Local talent is in plentiful abundance in our little city, and Simon Tarrant Kuang aka Simon TK is a young Melbourne jock with a glowing future, and the first of a select group of local up-and-comers we feel the need to be shared with the world!
TK’s keen ear for live instrumentation in jazz, funk and house records alike has forged him a unique palette as a selector, and while unsurprisingly 12″ is his medium of choice, he’s also a contributor to the local vinyl resurgence, ordering music at Melbourne’s GutterHype Record store. TK and his eclectic record collection can be enjoyed most weekends in town at The Liberty Social and The Mercat amongst other quality spots, he’ll also be supporting our man Terrence Parker on the 21st of December at New Guernica.
Give us a bit of a musical background, when did you start collecting records and what music got your juices flowing as a younger TK?
The first music I really listened to was jazz music, my auntie and uncle are both musicians. As a kid I learned saxophone, I think my exposure to that music through them is probably what started it all, I’ve since inherited parts of their record collections too. In my teens I frequented the punk and hardcore venues of Melbourne, I still listen to a lot of this music but I think it’s the energy of those shows that steered me towards club music.
We know you’re involved in a few different nights and parties around Melbourne town, what have you been most heavily involved with recently, and where have been your favourite gigs of late?
Currently I’ve been involved with the M O S A I C night at the Liberty Social Club. The night harks back to the old model of bands first djs later and makes for a nice weird melting pot of punters. Aside from that I’ve been a rotational resident at Otologic’s C Grade and Inside Out parties for quite some time now. One notable gig recently was when I played at the CONTROL party, the night had a fetish aesthetic – I was playing amongst actors, pornography and contortionists, it was insane.
We know you’re largely a vinyl guy, where do you get most of your records these days? Also tell us a bit about your involvement with the GutterHype record store in Melbourne and the general vibe of the store..
I buy records everywhere, though Discogs sellers and local stores take most of my cash at the moment. I came to GutterHype about half a year ago when it was a box of records in an empty room in Collingwood as a fresh pair of ears to buy house and techno for them. In the beginning the store was pretty firmly rooted in more UK-based genres of electronic music. Since then I’ve enjoyed being part of getting it off the ground and seeing it grow. Now my focus is to get labels that I’d like to see as a customer on the shelves, its encouraging and refreshing to see old vinyl junkies digging next to kids who have just started buying wax.
Who are you finding you’re most influenced by at the moment; both dance music speaking and not so?
I don’t think there’s always a link between being a good DJ and producing music, not for me anyway. At the moment I’m most influenced by purely selectors and really starting to acknowledge the DJ mix as my medium for the moment, from a collage point of view I suppose. Aside from that I’m trying to play as much actual instrumental and local music as I can.
What can you tell us about this mix? Are there any main ideas behind the mix? Who are some of the artists that feature which you would like to shout out to?
The mix is one live take, more imperfections than I’d have liked but sometimes its nice to be reminded there’s a human behind the turntables. I suppose it tips it’s hat to the aforementioned genres that influenced me as a kid, if there’s a theme it may be instruments that feature heavily in Jazz, I’m a nut for anything with wind instruments. Big thanks in particular to my friend Sven Svalbe, whose soprano saxophone monologue features in the intro, he’s a fantastic musician and this was recorded in my lounge room a few weeks ago.
What do you have coming up gig wise this summer that you’re looking forward to?
All the local haunts, and in particular supporting Terrence Parker at New Guernica will be dope. I believe the handsome lads at the Melbourne deepcast are behind that one!
Bitches Brew – Miles Davis – Columbia
The Surveyor – Smith & Mudd – Claremont 56
Sven Svalbe’s Sopran-apella
The Mahavishnu Orchestra – Power of Love (Om Unit edit) – Not on Label
Danyel Gerard – Le Vieux de la Montagne (Partie Deux) – Gypsy Production
Nyra Bakiga – Cor Corora – Backstreet Backlash Records
Daphni – Light – Jialong
Freedom Authority – Expressions (Flute Groove) – XL Recordings
Paradise’s Deep Groove – Hypnotic Flute – Legal Recordings
Bobby Konders & Massive sounds – Where is our Future – Mercury
Foremost Poets – Reasons to be Dismal? (Bonus Understanding) – Nu Groove
Theo Parrish – Black Mist (Extended Version) – Running Back/
Bobby Womack – The Bravest Man in the Universe (Acapella) – XL Recordings
Marcellus Pittman – By your Side – Lifetime Groove
Blaze – Moonwalk – Funky People
Total Control – New Age Hop (Michael Ozone Mix) – Home Loan Records
Cro-Magnon – Kemu-Ni-Maku (Fuerdyduerk Edit) – Not on Label
Reggae Clinic 65 – Caravan (Dub Version) – International Bestseller Company
Andras Fox – Magpie Echoes – Audio Parallax
Vakula – Interpretation – Endless Flight