TF Archives

Honeysmack (2)

Author: Andrez
Sunday, January 1, 1995
For the record David Haberfeld is the head honcho of local label Smelly Records, he's a some-time journalist, a radio presenter on Kiss FM, an occasional DJ, and he graduated in music from RMIT. In the studio he's worked with people like Voiteck, Soulenoid and Guyver 3 and his tracks are sought out by American luminaries Mike Henk, Freddie Fresh and Steve Stoll. Even more vitally, 1997 has seen the emergence of his production alter ego - formerly as Pura and lately under the alias of Honeysmack. These days Honeysmack is one of Melbourne's most gregarious and popular live acts, something special in its interpretation of the live acid medium and something overwhelming in terms of the personality behind the machines. Always on the up and up, 1997 has definitely been the year that Habber's electronic voice broke.

Over the past year David's Honeysmack project has come to the forefront in this city, especially when it comes to the live techno thing. He's played at Filter, Teriyaki Anarki Saki, Electric and in Sydney as well as one-off jaunts like Network, Teriyaki's Fuck Off Winter Parti, TransAtlantic and Zoetrope 2 - not to mention benefits for community radio stations PBS, BAS and SRA. It's been this saturation of live gigs that inspired him to proceed with the new 'Honeysmack Live' album. "I decided to do this one because of the sheer popularity of the live act," says David. "I could see that my studio work isn't the same and it doesn't transform in the same way - the studio work is more complex, whereas the live stuff is done on the spot. I can't do the same set twice; it's improvised totally live and no tracks are set out. In the live situation I work off the crowd."

Here he shrugs. "Anyway, I try to record all my sets and I was listening back to them when I was doing a tape for Mike Henk and I suddenly thought 'fuck that - I can put out a CD here!'. I'd never really thought about it before; it was more like I was archiving my work. At the time I was going to do a Smelly Records compilation - I still am - but I thought I could squeeze out something else on Smelly beforehand."

The live work that appears reflects Honeysmack's changing environment and audiences over the past year, as he outlines. "It's stuff recorded from the Acid War with Soulenoid at Filter, from Teriyaki, and from the gig I played in Sydney. I tried to do it in blocks; it's totally unedited and exactly how it is when it's made live - I even left the small fuck-ups in there."

In the live situation Honeysmack is on par with Voiteck - he's animated, outspoken and totally into the music he's making; there are times when a mania seems to grip his rambunctious frame and it creates an aura that's the complete antithesis of the mild-mannered, faceless techno knob twiddler. Yet instead of being obnoxious it's an infectious trait, and the audiences before him invariably love it. "Hey, if people can see someone on stage making a fool of themselves then they won't be scared to let themselves go as well," sums up the man himself. "I mean it's dance music, and I can't stand people fucking sitting down while I play. I won't play if they're sitting down. You're not there to watch me, you're there to hear my music - and I say that with the utmost arrogance intended."

Working with other producers is also something David thrives on. In the past he established the PIN project with Voiteck and Graham Mono alongside Soulenoid and Guyver 3, and more recently he played one-on-one with Josh Abrahams. "I like to bounce off other ideas," assesses David. "Other people are coming from a different attitude and a different sense of the music, and so am I, so we both work off each other to create something else."

Then there's the label. "For me Smelly is something unpretentious - it's acid music, as simple as that. I've never made any indication that it's anything else. I mean I'm not that intelligent, I like dumb music, I like dumb films. Even thoug