Xander’s (Noface) introduction to techno began back in 2011 after being exposed to a couple of original works by Recondite. As an avid listener of hardcore and death metal for most of his younger years, the dark and gloomy sound instantly had him hooked, despite his former strong opinions against electronic music. He claims that the connection between metal music and techno is extremely uncanny; both genres have the capability to be rhythmically complex, powerful and energetic, and both are built around the concept of “tension and release”.
His DJ career began by playing vinyl only Drum’n’Bass and Reggae shows in Melbourne at venues like Sub Club and Workshop. “Although these gigs were heaps of fun and I have very fond memories of, techno was what I predominantly wanted to play.” As his record collection, he started playing techno out more and more, with his first gig being with Green Fetish Records at My Aeon. From there, he has played at venues such as Revolver, New Guernica and St James, as well as Earthcore festival.
Being classically trained on piano for 15 years, his step into production was a natural one for him. His earlier work reflects his background in melody, with a lot of focus on melancholic string lines. His debut EP “Through The Looking Glass” was released on Berlin techno label ARTS in 2017, which sat beside artists along the likes of Keith Carnal. Moving to Berlin has opened his eyes to a wide variety of electronic music, and so has changed his direction. “Noface” is a new project that aims to explore the more textural and driving sounds of techno, with inspiration drawing from artists like Speedy J, Amotik and LSD to name a few. “Die Enden Der Welt (Cthulu)” is upcoming original mix that will kickstart the project.
Some would say being a trained musician helps dramatically when deciding to become a DJ. Have you found this to me true, and how do you think it might help?
I think there are a lot of different factors to consider. Some musicians might excel at melody, but rhythm may not be their strong point. Some may be able to mix flawlessly, but lack a set structure that draws the crowd’s attention and keeps them interested. Some of the best DJ’s I know have never had a single music lesson in their entire lives. For me I found that having a music background really gave me a head start when it came to learning the ins and outs of mixing, but anything beyond that is sheer practice and going to heaps of gigs and drawing inspiration from them. Just like reading and writing, the more you read, the better you will write!
What inspires you the most at the moment in your music productions?
It’s difficult to narrow it down to a single thing, but at the moment I would have to say that being overseas and living in Berlin has been my biggest motivation in my productions. Summer was really full on over there, full of heaps of parties with some amazing and extremely diverse music. But I was working flat out and I struggled to find the time and motivation to properly sit down and write something.
But as summer ended I finally started to feel properly settled, and with a head full of new ideas, it’s been such a massive driving force to get back into it. I’ve also met some wonderful and extremely talented people in the past year who all share the same passion, so it’s also a massive inspiration to write more when you’re in it with your mates and get to bounce ideas off each other.
What is your current top 3 bucket list of dream support gigs or slots?
My first and most obvious choice would be on support for a Speedy J gig. In my eyes he has always been at least 10 years ahead of his time. Watching him close Berghain couple of months ago was such a mind-blowing experience, it’s crazy what he can do with a couple of Traktor controllers and a drum machine. Secondly would probably have to be Oscar Mulero (who I’ve been absolutely rinsing as of late) and probably Rebekah at a very close third!
1. Bells at Dusk – Robert Hood
2. Anti-Cake – Lewis Fautzi, Nuklear Default
3. Cult – Reflec
4. Track 5 – Tommy Four Seven
5. Chain Reaction (Reeko Remix – Asymptote
6. Confess – Phase Fatale & Silent Servant
7. Let’s Go – Jon Hester
8. Hell Frozen Over – Polar Inertia
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 fourteenth round of the KONTRAST Mini-Mix Series will run from December 7th to 28th, with an exclusive podcast from each artist along with a short interview to get to know them better.
Mini-Mix Series #14: