Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Q & A: DJ Noel Boogie & DJ Noodles

*Interview originally conducted in June 2007*

Both Noodles and Noel Boogie are two of the most skilled, knowedgable, respected, humble, professional deejays to ever come out of this country. Having put in hours of practice, torn up countless gigs, released acclaimed mixtapes and produced an ever growing range of laid back bboy funk beats. The question is, what have they got planned next. Whatever it may be, you can bet it will be of the highest calibre.

O: Where did you grow up?

Noodles: Born in Manly, NSW, moved to Bellingen in 1992 and then to Byron Bay in 1997/1998. Everyone knows me from Byron. Noel grew up in Alstonville, NSW.

O: What effect did music have on you growing up in Sydney and then in Byron?

Noodles: My first memories are guitar lessons. I had guitar lessons when I was five. My guitar teacher got me into Mahavishnu, Carlos Santana. I got into that whole Cosmic Jazz style when I was nine. It used to freak my parents out. At sixteen, I was into Brian Eno. My dad is into Classical while my mum is into Country and Western, when I turned eighteen I was into Neneh Cherry’s Buffalo Stance, Black Box, etc. Then I started doing radio.

O: Yeah right

Noodles: I was spinning on radio from 1989, I was not mixing, I was playing tracks. Through radio, I started getting into Funk.

O: Back tracking there, what was it about that Cosmic Jazz sound that got you hooked?

Noodles: I don’t know, It means I didn’t grow up listening to the radio. I went to the opera.

O: Looking back, that must have been refreshing?

Noodles: I am just old dude. I turned 37 this year. When I was 18 in 1988, all there was to listen to was Triple M and Triple J. Triple J only had the one afternoon show. Tim Ritchie. He was the only one that played Hip Hop & Dance music.

Just when I heard N.W.A. – Fuck The Police, I suppose Tim Ritchie’s show would have been influential also and Tim Ritchie is still presenting to this day.

O: He does Radio National’s Sound Quality now

Noodles: It’s a fucking great show

(Conversation drifts off into DJ’s selling their record collections)

Noodles: Deejays who are selling their collections because they are moving over to Serato, I am all for it, as long as they sell it in my vicinity.

Noel: Noodles was saying soon DJ’s, will start posting that they play vinyl as draw card. That is already being done. I saw it on one of those black and white, busy, gay posters where they have to specify the format of the music - "on vinyl".

O: In order to utilise Serato to its full capability the DJ still needs to have skills

Noel: A-lot of the people using Serato get distracted by it, they are playing, but they get distracted, looking at the screen.

Noodles: The Serato argument, it’s the universal debate soon to be ended

O: I think it has already ended. There are a lot of good DJ’s across the world tearing it up using Serato, demonstrating all that you can do with it.

Noodles: Definitely, although, it was not until I saw Shortkut. I was convinced.

Noel: He did not look at the screen too much.

Noel: Kristian is on Serato

(DJ Kristian was also present for part of this interview)

Kristian: I saw an interesting set in Brisbane from New Zealand DJ CXL. He rocks up to his gig with one turntable and a mixer and mixes off Serato.

Noodles: There is the novelty factor with one turntable. I am not sure. You can not beat it for travelling.

Noel: I will get it at some stage. I am scared of doing the manual transfer onto the hard drive.

Noodles: Exactly, I was speaking to a DJ down here recently and he was saying he has spent three years transferring records onto Serato and he has just five per cent of his collection on there. My response was ‘that’s nice’. All the time people spend on transferring their collections onto Serato, it is time that could be used to make records. The time factor involved sucks.

O: Going back your time doing radio in 89, what did you learn from the experiences there?

Noodles: Radio is great fun. It was where I really got into equipment.

O: You were buying heaps of records at that stage?

Noodles: Buying a few records, not heaps, as many as I could afford when I was 18. When I went to Bellingen in 1992, at the station there were two Technic turntables and four old school cart machines where you punch the cart in and this old desk with huge rotary faders.

Noel: It looked like the Star Ship Enterprise

Noodles: It was cool, it in a mud brick studio and they had this huge record library, with all these good records. I would go in the morning and pick out dope records. That is how I got into that mentality of ‘what’s that? Can I buy it off the station?’ I started collecting fanatically at that point.

O: Noel you grew up in Alstonville, NSW and then moved to Byron (Bay).

Noel: Yeah, I grew up in the Lismore area, Lismore and Byron (Bay). That area has always had good live music and good live music exposure and I got into music because of that, as much as anything else. It was also through radio, because it was around when I was younger.

I used to make heaps of mix tapes when I was in year 9 and 10 at school. I would just cop all the good songs I wanted off other people’s compact discs onto a tape and then just bump it in the car when I would drive to the beach to go surfing.

Noodles: You are a pause button king

Noel: Yeah, I used to do that and then I got over it. Then I got dial up. That was when downloadable MP3s first started. I used to be in serious pain with it cutting out. This was when it was a kilo bite a second to download a three mega - bite song. So I said forget this, I will just buy records.

Noodles: My business partner, sold Noel what originally were my first set of turntables.

Noel: Yeah, before we knew him. Those ones there - the blue ones, they were Noodles old turntables. Then I bought a pair from Nick at The Audio Room in Lismore.

Noodles: Whom we gave them to, to sell. Now they have come back to haunt me.

Noel: Then he put in touch with Gavin who sold them to me. I would go and hang out to learn how to use them.

: I also sold you a few dodgy records.

Noel: Yeah, dodgy AV8’s, I asked for doubles and you gave me King Kooba house music.

(Laughter all round)

Noodles: They are the only doubles we had. It is true they are the only doubles we had in the entire shop.

O: You were exposed to a range of good live music more n Byron?

Noel: Definitely, all the gigs we went to were in Byron. When I was 14, there was a string of gigs entitled Summer Storms. This promoter in Lismore put on all these under age gigs for people. It was this mix of groups. Grindspoon performed there when they were young. Then we started going to the back room and see The Resin Dogs. We used to see also them at festivals. The (Resin) Dogs were one of the first times I saw a turntablist (DJ Katch) being used in a band and they were playing good, funky, dance floor live music. I was well into them for heaps of years.

Then I bought my turntables a year after that. Seeing the doggies, then seeing Mixmaster Mike and thinking ‘what’s all this about?” I had a friend in Ballina who had bought some turntables. I would mess around on them and think ‘yeah, this is pretty fun’.

O: How did music fir into the wider context of the lifestyles you were surrounded by at that time?

Noel: When I started getting really interested in music, I moved to Brisbane. The main reason was university. Here was where I hooked up with Kristian. Kristian showed me all different records, scratching, juggling and appreciation for mix-tapes. That accelerated into getting the enthusiasm for it all.

O: Before Brisbane, did you know one another?

Noel: No, I came back to Byron. I lived in Brisbane for a year prior. I bought my turntables that first year and went up to Brisbane to go to university. It was convenient because I was not working at the time. I would go to university for twenty - two hours each week. I would practice scratching in my dorm room for six hours a day (laughter).

I did that for two years. The first Christmas, after going to university and practicing for a year, I went down to a club called La La and the people there said the other guy in town who likes Hip Hop, he DJ’s under Noodles, he plays Sunday night, so I said ‘cool, I’ll check it out’. I went down there one Sunday and this was when La La was rocking (Sunday afternoons - Dave Dog, DJ Katch, Mark Rae (had played there a couple of times). It was the premier night. I gave Noodles a mix-tape. He listened to it and it had my email on it. He got in touch and gave me a warm up set at La La. Then we started hanging out whenever I came down (doing gigs, scratching).

O: Then you went on to DJ in Brisbane?

Noel: Well, Noodles was already doing early Saturday nights at The Empire and I was doing Friday nights at The Empire. Oh, we did Ricks for a while together. When I met Noodles in Byron, he was like ‘I’m up in Brisbane doing Ricks’. Then I ended up hooking up a gig there.

Noodles: That is right you played a set for that chick that ran Ricks.

Noel: Yeah, I played a couple of sets for her. Ricks is good, it was one of the best places in Brisbane for a while. I am not sure what’s going on there now. It went Indie for a while, but it was also Hip Hop for a while.

Noodles: La La was Hip Hop. Ricks was Hip Hop. The Empire was Hip Hop. Now, oh dear, they're all Electro House.

O: What year was that?

Noel: 2002

O: What were some of the memories of you both spinning in Brisbane?

Noodles: Even at Ricks in the early days, we would have three decks some times. One of the earliest sets we played together, we had three decks. We have tried to do that wherever possible. We did the Mark Rae / Pete Simpson gig at The Empire, which is probably one of the more memorable.

Noodles: That was a bit later.

Noel: That was when I was living In Byron. We didn’t do a hell of a lot in Brisbane. We did more stuff together in Byron and then our time in Sydney eclipsed that again.

Noodles: Can I put in my favourite moment from Ricks?

Noel: Yeah

Noodles: It was Zonk delivering coffee and burgers at 4am in the morning. We had to play for 12 hours sometimes or was it 10?

Noel: 7pm-5am, it was 10 hours.

Noodles: By 4am in the morning, man you need a coffee.

Noel: You are in pain.

Noodles: You need to do a shit. You need your twenty -five minute track otherwise your not going to make it there and back in time.

Noel: The toilet there is the worst.

Noodles: You had to go down these steps...

Noel: When it is packed in the middle of the night, it’s a five minute round trip. You'd just put it off and off.

O: What was the transition for you Noodles, from spinning on radio to a DJ (in the Hip Hop sense)?

Noodles: I met Mark Walton in Bellingen in 96/97 and he set up turntables in my kitchen. It was a kitchen / bar.

The scene was not quite as cool as Grandmaster Flash in Wild Style, but it was almost that same style.

O: Did your turntables get in the way when preparing food?

Noodles: Nah, it was a big bar. I do not want to make it sound any cooler than it was. Mark was doing juggles. I just said ‘right I’ve got to get into this’. I was just beat mixing at that point. I had a belt drive and a Technics I borrowed from the radio station.

O: Obviously you were digging at that stage?

Noodles: Just a little bit, there were not that may gigs in Bellingen. I put a couple of parties on down there.

I moved to Lismore and I did was practice and work in a café.
Then, I met Gab, we started a company and that is when it really started.

O: Gab?

Noodles: Gab Dilworth (Wallapalooza). He had a heaps bigger collection than mine. I used to suss out his records. By then I had enough money, to start looking for records in a serious sense. I had about 200 records when I was in Bellingen. Then I started going a bit silly with record buying.

Noel: Do you have many of those original two hundred still?

Noodles: Yeah, I still have some of them.

Noodles: Around that time Music Bazaar had opened in Lismore. They were doing import vinyl. They had an account with stomp, an account with Watts. They were the only place in Australia who could get stuff from Watts. They are a massive American vinyl distribution/ supply company, who supply everyone, Stomp buy their stuff from Watts, Universal buy their stuff from Watts.

Somehow Dave, this mad bastard…

Noel Boogie: He is a full tripper

Noodles: He was up at night and happened to ring and get through to the director of the company. The next thing you know this dude in Lismore is talking to the head of Watts. They are saying ‘oh look we do not normally do accounts. We do not do an account unless you’re ordering two palettes of vinyl a week and have it imported.’ Dave ended up getting an account with them. He used to get small boxes. He could order anything and that’s when I went spastic. I had good records already but…

Noel Boogie: Was that the time when you got (interjecting).

Noodles: Method Man

Noel Boogie: That is the one I was going to say, you bastard (laughing). You got that brand new from this place.

Noodles: That shit you just can - not get. You could not get it in Australia. You just could not get it.

Noel Boogie: That is one of the hardest tracks to find.

Noodles: That was before Big Beat. Between that and them already ordering in good records, that’s when I lost it. Then I started throwing parties, doing less café work and more DJ work.

O: When you moved to Byron?

Noodles: I was just deejaying full time, working in record shops.

O: You would have had a good collection?

Noodles: I was happy with the selection.

Noel Boogie: You have probably only got four crates since then.

Noodles: Then I started working in record shops. Once you start a vinyl collection, you get more and more of a junkie with it. I think I sold most of my bad records.

O: When did you stop doing café work?

Noodles: When I moved to Byron (Bay), that’s when I was earning enough money deejaying and from jobs in record stores.

O: What year was that?

Noodles: 2001, then a year or two after that I met Noel and started getting gigs in Brisbane. Then Byron was good to us until we moved to Sydney.

O: What memories do you have from the record stores you worked in?

Noodles: It was great fun. We were the only record store in Byron. That is the good thing about Byron.

Noel Boogie: Everyone is musical

Noodles: There are around fifty deejays there, some of them play trance, some of them play techno, Noel would play Hip Hop, because there are only so few DJ’s, everyone knows each other. The only nights in Sydney that are comparable to nights in Byron are Deep as Funk, the gigs at the Abercrombie or the Bump nights. Gigs where there is a Techno room, then you will hear Booty, you will hear Drum N Bass, Hip Hop all on the one night. Whereas most nights are genre specific, do not get me wrong because I like Hip Hop I can handle a whole night of it, as an example. Good varied music policies are always welcome. Parties geared towards one genre, they happen in every form of music though. If you like say House music and you go to a House specific night, you’re going to love it. I love going to something like O-ii-shi because I love Hip Hop. The big difference between Byron and Sydney was the nights. The music was, varied.

O: Do you think music has devalued, given that it is so readily and so widely available?

Noodles: Music has been devalued. You can get so much free music. It comes on a shitty format (mp3). I do not think it’s bad that there is a format like mp3, just the whole…

Noel: Quality Downgrade

Noodles: It’s great, don’t get me wrong, but it doesn’t mean as much as going to a shop, going there’s a new record coming out by say De La Soul, for example. You know the record is coming out. You go to the store the day it comes out and pick it up. It’s different. Everything is following that downhill path where the music is very accessible, but the whole journey of hunting down a track, that’s missing some of the soul it that it once had.

O: I guess a benefit of mp3’s is with you both doing radio shows and spinning out, you can get that track before it’s released and hype it up through playing a track before it is released and then go and purchase it on vinyl once it drops.

Noel: That’s how it is now, while some people are still pressing vinyl, you do miss, I would definitely say that I miss a lot of the stuff that’s done electronically. I miss that because I’m still looking through catalogues and going to places like Fat City.I’m still buying vinyl. I haven’t taken full advantage of the format.

Noodles: It is just a format thing. You either have an affinity to a format or you don’t.

Noel: We’ll probably change our tune at some stage. I’m sure we'll integrate it into our sets. We’re not trying to be vinyl purists, but that is what we still enjoy playing with at the moment.

Noodles: I agree. There are some facts to analyse and take note of in this whole debate. The best sound quality you can get is from vinyl. It’s true. MP3, CD will never sound as warm as vinyl.

Noel: And the way the track sounds once it’s been pressed to vinyl. It sounds a lot better.

Noodles: Serato is great, you can scratch, juggle with it. However it’s not the same feeling. That’s what you miss with the new stuff as it sounds digital.

Noel: I’ve got no doubt that I will use Serato at some stage. However I’m spending all my time trying to produce our own original music, rather than spend time putting all of my good records onto Serato. It’s in real time, if you want to do (transfer) an album then that takes an hour or so to do.

Producing your own music is much more of an organic process than dumping other people’s music onto Serato.

Noodles: Definitely and as a bonus you get to play your own music out. That’s a whole new level of fun. With our production we’ve been doing remixes for a few local Sydney guys such as Watusi.

O: You also did a remix for DJ Regal

Noel: We did a remix for Regal. We’re lead to believe it’s coming out in July. His whole album is getting quite an extensive release.

Noodles: It’s out today in the shops.

Noel: His album? Cool. We’re hopefully getting that released. I think Funk Trust also did a mix of the same track.

O: That’s coming out on Unique?

Noodles: Unique or Funk Weapons.

O: Noel before you moved to Sydney, you moved from Byron to Brisbane and then you ended up going over to Canada to snowboard.

Noel: I went over there on a holiday with my brother just to do a ski season. I contacted a place called Tommy Africa’s about four months before I left. I put a big package together. I did three mix-tapes. One of them was Hip Hop. One was mid-tempo and one up-tempo. There may have been four. Making sure that I covered a whole range of different music. I also put together a bio, running down a list of the places I had spun and everything else I had done. I was organised. They gave me a call one day and said ‘we’ve had a listen to your mixes and read your biography and we want to get you in to play on Thursday night. I didn’t send them a full Hip Hop mix, so they then asked for a party Hip Hop mix. They wanted a party Hip Hop set, so I put that together and sent it over and scoring a gig, which was every Wednesday. I would do the warm-up for a house night. I would play up-tempo beats, breaks and funk. Then the house would follow. Then I played Thursday night at the same place. That was Hip Hop, a party Hip Hop Up-tempo night. Once I was there, I got to network with the local crew. I ended up hooking with a guy called Mat The Alien, who’s an awesome DJ, who also makes these cool 7 - inch slip mats. I got to play with him down in Vancouver at a night called Shine on the weekend. Then I would do a couple of places in Whistler during the week. It was an awesome lifestyle. Looking forward to going back there.

O: By that stage you had already dug fairly extensively and then you went deeper?

Noel: Canada was different because there was only one record store I went to frequently. That was Beat Street. It’s a killer store. I would buy lots of wax. I was earning money in a foreign country. I thought ‘sweet I’ll pick up some vinyl with some overseas money’. I bought a fair bit and then at the end of the trip I went to New York and bought two crates of records there.

O: Dope

Noel: I scored quite good stuff but that’s because my collection is nothing compared to what some of those guys have. I’m picking up what I think is gold, while they’re thinking it’s scrap.

O: What spots did you go to in New York?

Noel: I went to A1 Records, Fat Beats.

Noodles: He got to see Pete Rock

Noel: Yeah, got to see Pete Rock at Table 50. It was sweet.

O: What was the highlight of that gig for you?

Noel: When he played T.R.O.Y., I was bugging out. He started his set with some mad old school funk doubles. I rocked up solo. I was trying to convince all my American friends, you’ve got to come and see Pete Rock at Table 50. It is only $5 entry. I went. He played for two and half hours.

O: Was he on the tables and the mic?

Noel: He was on both. When he played T.R.O.Y. everyone was - loving it, that’s one of the best gigs I’ve ever been to. It was in a little underground club, not much bigger than Sydney venue Tonic.

O: Where in NY was the gig?

Noel: It was in the East Village. It wasn’t in the ghetto at all. Table 50 is where Mark Ronson used to play before he was Mark Ronson.

O: East Village is in Manhattan?

Noel: It’s the eastern part of Manhattan, near Soho, Prince Street, that area, but a little bit further uptown.I went to The Knitting Factory too and saw Roots Manuva. That was quality and I took all my American friends to that gig. They were all bugging out because it was full of sweaty UK people. Roots Manuva put on a good show. It was really quiet in there. That’s what I remember. The show was really good, but it was really quiet. I could just talk normally to people and I was thinking I want to hear this stuff booming.

O: The Knitting Factory has got quite a reputation

Noel: Big time. I tried to hit them up for a big. They asked how many people would you bring in? My response ‘I don’t know, probably around 20’ (laughter).

O: See you

Noel: Yeah (laughter), I was like ‘c’mon man I’m good’.

O: How are you on a Snowboard?

Noel: I’m all right, it’s just fun.

Noodles: Ping Pong is the game around here.

Noel: That’s where we hone our skills

O: You challenge each other to regular games of Ping Pong?

Noodles: Absolutely

Noel: I challenge Noodles to lose at games of Ping Pong.

Noodles: Everything is settled at the table (laughter).

O: Who’s winning right now?

Noodles: You won the last one. I won the one before.

Noel: I beat Kristian. He went down. He went down hard (laughter).

Noodles: Putting out the pong challenge to all DJ’s.

It is on (laughter).

O: When you were in Canada Mat taught you the Flare scratch.

Yeah, he taught me the Flare scratch. He’s got this crazy chirp that he does, that I can’t do still. He showed me a few Bob James records, looking back I don’t how I missed them in the first place, but I hadn’t put two and two together. He showed me those and I went ‘oh right, cool’. I heard all the tracks before but I just didn’t know they were all Bob James productions. Not reading my sleeve notes I guess.

Noodles: They is some crazy stuff on CTI.

Noel: I find every now and then I find CTI records at Viniies (St Vincent de Paul) and tip shops.

O: Good CTI records

Noel: Yeah most of them are good. There are not too many bad ones.

O: By that stage you would have had a few scratch techniques down.

Noel: Yeah, but I also learnt a lot about how to rock a party and doubles properly watching Mat. He is fast but still very musical. He just does the job. He does it really well. He is tidy and funky. I got a lot style borrowed from him.

O: We might see Mat out here in the near future?

Noel: I tried to hook him up when he was in Korea. His stay was over two weeks and he couldn’t really afford all that time. Hopefully we can organise him to come out.
We were trying to get him out here for the Bellingen carnival. We didn’t get around to it.

Noodles: It’s almost set.

Noel: Three are opportunities to bring him out. The (Chinese) Laundry, were going to put him up for a gig.

O: As far as you both go, you then bumped into each other again in Sydney.

Noel: I came back from Canada and lived at home in Byron for six weeks. I had just graduated from university.

O: So you did manage to graduate (laughter)?

Noel: Yeah, yeah (laughter) and so there were no real job opportunities in the local area. La La had gone the way of the dodo. C-Moog had just been busted as well. There were no real opportunities to play the music we wanted in Byron all of a sudden. There was limited income. The fact that getting a job in my field of study was difficult didn’t help. I talked to Noodles one night. We talked about moving to Sydney. Then I can get a job and concentrate also on getting gigs. That turned into production. When we got here we started the mix-tape, which you’ve heard.

O: Yeah, Mix 06

Noodles / Noel: That was good, we got some air - play on Radio One and it was in Triple J’s top five mixes of the year. That was pretty sweet. Half way through that one night I said ‘let’s stop procrastinating’ and we just started working on a track. It was a good mix of noodles ability to arrange and good ear for key and myself knowing the program. That’s how it began.

O: You obviously knew a bit about the equipment you were using prior?

Noel: I’ve been writing music for around two years, before Noodles and myself started getting into it.

O: You already had that foundation from which to work.

Noel: It was all learning, loops and stuff. I didn’t realise it, but I always made music how you would make it on the MPC. I always cut up audio samples and put them on my keyboard and arranged them you like you would with an MP. So when I got my MP.

O: You knew what to do

Noel: Yeah and I was making music differently. The MP has got it’s own sound and it’s own way to make that creation better. It wasn’t too foreign. Just the old school 1’s and 0 arrangement and the computer is much easier for doing that sort of thing, so it’s a good partnership.

O: The MP is the benchmark after the SP?

Noel: The SP is so sought after because of it’s...

Noodles: It’s just got such a raw sound

O: Was it a little daunting moving up to Sydney?

Noel: Not really because I already had a job lined up before I came here. I had already been to a few interviews. At that time Noodles and I had lined up to come down for a gig.

We did Boogie Down. We did Sounds, when Patty was running it. We came down a couple of times and did a couple of gigs. Ended up getting a job, coming down and doing that. It wasn’t until Noodles came down and got amongst lining up gigs down here, I had my in. Obviously he has contacts and old friends here. That was the reason behind us getting gigs in the short term. You have to know people. As lame as it sounds, if you someone, it helps you get a foot in the door. Then if you can show that you’ve got skills or you’ve got good deep crates / good taste in music, then that speaks for itself. It’s just getting that chance to show yourself without whoever is booking / potentially booking you being too prejudiced.

Noodles: It would suck to start DJing now

Noel: Yeah

O: It’s just phenomenal how many DJ’s there are now and how many people want to be DJ’s.

Noodles: We’re lucky that we get gigs. There are so many DJ’s out there. Some of them are really good.

Noel: And then some of them are really bad. But, it’s not only about being a good DJ. It’s about getting involved with the scene. Supporting friends, crew. The fun gigs are always the ones you don’t get paid for.

O: It’s ridiculous how much music there is out there right now?

Noel: It’s fucked up

O: How does a DJ keep up?

Noodles: You can’t. You don’t have to, but if you want to get most of the good stuff, you have to pick one or two genres.

Noel: I still miss so much Hip Hop, Funk, everything.

Noodles: Yeah and that’s just Hip Hop. If you’re into Hip Hop and Drum and Bass I don’t how you would keep up with all the new Hip Hop and all the new Drum and
Bass? I couldn’t do it.

O: The medium ground that lies between finding new music and then looking through second hand collections, that’s a good balance and also ensures you’re in the best part of both worlds when you are looking for as much good music as you can get your hands on.

Noel: Some of the craziest music I’ve got and the most unique music I have found is the stuff I’ve picked up at second hand stores, such as Vinnies and at the tip shop. Just incredible stuff that you pay 50 cents for and people say ‘what the hell is this’. I’m into that side of it. There are a lot of good tunes, but then there are, lots of good obscure stuff such as lots of covers of original funk music that you just pick up for next to nothing. That is in the search for samples. I’ll get a sample and or a good record.

O: With DJing it’s about balancing the obscure with the more - well known tunes - right?

Noodles: Totally

O: Your whole set is not new track after new track that no one knows

Noodles>: You’ve definitely got to have some balance.

O: When did you make the step from DJ’ing to production? Was it just a natural progression?

Noodles / Noel: Yeah

O: Did you both get into making beats at the same time?

Noodles: Noel got into it before me.

Noel: By about two years or so.

O: I would have thought through you doing radio, you always would have been making beats too?

Noodles: No, always buying records.

Noel: He was always around people making beats.

Yeah but I was just obsessed with DJ’ing.

O: Did that influence rub off? What effect did hanging around with people who made beats have on you?

Noodles: I had been collecting beat records forever. I was looking for samples. I always wanted to make music. I had been collecting sample records. You just knew that good samples were good to have as well as Hip Hop tracks. It wasn’t until I saw Dave (Dog) on the MPC that I thought ‘that’s pretty sweet, I wouldn’t mind doing that’.
It was a matter of getting the gear.

O: How did Mix 06 come about?

Noel: It was pretty well planned. A DJ Spair mix- tape was the influence behind it.

Noodles: This DJ Spair (Oaktown Faiders) mix-tape was phenomenal. His tape showed that if you’re going to do a mix-tape not just on turntables, there is no use just putting twenty tracks on it. He stuck to that philosophy that if you’re not going to do live cuts and put it on the computer, then the DJ has to do it really well and put sixty tracks on it and put accapelas over everything and cut everywhere

Noel: We didn’t want to make it sound too busy or too commercial, so we decided to get all of our favourite underground and not so underground tracks, mix them and cover most bases.

Noodles: Our intention was to make a car tape.

Noel: Put tracks on there with a longevity factor.

Noodles: We also wanted to showcase that what we were doing with the mix was up to date, the most up to date juggles and tricks that we had down pat at the time. It wasn’t too juggle / scratch orientated. You’re also trying to show off with a mix tape, demonstrating to the listener the notion as a DJ ‘I’ve got old records, I’ve got new records, I’ve got different styles, I’m into different kinds of music’.

That’s the purpose of a mix-tape, the listening experience, to show the DJ’s history and that he’s got skills. I don’t know what we’re going to do for our next one. We’re thinking of doing a mix of good breaks from dodgy records.

Noel: Someone already did something similar to that. It was using psychadelic - funk music. There will definitely be a theme to the next one. The idea behind the last mix was just to make it as good as possible. We’re not 100% sure what the next one will be based on. Doing another mix similar to mix 06 wouldn’t satisfy me as much as working on a new concept.

I heard this mix-tape on Solid Steel and it was just ambient sounds such as people walking across the street, doors opening and closing, with the odd track brought in all filtered and fucked up. It ran for an hour. Similar to taking all the non - musical bits out of the Avalanches albums and putting them together and then cutting it down to an hour long. It was fairly interesting. It was pretty spun out. I appreciated it because I can tell that there was a lot of time behind it. It was the kind of thing you could sell to a director of a short film.

Noel: I’m actually doing a disco mix for Take 2. You know that night you came to?

O: Yeah

We’re actually launching it on the June 8th. It’s going to be a monthly night.

O: Oh word

Noel: The music policy is going to be similar to what Noodles and myself played there.In that wicked up - tempo disco funk vibe with some soul thrown in. It’s going to be for the people who don’t have deep appreciation of music, but hopefully understand what we’re doing on the decks.

The plan is to play music that I really like and that I think is good dance music and show other people that there is an alternative to the music they are fed through the usual channels. Hopefully they will say ‘this is alright, we can still get down to this’.

O: Once people get past that blinkered view of music

Noodles: Totally

Noel: O-ii-shi put on the best Hip Hop parties and quite often it’s hard for the night to pull a decent crowd. That initially totally scared me away from doing anything Hip Hop oriented. I know that sounds bad. Take 2 will contain Hip Hop, it’s going to dictated a little differently by pushing genres that have their roots in Hip Hop and that have had an influence on Hip Hop.

O: You guys have your first release out, the 12 through The Record Store. Tell me how that came about?

Noel: We did the remix about a year ago. One of the guys at The Record Store just said we’re going to put out a series of records, we’ve heard that you’ve been doing some beats and they asked them to come and do a remix. That’s one of the first things that we ever produced together.

O: What’s the response been to the remix?

Noel: People don’t hate it, which is cool. It’s not like it’s the club banger of the year, it’s a fairly mellow but at the same time still fun and nice to juggle.

O: You’re both working on another release?

Noel: Not really, we’re just working on finishing tracks that we’ve already started

Noodles: We’re not that big that we have people saying we need to put out your music, so we just keep doing beats. It’s just fun to do.

O: What’s the quintessential Noel Boogie / Noodles sound in both deejaying and production?

Noodles: Scratching

Noel: Not overly. That’s a hard question.

Noodles: It is a good question. We try to bring some skills and try to play (as much as possible) underground stuff really.

Noel: Mixed Well

Noodles: We try to play good music that hopefully is not super well known. That’s what we try to do the most.

Noel: When we do a three or four - deck set.

Noodles: We try to rock it.

Noel: We’re not satisfied unless the mix we’ve done is not something that on DJ could do. There’s a difference between dudes back to back on four turntables, because one good DJ can do that. Whereas what Noodles and I try to recreate is something that one DJ could definitely not do by them-selves.

Noodles: Doesn’t always happen.

Noel: For example, we’ll mix a juggle with a track. He’ll be playing a track and I’ll mix the drums of the juggle. Then he’ll drop the track out, break down the drums then let the track go. Meanwhile Noodles has an acapella cued up which he drops, then a little scratch, then off to another track.

Noodles: You couldn’t do it by yourself, otherwise...

Noel: Otherwise it’s pointless

O: We’re can people see you DJ in NSW?

Noodles / Noel: Soho, Chinese Laundry, Wham, Worldbar, The Loft, Bump, Deep as Funk parties, Dusttones, O-ii-shi, Broke –N- Beat, Castle party, parties up North, Sounds.

O: Tonic?

Noodles: We love Tonic. Can’t forget Tonic.

Noel: Tonic’s the bomb

Related Links:

Noel Boogie on My Space

Noodles on My Space


Soul of Sydney said...

cool interview, thanks for sharing,

They both play some of the funkiest stuff around town,+ its so refreshing to see DJ's with real skills still putting together funky as hell party sets, definitely what Sydney needs more of..


ThatAddictBigO said...

For sure!

They tore it up once again last Sunday at Good Times. Noel is some next ish right now!