Melbourne techno DJ Craig McWhinney will debut in Sydney next month, where he'll be headlining Loosekaboose's fourth birthday celebrations.
McWhinney, who co-chairs the Haul Music digital imprint, has spent the last few years at the top of Melbourne's techno pile, heavily associated with fellow Haul managers Mike Callander and Christian Vance. Since 2008, however, production has been added to the Melbourne Techno Collective member's arsenal, spawning a string of singles and remixes on Notorious North, Pinksilver, and his own Haul Music imprint. McWhinney is the only member of the Haul Music trio yet to headline Loosekaboose, which, in its four years of operation, has become one of Sydney's most admired locals' only parties. Loosekaboose, helmed by Trinity, has been bridging the gap between Sydney and the rest of Australia since 2006, dedicated to showcasing the talent that is sometimes overlooked in favour of international acts.
We caught up with Craig McWhinney via email earlier this week, where he told us what's in store for Haul, who else is making noise in Melbourne, and the reaction to his Carl Cox-approved remix.
Last year was a big year for not only you, but for Haul, too. How do you guys keep the momentum going?
Momentum hasn't been tricky for us so far. We’ve chosen a format consisting of one original and two remixes (usually). We have plenty of ideas, so the next release is never really a challenge. The main concern is always quality, and between the three of us, we find remixing is what brings about some of the best, and most original music we’ve released.
With regard to the label, what’s on the cards for 2010? Mike Callander's new single has the ball rolling, and is receiving some good feedback.
2010 has taken off with a bang. "Lost" is out and doing really well. Next up we have an original by me called "Penance", with remixes from Haul debutants Andy Hart and Forty6&Two. Following that release we have a fresh track by Andy Hart & Mike Buhl called “Hacienda”, with a super remix from Australian wonder kid Lewie Day, and also a remix by myself. After that, I'm taking a little break to concentrate on fresh material and Christian Vance will be stepping back up to the plate, along with new gear from Mike Callander and an upcoming EP from Mark Briais. We're keeping fairly Australian for the first half of the year, but we may have some international guests coming through soon.
Now almost ten releases in, in what direction do you see Haul's sound heading?
We've talked about this, and I think the main thing is consistency in quality. We seem to be on an upward trajectory, and we want to keep that flow going. Stylistically, I think it'll be hard to pin us down, as we're all fans of diverse music – it wouldn't be out of place to hear some ambient/house/techno/disco/whatever from the three of us and other like-minded individuals. Haul Music is a vehicle for us to translate and communicate our ideas, and a very free paradigm in which to work.
Who else in Melbourne should we be keeping an eye on, production-wise?
In my opinion, these names are the ones to watch: Andy Hart, Lewie Day, Mike Buhl, Lance Harrison and Mark Baumann (Markojux). (As well as my boys Mike and Christian.) Coincidentally, all these guys will be on Haul in the next few months.
The inclusion of "Chase The Night" on Carl Cox's recent Global Underground mix was obviously a big moment for you guys - what kind of response have you had?
The response has been amazing. People have really got behind the release and the label. Carl Cox's support has been really genuine, and a true surprise. He gets a million promos a day, so you never think that he, and others of his standing, would have time to listen let alone support what you send them. In turn, the exposure has led to a lot more people knowing about us, and our music, and lifted the track into the Beatport techno top 100. The track was never written with the Beatport charts in mind, so to achieve that level has been awesome. It's an achievement all three of us are proud of.