January 10 2014
It’s been a massive start to 2014 for Australian DJ and producer Uberjak’d, who this week signed to Steve Aoki’s legendary Dim Mak label, plus joined the prestigious Windish Agency in North America, home to some of the biggest electronic artists in the world such as A-Trak, Flume, Diplo, Duke Dumont, Hot Chip, Major Lazer and Steve Angello.
Uberjak’d recently exploded onto the global electronic music scene as part of the new wave of Aussie producers at the forefront of the electro-influenced Melbourne Bounce sound taking the world by storm, alongside his buddies Will Sparks and Joel Fletcher. Uber’s latest single ‘Whistle Bounce’ is riding high in the top five on the ARIA Club Chart and is set to follow their crossover chart and radio success.
Having mixed Ministry of Sound’s Clubbers Guide to 2013 then being tapped to mix The Annual 2014 (#3 iTunes Albums Chart, #1 ARIA Compilations Chart), Uberjak’d has been on the road touring the country from end to end, including playing to 15,000 devoted fans at Stereosonic in Adelaide. This year Uberjak’d stormed into the top ten in the inthemix 50 DJ poll, having been voted the number one DJ in South Australia for two years running.
2013 also saw Uberjak'd’s monthly podcast ‘The Ubercast’ hit the number one spot on the music podcast chart on iTunes – ahead of some vaguely familiar names like Hardwell and Tiesto. Not bad for a boy from Adelaide! Each month Uber delivers his pick of the month’s freshest tunes to his loyal followers, with over 100,000 downloads each month.
Having been tapped to remix tracks for Example, Luciana, Autoerotique and Oliver Twizt, plus releases on the cream of dance labels such as Mixmash, Downright, Hussle, Dim Mak, Island and Neon, Uberjak’d has seen his tracks championed by EDM luminaries Chuckie, Tristan Garner, Laidback Luke, Carnage, David Guetta, Nari & Milani, Afrojack and Morgan Page to name just a few. Uberjak’d is now staring down a jam-packed schedule in 2014 across Europe, America, Australia and everywhere in between.
Stay up to date on all the latest Dim Mak happenings via the Dim Mak Blog.
1. HI UBERJAK’D, WELCOME TO DIM MAK! WE’RE EXCITED TO HAVE YOU AS PART OF OUR FAMILY. CAN YOU TELL US A BIT ABOUT WHY YOU JOINED DIM MAK?
Thanks! Pleasure to be part of the family. I have always been a big fan of the label. I see Dim Mak as a label that isn’t afraid to push sounds that are new, fresh, or different from the normal.
2. DESCRIBE YOUR SOUND. ANY ARTISTS AND/OR GENRES OF MUSIC THAT HAVE BEEN PARTICULARLY INFLUENTIAL IN YOUR PRODUCTIONS?
Melbourne Bounce obviously! I have been hooked on that sound ever since I discovered it while skipping class at uni to listen to music and as well as living in Adelaide. I wasn’t lucky enough to go check out this music in the clubs, so I had to compromise and downloaded the tunes off the Melbourne Bounce forums. At the time I’d heard nothing like this sound. This was the early days of the sound, so like Orkestrated, Kalus, Dean Del were all guys producing this underground, really techno-influenced electro. That was about five or six years ago, way before I even considered DJing myself. So fast forward a couple years and I had established myself as a DJ in my hometown Adelaide. I’d also been playing a few gigs in Melbourne and really wanted to put my own harder electro/rave influence on the Melbourne Sound, and I guess you will hear a lot of that sound on my new EP.
3. YOU’LL SOON BE RELEASING AN EP ON DIM MAK FOLLOWED BY A SPRING U.S. TOUR. WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THE EP? HOW DO YOU HOPE TO IMPACT THE DANCE MUSIC SCENE IN THE U.S. THROUGH THIS NEW PARTNERSHIP WITH DIM MAK?
I’m stoked for this EP. It’s really an Uberjak’d & Friends EP with collaborations with Chardy, Krunk!, and Sarah Bodle supplying some amazing vocals for another. The first track with Sarah Bodle is a bit big room meets techno meets Melbourne. I was inspired in elements by the old anthem and one of my favorite tunes of all time “Stranger To Stability” (Len Faki Podium Mix). Sarah did a great job on the vocals and this is my second track with her, so we have worked together and she has also performed live at some of my shows. The track with Chardy, “All Aboard,” was something we wrote about eight months ago, but have kept it tight and I’m so stoked it’s coming out on this EP. That one is a bit hardstyle, a bit Melbourne. Not sure what it is, but I think that’s why I like it! The track with Krunk!, my boy back in Adelaide, is definitely hardstyle, but we really rip it back in the break and get melodic and chilled, so it’s a bit of a contrast. The final tune, “Static,” is a solo track and is rave vs. Melbourne. I like the riff in it, sort of reminds me of bag pipes. Maybe it’s some of my Scottish blood coming through in that track.
4. THERE SEEMS TO BE A SURGE OF AUSTRALIAN PRODUCERS TAKING OVER ELECTRONIC MUSIC (FLUME, ANNA LUNOE, WILL SPARKS, THE STAFFORD BROTHERS TO NAME A FEW). WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE REASON FOR THIS? DO YOU FEEL THAT WHERE YOU’RE FROM HAS HAD AN INFLUENCE ON YOUR MUSIC IN ANY WAY?
I think that Australia has always been a place that embraces and pushes forward-thinking sounds, which gives artists the freedom to do something different. I think where you live, more importantly the shows you perform as a DJ, has a huge effect on your sound. As a DJ, I want to make music that the fans at my shows enjoy, and different places always have a different vibe. Thanks to social media and SoundCloud, being so accessible these days and getting your sound out to people has never been easier.
5. YOU’VE BEEN AT THE FOREFRONT OF THE GROWING MELBOURNE BOUNCE SCENE IN AUSTRALIA ALONGSIDE ARTISTS LIKE WILL SPARKS. DO YOU THINK THE MELBOURNE BOUNCE SOUND WILL CATCH ON IN THE U.S.?
Hahaha! I hope so! I guess if I love this music so much, if Australia loves it this much, then why can’t America or the world? Will Sparks has just returned from his tour and it looks like the reception for him and the sound was really good, so hopefully that’s a sign for good things. I think the great thing about EDM, as it’s known in the U.S., is that it’s about innovation and looking for something fresh. I guess electronic dance music has always been about that, so I hope that people are up for this sound. A funny thing is that when I first started to play Melbourne Bounce outside of Melbourne, there was a track I played at my gigs. I won’t name the artist or the track, but it’s now a bit of an anthem over here. I used to play the track at my gigs and literally people would walk off the dance floor. They didn’t understand it and it was something so different to what they have heard or were used to. About 6-8 months later, people are requesting it on their phones during gigs and they know all the lyrics to it and can’t get enough of the track. So what I’m saying basically is you might not love Melbourne Bounce the first time you hear it…but you will eventually.
6. YOU RECENTLY DID A REMIX FOR AUTOEROTIQUE’S “ASPHYXIATION,” WHICH WAS RELEASED ON DIM MAK RECORDS THIS PAST JULY. CAN YOU TELL US MORE ABOUT THAT REMIX? WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR REMIX PROCESS?
Yeah, I actually had a lot of fun remixing that one! I guess when approaching a remix, you don’t want to change the essence of what makes that track great. For me, it was those chords and the vocal, so I knew I had to keep them. And then it’s just a matter of adding your flavor to it because that’s why someone would want you to do a remix. Some advice to producers and DJs: If a label asks you to remix in a certain style to fit their remix pack, don’t do it. A remix is about adding your style, find what makes your sound unique and use the shit out of it!
7. DREAM COLLABORATIONS? ANY DIM MAK ARTISTS YOU’D LIKE TO COLLABORATE WITH IN THE FUTURE? A CERTAIN STEVE PERHAPS?
Ohh yeah! Of course I would love to collab with the big man! I have a collab with Deorro as well, which started when we were both in Amsterdam for ADE last year, as well as a collab I started with Autoerotique. So maybe keep an ear out for them in 2014.
8. YOU RECENTLY POSTED ON FACEBOOK, “I THINK 2014 WILL BE THE YEAR OF DEEP HOUSE AND HARD STYLE…” WHY DO YOU SAY THIS AND WHAT’S YOUR TAKE ON THE FUTURE OF EDM?
I always say this, but what I mean is not that all DJs will start playing this style, but it will influence what is popular. I think we have already seen the big hardstyle kick thing go crazy, and I think the groove-driven vibe of deep house will somehow start being heard more in different genres. Innovation is what makes music so interesting. A few people have asked me, “Why no Melbourne Bounce??? ” Of course I hope it has a big year for all my boys in Australia. There is so much talent here with guys like J-Trick, Joel Fletcher, Reece Low, Chardy, and SCNDL. I think it’s time we all came over to the US to show you how we do it!