Instructors

JAMIE STEVENS

The evolution of an artist is a long and windy road of creative exploration. Inspiration being drawn upon from different sources at different times, each leading the way to an abundance of possible outcomes. For some artists the journey is short as the glow of their creative flame flickers but for others the journey has no end. For those who remain steadfast, their life’s work is a continually evolving machine, a course that only they can instigate and nurture.

After 15 years in the industry, Jamie Stevens is being true to his calling. His career, a book of many chapters, each being equally as important to the plot of his creative story but at the same time different as he refines his thoughts, ideas and resulting sound. From his early days as founding member of Infusion and their renowned success as a band, to writing film scores for both short and feature-length films, to his co-founding of record label Dieb Audio and to his latest chapter with Melbourne outfit Chameleon Recordings, he has remained true to his creative voice and his love of entertaining people through the energy he puts into his music and live experience.

His latest phase with Chameleon Recordings sees Jamie as a solo artist being given the freedom to evolve his trademark sound and be in total control of the final product. From such a liberating point of view, this has been an opportunity to lift all restrictions on the creative process and engage all channels in the production of his music. Whilst for some artists who have already tasted success, such freedom and license to redefine themselves can be an intimidating place, for Jamie he has seen it as nothing short of an opportunity to thrive. His studio, piled high with countless old books, vinyl from many genres and styles, even old star wars figurines tell you he doesn’t leave anything in his past lightly. The building blocks to which he has reached this point are apparent; his high regard in the Australian music scene speaks volumes so the possibilities of what he will produce next are exciting to say the least.

Jamie has taken his sound to some of the biggest stages in the world to date and brought with it all the energy and passion he is well known for. As he embarks on a new era of his refined sound, nothing is more thrilling to Jamie than bringing his unique percussive and bass-heavy sound to the fans. In his language, his emotive new sound coupled with the energy he puts in to his live performances is how he communicates. The evolution of an artist a long and windy road, but for Jamie Stevens the path forward couldn’t be clearer.


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STEVE WARD

With a career that already spans a decade, Steve Ward is an accomplished DJ and Producer whose prodigious skills and experience extend far beyond his years. Born and bred in Australia’s dance music capital, Melbourne, his early immersion in the city’s thriving electronic scene proved the perfect catalyst for a decade of gracing the booths of its biggest clubs and events, and the charts of the world’s finest tune purveyors … Captivated by the early upfront sounds of Melbourne Techno doyen, Will E Tell, Steve’s passion for DJing was ignited by inspiration and fuelled by determination. Nailing his first gig as a mere teenager in 1999, it wasn’t long before his distinctive track selection and trademark flair were in regular, high demand. Injected with melodic, hypnotic sounds, Steve’s sets earned swift notoriety for encompassing a unique, broad spectrum of electronic genres: travelling smoothly from Deep House to driving Techno with subtle, deft ease.

For the last decade Steve’s innate flexibility and clever ear has seen him support an eclectic mix of international icons – from Jeff Mills to Richie Hawtin & Sven Vath, to Dj Craze and Public Enemy; not to mention move floors in a rich and varied range of environs – from gothic sex clubs and outdoor raves in volcano craters, to boat parties, street festivals, illegal warehouse parties and multi-tier stadiums. In addition to playing a diverse selection Melbourne’s clubs on any given weekend, Steve’s KissFM radio show ‘The Julika Project’ gives fans a weekly dose of his favourite tunes these days, too. Enjoying a prime-time Friday night slot, the show has been one of the station’s most popular since its inception in 2008 and continues to get bigger: week by week, show by show.

Intrigued by the intricacies of electronic music, it seemed a logical progression for Steve to hit the studio and start crafting tunes of his own. A naturally gifted musician and formally trained music technologist; he entered the professional production realm in 2007 and, in typical style, has hit the ground running. Indeed, his silky production skills have already seen him play several main stage LIVE shows, remix a host of international producers the and catapult Bush Records’ classic ‘Devil Fish – Man Alive’ deep into Beatport’s Techno chart. Producing under several alias’ and amongst a handful of groups, 2010 is shaping up as another big year for Steve’s studio releases…

Refusing to limit his musical obsession to nocturnal activities, Steve has consistently lent his expertise, passion and commitment to a series of roles within the EDM industry. From creating Capital DJ’s retail Techno department and running its daily operations, to formally teaching students at the Australian School of Music Technology and writing invaluable blocks of its curriculum; over the last few years he has truly lived, breathed, walked and talked music… and loved every single minute of it.

This trend continues in 200 with the successful launch of Steve’s new record label, Chameleon Recordings. Created with two friends who share his love of subterranean sounds, Chameleon is a record label that is perhaps best epitomised by its blend of cutting-edge art forms – music, design, photography and fashion – aimed squarely at an ever-discerning global market. Showcasing music from established producers and young up and comers’, the first release is scheduled to drop in the first quarter of 2009. Like everything musical that Steve touches… watch it grow.


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CHILD

Brought up by a pack of wolves in the siberian tundra, for the first 12 years of Child’s life he could communicate only through a series or grunts and growls. Rescued by Hasidic jewish explorers who went on to become his adopted parents, Child was introduced to classical folk music quickly learning the glockenspiel and the tambourine. Through these tools and an old commodore 64 computer he was able to devise a system which enabled him to finally communicate with the outside world and thus the reclusive veil, which was previously his life, was finally lifted. A talented producer of all things techno, Child was brought on to the Melbourne division of Derrick May’s Hi Tek Soul from which he was able to firmly establish himself in the Australian techno community.

Child has had the privilege to play at a number of the major festivals locally and internationally sharing the stage with a diverse array of the worlds greatest electronic acts including Carl Cox, Shpongle, Extrawelt / Midimilliz, Groove Armada, Funk D’void, Luke Vibert, Infected Mushroom, Justin Martin and many others.


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THANKYOU CITY

Thankyou City is the newest project from the Mirams brothers (Previously known as Continuum) and they have taken this new venture one step forward without compromising the unique sound they are previously renowned for in techno circles. Their recent live shows have cemented this new project into the hearts and minds of dance floors at home and internationally with driving bass lines, subtle overtones, twisted horns and emotive pads all seamlessly infused with the right amount of funk and wonk. The Thankyou City sound captures it all for you, and a little bit more.

With Their Debut EP out now on Subsonic Records and a steady line up of upcoming releases with some of the most respected names in the industry it is safe to say there is certainly more to come from these lads in the very near future.

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OPIUO

Ok now, imagine if you will, a precisely blended concoction of tight irresistible grooves, chunk fueled bouncy beats, luscious brooding soundscapes, dollops of stomach morphing bass, and a bowl of scrumptious glitch. Welcome to the musical world of Opiuo.

A self confessed music addict with a light hearted approach to life and art. Opiuo is at his best whilst hiding from the world, creating fun fueled music. Influences coming from everything, from life changing experiences, to mere cups of tea. Incorporating sounds as varied as jazz, reggae, funk, rock, psychedelia, and down right chunky goodness.

Originally from a small town in the deep New Zealand countryside, Opiuo now resides in the pimp hustle back streets of Melbourne Australia, where he has built an international reputation for his original, party fueling creations, and has played live to sold out crowds all across North America and Australasia.

The highly sought after Opiuo sound is being included in DJ sets from some of the biggest names in the business, and featuring on high profile radio stations, including the infamous BBC Radio One (UK). He’s performed alongside the likes of MC Hammer, Bassnectar, FreQ Nasty, and Tipper. Toured North America and Australasia extensively, quite literally rocking dance floors in every corner of the globe.

His latest full length release “Slurp And Giggle” is nominated for Best Dance / Electronic Release at the Australian Independent Music Awards, and currently sits as the most downloaded album for 2010 on addictech.com

With music out on some of the worlds most respected electronic music labels including; Muti Music, Addictech Records, Rottun Recordings, Iboga Records, Home Breakin Records, Colony Productions, and Empathy Records, the Opiuo train is definitely in motion!

Now that is over, lets go have some fun!


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JOSH NEEDHAM

Classically trained and having started on the piano at the age of 7, Josh has you feeling young again; capable of playing entire sets completely improvised, created on the spot according to the ‘mood of the room’, not to mention his show-off ability to play entire songs with his eyes closed. But this is only the beginning…

Josh Needham’s performing interest began at a very early age. As a 6 year old, he starred in his first school play, which sparked his zest for the stage. Since then, he has performed leading roles in a wide variety of musicals (‘Pirate King’ in Pirates of Penzance, ‘Tinman’ in The Wiz, and more) toured the country for his public speaking (winning 1st in all competitions) and engaged large crowds in his theatre sports activities. However his musical performance capabilities have been honed on stage, over the last 20 years performing in a wide variety of bands, and instruments.

As a classically trained musician, Josh completed all of his grades with flying colours. His journey has also taken him on adventures with a number of bands, beginning his song-writing at the age of 12. Since then he has performed professionally playing live drums, bass guitar, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, piano & vocals, plus has composed for choirs, bands, DJ’s and solo artists, been a guest (and requested back) at Carols by Candlelight (over 8,000 in attendance), won numerous song-writing awards and illustrated decadent performances the nation over. Josh has even been internationally requested in parts of Europe, and performed in the US on stage at private functions. Josh also ran his own school of music (Solid Ground School of Music) from 2002-2005 teaching Music Theory, Composition, Vocals, Guitar and Piano.

2 years ago Josh was asked to be coached by Australia’s number 1 vocal coach, David Jaanz for professional tuition on his already outstanding vocals. Jaanz (having taught Delta Goodrem, Daniel Merriweather, CDB, Peter Andre, & many more – also sang with John Farnham, Stevie Wonder, and more) has testified to Josh being one of the greatest songwriters and performers he has ever taught. Last year Josh blitzed the school’s award for song-writing.

Recently Josh has also begun in electronic music production, currently working on a variety of acts, including his act with his new fiancé, Alisha Merritt (vocalist with Vanessa Amarosi), utilising their pop writing and years of performance experience, the act has already been offered a number of resident venues for weekly performances, despite the band not ever having played live – not even once. Hence, Josh’s local reputation for absolute professionalism and high quality entertainment alone is paving the way.

His modelling background however presents a whole other dynamic to his already appealing nature. Entering the room, one is not sure if he’s about to strut his stuff on the catwalk, or begin the shirt-removing dance moves that Dirty Dancing so nostalgically implanted into the masses. However whilst confident and always ready to party, Josh remains true to his art and true to his musicianship by maintaining the highest quality standard of musical performance through regular performing.

Being offered jobs on famous tropical islands, through to world-class cruise ships, it’s a wonder that this boy has remained in Melbourne. Not surprisingly though, Melbourne isn’t complaining. As an artist, Josh is currently under review by management and is already winning praises for his recent beginning for writing more regularly for other bands and artists, beginning to step into professional production. The Australian Performing Rights Association (APRA) is already receiving a number of professionally written tracks for solo artists and bands, and Josh is continuing to establish himself in the music industry abroad, with a large scale international performance, production and publishing career in mind.

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