Ajax & Lux
“We want people to feel like they have arrived home when they get there. That they are comfortable. That they are not outsiders. They belong there. We want to make people feel that again.” Lani Greer aka Lux had her first taste of Melbourne's club land at 16. A country girl, she used to trek into the city to boogie her way around the city's many gay bars. Having established herself on the scene, Greer soon found herself moving from the gay scene to the all accepting rave scene.
It wasn't long before a fateful night saw her meeting Jason Lloyd, who you may know better as Ajax. She takes up the story, “We met in about '94 at a warehouse party at a sports complex in Albert Park. He was DJing, I wasn't DJing in that stage, I was just going out. I saw him DJing and Scott Alert. I just became their number one fan for the next five years. I am still their number one fan, but I am a little bit older and wiser so I don't have to suck up anymore. The party was called HyperBase. It was this crazy English guy who put on these parties. I started going to all the parties he was playing at. I just got really into it. I saw a chick DJing at a house party once in Footscray and I was like that is what I want to do.”
Having made her mind up to pursue DJing, inspired by her new besties, it didn't take long for Greer to become an established name on the scene. But rather than dwell on the years in between, our conversation fast forwards to the today. With the pair revisiting their far from forgotten youths, they have decided to join forces and redefine the Melbourne dance scene. Lloyd explains, “Pretty much we found that there has been a gap in the market, with clubs such as Viper Room, Evolution, Q Bar and the Dome shutting down the past couple of years. So we saw a bit of a gap in the market for that genre, the more club-rave crossover. We thought we'd try to piece together a few of the DJs from that genre, like Tony C, myself, Kat and Damon Boyd. Then including the raver Djs from other walks of life, such as Lux, Scott Alert and the Undergraduates and Alex Butler. Just piecing them together in a club environment in the city. Hopefully it’s going to be a cracker.” While the night may on the whole be musically inspired, he reveals that when it came to naming their night, the pair turned to an alternative source of inspiration. He continues, “The whole reason behind Grindhouse was emphasizing Tarantino and Rodrigues' movies. He has re-hashed the whole of exploitation cinema. What we are doing is re-hashing the whole dirty side of club land Melbourne. Hence we are running a whole bunch of Grindhouse films. Just keeping it all dirty, grungy and exploitative.”
In essence, their move marks a wish to defy the genre heavy club scene. With Lloyd admitting, “Both myself and Lani have never really stuck to one genre. As long as it is good music we will play it,” it is clear that their sole intention is the re-creation of a time period when partying didn't mean posing or people pleasing. As Greer confirms, they share the opinion that for a good night, be it at Grindhouse or some other destination, the essential ingredient is thus, “you have to be yourself. You have to be able to express yourself.”A reminiscent Greer recalls, “That was the reason I started going out. The reason I felt so grounded and so at home at rave parties, because no-one comes with any inhibitions. Everyone accepts everyone as who they are. Everyone has a really open mind and is really friendly. That is what got me into the rave scene in the first place.”
Having seen the scene alter over the years, both Greer and Lloyd admit to periods of displeasure. With both having considered packing it all in, they are clearly hoping to redefine a scene. Greer continues, “It is very different now when you go out clubbing, you don't know the people anymore and you don't know the person on the door. If you meet someone there then they are probably really nice, but it is not like the old days where you would meet everyone in the warehouse party and walk out with a thousand new friends. Everyone is head down, they go to the club and do their stuff, they don't communicate with each other anymore.”
Ajax & Lux [AUS] play Grindhouse at Roxanne Parlour on Friday June 17.