Sonic Ambassador II

Posted Mar 13 2006

Southern Outpost co-founder Phil Chan kicks it via e-mail with Detroit????s Domingo Yu about his Sydney-based electro label. (October, 2002)

How do you describe the label?

I'd describe Southern Outpost as a platform for releasing quality electro with a focus on Australian talent. That said, we've had some great releases from international artists with more on the way.

How did you first get involved?

(S.O. co-founder) Patrick and I were living together and keen to start a label and get some Australian techno and electro happening. Patrick visited Detroit where I guess they put something in the water because on his return he jumped straight into the studio with Sofie (ShapeShftr) and Ryan (Data) and the first release was born. I moved to Seattle soon after staying quiet on the production side of things until I returned to Sydney in the Christmas of 2002.

Your catalog has a few holes in it. What's up with releases 3 and 7?

That's probably the question we get asked the most. Somewhere between primary school and reading science fiction books, I developed a love of numbers, prime ones in particular. I have definite ideas for what I want to do with SO-03, SO-07 and SO-13 but they're so secret that even the other SO guys don't know ;) My current excuse as to why they haven't been released is that I'm really busy... but no one buys it.

What are your influences?

Everything from catching the bus to writing a piece of code. Music wise I really like what the guys from Underground Resistance are doing at the moment with their funk-laddened electro and I'm a big Robert Hood fan. I grew up listening to my dad's jazz and classical music collection and I think they come through in my music.

How would you describe your style?

I listen to a lot of electronic music, techno, electro, house and idm, as well as hip hop, soul, classical, jazz, folk and plenty of others. I like not being constrained by having only one or two ways to do things and I think that comes through in my production and my DJing style.

You and Patrick seem to be pretty socially conscious guys, yet you two are also key promoters of the Detroit “ghetto tech” sound in Australia. Any thoughts about the lyrics in these tracks that many say demean women? 

I don't have a problem with booty or the lyrics. I think a big part of it's popularity in Australia is that we don't have the cultural or historical baggage associated with the language/themes that there is in the States. When I moved to Seattle in 1998 people were shocked when I told them I played booty music. How could a non-black guy, from Australia of all places, play that stuff? People slowly warmed to it and saw it as party music that was there to be had fun with, as we do out here.

What's your vision for the label?

I'd like to see us continue to produce quality releases. I think 2003 will be a big year for the label, maintaining a regular release schedule will help a lot.

Any upcoming events you want to talk about?

The Deep Space crew are at it again December 13 at the Dendy in Martin Place. Our last party featured Southern Outpost playing live and sold out in 1 hour. This time the Deep Space DJs are joined by Canberra's Microworld playing live as part of the launch for the new Transmat compilation Time, Space.


Add your own comments