This instalment of Residents’ Hour is our first from south of the Equator. Kali, the woman behind some of Sydney’s most renowned parties, takes us through her ethos and gives us a peak into her musical world.
“Picnic was started about eight years ago by myself and Vi Hermens who now runs the Motorik parties and label in Sydney. After two years we decided to go in different directions. The first weekend of running Picnic by myself we co-presented Maurice Fulton on a Saturday night and Derrick May doing a five-hour set on the Sunday night – in two different clubs! I guess that really sums up my approach to Picnic – a little insane and ballsy, but with a strong focus on quality music and no strong focus on one genre or tempo – but I do love the parties to flow so programming is super important to me. It’s always been about the music first and with a confidence that if you build it they will come (most of the time!) so I book accordingly.”
“I’ve been DJing since I was 18 years old, and without getting into specifics that was in the 90s. My love of DJing stems from an even deeper love of the dancefloor and dancing in general. With that at the core, I don’t wanna fuck up a dancers night – not as the promoter or DJ or the booker of other DJs. That can come down to quite a few things, but obviously sound, lighting and the equipment are a crucial starting point.
“Obviously I don’t only live on the dancefloor or between monitor speakers, and in reality it’s not always a perfect end result. The learning curve is often steep and although sometimes shit does just go wrong, the real satisfaction comes from when it doesn’t. I love a challenge and I love making something better than it was last time. However, real magic happens when there is some magic there to begin with. Same applies to DJing. I personally find being straight and sober pretty key to creating magic, but like DJing and producing nice environments, practice makes perfect with that too.
“I mainly credit working with amazing people as the real inspiration behind wanting to always get better.
“One of the best decisions I’ve made was a series of parties we run called One Night Stand. It was off the back of an empty dance floor and strong reckoning that I had to focus on the party, not just DJs from overseas.”
“Everything started with touring Darshan Jesrani and Felix Dickinson – massive influences of mine. Since then we’ve had KiNK play for us couple of times, Underground Resistance presents Timeline lift the roof off a basement club, DJ Harvey play at Sydney Festival and also DJ Garth, Neville Watson and a man that makes a lot of sense to me – Andrew Weatherall – all play that same stage. I’ve had Daniel Wang dance around the stage of Sydney Town Hall with Darshan, Tin Man play a sweaty warehouse, Pantha Du Prince laugh when I actually got his rider (“hehe, it’s a joke!”), cried happy tears more times then I can count, and generally had some of the best times of my life. Of course with good comes bad, but thankfully doing what you love does sweeten the harder times – eventually.”
“At the very least, it definitely inspires positive change and one of the best decisions I’ve made was a series of parties called One Night Stand. It was off the back of an empty dance floor and a strong reckoning that I had to focus on the party, not just DJs from overseas. It’s a pretty successful party and we’ve had well known Australians like Late Nite Tuff Guy / DJ HMC and Tornado Wallace to local dons like Simon Caldwell and Ben Fester all own their eight hour set! Andrew Weatherall is the only international DJ we’ve had to date.
“This recording is during the first couple of hours of my own One Night Stand – first time I’d booked myself for it. We celebrated the 5th birthday in May 2015. There was sweat dripping off everything, the power cut out three times because it was too hot and I could have never planned to prevent that – but wow it was eight hours of sweaty, sweaty heaven.”
Our next Residents’ Hour sees us head approximately 15,000 miles north, back up over the Equator to the Gulf of Finland.
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