Less chin stroking, more dancing.
It might sound obvious, but at its core dance music is about going out, having a good time and escaping your everyday reality. This is something that Courtney Clarke, AKA CC:DISCO!, doesn't want us to forget. Earlier this year, she appeared on Boiler Room during Sugar Mountain Festival and it was all there: fun, positivity, a t-shirt that said, "Less chin stroking, more dancing." Over the last few years, Clarke's simple message and hard work have elevated her to a position among Australia's top DJs. She's been extremely busy on the national circuit, running a party (Club Coco), touring heavily and becoming a festival favourite. "Meredith [festival] was basically the number one thing I wanted to do in my whole life," Clarke told The Sydney Morning Herald earlier this year. (She'd apparently chosen her opening track, Tears For Fears' "Listen," ten years ago.) She went on to close the first edition of the Pitch Music festival, which was no small deal considering there were over 50 international DJs on the bill, including Dixon, Ben Klock and Paula Temple. She's also begun touring internationally, with sets at Dimensions and Soundwave festival last year, and an upcoming European tour. With just a couple edits under her belt, Clarke has built her reputation through the quality of her DJ sets, but radio has also been an important factor. She debuted on the airwaves aged 15, and these days her show, Smoke And Mirrors, on Melbourne's PBS, has become a Friday night favourite.
As you might have guessed from her DJ name, Clarke's forte is disco, but she throws plenty of other styles in the blender, so as long as they're soaked in good vibes. Clarke describes RA.583 as "CC's greatest hits selection," which means upbeat music from the past 40 years.
What have you been up to recently?
I've actually just been playing Splendour In The Grass in Byron Bay and had such a great set. It's been amazing spending time up here in the sun and away from the notoriously awful Melbourne winter. Apart from that, I've been working super hard on projects coming out later in the year, and have done three tours around Australia just this year. It's been a bloody good time, I tell ya.
How and where was the mix recorded?
Deep in the dark of a Fitzroy North apartment in Melbourne. It's taken a while to do this mix, in fact months. I wanted to capture everything I do and take my time with it. That's meant making it on my computer this time, as I've been moving studio and house but luckily I ripped all my records recently.
Can you tell us about the idea behind the mix?
This mix really captures my whole sound, from slow jams to house back to cheesy '80s sax-filled tunes from Ghana. I've basically given you a CC's greatest hits selection! Some tunes you might know, some you might not, but I love them and hopefully you will too.
I really enjoy mixes with lots of vocals and that are not as clubby and take you around a few different genres. I have quite a broad taste but this mix will give you a good insight into what I take from different genres. While making this mix, I actually found and bought my holy grail record, Wilbur Lewis And The Unique Experience's "I'll Come To You." I was so excited and happy I just had to include it at the end. The mix is accessible, fun and hopefully puts a smile on your face.
Tell us a bit about your journey as a DJ up to this point.
It's legit been a dream come true. I've been doing radio since I was 15, and I bought turntables at 22 and used to practice on them every day on our family farm and dream of playing festivals. I never in my life thought it would happen, but it did.
For me it was radio first and DJing came second. But it took a long time for me to actually start DJing. From buying turntables and working those things out for two years before I got a gig, I spent that time practicing, building up a collection (maxing out credit cards on wax, this hobby is bloody expensive) and really learning about music. I'm glad it took me a while to start doing it, as I was able to really learn first and build up slowly. Music has been the most important thing in my life since I was about five years old, and always will be.
The last eight years of playing as CC has just been the best ride, from playing to NOBODY for so long and building up to this point of now closing festivals and playing peak times to thousands and thousands of people is mind-blowing. It's been such a great journey and I'm super thankful for every single set I've even been given and to every single person who has ever danced to a set of mine.
How are things in Melbourne at the moment? Is the scene in a good place?
Melbourne is fantastic, I really love our DJ family. It's such a supportive and progressive city for music. Melbourne has a really strong history and reputation for music, and the DJs I think are by far some of the best in world. I love that I can walk into a bar seven nights of the week here and hear amazing music.
I really believe in our local scene and want to champion it as much as I can. I think we have something really special, even considering we are so isolated. Two Australian artists in this mix are Hysteric and The Posse, both of whom you should defo check out. I'd name a lot of other people to check out but the list would go on for days.
What are you up to next?
I'm actually about to head to UK/EU for a bunch of dates throughout August, and then back here to work on my own events Club Coco, some other projects I'm releasing, and then it's SUMMER BABY, so I'll be playing and sweating all over the decks at lots of festivals and clubs around Australia.