Four years on from our last event at The Substation, we’re returning to celebrate our tenth birthday this August. In addition to the incoming Schacke & Peachlyfe from Denmark, top-tier local support will also be on show courtesy of Bunker mainstays Hasvat Informant & Kait Xri – who will be playing a special B2B set to kick the night into gear.
Naarm/Melbourne based artists Kait Xri and Hasvat Informant (Mike Blyth), who are long time close friends, have traversed through electronic music discovery cooperatively. From partying together over several years, the pair have simultaneously grown an appreciation for a diverse range of subgenres and musical influences.
Both harnessing humble and sophisticated timbres, the interpersonal musical understanding between them gears for a flowing and homogenous set, showcasing a steady and elegant representation of modern, cutting-edge techno.
Read below for our exclusive interview with these two Naarm favourites.
Welcome to BUNKER! We’re very excited to speak with you ahead of your performances at our upcoming 10th Birthday at The Substation.
You’re both key members of the eclectic Naarm electronic scene, but can you give us an insight into how you first joined the music scene? Are there any specific artists/genres that have inspired you?
KX: My introduction to the electronic music scene was through my first Rainbow Serpent in 2013. I vividly remember seeing Opiuo play and was blown away by the set and couldn’t believe music could sound that way. After the festival I became a very regular attendee to club events and gigs, frequenting Lounge and Revs a little too often than I’d like to admit. My passion for the scene and electronic music grew, and I found inspiration in artists such as Four Tet, Tycho, and Caribou, who played a significant role in shaping my early musical journey.
HI: During my last year of high school I was attending a lot of dubstep, trap, and drum and bass gigs. The kick-ons inevitably took me to revs, where I once heard Traumer spinning tracks from his techno alias “Roman Poncet”. I was instantly hooked, and found myself hitting up every legit techno event I could find.
With the two of you typically performing solo, what does the opportunity to play b2b at this landmark event mean to you both? How do you adjust your approach when playing alongside another person?
KX: Mike and I have been friends for over 10 years, with a solid chunk of those years including attending techno events such as Bunker. It’s been awesome to share a passion for techno and share some incredible memories together at those events. Going from being regular punters at Bunker to playing at their 10th birthday celebration is pretty special.
I’m usually someone who likes to roughly plan what I want to play and what feeling I want to create for a gig. Playing B2B allows me to be fully spontaneous and responsive to what energy the other DJ is setting up and can allow the set to flow in a really beautiful way. Embracing flexibility and spontaneity allows us to create some special and unexpected moments that wouldn’t be possible when mixing alone. Playing B2B with a close friend whose mixing style aligns with your own creates a dynamic synergy that brings an extra layer of magic to the set.
HI: We’ve been very close friends for many years now, so i’ll gladly seize any opportunity to get behind the decks together. From previous experience playing b2b with Kait, as well as others, I really enjoy the impromptu and responsive nature of b2bs. When the baton is handed back over to me from my b2b partner, I often find myself digging further into my collection on the fly, and having to look a little harder to find a track that will appropriately work with where the other artist has left off!
With both of you being past guests at recent Bunker events, can you tell us a little bit about your respective experiences playing for us? What does Bunker’s 10th birthday mean to you personally?
KX: It’s an absolute pleasure to play for Bunker, and such an honour to be on the line-up for this huge event. The team behind Bunker is incredibly professional and supportive, and their encouragement has been instrumental in my growth over the years. Whether it be playing or attending a Bunker event, the night is always top tier.
HI: I’ve attended many Bunker events over the years, so was very honoured when you guys first pushed me to play a set! I’d been releasing music for a bit at the time, but hadn’t been behind the decks yet. It was a great catalyst to set my music project into another gear of motion, to which I’m eternally grateful!
The Substation is a unique space with a different atmosphere to other venues in Naarm. Does playing in such a venue change your approach to preparation and performance? Are there any additional considerations for you both compared to, for example, playing in a basement?
KX: Considering the unique atmosphere of The Substation is important to me, but I wouldn’t say it drastically changes my approach to preparation and performance. I do like to imagine how certain energies or tracks would feel within the space. However, my main focus before a set revolves around who I’m playing alongside, my position in the lineup, and the set time.
HI: Honestly, for me I wouldn’t say it changes too much. I feel the set time and crowd energy is a larger deciding factor of where I choose to go with a set, but perhaps a space with such character is more fitting for a bit more hypnotism and depth!
Lastly, we are of course welcoming Copenhagen fast techno sensations Schacke & Peachlyfe to headline our 10th Birthday. What do you think our attendees should be expecting from the two of them in terms of atmosphere; have these artists influenced or inspired you since you became aware of them?
KX: In the last 12-18 months my style has slowly evolved to be a little more punchy, energetic and fast, which has definitely been influenced by artists such as Peachlyfe & Schacke. It’s going to be one high-energy night – wear some comfortable shoes & stay hydrated!
HI: The Copenhagen sound has had a huge influence on my productions. The large majority of my releases are on Mama Snake’s “Amniote Editions” – which is also based out of Copenhagen. Peach and Schacke have been huge contributors to the thriving scene over there, putting in stacks of work for their local queer techno community.
Thanks for speaking to Bunker!
Interview by Jeremy McCarthy