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Australia's Infusion On Ladyboys, Kylie & Jason And Adam Freeland

Author: Angie Ng
Friday, June 28, 2002
Recently hailed as 'Australia's Best Electronic Live Act' (Sydney Morning Herald) Melbourne break/house/trance trio Infusion looked poised for imminent international crossover success, both as live performers and on the basis of their productions.

Playing together as a trio since 1994, they recently released a new album Phrases and Numbers and toured the record throughout South East Asia, stopping off in Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur and Japan. At Osaka's Bayside Jenny, they whipped into a frenzy the 1,200 assembled clubbers, drawing comparisons with Underworld at their best, a tag Muzik also bestowed on them recently for their Marine Parade debut release It's Alright.

Also picking up plaudits in the US (from LA's label and club Spundae) they're in essence at the same about-to-be-big stage their fellow countrymen the Avalanches were at last year, though the similarities largely end there. With upcoming productions also due out on James Holden's Silver Planet, the breaks trio's future looks decidedly bright, some eight years after they first began. Manuel Sharrad, Jamie Stevens and Frank Stevens together form the band and it was Manuel and Frank who recently met up with Skrufff's Angie Ng, in her KL Wow FM studio.

"There are a lot more 'perfectly formed' girls than Kylie in Sydney. Probably in the gay scene, she's like a big diva."

While Kylie Minogue's bottom is currently Britain's number one objet d'amour, in her home country of Australia few red-blooded males seem interested at all. For Infusion's Frank Stevens, asking him about Kylie's bum's superstar status, however, seems even more pertinent, since he spent much of the previous evening in Kuala Lumpur fending off one of the city's notorious ladyboys.

Skrufff: I understand you got together back in the early 90's when you were going to rave parties…

Infusion (Manuel Sharrad): "Yeah it was the early 90's when we started bashing our heads together seeing if we could do something with the music. Jamie (Stevens) and I met at high school, so we've known each other for a long time. We met Frank (Xavier) in Sydney around '96 and he sort of came on board then. We weren't Djing, we were just writing music really."

Skrufff: We're now in 2002; how much does the Infusion of today share the values and goals from when you started out-

Infusion (Manuel): We actually started as Infusion seriously around 1994 but for several years before that, Jamie and I were doing stuff sort of towards the end of high school. we started as Infusion as a live band in Wollongong which is a small industrial city, 80 km south of Sydney. We started playing as a live band before we actually recorded anything because at that time you had to play as a live band to really get anywhere. Wollongong had very much a live grunge scene sort of thing and as an electronic band, we had to try and match that by getting out and playing live."

Infusion (Frank): "At that time, record companies didn't really go out and look for dance bands; it was just not on their agenda or budgets to look for them. So the only way you could show yourselves was to do play live gigs; so we did a lot of pubs, which was quite scary; rock pubs and universities."

Skrufff: You've come a long way from rock pubs in Wollongong to raves in Sydney to Fabric in London just recently…
Infusion (Manuel): "Yeah, Fabric in London…that was fantastic!"

Infusion (Frank): "It's an honour to play in a venue like Fabric, they've had a lot of great names there; like people that we could only dream about seeing if they come to Australia and actually playing with them, in that same venue and being able to be at the same level was a great thing."

Skrufff: You also recently that played in America, how was that-

Infusion (Frank): "Oh yeah America…(shaking head)"

Infusion (Manuel): "America's funny (strange)…

Infusion (Frank): "For me, America is so behind in the dance scene, generally speaking. Bur our label sorted us out with<