Activism, Kenosis & the Second Summer of Love

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Any of you who know me, probably understand what a bittersweet relationship with activism I have.

Primarily, of course, because fear the conflict of the mob – I’m afraid of ‘feeling afraid’, and intimidated by the challenge of integrating groups steeped in unresolved anger. Afraid of my own fight-or-flight tendencies, and what idiocy or betrayal I might enact in a state of panic. I’m so conditioned to ‘fear’ the man.

It’s a slow undoing to attempt to conquer in one lifetime.

Having said this, the number of rallies, actions and vigils I’ve been involved in over the last 15 years is something I’ve lost count of, but still mark in terms of sleepless nights, panic-attacks and futile attempts at buying police officers warm coffee to ease their own frightened glances. There are, I’ve learned, few things which confuse the Police Force more than being called to control a rally, only to be met by bare-foot hippies singing mantras and offering organic cookies to their oppressors.

The language I’m most compelled by, as an ‘artist’ is, ultimately, the language of silence, of kenosis  – the kind of notions which obviously don’t easily for effective ‘protest’, in it’s traditional ‘western’ sense. The didactic prose of protest-speech reminds me too much of its corollary – the call to war, violence, division, witch-hunts and burning effigies.

It’s just not a language I’m barely fluent in. Not unless I’m particularly drunk, at least.

It’s a language where too often,  the power of the ritual, of the mythology, the creative-potential of being together is bulldozed by superlative-tropes which are ultimately too fatiguing to provoke change after the event.

If an even is framed in the language of separation and exhaustion, then what is the ultimate value of the event?

During my time working, almost a decade ago, for the Uniting Church, I rediscovered that so often, it is in fact the power of the mythology which speaks more practical/literal healing that what might be construed mere  ‘facts’. I’m happy to hold and cherish this reality. We all need stories – we demand them; even whilst governments reduce our mythologies to pithy slogans.  This is one of my life’s great personal lessons. The Jewish story of the clay Golem,  Jesus miracle of turning water to more wine for a feast already deeply enmeshed in bacchanalian chaos – what else are these but eternal truths, enriched by the democracy which only stories and their retelling (in a thousand incarnations) provides?

This is why the ritual of the ‘breaking of bread’ is a universal one – its a ritual which is an embodiment of a gratitude which transcends reductionism.

Ultimately, I’m not sure if protest-culture drew me deeper into electronic-music, or vice versa. I’m happy for this mystery to remain unresolved.  I do know, that during my honeymoon years in the mid 90s, techno WAS the music of a radical new form of story-telling for me. Our gatherings in Australia were often in warehouses, or in the forest, smeared in pot-haze, an organized chaos lauded over by NO-one and everyone at the same time. Dirty, flawed, completely impractical.

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Whilst often branded as anarchic, my ‘bush-doof’ and warehouse rave-days were usually, of course, anything but. There was simply too much mutual care, too much to offer, too little money to be made for a shared dream to be squandered. I think we all knew that. What I ultimately experienced was an experiment in controlled chaos which subsided into love, tinnitus and unplanned pregnancies.  An experiment in tenuously decentralized leadership, hybrid-mythology, acid, noise, the gift-economy, and largely ‘faceless’ sonic heroics – a far cry from much of the Ibiza mega-club triumphantalism frequently we see today.

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Photo courtesty Ohms Not Bombs http://ohmsnotbombs.net

 

All this, just to say (revisionist romanticism notwithstanding) rave and techno culture gave me a community, and many inspiring leaders and friends who’ve since graduated to become astounding community leaders, policy-makers, aid-workers and storytellers. I don’t think that this is mere coincidence. It’s why I still believe in the power of mythology, of storytelling, and – very much – in the power of failure, also. My life’s politics and music are inseparable – and the challenge of integrating them is the great challenge of my life.

Two nights ago, we staged a vigil outside the Australian Embassy here in Berlin – an action prompted by the ongoing persecution of asylum-seekers in Australia under successive government policies. I was asked to give an ‘address’, the transcript of which is copied below. I realize that it’s not what might be deemed a ‘conventional’ call to arm – and it is far from perfect (Germany’s own asylum-seeker policies are often the subject of of harsh critique), but I wanted to offer it as a voice in the conversation for asylum-seeker policy-change. For those of us also aching for new mythologies, and what I’d call a re-hewing of the fabric of our hearts. The ground is fallow and ready for new stories.

I hope, that, taken within the context of more discreetly pragmatic voices (and there are many great ones) it might help provide offer some salve and pause amid this madness.

Deep thanks and gratitude to all who turned up and made our vigil feel worthwhile – for the  offerings of the many candle-holders, message-writers, silent reflectives, musicians and organizers. And thanks to the German Polizei for respecting our right to gather, so kindly. Berlin continues to surprise me.

Speech for Light The Dark: Vigil for Asylum Seekers at Australian Embassy Berlin | 23 Feb 2014

“It’s an honor to share this night with you.

Thank you to everyone who has turned up tonight for our small, somewhat ramshackle, chapter of “Light The Dark” – prompted, not only by organiser Michelle O’Brien, but also by individuals like her sister Natalie O’Brien, one of thousands of younger, deeply compassionate advocates working in Sydney to help mobilise a number of concurrent events across Australia. Their voices give us hope and courage.

There are so many striving for good in Australia – and this gathering is for all of them. May it resonate as a voice of support from afar. This gathering is for our local communities, media outlets, for those who are demanding robust, transparent and compassionate discourse. This night is also for those in Berlin who have invested and engaged in an issue which is currently germane to Australia, but which is also a fundamentally global concern. This night is also for those of us who just don’t know what the hell to do right now.

So this is what we’re doing – a brief, conscious remembering, together in the hope that good things might grow from solidarity, and our shared hope might become bigger than the sum of its parts.

I offer the following thanks and reflections not as an activist or politician, but merely as an individual, as a concerned voice, swimming like so many of us in a familiar yet deeply turbulent sea. As an artist abroad in Berlin, who has previously worked for and with refugees in Australia for groups like TEAR, The Australian Refugee Association and the Uniting Church Department of Social Justice. In education, advocacy, arts-work and simple friendship with asylum seekers.

Like many of us, I’ve visited some of our horrible detention centres. Enough has been written about these gulags in our own press, much of which I don’t need to re-articulate here but which I encourage you to keep abreast of. The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre has a fantastic presence online and offers a great springboard for further engagement.

So then. It seems curious, for many of us who’ve left our ‘homeland’ to know what an appropriate response might be to the events we’re seeing unfold in Australia. This ‘Pacific Solution’ being, in fact, instituted by none other than Labor Prime Minister Kevin Rudd during his previous tenure and now fortified in its current incarnation by the Abbott regime.

This is clearly a bipartisan affair and has remained so since the Howard era’s reactionary ‘Children Overboard’ scandal over 10 years ago, and the horrors of indefinite detention and temporary protection visas – which I know many of us protested against en mass at that time. These policies are a cemented by a hysteria with a deep historical through-line, a reflection of a certain ongoing crisis of our unreconciled national identity – from the alarmism of the Yellow Peril, to the Stolen Generation, Cronulla Riots and beyond. Stories and patterns ricocheting and reverberating in the echo chamber of our short, “White-Australian history” – the politically dominant history, yet only one of so many diverse stories – stories rich in grace and tenacity, kindness and re-invention.

We have yet to see a single ‘people smuggler’ prosecuted or named. Yet we now have thousands of personal refugee details ‘inadvertently’ publicly leaked on official websites – names, ages, nationalities, family status etc. of thousands of vulnerable asylum seekers seeking protection.

There is little logic and even less humanity here.
Meanwhile, the tendrils which seeking to ‘outsource’ Australia’s moral responsibility are extending not only to poorer nations like Papua New Guinea, but now also to Cambodia, according to recent statements from the Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Namhong.

I contend that this is an endemically patronising foreign policy – the notion that poorer countries and individuals can be purchased, silenced, bought, tacitly settled and annexed via private dealings in human trade, masquerading as some sort of social responsibility, where even naming the dead is seen as subversive.

Reza Berati is dead. Reza Berati is dead.

How do we actively engage with this without becoming fatigued and bound by feelings of helplessness or betrayal? How do we radically ‘open up’ the official histories of Australia, to celebrate and honor the riches afforded us from those who’ve come across the seas? How do we frame our own stories in the light of this debt of thanks we owe to ‘outsiders’? How do we move forward – through and beyond necessary policy change, to a changing of the fabric of our hearts?
I want to suggest that perhaps, in fact, that certain answers are far closer than we may imagine.

Many of us have found our own little homes here, because Berlin has testified to the gift of slow, luminous change and healing, and in so doing has valued our voices as outsiders here. It’s a healing springing from collective confession and admission of the horrors of the past. I take great heart that by way of the model this city has embodied, we are inspired to find solutions and healing for Australia’s current challenges – by way of honesty, creativity, simplicity and a process of deep, healthy grieving.

I’m convinced a fundamental paradigm shift in how we define our official ‘Australian Story’ needs to occur, and that indeed it shall.

This small gathering then, I feel, is, not only very much for Reza Berati who was killed on Manus Island under Australia’s care, or for the countless recently injured or continuing to suffer, but is in fact also for ourselves and those who strive to live with dignity and compassion in difficult times.

The fact is, the suffering of all refugees under our government’s care is a suffering we share, and must share, and which we are all inextricably bound to. Those who suffer in detention are none other than our people, though most we have never met.

Perhaps our hope can be theirs too.

I’m reminded, curiously, of the words of Nobel Peace Prize nominee Thich Naht Hanh, which seem to eloquently summise Australia’s ongoing crisis of identity, framed through his gentle Buddhist eyes.

“When another person makes you suffer, it is because he suffers deeply within himself, and his suffering is spilling over. He does not need punishment; he needs help. That’s the message he is sending.”

For our voices to be unified, we need not only the tenacity to demand justice, but also the salve of forgiveness, silence, and the simple ritual of being together – not only with political ‘solutions’ but with recognition of our willingness to see and become part of the process of being change, and becoming changed.

We bring open, honest, wounded hearts, and perhaps even tears tonight as an offering toward hope and mobilisation.

I know that many of us have felt frightened by our own rage, our own despair, are own unexpected panic here. I’ve found my own vitriol often so personally crippling, paralysing. How do we manifest change in a way which keeps our hearts free from the poison we fear?

I’m not sure. But a small gathering like this just may be part of what we can offer. It’s not an isolated gesture. There’s a voice, there’s a value here. One we can and must take heart in – echoed abroad.

Again, the oft-cited Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, writing about his experience in the Soviet forced labour-camps put things thus:

“If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”

There is no doubt that the deeds being committed in detention camps around Australia are, for want of a better word, ‘evil’ – they are undoubtedly abhorrent, inhumane, illegal, unjust and cruel.

But, perhaps more accurately, they are acts and policies of ignorance which are grounded in deep, deep delusion, a temporary national amnesia, a sort of political sleeping-sickness, a spiritual malaise. Cycles we see echoed across decades of Australian history. A story must re-build together now.
There IS no ‘Great Satan’ over the waters, hiding and steering boats. The Great Satan is us … yet our story shows that there are enduring enough moments of rare light showing  that political norms can be overturned, transformed, reborn.

Australia is a nation of refugees, living as guests on indigenous land.

The fact that we are here – as grateful outsiders in Berlin – I hope can remind us of our own power and voice, as well as our responsibility to show reciprocity to our community here. We must build the Australia we want to see wherever we live, in our collective dreamings, and in the dismantling of the Walls and Borders in our own hearts. It has been done before, and change does come.

Thank you once again for coming this evening. Thank you for your offerings, hopes, prayers, tobacco, candles, beer and collective wisdom. Please continue to share them.

Shortly we’ll hear from three fantastic musicians, Ray Mann, Remarkable Shipwrecks, and Wasp Summer– but now we wish to offer five minutes of silence.

For Reza Berati.
For all asylum seekers currently detained.
For the many more who will in future make Australia their home.”

- Rick Bull, 24 February 2014, Outside the Australian Embassy of Berlin

 

Seppüku Records, DJ-Mag Feature and more…

Seppüku Records

2014 is unfolding in a refreshingly exciting, always unexpected fashion – already feeling like a year which consolidates and expands upon several years of slow, steady work – particularly during the continuing Deepchild tenure in gorgeous Berlin. I’ve realized that I’ve been visiting and performing in this special city for almost 10 years – come February 2015, and the first ‘sacred decade’ will surely require marking in some fashion (most likely involving some primitive, beer-based ritual.

In the mean-time, it is with great pleasure, that we’re happy to announce the birth of Seppüku Records – a timely, and oft-requested label entity I’ve established with my manager, the brilliant (and similarly often slightly maudlin) Dan Cole. Dan is an established manager and journalist in his own right, and regular contributor/editor of the esteemed DJ Broadcast .

Our vision for Seppüku Records – in addition for providing a channel for Deepchild material, is one which is perhaps adequately summed-up as “exploring the refuse of orthodoxy”. Seppüku (the umlaut is our pseudo-Germanic addition) is, of course, the Japanese art (in its most confounding, vital and frighteningly tragic sense, were we are to adopt a biased Protestant/Capitalist reading) of ritual suicide. Formerly practiced, yet now officially banned, by Japan’s elite and warrior castes.

Beneath the horror and loss of the seppuku ritual, remain however, a compelling set of questions raised about nature of value, nature, self-identification, loss and, perhaps, even redemption. It’s an perversion (though far from an inversion) of the Christian crusifixion-story/mythology. A rich and fertile ground for conversation in a landscape which insists on personal ‘transformation’ and ‘transcendence’.

“If you meet the Buddha, kill him.”– Linji

It’s an uneasy concept (particularly given Japan’s enduringly high suicide-rates), but this uneasiness remains something of a manifesto for our label. It remains, also, my calling as an artist. What lies beneath what we might call ‘failure’? What lies beyond fear, duality, horror – in that vast expansive silence of no-mind.

Our practical challenge remains thus: in the face of an increasingly limited musical ontology within a commercial dance-music framework (and a music industry perpetually wont to refer to its own revisionist historical credo), how might we in the context of Seppüku, both engage in musical discourse, whilst planting the seeds of debate, dissent, and progression? How might we reframe the seemingly profane with a dignity? How might we explore the undergrowth of broken models of music, commerce, aspiration? How might the end of empire be reframed? How can we kill our own orthodoxies and seed the growth of radical new mythologies?
How can we offer beautiful, surprising music in the process?

Ultimately, then, Seppüku is – of course – just another channel for exploring grace in unexpected places. Perhaps this is all music could hope to be.

Meanwhile, our first release from the label – Acharné’s “Doubt” EP has set elegantly the precedent for the label. The EP has garnered support from Billboard Magazine, Bleep, as well a positive review from Resident Advisor, and some wonderful DJ-support.

This week, is the first Deepchild release on the label, “Rebuild” which I’m excited for. I’m forever trying to extend the boundaries of what Deepchild can achieve – and after years of producing and performing, seeding a necessary elasticity whilst maintaining a clear musical-thesis is a profound challenge. I suppose, when I child is young, that their minds and visions and cosmologies are malleable and soft – yet post-adolescence, have often hardened into dogma. I want to remain soft. I hope Seppüku can be a channel which helps me do so. In coming months we have an exciting 6-track release from Acharné to follow, and some unannounced signings from wider Berlin.

Deepchild – Rebuild EP (Official Trailer) from Michael Mortlock on Vimeo.

Meanwhile, on the flip-side of these somewhat lofty new projects, I’m delighted to announce that I’ve been published as the first artist feature-interview for Australia’s own franchise of the ubiquitous DJ Magazine. The interview is somewhat rambling; a sprawling, almost-verbatim transcript of a Skype interview. Nonetheless, it’s a deep honor to be involved and valued by such a massive, stalwart press-entity. You can read and download the issue here.

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Finally, I’m delighted to announce that my Diversions radio podcast has reached its 10th edition. It’s the usual mix of field-recordings, contemporary-classical, drone, ambient and experimental material – and for the 10th episode I felt compelled to include some words from the recently deceased Afro-American poet Amiri Baraka, a remarkable excerpt from Berlin’s Jacob Appelbaum – a fierce and eloquent advocate of information-privacy, a hacktivist, and close associate of Edward Snowden. I think his speech alone, is vital, heartening listening.

In the face of my own homeland, Australia, increasingly suffering under the weight of overt despotism, information-control, internal spying, privatization, environmental destruction and patent ‘Murdochracy’, I’m adamant about including some progressive and inspiring voices in future episodes of Diversions – particularly those voices from refugee, Indigenous Australian, LGTB and minority groups. Your offerings and feedback are gratefully accepted.

Finally, summer live-shows and Deepchild bookings are heating up fantastically. I’m excited to announce I’m a headliner at the 10th and final Esthetic Evolution festival in beautiful Idaho – an honor which means so much to me, and a festival who’s ideas and values make it a special and important experience – and a great way to spend several nights with no sleep, camping in a pristine environment. Thereafter, I’m playing around the North America for several weeks. Free dates are still available – please contact my North American booker, Vivien, via Cohenshi for enquiries.

Deepchild – End Of Year Mix 2013 and reflections

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Track list:
1. “Source Code” (unreleased) – Deepchild
2. “Zircon” – Deetron
3. “Clash” – Robert Hood
4. “Heirloom (Skudge Remix) -
5. “Basement Structure” – SCNTST
6. “Belvedere” – Cosmin TRG
7. “Take Me (MRSK remix) – Jack Dixon
8. “Sannakji” – Simian Mobile Disco & Cosmin TRG
9. “Safe Passage” – Deepchild
10. “Silenced Part 2″ – Mark Broom
11. “Spatiotemportal” – VRIL
12. “Recursion” – Benjamin Damage
13. “Fate” – Joy Orbison, Boddika
14. “Don’t I Feel” – Nphonix

And there goes 2013. Another astounding year, partially digested in the annals of my memory. Ive travelled and performed in Russia, America, Canada, Germany, Switzerland, Greece, Italy, Australia, New Zealand and more. Currently, I’m perched in a tree-house of sorts in Cambodia, where I’ve been for a week or so.

It was never my intention to become a travel-writer, but fate has a way of catapulting the unwary into strange climes, deep valleys and often barren wastelands of undoing. I often reflect that if 2012 was a year of radical ‘undoing’ for me, 2013 was a year of tenuous rebuild. New shoots feeling new earth.

The electronic-music world has also felt in the midst of new and exciting/promising birth-pains, and I sit in wonder and excitement about new chapters. Much has been written about the rise of EDM, and the parallel implosion in the r’n’b / pop world of so many racial tropes, narratives, stereotypes and easy grabs at nostalgic scenester revisionism. From Daft Punk’s confounding rejection of their electronic past in favor of ‘real’ instruments (wasn’t this argument played-out by 1996?) to the drying gasps of vinyl-purism and ‘real underground house-music’ (was house-music REALLY that up-tight and self-conscious about its wider image in the first place? Wasn’t pluralism the whole point?), things are swirling in a vortex of promise. And terror.

Ive been personally smitten and confounded by works this year from Beyoncé, Rihanna, Burial, Forest Swords, Huerco S, Blawan, Ancient Methods, Nils Frahm, Robert Hood, DJ Sprinkles, and Cosmin TRG – to name just a tiny handful. As ever, my Diversions radio-podcast has been keeping me sane – especially in the darker months….

The monetization of music ‘product’ remains an important challenge, but finally feels like a question worth radically overhauling – so dominant and obsessed has mainstream music become by it. For those of us who skim along the meniscus of prosperity – or are subsumed beneath its surface with new tides of change, the call remains the same – let go, rebuild, repeat. There is much wonder in this strange floating world, and I’m deeply thankful for your support, and your ears. See you in the club in 2014…

DEEPCHILD INTERVIEW – MEME, MANITOBA!

FRESH off the presses – an interview and some video taken earlier this year, when I played the fantaqstic MEME Festival in Manitoba!

DEEPCHILD ‘DIRT THIEF’ EP RELEASED

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Thanks to our wonderful friends at Thoughtless Music, I’m proud to announce that the long-anticipated Dirt Thief EP is finally out this week. It’s more slightly ‘garij’-infused proto-techno from myself, with some brilliant remixes by Safeword, Jens Bond and Tomas Jirku, and features one of my favorite B-side cuts of the year, “Safe Passage”. You can hear previews HERE and, incase you missed if the first time, catch a little video of myself performing the aforementioned track at Electron Festival in Geneva earlier this year – right here:

Deepchild Electron Festival from Deepchild on Vimeo.

Image credits for the Dirt Thief cover-artwork go to the ever-inspiring Michelle O’Brien
You’ll be able to grab the EP shortly from my Beatport page, as well as where all half-decent music is sold!

 

Oh, and here’s what the big-guns are saying about the release!

Originals are dope! DVS1, Hush

Nice tunes – will try out, thanks! SLAM, Soma

I’m digging the trippy, dubby, spheric building vibe around the beat – very useful. Thanks! JOEL MULL, Drumcode

Nice pack, will play the Jens Bond remix! MIHAI POPOVICIU, Pokerflat

Support – Deepchild for Resident! SACHA ROBOTTI, Robosonic

Liking the remix from Jens – will play in my deeper sets. D-NOX, Sprout

I really like the ethereal vocals here. Will definitely play out. ERIC VOLTA, No.19

Great release; Safeword’s remix is my favourite here! FABIO GIANELLI, Get Physical

Diggin’ Safe Passage, lovely arrangement. JAMES TEEJ, My Favorite Robot

Great EP! Jens made it for me. NICO STOJAN, URSL

Really cool tune – will play Dirt Thief! FLORIAN MEINDL, Riemann

Jens Bond remix for me! SOMEONE ELSE, Little Helpers

Really great package! Love Safe Passage and the Jens Bond remix of Dirt Thief; will be playing “Safe Passage” on my radio show this week! Thanks! STRYKE, Ovum

Support – I like both originals. BAIKAL, Maeve

Dope tracks!! Love Safe Passage!!! DANCE SPIRIT, Supernature

Support – will play more than one! ALEXI DELANO, AD Ltd.

All are solid, hard to choose a favorite here – will support and play. JONNY CRUZ, Touch of Class

Deepchild can do no wrong – great as always. Super nice remixes too, especially Tomas Jirku’s. Thanks. Support!! BRYAN ZENTZ, Minus

These tracks all sound amazing. DEREK MARIN, Superfreq

Will try out the Jens mix soon. Pulsing, hypnotic groove. Thanks again. TYLER STADIUS, Proton

Great grooves and vibe – Jens Bond mix for me. LESS HATE, Kindisch

Another well-rounded and diverse release from Thoughtless. Big ups! TAAL MALA, Modern Math

Great tracks. CHUCK FLASK, Paxahau

Dirt Thief original is fantastic. NICK WARREN, Hope

Support on all, thanks! DANIELLE NICOLE, Subtrak

Deepchild with Jens Bond remix – tight! Safe Passage is also badass, right up my sonic alley. MATT XAVIER, Railyard

Great EP, will support with club play and FM radio plays too! ROB PEARSON, Artform

Fantastic original and remixes. CHRIS FORTIER, Fade

Excellent release, thanks. SUMMER, Mo’s Ferry

Fantastic broken warehouse music. So good. LONGSHANKS, Subdivnet

All tracks are hot here – great work! JAMES PATRICK, Timefog

Great release! POINTBENDER, Guidance

We love all the tracks here! Remixes and originals are amazing! Full support from Mexico. SIGNAL DELUXE

DEEPCHILD PLAYS ADE 2013 (official!) + FREE DL!

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To celebrate the appearance of Deepchild on the 2013 Amsterdam Dance Event – Official Page (official!) program, for DJBroadcast International, we’re happy to offer a free, limited download of the currently unreleased “Bad Nutmeg”.

Play it loud!

More information about the ADE showcase can be found here:

http://www.facebook.com/deepchildmusic

Deepchild featured on BBC Radio 1 + Mixmag

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In the wake of this weeks super-freshly released “Bethania” EP (see previous post!) we’re  super-excited to be swimming in a LOT of great reviews, and airplay – most recent of which includes a rinsing from badnman bass-boy Mosca on our favorite European tastemaker radio-station BBC Radio 1, in London.

Follow the link above for more! And for the love of god, buy/steal this release. It’s available on CRISPY heavy-weight vinyl, too.

Don’t just take our word for it, though – here’s what Mixmag has to say. 8/10!

Mixmag Pushing Matter reciew

Out now: CDRD#7 “Bethania” by Deepchild

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Shop at: Beatport | Juno Records | Amazon | Decks.de

A1/ Deepchild – Pushing Matter (Original Mix)
A2/ Deepchild – Pushing Matter (MRSK Remix)
B1/ Deepchild – Lazarus (Original Mix)
B2/ Deepchild – Lazarus (LAD Remix)

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With over a dozen years in music under his belt and a lengthy discography that includes eight full-length albums and numerous EPs and remixes, Deepchild is a producer who needs no introduction. From Australia before it was a destination of note on the electronic circuit, his early music experimented with dub, broken beat, and other ideas. After moving to Berlin to be closer to the pulse, his sound has shifted towards house, but audible echoes of the earlier influences remain. Caduceus Records happily offers him our latest release, with two contrasting original efforts accompanied by remixes from MRSK and Lad.

Deepchild leads off with the more floor-focused of his originals, “Pushing Matter”, a dirty, hardware-propelled house jam whose grit looks towards the machines that made it. Extreme effects manipulations of the title vocal hook through ring modulators, delay, LFO and filters provide much of the sound palette, accompanied by acid-flecked basslines and hard-jacking drums with a modicum of breakbeat feeling. MRSK forwards the vocals and leans harder on their drum machines for the remix with deeper, dystopian, dancefloor-wrecking results and a similar overall development. “Lazarus” finds Deepchild in more experimental areas as chugging triplets provide tension to the rhythmic base alongside spacey, repeated vocal and synth phrases. Lad turns in another epic refix by ironing out the rhythmic kinks of the original and taking a lightly progressive house-influenced coda after an extended, heads-down techno workout.

August 2013 US tour-reflections..

Deepchild at MEME Festival, Winnipeg

I seem to have spent most of the last week camped out here, in Vancouver, at Prado Café – possibly VC’s finest caffeine traders. I’m attempting to ease the slight hand-tremors which I’ve bought upon myself through overcaffeination, by way of the rather sublime listening experience that is the “Engravings” album from Forest Swords (Tri Angle Records).  Rusty, gothic electronica -  guitar-laden, primal, half-whispered, degraded and utterly compelling. It’s welcome antidote to the batterings of hyper-referential disco-pop and smug R’N’B cynicism which the last few weeks have been suffocating in.  In addition, I’ve found myself returning to the voice of my prophets – Donnie Hathaway, Nina Simone, Rhythm and Sound, King Tubby this week…voices which leave space between what is said and unsaid.

Voices of deep, profound silence – even joy. Even wonder.

“Officially”, I’m supposed to be back in Berlin already, but opted to extend my stay in Canada for a week, before heading back to Neukölln in 3 days time. After 8 or so weeks of shows across, Australia, New Zealand, USA and Canada, I’ve realized that some decompression is in order. From LA to New York, Detroit, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Auckland, Sydney, and more, it’s been a spectacular run of shows, and I’m reeling in both fatigue and thankfulness. Somehow, it all feels like – for now – things are making perfect sense.

“Listen: this world is the lunatic’s sphere,
Don’t always agree it’s real, Even with my feet upon it
And the postman knowing my door, My address is somewhere else.”
― Hafiz

The art of successful touring, remains at its heart, a deeply collectivist pursuit – as does the art of music-making itself. This simple, profound lesson (of course) often feels like it takes decades to truly understand – after all, it has traditionally been the ‘triumphantalist’ narratives echoed in tomes like “The Secret” which have been used to market the type of nihilistic discontent which manifests itself in the cult of the ‘divinely anointed’ artist.

Obviously, though, I bang on about this way too much.

It’s time for a silent roll-call of thanks today….to everyone who’s attended my shows, taken me in (from 5-star hotels to sofas), driven, flown, transported, walked me, fed me, shared meals and stories, doubts and dreams. Bookers, friends, fans, dissenters, barstaff, etc etc. We are a large web in constant flux – one I’m chuffed to be a small part of. So thanks. This was a good tour – a great tour, infact. Ive never had more sellout-shows in my career – nor as many brilliant, impromptu unannounced opportunities to perform and hear inspiring music.

Now, for some photos..and some rest. Thank you again, North America. See you once more next week, my dear Berlin…

Another Tour Over, A New One Just Begun…

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I’m sitting, as always, in a café. Nestled deep in Sydney’s Newtown, my old neighborhood, and home for the previous six weeks here in Australia. Between numerous shows, a brutal chest-infection and considerably more studio-time than intended, my time here has bled away so much faster than predicted.

As always, Ive clambered in, out,  and between the folds of Australia’s deeply unnerving political-turmoil – digesting the rise of hyper-right reactionism peddled by both major parties at present on our island. In a world where ‘traditional’ notions of nationhood are essentially redundant, it feels that the Iron-Fist of  our military-industrial complex has become the tacit arbiter of ‘new nationhood’. Most deeply distressing is the wash of rhetoric by Messrs Rudd and Abbott here, which has successfully derailed their “Christian” ethic of embracing the most vulnerable – a desperate inversion of the gospel message’s deepest gift to us – ie, each other. Otherness, imminent and shared. I can never read the parable of the Good Samaritan without feeling that we are the stranger on the road, the maligned holy-folk who walk by, and the Samaritan who (themselves a minority group) become the redeemer.

In the oddest of chapters, being back here I’m witnessing the same strange games played with asylum-seekers as during the Howard years, some 10 years prior. It is all so very strange.

But I digress. Much has been written about Australia’s strange neuvo-Apartheid, about our out-sourcing of moral-responsibility, and about the strange men warring for political-control of this beautiful country at the moment. If you’re interested, take a read here, and keep digging:

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/jul/29/australia-gulag-votes-aboriginal-concentration-camps

Meanwhile, in my deepest heart, I see an Australia founded by outsiders, comprised of outsiders, and made richer by outsiders, refugees and the displaced. To act differently is to herald forth a deep karmic behemoth – one which will only haunt and eat it’s children in years to come.

As ever – as my final note, the Australian Greens seem to offer a voice of quiet reason, quiet hope, and infinite common-sense:

In my heart of hearts, I don’t believe in the sanctity of anyone’s ‘borders’.
In my heart of hearts, I do believe in the sanctity of everyone, however.

I suppose though, I should talk for a moment about techno….

All Deepchild shows – both live and dj-sets here in New Zealand and Australia have been brilliant, well-attended (several sold-out shows!) and so deeply heartening to me. It’s with a full and grateful heart that I thank all involved – particularly in Australia, I’ve rarely experienced such incredible support, nor felt so inspired by the wealth of local-talent who remain, in my opinion, the amongst the world’s finest.

For me, to play an event like Mad Racket again after so many years, is of no less significance than performing at clubs like Berlin’s Berghain. This is, for me, the heartland of Australian House and Techno-music. This is a community which shapes deeply national electronic-music culture. This is a community which has spawned so many brilliant and diverse others, and whose waters I’ve felt honored to swim in.  It’s also a fragile community held-together not-so-much by anything approaching ‘economic-rationalism’ (to digress for a moment) but rather from an authentic sense of filling a need in a community.

The community which my electronic-music ‘people’ have built, feels so sacred it defies description. Music cannot exist in a void. Without the oxygen of community (which can take many forms) it withers, dissolving into the vacuum until it is needed again.

I believe that the notion of ‘solo artist’ is fundamentally an anathema. We are a shared musical-process.

This weekend I play my final Australian shows in Adelaide and Sydney – with previous excursions to Melbourne also having proven incredible, rich and rewarding. To those whom I now see only every couple of years, I extend a special ‘thank you’. You are my family here, my friends, and my travel-companions. The incredible Dj Trinity has remained one-such remarkable friend and Australian booker for several years now, and together with my manager Dan, this touring experience has been hitch-free. I owe a debt of gratitude to these people. I hope they know this.

Next week…I’m back to the USA and Canada for 3 or so more weeks of shows in New York, Los Angeles, Detroit, Winnipeg and several others on the verge of being confirmed. Gifted with a new US 3-year visa, I’m excited and intrigued by the next few years of US appearances, and I’m already busy re-tooling and experimenting with new approaches to my live-set – itself a constant work-in-process.

I return, finally to Berlin once more on August 26th, before European-shows recommence on August 28th…hope to see you at one, or several. We don’t  have to talk politics. Promise.

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On a final-note, a new edition of Deepchild Diversions is here! Contemporary-classical, ambient, dub, soundtrack-music and more! Check it out and DL here:


New Deepchild SHOWS:

Aug 9 (Fri) – NYC / Club: TBA /
Aug 11 (Sun) – Los Angeles / Club: La Vida Nightclub /
Aug 15 (Thur) – Detroit / Level two bar & Rooftop /
Aug 16 (Fri) – Winnipeg / MEME Festival /
Aug 17 (Sat) – Philadelphia (TBC)
Aug 24 (Sat) – Toronto (TBC)