It began for Alexander “Partyshirts” Thompson one morning in his childhood while watching Play school on TV. He saw a lady playing cello and immediate musical desire was sparked and soon after he started playing. Alex’s first exposure to electronic music was in high school; where he also took up an interest in playing the trumpet. For most of his high school career Alex kept a balance of both electronic music and classical, appreciating both for what they are and also for there crucial influence on his musical taste today.
At the age of 17 Alex got his first set of decks and by the age of 18 he had already got experience in playing in the club. Soon after graduating he began bartending at Sooki Lounge in Belgrave where he also became a resident DJ. Until this point Alex’s music taste had been more commercially based however after traveling to Europe and taking in the the music scene that it had to offer, he experienced a musical enlightenment and a turning point. He quickly fell in love with techno and house music and brought those vibes back with him to Melbourne.
Shortly after arriving back, Alex started running house and techno gigs at Sooki Lounge. In May of 2016 he was offered the position to run a weekly club night at the venue. Sooki Saturdays was a huge milestone in Alex’s career, as he went from not only being a DJ but also being a promoter of a club night. Having a weekly club night to play at shaped his sound into what it is today and keeps on growing and evolving just as Sooki Saturdays does. Look out for big things to come from both Partyshirts Thompson and Sooki Saturdays.
You’ve done very well for yourself in recent times as a venue booker and DJ. If you had to choose between the jobs, what would it be and why?
What a hard question! I love both so much, but I think I would have to go with venue booker. Being given the opportunity to start up a club night at Sooki and develop a sound I love in such a unique spot such as Belgrave has been amazing. I have been able to create a bit of a culture up in the hills for underground house and techno and that’s something that would have never happened if I was just DJing.
How would you describe your DJ technique – do you have a certain way you like to play?
I actually have two very different ways i like to play:
If I’m playing techno I usually use my Traktor D2’s and laptop. This is because I have access to two more effect sections and allow me to shape and mould the sound a lot more then if I was using CDJ’s. They also have the ability to play stem files which is something I’m getting into more and more.
If I’m playing house I like using CDJ’s. I find it a lot easier to do quick mixing on CDJ’s and generally I find it more ‘fun’ to play on them, which suits the vibe I’m trying to achieve when playing house music.
Can you explain why you chose the funny word “Partyshirts” for your DJ alias?
Anyone that knows me, knows that pretty much all I wear is “Partyshirts” have been for 6-7 years now. Having Party in your name gives everyone a bit of a glimpse into what the sets are going to be like. I have already had a bit of fun with the name too… my techno alias is Turtleneck Thompson.
KONTRAST COLLECTIVE is a group 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. Apart from organising events we love to shine light on Australia’s best upcoming and veteran DJ’s. The eleventh round of the KONTRAST Mini-Mix Series will run from April 4th to 25th, with an exclusive podcast from each artist along with a short interview to get to know them better.
Mini-Mix Series #11: