Chris Fraser - Keeping It Raw
3D’s Nina Bertok chats with Chris Fraser about the new Raw compilation and the old Canberra/Sydney thing.
After being the sole driving force behind the two hugely successful Raw compilation and tour series, Sydney’s heavyweight DJ/producer Chris Fraser reckons it’s nice to have a partner in crime the third time around.
“It seemed like a natural addition to the whole circus,” he says of fellow DJ extraordinaire Jeff Drake, “you know, both of us being reformed Canberrians and all. It’ll be the first Raw CD tour that I’ve taken someone on the road with me, I was kind of getting bored being by myself.”
The fact that Drake is one of Sydney’s most in-demand DJs and a regular at the likes of Sounds On Sunday and Good Vibrations is icing on the cake, as Fraser claims. With Fraser’s own successes including nine club chart Top 20 remixes and top-shelf production skills, Raw ’09 is clearly set to be one of the most exciting events for clubbers across the nation.
“The CD comes before the tour happens, but then the CD is a reflection of what we play in clubs,” Fraser explains. “I’ve done the first disc and Jeff did the second one. Mine is more of a straight-up Saturday night main-room club thingy. Jeff’s is more of a cross of some fidgety stuff with indie dance and proggy stuff. We both tend to play the same records so there’s stuff on Jeff’s CD that I would have loved to play on my disc and vice-versa, but I think we found a good balance across the two discs.”
With both DJs once hailing from the nation’s capital, Fraser says in some ways a similar background makes for a stronger musical bond.
“Jeff left Canberra and moved to Sydney before I did,” he recalls. “We had been really great mates and we had worked together quite a lot DJ-wise, so when we both moved to Sydney that continued. We both venture back to Canberra quite regularly to play at parties there. Coming form Canberra, it used to shit me when people would make comments about the dance scene but it stopped bothering me when I realised what great things there are there. It got to the point where I started making a living from what I loved to do, from this supposedly shitty little town. Now you go back there and DJ at festivals with 10,000 people going nuts.”
As Fraser remembers, the eventual relocation to Sydney wasn’t as scary as one would imagine.
“I had already been coming up to Sydney a fair bit before I made the official move. I was familiar with Chinese Laundry and I would get the odd guest spots, but I certainly slugged it out and things just started picking up pace. You actually pick up on a whole different energy moving to such a big city and I’m loving Sydney on a creative level, but it also makes you appreciate aspects of Canberra because it’s where it started for me.”
Sydney and Canberra aside, right now Fraser is looking forward to spending time in the regional areas of Australia as part of the Raw ’09 tour.
“Regionally the shows are a lot better in some ways in terms of energy from people that don’t usually get that kind of thing. I’m really excited about destinations like Coffs Harbour, which was insane on the last tour. The vibe you pick up in the smaller places is amazing.”
WHO: Chris Fraser and Jeff Drake
WHAT: Raw ’09 out independently / Play Club Club at Chinese Laundry
WHEN: Out now /Saturday 9 May