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Author: Ben Shepherd
Sunday, January 1, 1995
DJ RSK is a prominent Melbourne DJ and a valiant supporter of the local electronic scene. The man who describes heaven as a night with Tyra Banks and hell as a night with Pauline Hanson is also the co-owner of innovative Melbourne acid house label, Sprmint, whose parties and releases have been critically applauded around Australia. "We launched Sprmint Recordings officially on Saturday 9 August 1996 with an underground warehouse party in Carlton. At first, we just wanted to releasea single 12 inch by Steve (Robbins, FSOM member and acid master o' Melbourne). The interest level we received for the concept of the label alone, was phenomenal (in relation to Steve doing his "own label"), so we decided to turn it into a long term proposition." Wonderful, but how does someone care so much about the music to get their act into gear and do something other than let it slowly die. "I started very young. I guess this was due to the influence of my father and my cultural background, which is Turkish and which music is a great part of. I wanted to become involved in the industry when I felt that people needed to hear new music and/or variations of existing music. This is the most appealing aspect of the underground music scene, as this is where people hear new styles and creations for the very first time. DJing was one way of being involved, owning an independant label was another. I fulfilled my need, in part, by looking for new music to present to an audience. The music industry is controlled by only a few players (i am talking about major record labels), and I believe it is unfair that they decide what we hear and don't hear. Being a DJ and label owner, I can search for independant artists who want to be heard and show that there is always something different going on.

From humble beginnings ("I would play at house parties for friends. I started playing at clubs and raves shortly after") have come greater successes, with Sprmint now releasing more and more records and hosting various parties and events around town. The Sprmint clan consists of DJ RSK, Steve Robbins, Natural 1, Veronica Love Doll, Charm, The Magnificent, Space 3000 and Eclipse. These artists appear on Therapy which is Sprmints first major CD release, distrbuted by MDS and being launched at the upcoming Every Picture Tells A Story party. But the inevitable question remains, can Australian electronic cut it with its overseas brothers- "Easily." replies RSK bluntly through the medium of electronic mail. "Why should it be any different- The scene here in Melbourne is strong now, but more importantly, it has been around since the start of techno and dance. Steve was the first DJ in Melbourne to start playing andpushing acid house in the clubs, and this was back in the late 80s. Quite a few artists have also been writing/releasing electronic music since the early 90s. So, it's not a question of experience, I guess its more a question of recognition. the world hasn't really acknowledged our presence strongly enough, and until then, we will always ask ourselves, "could we cut it overseas-"

Those who have heard the releases being put out by these artists strongly believe yes. With dance receiving more and more exposure around town and being placed in advert after advert, is the next sonic boom going to be pumped through a 303- "You will have to ask someone who can see into the future," ponders RSK, "I can see things changing strongly though, if the executives of the American major record labels decide its time to make money from dance music (like they did with hip hop). this would definately change thing here as Australian mainstream society seems to be strongly influenced by Amercian culture, yet this is quite a generalisation on my part." With acts like The Prodigy and the Chemical Brothers being big business in the U.S, and electronic enjoying a pleasureable time with the press and record buying public in the U.K and Europe, Australia seems like