Record collecting, digging and Djing can fall victim to its own inflated sense of self-worth sometimes, but CC:DISCO! Is here to give you a relaity check. Raised in Australian cowboy country, her path into collecting records was fuelled by an obsession with a lifestyle that seemed out of reach. Now though, after nine years officially in the game, she’s one of Australia’s most respected, bringing a light-hearted approach to what she does, but with an enviable enthusiasm and support for those around her. “Music”, as she tells us in the below interview, “is my whole life and I really love it.” Maxing out the love for her Valentine’s Diggers Directory, CC dumps a whole box of bath salts into a steaming tub and delivers and hour of soul, modern soul and boogie.
CC:DISCO! Presents First Light is out now on Soothsayer – buy form their website.
DJs and producers often mention their musical education came through their family’s record collection. Was this the case for you? Can you pick out any pivotal records from your upbringing that informed your musical journey?
No haha not the case for me at all. We listened to two things: The Everly Brothers and Queen. I feel like this is why it took me so long to be a DJ. My dad is cowboy and only really likes country music so it wasn’t until II left the country town I’m from I found dance music. It took me years to save up for decks as well and then records. Christ it was long journey but I remember the first record I bought from the internet (no records stores where I’m from) was Janet Jackson ‘That’s The Way Love Goes’ and to me one of the best love songs ever bloody written.
People buy records for a multiple of reasons. What first drew you to collecting records and what motivates you to continue digging after all these years?
For me it was collecting music. I had never seen DJs really and didn’t know any apart from the local dude playing Bon Jovi and AC/DC at the pub on a friday. Once I was opened up to that world when I went to uni it became an obsession, in fact I maxed out a credit card once on records when I first started thinking about becoming a DJ. I was really obsessed and it still took me another three years to even DJ after that and I wanted to learn all I could about it and took me that long to build a collection cos DJing ain’t bloody cheap.
Where do you store your records and how do you file them?
I sort via genres, but I have records in my house, studio and on my dad’s farm still. But let’s be honest shit ends up everywhere after a gig. I try my hardest to make sure I put them back in right area’s but hey…I basically end up re organising every six months but that’s great because i find so much stuff I forgot about.
What are your favourite spots to go digging and why?
I really like shopping overseas, mainly because I’m on a mission a bit more esp in America because its so cheap and SO MUCH 80’s stuff I love. I really don’t have fav in Melb as they are all great in their own ways, we do have some great shops here though so shout outs to them all.
Digging isn’t just about the records you find, but the people who help you find them. Who are some of the colourful characters you’ve met on your travels in record stores round the world? Any unsung heroes you’d like to shout out?
Ha yeah I loved shopping in Chicago and New York. A couple of times people (who didn’t work there) saw what I was looking for and handed me bunch of boogie records I might like and well they were dead right and those records I love and always remember how I found them. Met some really legends in America, I really can’t wait to go back there and shop again. There’s also the nasty side of record stores which I don’t like. One shop in france stopped me before I had a chance to even look and told me they only really sell rare records and it might not be my style. That was weird and pretty dumb thing to say, I had that maxed out credit card ready mate. That really put me off and you never forget bad experiences in record stores.
Do you prefer record shopping as a solitary process or with friends to nerd out with and search for strange sounds together? If the latter, who do you like to go digging with?
SOLO for SURE. I feel like a real solo shopper all parts of my life. I get distracted too much with other people and then can’t stop talking.
Walking into a record shop can be quite a daunting experience. Do you have a digging process that helps you hone in on what you’re after?
I’m hopeless sometimes tbh, but I do look for stuff I don’t know and do often go by covers and years made. 1983 is still always the best I swear. So much epic stuff came from that year, but sometimes I pull out the worst stuff and hope to hell the shop attendant isn’t watching haha.
How big a role does album artwork play in your digging?
HUGE. I love that 80s artwork, it’s so timeless. But yeah often I listen and go … that’s not what I was expecting.
Could you tell us a bit about the mix you’ve done for us?
This a mix is for Valentine’s Day, a mix of love songs I adore and sing/scream in my car alone. NFTH (not for the heads) but a mix of popular songs, some not so known but all from soul, modern soul and boogie era. I love me a slow jam mix as I often don’t get to play these songs in a club.
Any standouts you’d like to mention?
44.34 seconds when the vocal “baby does it feel right to you” from Savanna comes in. Kill me it’s so good and I always scream that in the car when it comes on. Also the Pieces of Dream track at the start. I feel like their stuff is often over-looked and then there’s this italian number ‘Su Di Pui’ I found for 50 cents in Rock Record Store. It blew me away and often ask Italians to tell me what’s it about. It’s a beautiful love song. And … the last song of course does music get better than that? That one’s for the ladies from our Queen Janet.
Casting the net wider now, who are some of the record collectors you most admire and why?
In no particular order…
Mark Grusane – he is a mad DJ and dude and blew me away when he came out for my party recently.
Jamie Bennett – always putting me on to stuff I like and always plays music with a feminine side which at lot of people can’t do. Silent Killer really.
Josey Rebelle – she makes like music I wouldn’t normally like, which is highest compliment IMO and versatile as hell/
Sassy J – she’s got a style like no other.
Frank Booker – he is just legend I really look up to with passion like no other.
Mike Who – we have the same vibes on record collecting and love those $1 jams
John Gomez – he is pretty bloody good am I right?
Volcov – total vibes.
Noise In My Head – some of his dancefloor sets have just floored me.
Manchild – amazing collector with a great show on PBS.
All these people inspire me to want practice more, learn more and BE BETTER. I’m constantly going out to always see DJs when I’m not playing I think it’s so important to do that to be become better at your craft and stay relevent. Every week I seem to find another DJ I love, we live in a good time right now.
And are there any young collectors emerging who we should keep a close eye on?
Lauren Hansom – just keep yours eyes on her
Chico G – love me some Chico , he is one Dj ill always be asking “what the fuck is this track”.
Adriana – I’ve watched her from the beginning and she’s come so far I just love her and passion for music.
Toni Yotzi – her weird yet wonderful selections make her always stand out.
You’ve just released your first compilation, First Light. Given that you play music of many sounds, countries and eras, why was it important to license strictly unreleased tracks from Australian and New Zealand?
Right now there is a huge focus on re-issues and I wanted to give something back to the community I love and am a part of. New music is super important it’s the future really. I love our music scene and love to support it.
Why was Soothsayer the right label for this project?
They jumped at the idea and to have full support from them is what you want. They also put Australian music so made sense.
Shit internet notwithstanding, what’s giving you most cause for optimism about Australian music right now?
It’s taken me a week to send this email (shit australian internet). I think we are in a good place, we are really looking inwards in our scene. Less international touring and more focus on our own parties and own DJs and artists and giving them bigger platforms at festivals is really fantastic. Seeing this happen makes me happy and proud and I hope to see more names from here on more festivals abroad because we have so many incredible DJs and artists here but we are far away they can often be overlooked. I love seeing Australian’s succeed esp overseas it give me inspiration and make me feel so proud.
Recently being declared a “mainstay of the Identification of the Music Group” is going to take some beating, but as you approach 10 years in the game, what’s been your proudest achievement as a DJ?
Pretty amazing quote I must say but I’m no Mall grab it should just be called the Identification of Mall Grab Tunes Played. (again go australia).
Man so much. Playing Meredith to 12,000 people and bringing my dad on stage, people crying during sets. I feel really lucky to have this as my job everyday and still can’t believe it happened. Being able to play overseas so much this year has made me tear up so many times. It’s really a dream come true. Music is my whole life and I really love it.
As an exuberant Twitter user, what’s been your favourite thing on there this year?
Yeah twitter ay interesting platform isn’t it. Brown Cardigan posting the video from Benson at Rainbow serpent two weeks ago. It made me proud of us Australians just being idiots and never taking life too seriously.
Finally what’s coming up on the horizon that’s getting you excited?
EUROPE , UK so pumped. Will be over a lot this year and maybe a couple of other projects I can announce soon.
MARCH 16: XOYO, LONDON
MARCH 17: DJOON, PARIS
MARCH 20: TUESDAY CLUB, SHEFFIELD
MARCH 22: STEALTH, NOTTINGHAM
MARCH 23: DENIS SIMACHEV, MOSCOW
MARCH 24: TANCPLOSHADKA, ST PETERSBURG
MARCH 30: ST LUKE’S + SUB CLUB, GLASGOW
MARCH 31: DGTL FESTIVAL, AMSTERDAM
APRIL 07: KOMPASS KLUB, GHENT
APRIL 12: BUYER’S CLUB, LIVERPOOL
APRIL 13: LOVE INN, BRISTOL
APRIL 14: PRATERSAUNA, VIENNA
APRIL 21: ELECTRIC GALWAY