Little Nobody and Koda are both playing at this weeks IF? Records label party called Soundwerks. From Melbourne, they represent two generations of ‘techno’ from the city. Little Nobody is something of an elder statesman, having started IF? Records in 1995, creating one of the first electronic music labels in Australia to providing an outlet for local producers on the live circuit. On the other hand, Koda is one of the current techno artists emerging from the live underground techno scene in Melbourne and is playing his first Sydney show.
In a different style of interview, each artist was asked to pose questions to the other, providing a different take on the usual DJ question and answer format.
LITTLE NOBODY VS KODA
Little Nobody (LN): Who are your current musical heroes, and how are they different from the ones you worshiped in primary school? Koda (Koda): If I was to name one [hero] in techno, it would be Speedy J. I find his work brilliant on so many levels. It’s hard to remember what was on the playlist in primary school. I never remember being passion about anything musically until early high school, which largely consisted of hip-hop. I still listen to lots of hip hop so nothing has changed much!
LN: How would you define the live Koda sound, and how has it changed in recent years? K: I guess the techno I put together is a result of the many genres in electronic music I’m drawn to. Everything from European techno, to sound design to house. My interest in sound design and more abstract forms of audio has grown over the years and definitely shapes my approach to techno.
LN: Do you think there's a bona fide "Melbourne" sound or style? K: Hard to answer, Melbourne's electronic scene is fairly well balanced and diverse. It never seems there are any boundaries, which makes for fairly constant change and a demand for something new.
LN: You've worked extensively with IF?, in collusion with other Melbourne artists like Ben Mill and Enclave. What do you think you have in common with these guys? K: I think we all share the same passion for techno in general and want the parties to keep happening!
LN: If someone offers to buy you a drink at the Sydney gig, what should they get from the bar? K: In order of preference: 1 - Carlton Draught 2 - Melbourne Bitter 3- VB.
LN: What is it about working under the IF? label umbrella that appeals to you? As I said earlier, everybody involved is really passionate about what they do and it’s very motivating working with everybody [at IF?].
LN: What do you prefer to eat for dinner prior to playing at parties? Whatever holds down the many Carlton’s, Melbourne’s, or VB
KODA VS LITTLE NOBODY
Koda (K): What was your initial drive to put if together back in '95? LN: I was doing a radio show on 3PBS-FM that specialised in electronica, industrial and techno. So I was scouting the local live scene for sounds and stumbled across some brilliant live electronic artists like Voiteck, VOID (later TR-Storm) and Guyver 3, none of whom had record contracts at the time but bloody well deserved them. So, instead of complaining too much, I got together with two mates and started our own label to support the Melbourne crew.
K: Who or what were the biggest influences on your musical projects back then? LN: Definitely Voiteck and Steve Law (Zen Paradox) in Melbourne, Sub Bass Snarl and Biz E in Sydney. DJ Shadow's first album "Endtroducing.....", Underground Resistance, Jeff Mills, Scanner, Jammin' Unit and the Force Inc. guys in Germany, DJ Rush and Chicago's Relief posse, and Mike Ink and his label Profan.
K: And what about now? LN: I think it's mostly people on the labels I work with at IF?, We Call It Hard, Auricular and Gynoid Audio. Aussies like you, Ben Mill, Enclave, Craig McWhinney, Alkan, Sebastian Bayne, DJ Hi-Shock, Kultrun, plus internationals Aux 88, James Ruskin, Lucy, Perc, Inigo Kennedy and Bas Mooy.
K: Has living abroad had an impact on your creative outcomes? LN: For sure, since I've been hanging out in Tokyo for the last 11 years and am no longer privy to the stuff happening in Melbourne. But there's some brilliant stuff happening here, and the audiences are so receptive to variety and pushing perimeters. Also there are a lot of different influences, not just Japanese.
K: Is there a "golden era" or defining point in time in techno for you? LN: Good question. I don't think so. It's constantly evolving, and there are always new directions that I end up loving. There have been moments of sheer brilliance. I'm thinking 1994-99 in Melbourne, the mid '90s output from Chicago, Detroit and Germany, and the latest wave of techno over the past four years.
K: What’s your favourite city or venue to play to? LN: I don't really have one. I love playing Tokyo and Melbourne as they're my homes. I also have a lot of mates in Sydney so it's a treat to play there. Otherwise the scout hall in rural Holland was a bit crazy.
Grab a free download of Sebastian Bayne's 'Dark Of The Moon' from IF?'s 'Soundwerks EP' on the Soundcloud link below.
IF? Records presents Soundwerks at One22 this Saturday 26th May. Tickets at RA.