I ring up Strict Face the day after the discharge of New Racer, his first full-length mixtape. He’s on a break at his day job, “admin guy” for a security alarm firm. As we chat about New Racer, and I heap reward on it, he tells me that he’s stunned by the reception. I’m stunned in flip, because from the surface it’s onerous to imagine New Racer being anything less than sensible. Strict Face has been perfecting his signature club sounds for seven years now, and the EP is the most effective expression of it but.
In 2014 Strict Face debuted with the two-track release Fountains / Highbury Skyline, shortly adopted by his 2015 EP Marble Isles. 2016’s ‘Murderer’ with Okay-Main was his first—and only—collaborative effort to date. 2018 saw him share Melbourne’s first Boiler Room stage with Nina Las Vegas. Strict Face’s music is infectious. He creates sonic atmospheres in a method that few can—fusing the club with a lazy Sunday morning. You may put it right down to his means to conjure up unusual rhythms and sounds to his tracks. Or you possibly can attribute it to the consistency of his roll outs. Either method, Strict Face is one in every of Adelaide’s greatest exports.
He’s worked with homegrown labels like Gobstopper and Tuff Wax. He was among the first to sign to NLV Data. So far as Australia is worried, Strict Face has pretty much accomplished all the things a DJ can do—with out morphing into Flume. After New Racer, where does he go next? He’s obtained some ideas (which may embrace resigning from that day job).
Howdy! New Racer is your largest release but, and it’s such a assorted, cohesive physique of labor. I’ve learn plenty of evaluations, it’s been acquired rather well.
Once I awoke on the day that the mixtape came out, I had a couple of messages from people who I’d sent the document to. I didn’t actually anticipate a lot of a reaction on the day that it got here out. It was truly fairly sudden. I didn’t assume anybody would hit me up about it until [a couple of days later.] To see the reception it’s been getting to date has been fairly shocking.
I heard that the post-production process made up the bulk of the work compared to the recording levels.
Yeah. I’m not that a lot of a perfectionist, per se. If anything, it was extra having to mirror on how the production wanted to sound every time I tested it out. Or if I sent it to the label, most of the time they’d have at the very least a handful of feedback everytime I sent a demo by way of. It was more-so just having to really feel what common skeleton the monitor was on. It was sort of troublesome, especially once you’re in a mood to maneuver onto the subsequent thing. It’s not all the time straightforward having to concentrate on each monitor as it is. Typically whenever you’re engaged on a venture and you’re having to clunkily commute between them, it gets a bit frustrating.
You probably did your first solo Boiler Room with Nina this yr. How was that?
It was cool! I didn’t really anticipate to get a Boiler Room session this yr, let alone any time quickly. Once I acquired the call from Boiler Room firstly of the yr, I had to do a double take. I couldn’t say no. Especially because it was with Nina, Corbin, and Basenji. They’re all producers that I actually, really like when it comes to what they’re doing. It was an honour.
I can think about! I’m going to be trustworthy and say that I do know it’s not your first expertise with Boiler Room. I saw you dancing at Amy Becker’s 2016 Boiler Room in London…
Yeah… I used to be there. (Laughs) Once I was touring the UK and Europe in 2016, I went and saw that Boiler Room. I imply, everybody on that line-up [was amazing]. There was Amy Becker, Taku, and some different mates of mine. They have been enjoying a show together and simply by coincidence I occurred to be on the town that weekend on my tour. I hit the blokes up and I managed to get in by some means. I assume you can say that it was my first time enjoying Boiler Room this yr however not my first time in entrance of the digital camera!
Technically… if we’re going to nit-pick. I know you’re from Adelaide and that’s where your DJ profession stemmed from. What was the first club you ever performed?
It was undoubtedly in Adelaide at a small, dinghy membership.
I really like the sound of that already.
It was at Hindley St! It was at this membership referred to as Cuckoo, which has unfortunately shut down now. It was this really, really small techno membership. And my good friend who I used to throw club nights with knew the owner. Just for the hell of it, we decided to do a small membership night time there. We didn’t anticipate much in the best way of people displaying up to the membership when did these nights. It was truly a great way to cut my tooth and study the ropes when it comes to DJing and how that entire system works. I played fairly a number of exhibits in Adelaide… at this level I’ve hassle remembering precisely where I technically started.
Can we speak about Earworms, your Spotify playlist? Which has nice cowl artwork, by the best way.
Oh man. It’s sort of humorous, it’s such a juxtaposition as a result of it’s a reasonably grisly thing to look but there’s a beauty behind it.
Did you ever watch Narcos?
You understand how within the opening title the place they have the burning automotive on the end?
You already know what? I really feel like there was truly a unconscious nod to that. I mean, it’s additionally like a very delicate due to the entire “getting handed the AUX cord and blowing up the car” joke.
[Laughs] Yes. That’s superb. I didn’t make that connection! I really like that it covers an entire vary of music. When did you begin it?
Properly, I had an entire bunch of playlists before that, but they didn’t actually take off like Earworms has. I felt that if I combined different things I was listening to and paired it with music that I was listening to in the membership at the time, it will give individuals a more accurate picture of the place my head was at musically. It’s a rolling playlist. I replace it no less than as soon as a fortnight. It’s identical to a little bit of an obsessive belief that I’ve acquired on the subject of that.
I like that.I acquired advised the opposite day that you simply actually love Rihanna’s final album.
Anti! Sure! Big fan of that album.
Me too. What do you assume makes a very good hit music?
If I used to be tasked with having to guage successful track, I’d say the sonics and how the track is written really matter. It is determined by the type of sounds which might be concerned and how the artist, producer, and songwriter strategy it when it comes to structure and vocals—the way it throws that, even within the slightest means, off-kilter. Every little thing issues if you’re making something stand out. Much more than something that you would contemplate a ‘paint-by-numbers’. I look for the actually bizarre sounds that you simply wouldn’t anticipate. I additionally search for how rhythmic it’s as properly. If there’s a very good drum pattern that’s something that stands out to me.
Prime five releases of 2018?
Okay. Look, there’s been so many. The Kacey Musgrave’s album Golden Hour for positive. Travis Scott’s Astroworld.
Oh my god. Nice album.
I don’t know what it was, but plenty of rap didn’t stick to me this yr. I don’t know if it was manufacturing or the number of tracks, however compared to pop, R&B and membership music, I felt like I favored individual tracks when it came rap, as opposed entire data. However Astroworld is the exception. That entire album is great, production clever particularly. Every little thing Charli XCX has put out just lately has been superb. Kota Banks’ Prize for positive. S-Sort is a producer from Scotland. He put out a monitor each Thursday for a couple of months, and then at the finish of that interval he compiled it into an album. I’ve been obsessed ever since. This could all change in a month’s time. Troy Sivan put out a bunch of actually good tracks too. The Sinjin Hawke and Zora Jones EP, Vicious Circles, involves mind. Pretty much every part Fractal Fantasy put out.
Would you ever produce a pop album? Who can be your dream individual to supply for?
I undoubtedly need to do one thing like that sooner or later. When it comes to who I might do it for… is rather a lot more durable. My dream collaborator would for positive be Ariana Grande or Kelela. However I feel like I couldn’t simply pluck them out of a hat. It might come right down to how we labored within the studio and how it all matches together. If we’re on the identical wavelength, then that’s cool.
Who doesn’t love an excellent pop album?
I really feel like pop has had an excellent resurgence and has been fairly extensively accepted, versus seeing it as this little sphere where a lot of people don’t actually touch it because of the connotations or individuals may assume it’s too business for their tastes or their sensibilities. But at the present time, especially with streaming, that entire pre-conceived notion of pop has been demolished. And it’s lead us to a lot more experimental and ahead dealing with music because of it.
Are you a fan of Björk?
Yeah, I’m extra a fan of her older stuff than her newer stuff. I don’t assume her [newer] stuff is essentially dangerous music, it simply didn’t persist with me.
I used to be watching an interview together with her, and the interviewer asks her about she thinks of people that call her music pop music. And she or he says “Well, it’s made from the everyday sounds. It’s made from inspiration that everyone can relate to, from universal themes.” It’s the most effective descriptions of pop that I’ve heard.
I feel she nailed it as properly. A variety of the music that’s made is impressed by what we hear. Like strolling down the street, we will hear something and that is perhaps the start of a monitor that would probably be successful. She was onto one thing.
Did your on a regular basis life come via in New Racer?
It’s a mix of these. I wouldn’t necessarily say that my private life did inspire all of it. But I wouldn’t deny the truth that elements of it did.
What’s your Adelaide membership food?
I truly go to Yiros Home on Rundle St. It’s proper near Sugar, one of many clubs I’m going to probably the most. After the club, or even in the course of the club, I’ll go there. I usually get the standard falafel. That or a small bag of chips. The staples of the membership.
Talking of, what’s the staple of a superb club? What retains you coming again?
Most of the time I might say a great sound system and a nicely maintained DJ arrange, simply from a DJ perspective. As a punter although, I’d say the curation of the club. From the vibe, right right down to who you’re reserving as a DJ. It doesn’t actually matter how dinghy or how poorly decked out the club is, so long as you’re doing all these issues I’ll come again. It’s really weird because numerous golf equipment in Australia achieve a few of those areas, but they don’t get all of these elements right. I’ve been to a variety of good clubs here, however they’re getting rarer by the day.