Melbourne-based beat-maker Dylan Michel, aka Wooshie, has just released his debut EP Boyfriend Material. The chilled out DJ and producer has been running This Thing, a collective home to the likes of Perth’s own James Ireland and Sydney producer Rainbow Chan. 100% chats with the lad who has been “smoking pot every day for the last ten years” of his life.
Boyfriend Material is “a bit of a joke” according to Dylan Michel. “It’s just taking the piss out myself,” he says down the line from his home in Brunswick where he’s currently living on a diet of juice and smoothies to get over the dreaded flu. Put together in a month (along with many other songs), Michel says the EP – and his sound in general – is about “trying to say a lot by using as minimal elements as possible”. “Basically anything to avoid vocals on my tracks just because I’d rather get those ideas across with sounds. A lot of it is simple and just really raw ideas,” he says.
Based around relationships, the cover for the cassettes and artwork for the EP contains a pretty hilarious picture of Michel’s father sitting on a couch smiling. With luscious long locks and an engaging smile, it’s a smattering of awkwardness fused with humour. “I’m not really close to my dad or anything but I have crazy respect for him,” he says. “He’s an Oscar-winning cinematographer and a workaholic. I guess I have that sort of similar blind motivation.
“I’ve been smoking pot every day for the last ten years and I find it keeps me motivated. I do a lot with my time. Often it’s an internal battle like, ‘I wish I didn’t have this vice, is it bad? Is it affecting my health?’ but I’ve kind of gotten over that complex and just accepted that it’s part of who I am… I had this perception that I was a vague, stoner beat-maker and then I realised I had this other skill set to use.”
Aside from being a DJ and producer, the skill set which Michel talks of running the collective This Thing. Having started up roughly a year ago as a Google group that a bunch of similar, likeminded artists used to communicate through, Michel took it a step further and formed a collective. “There’s a whole bunch of us who are beat-makers, broadcasters and DJs, just people who are interested in music, and a lot of us were coming up and doing some interesting stuff and we all had a similar taste so we figured if we joined forces then we could probably do a lot of stuff,” he says.
During the creation of This Thing, Michel was booking a late night venue called the Buffalo Club. “It enabled This Thing to have a platform because we had that monthly,” he says. Michel says This Thing has been really lucky in Australia in terms of recognition and opportunities and their aim is to now reach out overseas. “We’re going to America in July and we’re going to play some shows over there and we’re going to try and speak to some people and crew in terms of distribution,” he says.
Michel has come a long way since dropping out of his composition course at WAAPA (“I was mainly only studying because my girlfriend at the time was studying at the same institution as me and I didn’t have much else to do. It was a really good course but I just found myself making less music than I would normally”) and Boyfriend Material is just one collection of tunes which he plans on releasing this year. “I’ve got another EP following which will be four tracks in July,” he says. “I’m really going to be doing a whole retrospective I guess, a whole bunch of music I made when I was like 16.”
BY ANNABEL MACLEAN
Wooshie’s [AUS] Boyfriend Material EP is out now. He plays The Workers Club on Sunday July 8.