14.06.2019

Acclaimed German DJ Patrice Baumel reflects on the eternal legacy of Thick as Thieves

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Words by Anna Rose

The iconic music organisation is celebrating ten years of fostering the most exciting electronic music talent.

For ten years, Thick as Thieves has been the voice of electronic music in Melbourne, and this weekend the pivotal establishment caps off two weeks of anniversary celebrations with a huge event featuring performances from Patrick Topping and Patrice Baumel.

Thick as Thieves all began when its co-founder Mike Toner set out to weed out artists, punters and other electronic fans from the misty underground, running events that not only showcased the talents of some amazing artists but paid attention to philanthropic endeavours. Thick as Thieves in their time have donated a staggering $500,000 to the Fred Hollows Foundation, who work to combat avoidable blindness among some of the world’s poorest communities.

Working with Thick as Thieves since 2017, Baumel makes the bill alongside Topping not only for his outstanding talent, but his recognition of what the company is about. “I wish all my worldwide agents were as good as this crew,” says Baumel. “They have really moved mountains in this short period and on top of that I have bonded with them on a personal level.

“It doesn’t surprise me at all that they are going places, the level of professionalism and ability to make things happen is incredible. To celebrate this day with them is an honour and also a token of our friendship.”

Institutions like Thick as Thieves are amazing. Not only have they done a huge amount for the Fred Hollows Foundation, but they’ve given artists of the underground an important platform, something Baumel feels is important to up-and-coming artists in the genre. “If you don’t allow fresh talent in and keep booking the same names year after year, the scene eventually dies a slow death because the crowd, as well as the artist community, lose interest.”

Performing this weekend alongside Topping, Baumel says it’s going to be an interesting dichotomy of energy throughout their set. “On paper, we are probably polar opposites in terms of our sound,” he says. “But what connects us is a common goal of making people happy and giving them a night to remember with lots of energy.

“Patrick and I also vibe really well on a personal level. On top of that, I think lineups can absolutely use a bit of diversity. I think this party will be a riot.”

Though he’s sharing the bill with some pretty amazing acts, Baumel says there’s a sense of equality in the community in terms of respect, learning, and sharing the same journey. “To me, it does not matter whether I share the decks with Carl Cox or a totally unknown local DJ,” he says, “the respect I feel for my colleagues is the same and I am always trainspotting every DJs set.

“There is a lot of comradery between DJs – we can relate to each other because we share the same struggles and challenges.”

It sounds like Thick as Thieves 10th anniversary celebrations will be a night to remember, as Baumel says, “I am preparing to take people on a crazy rollercoaster ride of peaks and troughs. I want this show to be fun for everybody, in that sense it’s not very different from other nights.

“I hope we all, crowd and artists, bring our A-game and make this a night for the books.”

Saturday’s celebrations at Shed 14 will coincide with an appearance from Phil Kieran at Xe54. On the Sunday, Revolver Upstairs will then come alive with an epic finale in support of the Fred Hollows Foundation.

As Thick as Thieves’ ten-year celebrations come to a close, versus sets will fill the bill from start to finish as the likes of Patrice Baumel and Mike Callander go head to head alongside other matchups such as Rebuke and Radiator, Phil Kieran and T-Rek and Boogs and Brian Fantana. One hundred per cent of ticket sales and all money from the bar will be donated to the foundation.

Tickets for Patrick Topping and Patrice Baumel’s appearance at Shed 14 have sold out however you can still check out Phil Kieran’s set at Xe54 with tickets on the door. Both shows are on Saturday June 15. Tickets to Thick as Thieves’ Sunday June 16 anniversary finale are still available and can be purchased via the Facebook event.