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White Sirens

Author: Ben Shepherd
Sunday, 1 January 1995

White Sirens has been one of the most exciting and eclectic electronic composers to emerge in Melbourne in the last year, his mix of silky drums and natural feel has ensured that a healthy buzz has ensued in anticipation of his debut album, expected on the Creative Vibes label.

His tracks have appeared on the Fathom compilation, which came out last year, and the Evolutionary Vibes 2 & 3 compilations, and they have seemed to steal the show somewhat. But who is this mystery man- Where did he come from, you ask. Well, OTICO as always pulls the scoops and for our electronic special we felt it wouldn't be complete without talking to the man commonly referred to as White Sirens, Adrian Watkins.

"I am at uni now doing music," says the classically trained Watkins, "and I got into music through doing that. I'm not doing violin as much anymore (Adrian has played violin since he was 7), and I'm really concentrating on writing and composing music, and some of that is electronic stuff and some of that is for instruments and writing actual scores and things. I learnt piano for a few years too, so I guess I've been doing music all my life really." His obvious talent for music has seen him develop the White Sirens act into something that today is world class, his musical background obvious in the tracks, the way they manage to sound so natural even though they are being created through machines. "I've got a classical type of background but I got into the electronic techno thing just because I like, the sound of it. Otherwise I wouldn't be doing it. Initially what got me into electronic music was getting into computer games, hearing computer game music and getting into that, gradually it got to programming the computer to write music on, and then I kind of kept that going and at the same time coming across that whole kind of techno thing that was happening, that was like starting to grow here, I know it was already happening in Europe and places, but it developed a bit later on in Melbourne in terms of accessibility of people being able to hear these things, so I gradually go into it."

Despite his small recorded output in stores the word has spread, and White Sirens live shows have been rare, yet closely watched. And it seems the response has been good. "The stuff I've had out so far has generated a pretty good response, I've tried to do different things. The track on Evolutionary Vibes 3 (You) is using a friend who is singing on it who has her own song which I kind of put the music behind it, and her song is pretty much as it was initially, so that was a different sort of way of going about things, and its not generally the sort of sound I would go for, although a lot of people seem to like it and all the reviews have been good. They generally mention my track as being one of the better tracks on the CD, etc."

"You" has a distinctive European feel. Not Euro style house etc, but a song that would hold up well on such a market, deep and musical. "Creative Vibes have a label Piaz who are based in Europe, who have released some Creative Vibes stuff in Europe, and they've been thinking about releasing my album, but we haven't got any confirmation yet. I guess my sound is sort of a European kind of thing, I was there earlier this year and it was amazing how huge drum and bass was in London, just walking down the street and you hear it in every cafe and little fashion boutique, lots of trip hoppy kind of stuff, and that's what I like and what I do." It must be amazingly frustrating for someone based on the other side of the world to know that a style of music he is naturally leaning towards is being welcomed with open arms in Europe. Could it be that Australia may lose some of its upcoming artists to the Northern hemisphere through lack of a sizeable market here- One would definitely hope not but it just seems so right. "Its a kind of funny situation, its not the kind of music I'd do in Australia because you're not going to sel

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