It’s not particularly a stretch to suggest that the club scene in Sydney is decidedly lacking in innovation these days. Head out to any popular club in the city and you can pretty much be assured they’ll be spinning something similar to the club next door, down the street and across town. It is a lament shared by Brut33, founding member of the Paradise Lost DJs.
“Club life in Sydney is commercial and it only supports what’s in flavour at the time. “
Rather than suffer in silence, Brut33 and his fellow DJs decided to create their own alternative. Originally starting as a get together with friends, the parties have become somewhat more successful as their notoriety increases.
“[The nights] came out of us being dissatisfied with what was being put on in Sydney. There was nothing that we’d really give an arm and a leg to go out to regularly. We might see the odd international DJ who sort of sparked our interest. But other than that there wasn’t anything really on the local scene that grabbed us. We decided to put a party on with the music we liked.”
“It started off as a party for friends. We’ve never really made it anything more than that it’s just that other people have picked up on that vibe. First off, it’s a party. It’s not so much about the music it’s about the atmosphere and the vibe we create. So it’s grown up to four hundred and fifty people at the parties but normally around the two hundred mark.”
Breaking out of the monotony of the mainstream, Paradise Lost have a diverse range of talent on offer. The eclectic mix of DJs on their roster make for compelling listening.
“There’s six of us, all coming from different backgrounds, different age groups. One guy’s in his forties, we’ve got guys in their late twenties and I’m thirty. We share the music in common.”
It’s a configuration that allows for a diversity of sounds across the night. The variation in age and musical preference is reflected in their attendees too.
“Yeah, it shows in the people who come to our parties. We’ve got guys who are just coming in to clubbing, and we have guys turn up to the parties who are in their fifties.”
“Funnily enough the guy who’s the oldest plays the newest sort of music. James Bucknell, he lived in New York for ten years right in the eighties when house was first coming about. So that’s his thing, he plays the Chicago and New York house.”
The DJs share some common ground, but they each inject their shows with their own personal interests. Starting as record collectors, their collections have expanded to encompass their particular fetishes.
“A good portion of it may have come from the Detroit techno scene back in the nineties and we’ve all sort of split off in different directions. I’m headed back into the early seventies at the moment, even dropping back into the late sixties.”
“We cover everything. Funk, soul, disco, ambient, weird foreign stuff.”
The Paradise Lost parties have been put on in some strange places. A desire for originality means the crew is not interested in rehashing present trends.
“We weren’t attracted to the idea of using regular clubs. We’re gonna do our own thing so we’ve been entirely focused on finding venues that are different and exciting. We rarely use the same venue twice. So we’ve gone from using art galleries to studio spaces to warehouse spaces to 1950s built seafood restaurants.”
“That was quite different that one.”
Paradise Lost takes a DIY approach to bangin’ parties, harkening back to the better days of live DJing. Brutt33 relates their preference to present the nights more like a traditional DJ set.
“Back in the sorta golden age, a DJ would play for five hours and take you on a trip throughout that set. I’d like to think our party does that for the entire night. I don’t think there’s anywhere else in Sydney that’s able to paint such a picture between DJs and a flow throughout the entire night. They’ll have one guy that might play a certain style and then someone else will come and play something totally different. I think that’s our versatility. Possibly why as of late we’re actually getting booked as a crew.”
Getting booked as a crew has opened up some interesting possibilities. Two Paradise Lost DJs will be playing at Days Like This in January.
“That’s very exciting. Fourth of January. There’s just the two of us. It’s myself, Brut33 and James Bucknell. Not really sure where or when we’re playing.”
It’s an exciting offer, and a festival they look forward to.
“As festivals go, it’s a standout I think in terms of quality and interesting artists.”
The Paradise Lost DJs are also working on a second album of tracks, with their first selling out two limited release vinyl pressings here and overseas. Head over to their website for more info on that and the nights.