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'Southern Soapbox' - Mal Chia

Author: Mal Chia
Monday, October 17, 2005
Mal Chia's inside scoop on the (suprisingly) ever-changing Adelaide scene.

Hello all and welcome to my inaugural foray into the wacky world of columns!
First of all, thanks to Terry, Kevin and the rest of the Tranzfusion gang for giving me this opportunity to further express my disjointed ramblings to the wider community. I've been impressed with all the hard yards they've been putting into the site and it's an honour to be writing for them.

Hailing from Adelaide, South Australia, I guess my most important role as a columnist is to enlighten you on the state of our local scene. In that regard, you can't look past the recent closure of SA's last remaining superclub, Heaven, as a massive turning point. Besides from being a fantastic venue, no other club in recent memory has consistently brought down such a high standard of international artists across a variety of genres for so many years. Although industry bickering and politicking no doubt played its part in Heaven's closure, they have certainly done a lot of good for the local scene so it is sad to think they will no longer be there. Having said that, I doubt with the history of the venue (part of the complex includes the heritage listed Newmarket Hotel) it will remain vacant for long.

For now, the potential repercussions this could have for the rest of the local nightclub economy is considerable. In order to fill a massive venue you need to play the most accessible form of music i.e. the most commercial. With Adelaide's relatively small regular clubbing population, what you had was a large section of the market rarely being exposed to anything beyond the Dance Top 40 and really not knowing any better. By forcing them out of their comfort zone, hopefully this will allow other clubs and most importantly the DJs to fill the void and be more daring with their musical repertoire without fear of losing them to 'the superclub' and taking the easy option and pandering to the lowest common denominator. (God, I must sound like an elitist twat!)

With that in mind there are plenty of exciting events coming up in Adelaide for lovers of quality underground electronic music. Big props to Matt Abbott and Jude Alexander from Freestyle Entertainment who continue to push the techno bandwagon, putting on a mad show with Speedy J and Chris Liebing (aka Collabs live) over the October long weekend. I would have liked to have been there but we had Hybrid playing that same night, absolutely killing it at Black Cat to a full house. Aside from being a pair of top guys, they played a fantastic set and blew everyone away when they asked to play through to close which we more than happily obliged to. It was great to see such a massive turnout to a progressive/breaks/trance show especially on a long weekend when there was so much else on.

But I digress, later this year Desyn Masiello makes his Adelaide debut at Sugar launching his 'Balance 008' comp. I've been a big fan of his for awhile and personally cannot wait. For me, he and Luke Fair represent what I'm really digging about house music at the moment. Enchanted Forest is also back in December for some outdoor action, but aside from the standard rave fare, there are quite a few house, breaks and trance acts this year, including amongst others Martin Solveig, Chris Meehan, Kid Kenobi and Scott Bond as well as a dedicated Slinky arena. Have the winds of change arrived for Adelaide-

A few months ago, I managed to catch Canberra's Jaytech play a live show and all I can say is WOW! Jimbo is definitely going places with his solo work and collaborations. I've had the pleasure of listening to some of his pre-release material and when it sees the light of day, you'd be crazy not to be all over it. Chalk another one up for Australia….

Finishing on a personal note, I will be playing the top room at John Digweed in Melbourne later this month with a large Adelaide contingent in tow. If you get the chance don't miss seeing this legend i