For this Queens Birthday Long Weekend, Sydney's favourite Sunday party, S.A.S.H, have acquired the services of some of the city's current musical geniuses as well as a past legend who could quite clearly be crowned as a "Don" of the Sydney music scene, Phil Smart. In the lead up to their long weekend bash, party founder Kerry Wallace got Mr. Smart on the blower for a quick Q&A.
Pulse: So Phil, when did it all begin? When was the first time you started DJing for real? Phil Smart: I first started DJing in 1986, and pretty soon I was playing at clubs in the city like The Front. Then I encountered the underground warehouse rave scene, started pretty much by British travellers. They were pretty small at that point, just a couple of hundred people really. That’s when I really found my place musically and could start to really explore DJing.
What are the differences you can see in parties today, compared to the past? I guess one of the main differences is the extreme sub-genrefication which seems to have happened more and more, where it can often be just about one particular sound. It was great when you would mix up styles a bit more and take people on a real musical journey, which is ultimately what I like to do when constructing a set. One good thing is that I have found the quality of sound systems in Sydney has generally gone up over the years, as people have worked out that a top notch sounds system really does make the whole experience so much better.
It’s been a while since your last gig in Sydney, excited to be back in action? Yeah I am definitely excited to be playing again. I actually get down to Sydney every couple of months or so, especially if there’s a good place to play. I played for Chemistry in March, which was great, and at Subsonic last year, which is a particularly awesome event.
Were you surprised when the S.A.S.H boys got in contact about getting you to play? Had you heard of the new Sunday revolution which is S.A.S.H? I was chuffed to be asked to play! I had heard from my pal Jimi Polar that there was something special happening at the Abercrombie, so I am really looking forward to it.
What have you got in store for everyone with your set? Will you be getting a bit deeper than usual to coincide with the S.A.S.H sound? I do enjoy going a bit deeper when given the chance, and I have always played a diverse range of music, so I will see how deep we can dive on the day. I’ve been liking the fact that things have been slowing down tempo-wise the last few years.
Any guaranteed tune you know you’re planning on playing come Sunday afternoon on the terrace, old or new? I don’t tend to plan my sets too much, especially when I haven’t played at a place before. I tend to pack a diverse range of music and put it together on the spot. I can tell you I have been crate digging in my vinyl collection a bit lately and have been rediscovering some real gems. I find there are some great older tunes, which were way ahead of their time and people sometimes weren’t ready for them then, but they sound just right now! I reckon I’ll slot a couple of those in along the way on Sunday.
Listen to S.A.S.H's Kerry Wallace on Pulse Radio
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