Voyaging into Melbourne’s Techno subterrane: An Interview with Oblivion Music Group

Oblivion_logo

Oblivion Music Group is one of Melbourne’s newest Techno collectives and event groups to hit the scene as of late. The group was originally founded in mid 2016 by Eddie Hale and Erik Fahri – both of whom have a wealth of prior DJ, Production, and Event experience – and it aims to provide patrons with unique and interesting club nights that take place within a friendly, expressive, and inclusive party environment.

In addition to supporting talented local acts through their work, they also vie to showcase international artists who provoke inner musical consciousness, and who bring forth something new and different compared to what’s currently on offer. So far, Oblivion has had the likes of Xhin, Sandra Mosh, and Patrick Siech all perform as headliners at their events – and have many others planned for the future.

I spoke to Erik and Eddie recently and discussed the ideas behind Oblivion, their thoughts on the scene, and what lies ahead in the near future for the group

Q1
What circumstances led up to the creation of the Oblivion Music group? Was it a gradual progression of ideas between the two over time that led to the formation? Or was it conceived another way?

A1: Eddie: I first met Erik through his well-known Barba Techno parties. He booked me to DJ a few times, and we then became friends. We share very similar views on dance parties and music, and so the concept grew organically.

Erik
: As Eddie said, We had played together a few times at BARBA party, and it was apparent to me that we could further fine-tune parties to the style of techno that we both loved. I am a big fan of melodic techno that isn’t afraid to break away from the norm and that has no boundaries; the stuff that dreamy dance floor memories are made of.

Q2Is there an overarching goal, ethos, or philosophy behind the Oblivion name? Are there any specific aims or ambitions that you hope to achieve in the coming months and years, as your brand grows and evolves?

A2: Eddie & Erik: One definition of Oblivion is to create freedom from worry, care, or unpleasantness. We are trying to create a culture that is accepting of everyone, and our inspiration is drawn from the ethos of all the best parties that we have been to around the world. Our focus is on high quality music. We are interested in showcasing local and international DJ’s, not simply based on popularity, but on music we really love and that is somehow contributing something special or interesting to the scene.

We are both tired of the ego attitude that is invading much of dance music currently and want to create a much more inclusive environment – where people can take shelter from their everyday lives, interact with other like-minded people, and to hopefully take some of these ideas back into the real world.

Q3: Who makes up the team behind Oblivion? Are there any other people involved in operations or in background roles? Or is it just the two of you – the original creators?

A3: Erik Fahri (DJ TFG) and Eddie Hale: We are the founders of Oblivion and of course there are others like family and friends who are always supporting us, and helping out where they can. Without these people – We wouldn’t be able to pull any of this off, so thankyou all :)!

Q4Is there any particular focus on expanding the Oblivion team at this point in time? Whether it be with taking on more core crew, adding resident artists to your roster, or taking on permanent promoters? Or is the plan at the moment to grow the brand recognition through future events, social media, promotion, etc – in order to build up more of an audience and following?

A4: Eddie & Erik: Right now our focus is on doing more events and pushing our core concepts underlying them further and further each time. We are really keen to get people involved if they have something unique to offer the community, whether it be artists, promoters, enthusiasts or anyone else, really. If there is something that this platform can offer to them in order to grow and flourish: then we are all for that. We want to grow our audience organically – our top priority is to have great events with great people.

Q5: Overall, What do you hope to achieve from running techno events? Would you say that the focus is more on showcasing local talent, paired with hand-selected international artists? Are the events more focused towards simply providing a fantastic night out for everyone who attends, with amazing techno and a warm atmosphere? Is it more based upon a conceptual idea of what a party should be, and can be? Or would you say it’s a mixture of all of the above? Elaborate on your thoughts.

A5: Eddie: I think that it’s a mixture. We want people of all walks of life to feel good at our events and we hope to nurture some positive cultural experiences and help connect people in an environment where they can feel safe. We spend a lot of time considering which DJ’s and artists will best fit – the vibe is very important. Our last party we brought in Sandra Mosh and Patrick Siech from Sweden – they are really interesting and amazing artists, and are not just the latest “popular” DJ’s who are going to sell tickets; we are more concerned with what they can contribute to the events. The music must have that “something special” and add to the whole vibe of the night. Our events certainly have a warm atmosphere – I think that’s partly what the original rave scene set out to achieve and we would like to bring that into 2017 and beyond.

Erik: I think for me what I most loved at our last event is that it brought something new to the table. Without trying, it had a really cool rave feel – people had the freedom to dance and be themselves without being on an over-crowded dance floor. It was dark, gritty and earthy. I would really like to keep that vibe going with our upcoming events.

Q6: What is your take on the techno scene/community in Melbourne as it currently stands? So far, Melbourne has been competing very well internationally, and it seems like we can hold our own as a “techno city” when compared to places like New York, Berlin, Detroit, etc. Do you think we are adequately competing with larger European locales? If not, do you think we ever can? Where do you see the scene going in the coming years?

A6: Eddie: I don’t like the idea of competing. To me personally, it is more about contributing to a wider global community. We are all human, breathing the same air, and facing the same problems. It’s time to realize that we are all in this together! Erik and I have traveled the world, experienced the techno scenes in other cities, and we both believe that this scene needs to be nurtured and the right ethos needs to be upheld: so that the next generation to come through will also be able to contribute, expand, and evolve in a positive and supportive way. Melbourne techno is really flourishing right now. The only way forwards is to drop our egos and work together.

Eddie: I agree with Eddie in that we are all in this together, and that to keep the scene healthy, it would be wise to share ideas and (also) artists that visit our city with other promoters. My only reservation when being compared to other “techno cities” is that Melbourne in comparison is a much smaller city – therefore the continual addition of new parties could be detrimental to the health of the techno community.

Q7: Are there any particular Techno producers, DJ’s, or collectives that hold significant value to either one of you two, or to the Oblivion group as a whole? Have you got any recommendations on people/groups to keep a close eye on and watch out for in the future?

A7: Eddie & Erik: There are a lot of crews in Melbourne doing good things that have been around for quite some time now. Barba Party, Arteq, and Bunker – just to name a few. Great DJ’s and producers are really starting to come out of the woodworks, too. I think that it is important to just go to parties, check out new artists and crews, and discover them for yourself. Often the most interesting ones are the ones that you’ve never heard of before.

Q8: Who inspires you within all of electronic music? Whether it be DJ’s, producers, labels, artists, etc? Who are some of your current favourites? And, Who are some past favourites that have led up to the shaping of your musical style, as it exists today?

A8: Eddie: Personally, I really love the sounds and styles of Detroit Techno, probably because it has a lot of soul and energy to it. I think that labels like Kanzleramt and Parabel are doing things the right way – They have great approaches to releasing music, and their artists are all interesting and unique. I think if you start following trends, well, what’s the point? Anyone who is doing something a bit different and fresh is always going to inspire me.

Q9: What lies in store for Oblivion’s future? Are there any big upcoming events that you have hidden up your sleeve? Any secondary projects, such as podcast series, collaborations with other crews, etc?

A9: Eddie & Erik: Right now we are up to Episode 3 of our podcast series – which we are really excited to feature Berlin veteran, Alexander Kowalski, on. In addition to that, We also have a new intimate concept that we will be running in 2017, and that will be leading up to a bigger event next year. We are always looking to collaborate if the fit is right :)!

Q10: Have you got any words of wisdom or advice to anyone out there looking to make a name for themselves or get more involved with contributing to the local techno scene? And have you learned anything particularly important throughout your careers to date that you think is invaluable for someone to know in order to ‘make it’?

A10: Eddie: The biggest thing I’ve learnt is that if you are out there just trying to make a name for yourself – then you are doing it for the wrong reasons. Ego is the biggest destroyer and I have seen many people really make things hard for themselves when they let it go unchecked. You have to immerse yourself and really start contributing something unique and special. If you keep working hard, and keep honest to yourself, then eventually you will be able to provide something of value.

Erik: I think everyone has a part to play in the community – whether it be as a punter, promoter, or a DJ. I never really planned on having my own events, let alone DJing in front of the masses. Everyone has a part to play, whether you’re promoting or dancing to your favourite DJ’s set: the main thing is to have fun.

Oblivion’s website:
http://oblivionmusicgroup.com/

Oblivion’s Soundcloud:
https://soundcloud.com/oblivionmusicgroup

 

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