Bringing us to Inchmix025, is Melbourne’s Harold from the Steeplejack collective. Constantly redefining and reinterpreting ambient music’s place in the club environment, as showcased by his growing number of recorded sets from various parties around the city. Steeplejack’s impressive first release towards the end of 2015 is succeeded by the Cutting Room EP, released later this month.
Can you remember what drew you to ambient music – whether it be an album, podcast, festival etc?
It was always around and I enjoyed listening to it but I always found myself just listening or searching for dance music. It was a project called ‘Dreamweaver’ that I started that really peaked my interest. I wanted to add another element to my DJ sets, I just wasn’t exactly sure what it was. I was traveling with friends in Berlin at the time, there was a record store called Power Park that I was going too a lot, it was close to our apartment and had a wild selection of ambient and experimental records. I realized you could play these records on top of the dance records I already had, so I started buying things that I thought would work in this regard, one in particularly special was – Bernard Xolotl with Daniel Kobialka – Procession – Nada Pulse – 1983.
How has your perception of ambient music changed since then?
I listen to a lot more ambient and experimental music for the pure enjoyment and excitement of it, I’m probably listening to more ambient and experimental music than I am dance music at the moment, and have been for a little while. My perception may not have changed I think I’m just finally giving it the time it deserves, I was in a bit of kick drum black hole for a while!
Tell us a little bit about how the collective and label came into fruition.
I like to refer to it as a cooperative haha! It came about as bid for me to get more DJ sets for myself and friends. Melbourne hero and local DJ, Post Percy asked if I’d like to run a Friday night monthly party at New Guernica and I jumped at the chance! We ran the party there for two years before taking some time off and finally moving the party to The Mercat Basement where we have been ever since. Over this time Steeplejack co-operators had begun to make music so from the money we made at the monthly we put out the first record, first CD and are now about to release our second record. Assumedly a lot more happened over those years.. But you probably had to be there!
What was the concept behind this mix?
Percussion! I don’t play a lot of it in my DJ sets and I needed to unload haha. There are a couple of records that I bought at Power Park in it, the shop that helped inspire my Dreamweaver project as well as some music I got from my mum and a few I picked up in between. The mix pays homage to my percussive tastes and influences past, present and future.
What do you have planned for the label in the coming months?
We have the Cutting Room EP coming out in September/October with a six city tour to celebrate starting in August. The first show is in the hometown of Melbourne at The Mercat on August 5th 10pm so if you are around come and say G’day! Best thing would be to send me or the label a message about any of the interstate shows as the majority of them aren’t at conventional venues and won’t be advertised using the usual avenues.
The next 3 records are also lined up so that means a bunch more parties and maybe some more tours, depending on how the next couple of months go! The next CD is also lined up and ready to go too, it’s been nice working with both mediums, offsetting the cons of one with the pros of the other.
What five records haven’t left your bag recently?
In keeping with the ambient theme here are five records that I have been using as layering pieces recently:
Various – Traces Three – Recollection GRM – 2013
Anthony Child – Electronic Recordings From Maui Jungle Vol 1 – Editions Mego
Imaginary Softwoods – The Path Of Spectrolite – Amethyst Sunset
Robert Ashley – In Sara, Mencken, Christ And Beethoven There Were Men And Women – Cramps Records
Charlemagne Palestine – Voice Studies – Alga Marghen
Artwork: Moebius // Jean Giraud