Dave’s earliest recollection of his first ‘date’ with dance beats was in a music classroom where a handful of students showcased a type of sound which was then considered ‘taboo’. He then continued to follow this new ‘underground’ sound which eventually led him to befriend local legend Will E Tell.
Over the years, Dave has graced the stage of countless gigs, providing support to luminaries such as Derrick May, Jeff Mills, Luke Slater, Dave Clarke, Richie Hawtin, Dj Rush, Luke Vibert, Squarepusher, Richard Devine, Phoenica, Chris Clark, Vitalic, Omar S, Henrick Schawrz, and more recently Octave One, Stacey Pullen and Apparat.
His humble nature, classical background, ear for music and versatility, have attributed to a successful career and established a reputation for infusing sounds along with crossing genres. Mr Pham rarely needs a much of an introduction; his name speaks for itself. As a well known DJ in the Melbourne techno scene you know you will get an outstanding music experience whenever Dave Pham is on the bill.
Being an Australian performer, living and working in an artistic and generally open minded industry – do you think race impacts at all in the scene and were you ever effected by being of Asian descent?
I feel quite fortunate and very happy to report that over the 20 years that I have been playing, promoting and partying in the scene, I have never personally experienced any form of racial vilification. Exploring and going out to listen to dance music from the early to mid-90’s meant that you and those whom you shared your experiences with were part of a minority. Music was the common bond and extended conversations revolving around its beginnings, styles, direction, new emerging artists and so on was always the main stimulant.
I felt racism did not and could not exist in this environment, people were too busy dancing and hugging. We also had some amazing local DJs and pioneers of our scene who paved the way for so many, such as guys like Terrence Ho (H20), Kazu Kimura and William Keelan (Will E Tell). As a result of their talent, styles and background they became extremely influential in our dance scene. It made people ask who they were, where they came from and when they could hear them play next. Not only did they become cult heroes but their Asian and Tongan roots were celebrated.
If you were in a coma, what song would bring you back to consciousness?
Hey Jude – The Beatles.
As a kid it was one of those songs whose melody would remain echoing in my head long after it was played. No matter what I am doing, I will always pay attention when this song is on.
For someone who has been doing this DJ thing for a good while now; do you think you will ever stop DJing for work?
I hope not, I have lived a very charmed life playing records and being able to host events for some of my favourite artists. I have been very fortunate to have had the support of some amazing crews, promoters and club owners. The dream continues today but I understand that at any time it could all finish, I never take any opportunities given for granted and cherish every set I do today – more than ever in fact.
Get yourself ready for the final episode of KONTRAST Mini-Mix series #2. Pham is opening up nice and softly with a track from Weird Alps, continuing through broken beats influences and tribal vibes. It goes darker though, and heavier, and harder. Yes, this is proper techno; this is Dave Pham!
1. Weird Alps – Christopher Rau
2. Closing Sequence – Bicep
3. Blood Witness – Regis
4. For the People – Joris Voorn (Ben Klock Remix)
5. Systematic – Circuit Breaker
6. Like Tears in the Rain – Rodhad
7. Hama Static – Planetary Assault Systems
8. Form 4 -Developer –
9. Critical – Mind Machines
KONTRAST is a collective of creative spirits who loves to combine raw sounds, dark, thumping beats and intense, edgy musical experiences with extraordinary visual elements in an experimental and innovative way. We want to build something new, colourful and unforgettable and to explore how sounds, shapes and visual imprints together can create something bigger than ourselves, and a different state of mind. The second instalment of KONTRAST will happen on January 15 at Sub Club, and running up to the event there will be a mini mix series featuring each artist with a mini interview to get to know them better.
MINI-MIX Series #2