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WITH A CAREER SPANNING ALMOST 20 YEARS, SEAN QUINN CAN LAY CLAIM TO BEING ONE OF AUSTRALIA’S HARDEST WORKING AND MOST DIVERSE DJs. Always holding down a minimum of four and as many as seven weekly residencies has meant that being versatile and reliable go hand in hand.
In 1994, Sean got together in the studio with C.J Dolan alongside Sean’s current partner in “Our House”, Kasey Taylor. Their first single as Quench, “Feel My Love” was completed and signed to Melbourne based “Vicious Vinyl” and English label “Pulse 8”. Sean and CJ next created the monster track “Dreams”. It went to no. 2 in the French pop charts above Mariah Carey, was released in over 50 different dance compilations in every continent on the globe, and gained an A.R.I.A nomination. Following”Dreams”, two more singles, an album, and an extensive touring roster including support for the Prodigy (6000 people) and a headline Thunderdome gig in Brisbane (8000 people) came from Sean’s involvement with the talented CJ Dolan and the Quench project.
DJing has taken Sean all over Australia on a regular basis and consistently placed him in front of huge audiences. Modestly regarded in Australia’s top four bracket, he is a working example of the sort of talent his reputation suggests. In 2001 “Our House” released “Soliton Wave”, “Forced” and “Crash”, which featured on the “Underground Sounds Of Australia EP” released on Paul Oakenfold’s Perfecto label.
August 2002 saw Sean embark on a whirlwind overseas jaunt firstly to Holland to play with his friend Lucien Foort and then to Ibiza for someone Sean places very highly, Dave Seaman. The Heineken Fast Forward festival in Rotterdam is a street festival closing off the entire centre of the city as fifteen semi-trailers drive at five kilometres an hour with DJ’s playing for the duration of the six hours the drive goes for. Lucien asked Sean to fly into Rotterdam to play this festival to the 1.5 million people that lined the streets and to play his Saturday night residency at the infamous Night town club. After only three days in Holland, Sean met with Kasey in Manchester and flew to Ibiza to play at Dave Seaman’s residency at El Divina with Sydney’s Ben Korbel, Kasey, Dave Seaman and Anthony Pappa. After three days there, Sean flew back into Australia to play a gruelling four-week succession of gigs taking him to Mt Hotham, Adelaide, New Zealand and Launceston.
Also around this time Sean put together the inaugural Balance compilation, launching what has come to be regarded as one of the finest compilation series in the world. While best known to a generation of Australian clubgoers as a DJ, in recent years Sean Quinn has increasingly returned his attention to making music. “I’m concentrating a lot more on the production technology side of things these days,” Sean explains. “I’ve set up a business recently concentrating on support and troubleshooting for Macintosh computers on corporate networks to keep me busy during the day, using the skillset I’ve picked up using Macs to write music over the past ten or twelve years.”
On the production front, 2009 was a very busy year for Sean. “I signed a tune that’s a cover of an old Manchester band James. The song is called Getting Away With It, and I’ve done it with a very close mate of mine Gus Cullen. We’ve got Danny Bonnici from NuBreed and Manuel from Infusion to do the vocals on it.” “There are a lot of guys who have made their names with production,” Sean continues, “that have realized that a hit record might pay for a little while, but that in order to keep current and on the tips of peoples’ tongues, they’re going to need to do that whole DJ thing. There are a lot of guys touring the world with Traktor and Ableton with control surfaces that had never intended on being DJs to begin with, but that have found that it’s a great supplement to their income in between records. It’s an interesting time, because you get to see those guys who have never really known what it is to walk into a room, assess a dancefloor, work out of the last DJs atmosphere and vibe and really build a set – to bridge it, to crown it, and to trail it off in a way that leaves people with something to remember it by, all the while moving the crowd around the club.”
As Sean sees it, a reduced emphasis on melody and musicality has left proper in-key mixing something of a lost art. “For so long here in Melbourne our music was an inch and a half away from what was working in the UK, and we were every progressive DJ’s first stop internationally. The audiences that we played to at the time benefited at the time from the fact that there were some guys – Anthony Pappa, Kasey Taylor, myself and a few other guys that would spend hours and hours and hours keying our records and making sure everything flowed as well as it could to deliver a seamless set, working hard to make everything work musically, so there weren’t key-clashes and so that the chord progressions worked together.” To Sean’s ears, recent years have seen a move away from such attention to detail. “These days, the emphasis seems to be so far away from that – so much so that if there is a horrific key clash mid-set, the dance floor is likely to erupt,” he says with a chuckle.
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