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de-VICE #2

from the back of the fridge: melbourne - voiteck & honeysmack (1997)

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from the back of the fridge: melbourne - voiteck & honeysmack (1997)
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de-VICE #1

two of melbourne's best electronic musicians were doing the same thing nine years ago. here're a couple of interviews with voiteck andersen & david haberfeld, scrawled by andrez (for zebra magazine) back in 1997...

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Voiteck / TD5 / Truck Musik

Andrez Bergen Date Added: 1997

Mention the name Voiteck in Australian techno circles these days and most people will know exactly who you're talking about.

One of Melbourne's most prolific purveyors of the electronic soundscape, Voiteck Andersen is also taking on the mantle of the most successful as his records are unleashed by labels like Primate in the UK, Harthouse in Germany, Undefined in Adelaide and Truck Musik right here in his own city. Throughout his ascent he's remained true to his own unhidden agenda - to explore the fringes of underground techno sounds and to produce music that's revolutionary in its own right.

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voiteck- live, tee off, & sweaty...

Voiteck also works extensively with other people in Melbourne.

On the production side of things he's made music with Steve Law (a.k.a. Zen Paradox) under the alias of The Sonic Voyagers, and with David Haberfeld (Honeysmack/Pura) as PIN. He's played one-on-one at various stages with Arthur Arkin, Soulenoid and Ransom, and his music has popped up on local labels Seraphic, IF? Records, Blue Sector and Smelly. Not only that, but he runs his own club called Bedroom Research alongside friend and collaborator DJ Boogs. It's obvious that this man is very busy, and his recent string of inroads both overseas and within his own country have been well earned plaudits along the way.

After hooking up with Germany's Harthouse imprint and releasing a record through them late last year, Voiteck swiftly followed up with an EP on the UK-based Primate. It's a relationship that's continuing as Voiteck explains: "I've spoken with them in the last week and I should be sending them through some stuff to be released on Primate very shortly. Primate is the label side of Prime - the distributor - and they're in fact looking after the distribution now of my own label Truck Musik as well."

It's a relationship based upon a simple phone call. "Yeah, I just rang them up and I was lucky - they'd heard of me, so that was a good step forward. The people over there are really nice to deal with and it's all working out well."

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as td5 - zeitgeist 3 compilation - if? 1997

Overseas success is something that's becoming a bit of a ground-swell for the Voiteck steamroller. "I've got another twelve inch and an album to come from Harthouse, and there's a TD5 track on the upcoming compilation through San Francisco's Plug Research as well as a record which should be #011 on the label."

Then there's his own label here in Melbourne. "Truck right now is my main focus. I just sent off release #006 and I've been doing at least a release a month." He shrugs. "It's been going really well - when I spoke to the guys at Prime the other day he said he was very pleased. The truth is that it's hard to get a label up and running in Europe at the moment; new labels aren't really selling that well, but I'm doing alright so far. The plans are to release up to #013 by the end of this year, and I will be taking on board new artists as we go." There's an necessary requirement for these new artists: "They will have to be unique and definitely tasteful to my ear!" Voiteck laughs. "I'm looking for more innovative artists who push the boundaries."

Voiteck himself has been pushing the boundaries with his own music for four years now. "It's been pretty full on! . . . and now that I'm running the label by myself as well, I've got to do live gigs all over the joint, manage the label, promote the label and myself, DJ quite a bit, and I'm running the Sadies night every third Friday. We're getting into bringing some internationals out. There's hardly the time to actually make music! But it's been very smooth and always on the up-and-up."


The live experience is something Voiteck is renowned for, and it's a part of his repertoire that he's constantly developing and honing to suit his ambitions. "I'm working on refining the live gigs - I want to blow people away even more; I want to perform really tight sets."

As 1997 whittles away, how would the man himself describe his own music and the way it's developing? "At the moment it's still pretty much the same in the way that it's mostly analogue-based. Samplers are slowly coming into it; don't be surprised to see Voiteck playing with a lap-top and a couple of little boxes sometime in the future. It'll be totally live still. Just because I'm playing off computers doesn't mean that I'll be replaying off memory, because whenever I play live I sweat it out all the way. I still won't know what will come out, just like the audience themselves." He pauses to consider the question further.

"Soundwise, expect to hear more breakbeats coming through and definitely more electro. A lot of what I'm doing people wouldn't have heard before, especially because I'm always looking for new sounding textures."

As both a producer and DJ, what other producers does he tend to look out for? "I like a lot of what Luke Vibert [Wagon Christ & Plug] is doing, and still Aphex Twin - but Vibert is getting to the top for me. To tell the truth I don't really like to name particular people, because there are so many people making music that's good - from old '70s style stuff through to jungle, and the more experimental drum 'n' bass. But techno and breakbeats seem to be the main thing for me."

These days Voiteck performs live under his alias of TD5, which warrants the question: Is there a difference between the music Voiteck makes under his own name and that he produces as TD5?

"Ummm . . . there's not really that much difference; the point is that all the music I'm making right now is under the name of TD5, so I guess it relates to that. But when it gets down to it all of it is me."

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honeysmack / pura / smelly records

Andrez Bergen Date Added: 1997

For the record, David Haberfeld is the head honcho of local label Smelly Records, he's a some-time journalist, a radio presenter on Kiss FM, an occasional DJ, and he graduated in music from RMIT.

In the studio he's worked with people like Voiteck, Soulenoid and Guyver 3 and his tracks are sought out by American luminaries Mike Henk, Freddie Fresh and Steve Stoll.

Even more vitally, 1997 has seen the emergence of his solo production alter ego - formerly as Pura and lately under the alias of Honeysmack. These days Honeysmack is one of Melbourne's most gregarious and popular live acts, something special in its interpretation of the live acid medium and something overwhelming in terms of the personality behind the machines. Always on the up and up, 1997 has definitely been the year that Habber's electronic voice broke.

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Over the past year David's Honeysmack project has come to the forefront in this city, especially when it comes to the live techno thing. He's played at Filter, Teriyaki Anarki Saki, Electric and in Sydney as well as one-off jaunts like Network, Teriyaki's Fuck Off Winter Parti, TransAtlantic and Zoetrope 2 - not to mention benefits for community radio stations PBS, BAS and SRA.

It's been this saturation of live gigs that inspired him to proceed with the new 'Honeysmack Live' album. "I decided to do this one because of the sheer popularity of the live act," says David. "I could see that my studio work isn't the same and it doesn't transform in the same way - the studio work is more complex, whereas the live stuff is done on the spot. I can't do the same set twice; it's improvised totally live and no tracks are set out. In the live situation I work off the crowd."

Here he shrugs. "Anyway, I try to record all my sets and I was listening back to them when I was doing a tape for Mike Henk and I suddenly thought 'fuck that - I can put out a CD here!'. I'd never really thought about it before; it was more like I was archiving my work. At the time I was going to do a Smelly Records compilation - I still am - but I thought I could squeeze out something else on Smelly beforehand."

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The live work that appears reflects Honeysmack's changing environment and audiences over the past year, as he outlines. "It's stuff recorded from the Acid War with Soulenoid at Filter, from Teriyaki, and from the gig I played in Sydney. I tried to do it in blocks; it's totally unedited and exactly how it is when it's made live - I even left the small fuck-ups in there."

In the live situation Honeysmack is on par with Voiteck - he's animated, outspoken and totally into the music he's making; there are times when a mania seems to grip his rambunctious frame and it creates an aura that's the complete antithesis of the mild-mannered, faceless techno knob twiddler. Yet instead of being obnoxious it's an infectious trait, and the audiences before him invariably love it. "Hey, if people can see someone on stage making a fool of themselves then they won't be scared to let themselves go as well," sums up the man himself. "I mean it's dance music, and I can't stand people fucking sitting down while I play. I won't play if they're sitting down. You're not there to watch me, you're there to hear my music - and I say that with the utmost arrogance intended."

Working with other producers is also something David thrives on. In the past he established the PIN project with Voiteck and Graham Mono alongside Soulenoid and Guyver 3, and more recently he played one-on-one with Josh Abrahams. "I like to bounce off other ideas," assesses David. "Other people are coming from a different attitude and a different sense of the music, and so am I, so we both work off each other to create something else."

Then there's the label. "For me Smelly is something unpretentious - it's acid music, as simple as that. I've never made any indication that it's anything else. I mean I'm not that intelligent, I like dumb music, I like dumb films. Even though I studied for seven years at university, I don't like people intellectualizing music or the arts at all. Those kinds of people always have their own heads up their own arse. That's half the reason I'm doing what I am, because I'm taking the fucking piss out of them," he declares.

David's personally taste is as varied as it is ambivalent - during the course of one of his rare DJ sets he's as likely to spin the Latin-flavoured 'Guaglione' by Perez Prado as he is a phunked-up acid track by Freddie Fresh - and it's these personal touches that continue to affect the music he produces himself. "Right now I'm listening to porno soundtracks. I missed out on a couple of years of actually watching porno films, so I'm catching up now - especially Swedish and American porn. I'm also listening to Henry Mancini and a lot of stuff like that. I'm not really precious about it - I'll play what I think is good."

"Oh, and I like to follow labels like Synewave and anything from Midwest America and especially Minnesota, which seems to be like the centre of the universe when it comes to this kind of music. Even the guy who heads Missile, Tim Taylor, is moving from the UK to live in Minnesota - so you've got people there like Woody McBride, Freddie Fresh, DJ Slip . . . and while I don't know a lot about that trip hop stuff, I am interested in some of the things people like Jammin' Unit is doing with his Pharma imprint. I also like seriously fucked-up house music that artists like Ian Pooley and Richard Bartz can do, and I definitely enjoy Neil Landstrumm's stuff on Peacefrog and Tresor."

It's obviously been a prolific year for the Honeysmack phenomenon, and David admits he's greedy for more as he almost rubs his hands with glee. "I know I am the most prolific live act in Melbourne these days - I'm going to feed my ego from here on in, and why fucking not? . . . everyone else does! I'm booked to play every weekend right up until New Year's Eve, and I've been double-booked on a couple of dates as well. I don't know what to do there - maybe go back to my cuntish self and see who offers the highest price . . ."

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