Stalwarts of Melbourne’s rudely healthy music scene, Wax’o Paradiso have been bringing rare groove and dusty disco gems to all corners of Victoria and beyond for most of this decade. The trio is made up of Simon TK, Edd Fischer and Andy Hart, each stars in their own right – Simon runs the Club d’Errangé nights in Melbourne, Andy helped to found the institutional Melbourne Deepcast and more recently the brilliant Voyage Recordings, and Edd helms an afternoon radio show on PBS alongside running the brilliant Freedom Time parties. Since striking up an intercontinental relationship with Bradley Zero’s Rhythm Section, the trio return to the capital this week to take over Corsica Studio’s room 2 for the Rhythm Section x Infusions tag team. Ahead of that, we sent over a few questions.
Hi Wax’os! How did you three come together to start Wax’o Paradiso?
Hi STW! Andy and Simon started working together on a record fair/party for our friend’s wine company in Fitzroy, Melbourne about 4 years ago. Edd Fisher was beamed down from the heavens and it’s been Wax’o Paradiso ever since!
It’s fair to say you are all pretty distinguished DJs in your own right. When you don your WP hats, do you approach your sets differently?
Yes and no, we all have our own styles when we play solo. Edd’s history as a Jazz musician certainly comes through in his selections, Andy’s knowledge of the house music canon puts us all to shame, and Simon leans more towards techno and psychedelia. When we play together we all represent our differences which achieves this weird balance. Also when we play at the Wax’o Paradiso parties we normally play between 6 and 9 hours which allows for a sense of patience in exploring different styles.
Your name is a surefire nod to a love for vinyl, and your sets are a digger’s delight. When and why did you first start collecting records?
We started collecting records long before we started DJing, probably in those awkward teen years.
Originating from a far flung corner of the world must throw up some very different records when digging. Where are some of your favourite places to dig down under?
Certainly, there aren’t the same kinds of used records circulating as there are in say, Europe, the US or Japan. But the Antipodes yield their own delights when it comes to digging. Our favourite spot for down under finds is Licorice Pie records, tip!
When you come to the UK and Europe, do you have some staple record stores you like to visit every time?
We try to hit as many stores as our schedules (and baggage allowance) permit, this time around we’re particularly excited to hit up Music Mania in Ghent again, there and Red Light Records in Amsterdam are always great.
With Andy now based in Berlin, do you guys still get to meet up and play much together?
Yes indeed, we’re all highly allergic to winter, so Andy spends a few months a year doing the Australian summer circuit with us and when things cool down here we join him for a spritz somewhere in Europe.
Gilles Peterson once swapped his car for a copy of Joao Donazo’s Amazonaos. Is there a record you would swap your car for?
I think you may be overestimating the worth of our car…
Is there a car you would swap a record for?
We’ve always wanted a bus like the one from Priscilla Queen of the Desert, ours would be called Pavlova. We’d swap all our records for one of those.
Your parties are known for happening in some very exciting left field locations. Do you have a spiritual home or a personal favourite?
No spiritual home at the moment, though we have some favourites that we revisit each year. The Coburg velodrome is an enormous outdoor concrete cycling track where we host our stage at the Freedom Time festival annually. Most recently some favourites have included on campus at Melbourne University and on a cruise under the Sydney Harbour bridge – with an oyster platter of course.
Is there a one dream, as-yet-played location in your minds?
Well we recently played our ultimate bucket list gig at the Meredith Supernatural Amphitheatre, truly the stuff of folklore (thanks for having us Aunty!). Aside from that Corsica studios comes to mind, hint hint..
Much of the focus of Australia’s music scene is on Melbourne. Away from there, who are some of the labels, parties, DJs and producers who are exciting you?
Hazey Daze and Bronze Savage in Tasmania (whaddup Dingo!), Camp Doogs in Perth, the Vibe Positive parties in Sydney, Ben Fester, Adi Toohey, we could go on all day…
There’s been a great relationship between you and Rhythm Section, a great example of kindred spirits finding each other across land and oceans. How did it all come together?
Edd and Bradley’s passion for beautiful hair brought them together and ultimately connected our parties across the pond.
You’ve been handed the keys to room 2 all night long – to try and get a taste of what may happen, let’s play a track association game. What are your records to:
– Bring the lights down low and slow dance to
– Hold a dance floor while you run to the toilet
– Drop as you catch the eye of a particularly spikey ex-lover in the crowd
– Play once for that high impact moment, but never again for the rest of the year
Last up, what’s next on the Paradiso horizon?
A dry martini with a twist on the Adriatic coastline.