Melbourne has always had its fair share of local techno talent, and Simon Murphy is definitely one of its unsung heroes. A music man forever, he found it became ingrained in his subconscious well before he developed his own deep seeded passion. He explains, "As I have always done, I made it my mission to listen to and explore any music I could get my hands on. Whilst in high school I listened to the same bands that everyone else was listening to but also got a taste for electronic music quite early. The major turning point was probably hearing The Prodigy's Music For A Jilted Generation. From that point on I was hooked on electronic music and in the early years, listened to any CD I could find that had the word dance, rave or party on it!"
And while he is only just getting his head around production duties, he considers his approach in a measured way. "When it comes to my music, I look at it the same way as I do the rest of my life in that there will always times you need to be serious but you need to balance the serious with the fun. I work to live, not live to work and I feel this transfers across to my involvement in the scene. The events that I run also tend to follow this philosophy. My partner in crime, J-Slyde and I put a lot of time and effort into picking the best lineups and making the events we run the best that they can be."
Indeed, the lads maintain a level of professionalism that keeps their punters coming back while trying to create an entertaining experience that's not too serious. There really is nothing Simon likes more than letting his hair down and enjoying himself at a festival or event. "When you've been involved in a scene for over a decade, there must be something fun there to keep you coming back!" he chimes. "And when I'm not playing, I still go out every weekend to show support to the extremely talented locals and to catch the international talent that graces our shores. My passion for the scene means that the hard yards I put in don't actually feel hard."
In turn, 2011 has been what Simon considers a breakout year for him which has seen him busier than ever, both gig wise and event wise. "This year I have had the honour to play support sets for some of my heroes like Hybrid, Solar Fields and Kasey Taylor. I have been offered sets at some of the best events that Melbourne has to offer. The event scene is absolutely pumping at the moment. After quietening down slightly a couple of years ago, the Melbourne scene has rebuilt to an amazing hub of extremely talented artists who really are making an impact on the global scene. Seeing some of the people I have been partying with for years go global in terms of releases and tours has been a huge boost. The guys who were playing support a few years ago are now headlining so in some ways there has been a changing of the guard."
All of that then comes from his relationships with various crews around town. Being lucky enough to be able to be involved with a few different crews around the place affords him the luxury of playing a bunch of different sounds. "A set playing at Prognosis or Darkbeat will be different to a set I would play at Interview or Unstable Sounds but each of them will be my own take on the sounds those events are pushing," he says.
"Due to this fact I have to be very versatile in what I play but it means I can move through genres and not be bound to play a specific sound. As cliché as it sounds I really don't limit myself to one genre and I really wouldn't have it any other way. My background and basis for music will always be techno. It is where I cut my teeth in the scene as a partygoer and I find it is where I always head back to when I need inspiration musically. The last few years I've spent a lot of time listening to a wide variety of music and I feel they've all contributed to what I play."
And the resurgence in techno around the world hasn't hurt either. Still, Simon's attitude is rather measured. "As with all genres I believe these changes are cyclical in that the genres are constantly evolving and changing. The stripped back techno that is a lot slower than the techno of the past is definitely growing in popularity and you can see this in global releases and local events. I see this as a good thing as anything that gets people into the clubs and events is a good thing. I occasionally play a few of the tunes from this kind of sound in my sets but I haven't been fully converted to date. I listen to a lot of techno across the board and I think that each separate sound plays an important role in the genre as a whole. I also think that there has also been a resurgence in the progressive scene both globally and here in Melbourne too." None of which can hurt. "Don't trust a DJ that doesn't dance," he closes with. Rather apt, I'd say.
Simon Murphy [AUS] plays many shows around Melbourne alongside several residencies, for upcoming shows dates check out facebook.com/djsimonmurphy