SHUGO NOSS (he/him) is a small time Naarm/Melbourne born DJ and electronic music producer that has solidified his craft under the uncertain and relentless COVID-19 pandemic. With a lack of in-person events to attend and mix at, he has turned towards producing to drown out the incessant noise. Shugo Noss' eye for track curation is also gaining speed, securing hour long – mind bending releases with many Australian based radio and mix series. A dusty stint at Into the Abyss earlier in the year solidified the local movement - even gaining the attention of Berlin based crowds, of which his newest mix for German Anarchypnotica hits hard - ich liebe.
His chaotic implementation of screaming priests and demonic bass lines are quenching the needs of many dark hungry techno heads online - but the question still remains. How will this newfound passion feed into the post pandemic - new world order? Is there a chance for other small time musicians to flourish? Will they sink or swim?
We sat down with Ben to find out exactly how he envisions the future of the Melbourne techno scene.
WHEN DID YOU START PRODUCING ELECTRONIC MUSIC AND WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO DO SO?
So I made a feeble attempt to start producing maybe three years ago. As is the experience with most people, you open up a cracked version of Ableton for the first time, you go cross-eyed then you close your laptop… giving up in a flurry. So when the pandemic hit, I knew it was the perfect time to start learning more.
My interest in electronic dance music and attending events over the past five years pushed me to learn how to DJ. Naturally that progressed into an interest as to how these tracks were produced. Being surrounded by friends in the field that are incredibly talented, it was hard not to be inspired by the process. I see music production as a great way to keep my mind occupied and keep the cogs turning.
DO YOU THINK THAT THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC HAS IMPACTED YOUR PASSION FOR MUSIC IN ANYWAY? HAS IT NEGATIVELY OR POSITIVELY AFFECTED YOUR DRIVE/CREATIVITY?
The pandemic, and its effects on my creativity and work ethic are all I have known, so it is hard to discern whether or not the pandemic negatively or positively effects my production. However, the amount of freedom I’ve gained has allowed me to dedicate more time and energy into the tracks that I am working on. I’ve also been able to record multiple mixes for some incredible series such as Speed (Melbourne), Meganesia (Sydney) and Anarchypnotica (Berlin). So in that sense the pandemic has been great for myself and the mix series scene… giving small names a platform to be recognized on an international scale.
The inverse of this is that the pandemic has slapped us all in the face with a dose of depression. Finding motivation to think creatively and experimentally is exhausting. In all honestly it has been difficult to overcome these feelings but having an interactive outlet which takes your minds off of the clusterfuck that is the world at the moment is a blessing.
WHERE DO YOU SEE THE AUSTRALIAN MUSIC INDUSTRY GOING AFTER THE PANDEMIC?
I’m excited to see where the underground techno scene ends up after such a tormenting and volatile time. We have seen it throughout history, after periods of significant struggle, the art and music scenes flourish. When lockdowns eased in Melbourne earlier in the year, I noticed a shift in the style of music being played at events. I also noticed a shift in the types of events people were throwing. They have been more inclusive, more consciously aware and more diverse in every sense of the word. People have shifted away from wanting commercial events with big budgets. Some of the best parties I have been to in the last year have been small park parties or even smaller bush doofs. Hopefully this authenticity sustains itself moving forward.
With a lack of international artists, the spotlight is on the Melbourne local scene. A platform has opened up to people who would usually never get the chance to play/have their tracks played and its promoting an emergence of a unique Melbourne sound.
ANYTHING YOU'RE CURRENTLY WORKING TOWARDS?
I’m not sure how much I can say at the present time. But I have been working towards a release for a Sydney run label for the past few months that should be released next year. It’s the first release that’s come out of this lockdown project of mine, it’s exciting to know that others can share in that vision soon too. There is also the potential for another release with a Berlin based label, but that’s still in the works. Other than that I am working towards releasing some independent music as soon as possible, and continually working on new ideas as they come.
~ September 2021