Paul Mac: 3000 Feet & Getting Higher..
Author: Andrew Ong
Monday, 6 August 2001
First, let's get one thing straight; Mac is not a DJ as many people may think but rather an Artist/Producer/Remixer extraordinaire. A graduate of Sydney's Conservatorium, Mac cites that, "as a teenager all I wanted to do with my life was music, so I studied at the Con. It gave me a bigger perspective of what music can be. I think that's why I enjoy producing so much."
Many would know Mac as one half of Itche-E and Scratch-E (and perhaps for his infamous acceptance speech at the ARIA's 6 years ago where he thanked the "ecasty dealers of Australia"). However, he's done everything from TV commercials to soundtrack work on such films as "Head On" and "Sample People", and even for a time was the musical director for the TV show "Good News Week". During all this and over the last 2 years he's been writing, as well as recruiting some of Australia's finest artists, to help launch a solo career. The product- A debut solo album entitled "3000 Feet High".
So after burning down his apartment, Mac packed up his gear (what was left) and got out of the hustle and bustle of the city and relocated to the Blue Mountains where he recorded this album. "The Mountains gave me the time and the space to think and feel the music that I was making. That's probably why it's more introspective than stuff I've done in the past."
Mac has already achieved chart success with the roof-raising track "Just the Thing", and on this particular song you can hear the vocal talents of Peta Morris who Mac met in the Mountains after hearing her sing at a local pub. So impressed with her, she even appears on another track "The Sound of Breaking Up" this time showing off her more sultry side. Mac explains that when writing this album, "most of these songs started out at the piano, then the ideas or moods that I liked I'd take up to the studio and flesh them out with electronics and beats."
With an extensive CV of remix and collaborative work, with the likes of Tex Perkins from the Cruel Sea and Daniel Johns of silverchair, "3000 Feet High" has been a long time in the making for Mac. "I've really enjoyed going solo. Collaborating is always heaps of fun, but it was really nice being able to investigate my thoughts and moods without other input."
As for live shows- There have been a few, including a recent performance on Channel 10's ROVE Live, but it looks like Mac fans will have to wait until a little later in the year. "There's just too many people involved at this stage and the cost is huge!" It's not surprising considering the number of people who contributed to this album.
"3000 Feet High" is an album full of so many different sounds and moods, that I thought it appropriate to ask the man for one bit of final advice for any aspiring producers out there on how to produce good quality dance music - "Be yourself and try not to sound like anyone else. Don't get engulfed by the technology. Ideas are more important than gear."
3000 Feet High is out through EMI