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Techno Tuesday: Sonny Fodera on Australia’s brimming underground culture

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Techno Tuesday is a feature on Dancing Astronaut documenting the culture of underground dance music. We’ll bring you exclusive interviews, tracks, and narratives from artists within the techno, tech house, and deep house world in an effort to shed light on some of the best talent outside the world of mainstream dance music.

Sonny Fodera has become an international house icon over the years. His stint on labels like Defected, Dirtybird, and Suara has mounted him countless acclaim in the club landscape, not to mention a running history of Beatport chart success. Fresh off a North American tour which took him across the US for a run of performance dates, Fodera joins Techno Tuesday to share an oral history of his connection with Australia’s club culture, and more specifically, house music.

 

“Growing up in Adelaide, Australia was amazing, however the house music scene was pretty small, in fact very small. I am now living in London and on reflection it is probably the farthest city from the House music hubs like Chicago and New York. The scene was so limited in Adelaide that you literally knew every DJ that played house, producer and club goer. A lot of People often ask me how I got into house music, how I was influenced by the likes of Derrick Carter or Inland Knights living in a city so far away from it all. The answer is simple – “Electric Circus”.

I used to work in an Italian Restaurant called Café Bounjiornons on Norwood Parade, where I met Carlo who was a vinyl enthusiast, who took me down to the record store called Electric Cicrus that had the club in the basement. I used to pretty much spend my entire pay cheque on vinyl and take it to my friend’s house James Shoji, where we used to mix for hours on end. Electric Circus brought down so many amazing acts, but the crowds were only 200-300 people max. The vibe was amazing, everyone was smiling and the sound system in the venue was next level. House music without a good system is a no no; I think so many venues all over the world forget this. I owe this club for showing me the quality in house music that the world had to offer.

Going out to this club religiously weekly you would see the same people there. Hanging out in the club, drinking and dancing all night long. This club was like a cult.

From buying records and being a club goer, to running the entertainment in a nightclub in Adelaide, my music productions really started to get noticed, getting on some labels in the USA and UK like Drop Music and Guesthouse. This got the attention of Australian promoters so I began to play in clubs in Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Melbourne. Opening my eyes to different cities, I have to say Melbourne and Sydney have such a more vibrant scene than Adelaide, there is a larger influx of people from all around the world, as well as a bigger population to compensate for that. I soon realized that it was like this in every city and every club in Australia. Clubs like Revolver, One Six One or Spice in Sydney people would consistently go to these venues week in and week out regardless of residents or internationals just to hear good quality house music.

After touring around Australia for a few years, then followed by a summer in Ibiza with a UK and USA tour, I decided to move to Melbourne. Playing there a few times I based myself there for 2 years, doing my own label showcases at Revolver and One Six One. After playing all over the world at this stage, I definitely think that Australia has a great scene and culture, just on a more niche scale in comparison to countries like the UK and the USA, however regardless of this the vibe is equally spot on.”

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