From its origins in 2006 as a one-night landcare music event, Earth Frequency Festival has grown over the past 12 years and become a highlight of the Qld festival calendar. The 2018 music lineup at Ivory Rock features a huge range of international and domestic talent across a wide spectrum of live and electronic music genres.
Highlight acts include the legendary bass music / world music crossover act Beats Antique, Brazilian techno innovator Victor Ruiz, and breakbeat pioneer Freq Nasty, who spoke with The Echo ahead of festivities this weekend.
How has Burning Man influenced the music that you play?
One of the driving forces behind Burning Man culture is to explore new forms of expression and new ways of living that integrate the ancient, the futuristic and the timeless. This was why the BM community were so keen to embrace breaks in the 2000s, and then in the later 2000s switch so heavily into half-time bass music, and to the more melodic West Coast bass sound. The tempos I was writing and DJing at slowed down over that time and I moved from breaks to Dubby half time through to melodic psychedelic bass through to the Dub Kirtan All Stars project I produced with David Starfire in the early two thousand and teens, that was both melodic, down tempo, and all vocal driven. As a more spiritually oriented project utilising the chants of the yogic call and response kirtan tradition mixed with bass music, Burning Man was the perfect place to launch the project.
As a DJ and producer how has your performance and interaction with the crowd evolved since you started out?
I’ve always maintained a strong link with the crowd as I’ve played since I started and love the energy shared at gigs. It’s the clearest representation of the fact that a gig is a collaboration of DJ and crowd. Moving to a more midi controller-based set has changed some of that as it can be a little more technical in delivery, but then playing with the Dub Kirtan All Stars Band of 12 people also shed a completely different light on the performer/crowd dynamic.
What is the foundation for becoming a DJ?
Making tunes yourself is the foundation. Very few new DJs come through who don’t make their own tunes. Those sensibilities are what fuel the DJ experience.
How does yoga practice and your spirituality feed into the music that you make? Is it all part of the whole picture?
It used to be very separate but as I learned to see the parallels and similarities in the musical and meditative experience, and delved deeper into some of the traditional forms of spiritual music, it’s clear to me that they can support and enhance each other. It takes a lot of learning and a lot of forgetting too. A life’s journey.
What should we be expecting for your sets at EFF?
I am producing and writing mid-tempo broken-beat music again – aka breaks (but not as you know it!).
I’m stoked to come out to EFF – it’s one of my favourite festivals in the world and I have a special place in my heart for Australia, especially the east coast. I’m excited!
Music is not the only focus with a massive visionary art lineup including Chris Dyer (USA), Arianne Cardoso
(USA), resident artist Adam Scott Miller and more than a dozen Australian artists showing art in the Luminarium
Gallery and performing live painting throughout the festival. The festival also features a wide range of roving and stage performances, a full program of inspirational and educational talks, workshops and yoga, a huge crafts market and food area, a family space with activities for the young ones, and amazing decor and stage design throughout. For more info about the festival that runs this Friday–Monday at Ivory Rock in Qld, go to www.earthfrequency.com.au