As promised, here is the interview featured on inthemix the other week. For those who don’t already know Elliot, this will be a nice introduction to one half of the Kana mindfield.
Elliot Clarke might be best known to the club fraternity of Brisbane as the fresh-faced young gun who’s found regularly gracing the decks in some of the Valley’s best venues. Is there more to him than meets the eye, you ask? Absolutely! With many high-profile gigs over the past two years, Elliot has been making a name for himself in the underground dance music community, and all before the age of 23! There’s no doubt that talent, hard work and determination have been contributing factors, but others may simply attribute his success to plain and simple good luck. However, I was a little curious as to how he managed to hold down his residencies, as well as donning the hat as promoter for both Colours and Kana, alongside the additional pressure of a demanding day job.
Anyone who has experienced one of Elliot’s sets will agree with me when I say they’re always impressive. Expect them to be full of energy, featuring the freshest and funkiest tracks around (that mere laymen simply cannot find) and Elliot will keep you guessing throughout, as his style is very left of centre and far from predictable. I guess I looked up to those older guys like Aphex, Mills and Claude Young for inspiration. They played a big part when I initially kicked off. I never compromise on the quality of the music. I’ve definitely been getting in to some of the more left field deep house sounds getting around which venues seem more than happy with,” says Elliot. Bypassing vinyl and going straight to CD, Elliot’s experience behind the CDJs and subsequently Ableton has allowed him to play the music he loves exactly as he wants it to be heard. Unable to make up his mind about whether his greater love is techno, minimal or left-field house, you’re likely to hear tunes from all schools of thoughts.
As Elliot grew in confidence and skill early In his career, so did his ability to read a crowd and know what was expected. What better way to give the punters what they want than to bringing in sought-after Internationals? Not to mention bringing In a little bit of creativity to the dance scene by promoting the sort of unique gigs that hadn’t otherwise been seen In Brisbane. Elliott knows he’s onto a good thing! “Promoting has always been another dimension, creating a fresh outlook on what’s happening around us. I can definitely speak on behalf of anyone who’s promoting quality house and techno in Brisbane that we definitely get a rush off looking around seeing people having a great time. That definitely makes the effort of promoting worth it”.
In the two years Elliot has been in the driver seat as a promoter, big things have happened in Brisbane. Colours parties kicked off at Empire early In 2008, featuring some of the best music on Brisbane’s techno and progressive scene. Under the Colours blanket, Elliot claims that pulling off a gig with the likes of Dave Pham and Mike Callander was one of the best nights of the year for him. Colours also co/hosted Alex Smoke, Pig & Dan and Supermayer earlier on in the year which proved to be so popular that the Empire reached capacity very early on in the day.
More recently Elliot co-founded The Kana Corporation. The name Kana doesn’t have any underlying meaning, Instead It’s a blanket term for different types of Japanese script. Elliot launched the ‘OK Kana’ parties In September last year alongside Adam Gillett who is now based in London and pushing the brand over there. The underground parties are at secretively chosen locations, disclosed to the attendants via SMS only a couple of hours before they take place. The parties themselves give people a chance to sit back and smile about something unique every now and then, as opposed to being stuck in a club so often. The details of the party are kept pretty tight to prevent over saturation. As romantic as it might sound, for a short few hours you feel like you’re part of something that no one else has experienced. Lugging so much through the inner city of Brisbane has its disadvantages though. “I’m never pushing a bass bin with a broken wheel on to the Riverside walkway again though”, he says with a laugh.
As for what lies in store for the future, Elliot has already been a very busy beaver working alongside good friend Mike Redfern for Logic Events to plan an event – not only with a renowned artist but also creating a venue with a delightful twist. “First and foremost for Kana is Joris Voorn’s Balance 014 Launch from midday on Sunday 4th February. Bar Soma will play the host, however we’ll be creating something very different to a close crowd of no more than 200-250 people in the venue’s courtyard which will be completely transformed to accommodate this special event”. The prodigious Dutch guest Is the object of much affection on the ITM forums, especially after his last Brisbane gig. “Voorn’s energy behind the decks is brilliant,” Elliott asserts.”Having someone who can capture that rhythm without faulting is one in a million, Joris Voorn is one of those people. Having him tour on the back of aBalance release makes the event more intimate and special than what it might otherwise have been, which even then would be ridiculously hard to compete against.” As for Colours, the wait is only a week later on Friday February 13 for Colours’ first birthday! To indulge their loyal fans, Elliot and Fusion will present the musical treat of John Selway from the USA. On top of that, Elliot promises SCSI-9 on March 13 as another big party to not miss out on.
Elliot displays the passion of someone who wants to go places within the music industry. He loves his music and delivering a set to invoke similar feelings in his audience is paramount. But he acknowledges that he has reached this point with plenty of support. “Whether it’s Colours, Kana, Drop, Logic, Subtrakt or even Birdees on a Saturday afternoon, we’re being spoiled at the moment – make the most of it people!”
Interview conducted by Katie Dawson on behalf of InTheMix