It’s always interesting when DJs stray away from their club selections to showcase what other artists influence them on a daily basis. In the case of Adrian Bell, he has opted not to record another well executed techno set but to deliver us an hours worth of dusty ambient soundscapes intertwined with physiological dub tracks that will create an atmosphere within a room delicately poised between mediative & unsettling.
Bunker has just celebrated it’s first birthday, can you tell us a little bit about the brand & how it came into fruition?
Basically I was frustrated with the way that techno was being done in Melbourne, I would go to gigs and feel unwelcome & uncomfortable. I felt, at times, there was a somewhat elitist mentality and I wanted to change that. At first Bunker was only going to be a website but then an opportunity came up to run the backroom at the Liberty Social every Thursday, I took it and just went from there!
Recently Bunker launched Soft-Pedal, take us through the concept behind that.
Yep, so Bunker is focused on pushing local & international techno in Melbourne, however a few of our residents & friends (myself included) have a varied collection of music that we often don’t get to play out, if at all; namely ambient, electronica, down tempo or dub techno so we decided to run our own party with this music! We will continue to run these every 6-8 weeks
Your first international guest was Xhin, who you’ve mentioned is one of your favourite producers, who else has Bunker toured? Was touring international guests apart of the initial Bunker plan?
Xhin was our first tour and we ran that with the help of Glyn from the Freeform Collective & Inner Varnika. Xhin has been my favourite electronic producer since around 2009 so it honestly was a dream come true for me to be able to tour him. Touring internationals wasn’t a part of the immediate Bunker plan but moving forward we will continue to do so; hopefully with our next international guest in August!
After spending a considerable amount time in Berlin over the past few years, what have you learned from the city & has that played a significant role in shaping what Bunker has become today?
The most important thing I have learned from Berlin is that being liberated is something to be celebrated not frowned upon. When I first visited in 2012 I learnt a lot about myself in a variety of ways – it truly changed me and my outlook on life. It absolutely has help shape what Bunker is, Berlin is such an inspiring place and when I returned last year it gave me so many ideas for the brand and even more drive to move forward.
Bunker ran a series of open airs over Summer in Melbourne, how were they received?
They were received extremely well, we ran three in total (January, February & March) and the feedback & support we received was extraordinary. The January & March open airs were run in a park in Essendon which is about a fifteen minute drive from the city whilst the February party was meant to be held in a CBD park but it was unfortunately shut down by park rangers before we could finish setting up. After a frantic 3 hour search we were able to secure the Liberty Social and relocated the party there from 5pm – midnight; Thanks Jaff & Andy! (The Liberty Social operators)”
Why do you think there is so much opposition to open airs? Can a middle ground be found between respecting the neighbours & environment whilst enjoying music outside clubs?
I think it comes down to the people running the event and how responsible they are. There are other crews who run open air events & they are organised with respect for the environment and their surroundings. Unfortunately, most local councils are really apprehensive to take ideas like this on board for a number of reasons. They often give you numerous hoops to jump through and the financial costs are often far too expensive, which is why an illegal party is the more viable option. A middle ground can definitely be found; I think a little trust in the people running the events is all that is needed.
What is planned for Bunker for the remainder of 2014?
We will be continuing with our monthly residencies at Power Station & New Guernica, along with our Soft-Pedal events but the main focus will be on bi-monthly parties and international tours.
What can you tell us about this mix?
For this mix I chose to play a variety of tracks that I wouldn’t normally get to play out, expect a lot of ambient, down tempo & just general weird music; perfectly suited for a Sunday decompression session haha.
Finally, what records haven’t left your bag this month?
I haven’t had a chance to go record shopping since my last stint in Europe so as an early birthday present my girlfriend took me record shopping where I picked up Head High – It’s a Power Thing (Power Cut) which is one I have been meaning to grab for a long time! Nihad Tule – Shatter will probably never leave my bag, it’s such a bomb, along with Rebekah – Cycles EP; each track on that EP is killer!