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Jeff Drake - Sounds Of Summer

Author: Sarah Wiles
Friday, 18 January 2008
The soundtrack to your summer – the Summer Festival Guide 07/08 – features the crafty work of one Jeff Drake. Our British intern Sarah Wiles caught up with the local DJ/producer to find out a little more.

You are being highly praised by scene legends like James Zabiela, Hernan Cattaneo and Sneaky Sound System – what is it that is making you such a popular chap behind the decks-
This is a really tough question to answer without sounding completely full of myself. Lucky I am completely full of myself so here goes…

In the cases of the three artists you mention I think it has a lot to do with playing appropriate and well thought-out sets before them and actually warming up. The art of playing a quality warm-up set feels like it is being lost so it’s becoming rare to find a DJ who can build a dancefloor and build the right tension and mood before the main act. Zabiela and others tell stories of DJs absolutely rinsing it before them and how much harder that makes it for them to perform the set they want to. I have always taken pride in playing a proper warm-up set that builds the vibe without ever letting it explode so that when a Zabiela or Hernan or Sneaky step up the place is ready to go crazy, which the headliner then has the pleasure of doing. They are all great performers so will rock it regardless but setting them up the right way can give them the ability to start exactly where they want to rather than having to adapt to the set played before them. I guess they have appreciated this and have had nice things to say.

You have just mixed a CD on the new Summer Festival Guide compilation – how have you created a night time feel for your mix-
The concept of the CD was all about capturing those festival ‘moments’ that have given Australia such a passion for large scale day time events. Musically this meant representing loads of the classic festival records like Daft Punk, Basement Jaxx and other heritage records and combining those with hot records from loads of acts touring across the 07/08 summer. When it came time to mix the discs The Vandals and I went through the records available for the compilation and we split them up based on what you’re likely to hear towards the end of the night versus earlier in the day. My night disc starts out where The Vandals disc finishes and then raises the energy and tempo with some bigger room party records. It’s a bit dirtier and tougher but still in the spirit of that uplifting festival vibe.

You have already had mass success with your track Rollover Rockstar – will there be more productions in the future-

There sure will be. I just signed One Dress Two Legs, which is a collaboration between myself and Jaytech that features the same vocalist as Rockstar, to UK label Kitschy Records. Is currently getting the remix treatment and is down for a UK release in early 2008. Have also been working on some new stuff including a collaboration with Sydney’s Tim Jirgenson, which is starting to take shape. Is on the deeper melodic tip.

WHO: Jeff Drake
WHAT: Summer Festival Guide 07/08 through Central Station/MRA
WHEN: Out now