music.” After producing for a few years Posture put out a single digitally through Velodromes bandcamp last year. Now in 2021 a four track EP, ‘Brain Dance’ will be released digitally and on Vinyl.
The Velodrome Crew are renowned for hosting great parties in Sydney. “I started Velodrome with three good friends two years ago with a few small bunker parties in North Sydney and gradually grew to the point of hosting warehouse parties, multi-stage bunker raves, rooftop takeovers, and multiple club gigs.” Whether it be a club night hosting International label heads such as ‘Telephones’, beach parties with a stacked bill of locals or warehouse setups with big sound systems the detail the group put into each event places them right at the pointy end of Sydney’s more underground dance music scene.
Last year Velodrome launched their own, self titled imprint, Velodrome Recordings. “Putting on events and immersing in music every week naturally led us to start our own label. The label was originally created to highlight some of the incredible sounds coming out of Sydney and we couldn’t be happier with our first record Soy Piccolo by Unpin. It’s so cool to see the amount of talent that is coming out of our little scene.”
Brain Dance is Posture’s four track EP, a take on high energy brooding techno. The preview single, ‘Ready’ combines energy inducing percussive patterns along with melancholic pads, broken bass drums and complex layering of vocal samples in a track really grows over its near eight-minute duration. Mostly written in the lockdown period of 2020 the EP was initially due to come out in November last year but has been pushed back till now as a result of the way 2020 panned out.
“I am excited but also nervous with it being my first. It has had some great responses with the first single drop so far and now I am just keen to get it out there!”. Curated on Ableton with the assistance of an Ableton Push and a Korg Minilogue Toby describes the process as, “in a way a chasm of isolation and insanity. I basically wrote the whole thing within a week of spending everyday by myself in my bedroom.” As a person who is usually very social, “getting stuck in this music vortex was a way for me to process the effects of covid restrictions stacked on general mental instability. I found it was really a way of processing the thoughts and feelings that I couldn’t find the words for.”
Noting influences of artists such as Skee Mask and Djrum, Posture’s process involves a lot of effects layering and warping of sounds. “Half the time I manipulate sounds so much that I can’t remember or recreate the original starting point. I find it really fun to get lost in crazy sonics.” Toby mentioned his love for the drama involved with film scores, and also the driving nature of techno and heavier dance music. “A huge part of my sound development has been finding that balance … I just love dance music and the way it allows people to truly be themselves and forget about the at times chaotic world. It is a beautiful thing!”
If you’re after a bit more of Posture’s sound, he was recently asked to contribute to the Bside mix series. His addition features a very broad range of music with a lot of downtempo and ambient selections. As I had assumed, this had a lot to do with having no clubs to attend, gigs to play or parties to throw. “Absolutely I listened to a lot of downtempo and ambient music in my downtime last year. I just really love the sense of space with ambient music and it was perfect for a time when we couldn’t party. Luscious soundscapes definitely highlight the beauty in this world, it’s something my musical frame of mind has leaned towards.”
What’s next for Toby and Velodrome in 2021, a year with so much promise for those involved in dance music which has been so starved in 2020. “ Velodrome is going to be focusing mostly on building the label. It is definitely a great opportunity to keep digging for new artists and bring light to the insane music that is being made out there”. However, Toby made it clear that once it is safe to do so the crew are keen to get back into the full swing of running parties, “We are so excited to get back out on the dance floor and see people move, laugh, and share again, it’s going to be a wild return.”
As for Posture, 2021 is a year to continue to grow as an artist, write more music and further develop his sound. “I have given myself the challenge of aiming for a full album at some point in the near future so that is something I will be putting efforts towards. Whether that finishes this year or not, we will see, but it’s a challenge I am definitely going to be spending a lot of time on!”
‘Vel003- Brain Dance’ by Posture is out February 11 via Velodrome Recordings both digitally and on vinyl. Buy it here.