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From The Vault: Australian Dance Music Awards Article - From 2003

Author: Terry Goldfain
Monday, November 13, 2006
Before we get started, let's get one thing straight. Dance music in Australia is about as far as you can get from the glamorous, decadent world the likes of Ibiza would have you believe. While the concept of the 'Superstar DJ' is all well and good, in most cases it's a fantasy and you can probably count on one hand those worldwide who truly fit this stereotype. In Australia there sure aren't any Superstar DJs. In fact, you're considered one of the elite if you're lucky enough to have a manager and the number of DJs and producers able to call this their fulltime occupation is even less.

So what is it that drives our talented dance music artists to pursue this path in life- Sure, there are those in search of fame and fortune, and chances are they will be sorely disappointed, but in the majority of cases it is simply a passion and love of music. This is where the Motorola Australian Dance Music Awards fit in. They provide us with an opportunity to show our appreciation for these artists and DJs who make such a difference to our lives. As Colin Snape aka Scrambler, succinctly puts it, "I don't know of any other event in this country that brings such a fragmented and diverse group of musical artists together to exchange ideas and to acknowledge each other's work, a lot of which is done in solitary confinement. It's invaluable to non-performing artists who often work in a room by themselves and don't get the public adulation that DJ's and muso's enjoy." Snape, who is nominated with production partner Ivan Gough in the category of 'Best Remix', is a perfect example. You won't see him on posters, in video clips or magazines. Yet, remixes like the aforementioned and his productions such as Free, used by Phil K on 'Balance 004' and soon to be released as a 12" on EQ will inspire more people than most politicians will in their lifetime.

Steve Davis, half of Rogue Traders who have been nominated for 'Best Debut Artist', 'Best Single' and 'Best Video Clip' echoes this sentiment. "There does need to be specific recognition for Australian dance music," says Davis. "For the most part our scene can be, by choice, faceless to the general public. Showcasing talent not only expresses pride in our industry at a time when dance is declining worldwide, but also, most importantly, shows what producers in other states are up to."

Unlike the UK where a jaunt in the car can get you almost anywhere you want to be, the Australian dance music community is disadvantaged due to the tyranny of distance. Sure, advances in technology have made it much easier to exchange ideas and collaborate with interstate artists, but you can never downplay the importance of face-to-face communication. Infusion, who can now almost be regarded as veterans of the DMAs, recount, "it's a rare opportunity to see a lot of people involved in the dance music industry at the one time in the one room. Last year was particularly good as the winners were a little more spread out, the awards ceremony itself wasn't too long and it allowed a quick exit to the after-party!" Mykie of Nubreed holds a similar view, regarding the DMA's as an event that, "allows the opportunity to get everyone in one room to meet, chat, plan and position future projects."

The Australian Dance Music Awards are entering their fourth year of existence. What started as a Sydney-centric ceremony is finally receiving the recognition and respect it deserves as a truly national event. For the first time, there is a real buzz around Melbourne and a huge deal of interest shown by DJs, artists and punters alike. One only has to look at the nominations for certain categories such as 'Best Live Act', dominated by Melbourne acts Infusion, Nubreed and 1200 Techniques or 'Best Producer' featuring both Infusion and Luke Chable. A diverse rang