Brendon Moeller made a quick homeland visit pre-world cup and doused dub and techno lovers in Johannesburg and Cape Town with his jazz, affrobeat and psychadelic inspired dubbed out Techno. Since his move to New York in 94, the South African Dj and producer has creatively carved out his own niche in the sound spectrum, releasing his compositions on a string of renown labels including Francois K’s Deep Space Media; Third Ear Records, Echocord, Rekids and Leena Music as Brendon Moeller and his Beat Pharmacy and Echologist monikers. We caught up with him after his relocation to Europe for the summer and skanked an hour of his moody dub for our IDM Life Podcast- which you can download here. He gave it to us straight…
You’re bio reflects you’re proud of your South African heritage, we love that! Tell us about life in SA before you left?
Life in SA before I left was crazy. The apartheid regime knew their days were numbered and there was violence galore. Also, I had avoided the army for 7 years and they were in hot pursuit. I owed the government money for the study grant I got to become a teacher and had realized that there was no way in hell I could continue being a school teacher. So I made a decision to sell my car and buy a plane ticket to NYC where I was sure I had a better chance of gaining access to the necessary gear to begin producing electronic music.
How did you become entrenched in the NY dance music scene there? What was the music scene there like at the time?
I went to the legendary Sound Factory in NY for the first time in early 1994, dropped some E and soon after that began making house music. The house & techno music scenes in NY at that time were booming and people were being turned on left, right and center.
Jazz and instrumental s greatly influence your sound, and you’ve created your own brand of spaced out, instrumental Dub Techno- what are your favourite noises?
My favourite noises are those that possess a dirty gritty edge to them. Couple those with a cavernous reverb or a serious dub echo and you’re in business.
If you could steal a track made by any other artist and call it your own, what would it be?
You started your own label, Steadfast records, last year- tell us about your concept behind this…
Steadfast will serve as a means to release original material as Brendon Moeller, Beat Pharmacy and Echologist as well as material from peers/ friends. I intend to enlist some of his favourite producers to remix tracks for almost every release to ensure a collaborative spirit. Having worked with prestigious labels such as Francois K’s Deep Space Media, Third Ear Records, Mule Musiq, Astralwerks, Rekids, Apnea and Echocord, to name but a few, I decided it time to take the reins and full creative control of my musical endeavours. Quality and attention to detail is the stamp I intend to leave on each release. The same vision, discipline and determination he practiced to build up my profile will be applied to Steadfast. Whether you’re on a dance floor, in a car, jogging, dining or wherever Steadfast Records will be heard, the response I hope to inspire with every release is a simple, “FUCK YEAH!!”
Would you look at releasing any super good local artists from SA? Having played in Johannesburg and Cape Town, what are your thoughts on SA’s club culture?
Yes, I’m down to release and collaborate with SA artists for sure. If you think you got what I want, email me at email@example.com
What music do you listen to in your downtime/ Who’s music really strikes a chord or two with you?
I have very little downtime these days, but I tend to listen to jazz, 70’s dub and experimental rock stuff. Of course though I spend most of my time listening to music in search of tracks I can drop when I’m DJ’ing.
Coming from a small town in South Africa- do your parents understand dance culture and appreciate what you’ve done with your career?
My folks are very supportive of my career now and are happy that ‘m doing what I love.
Tell us a bit about the pulsating nightlife in this mad city…
Well, there’s always something to do, every night of the week if you choose. People need to escape their apartments, so bars and clubs are where they end up.
I miss the people and the landscape. “Oos wes, tuis bes” they say. The crime and violence are obviously very troubling.
You’re moving to Europe for the summer, what is it about the European club scene that is so alluring for djs and producers around the world?
I have moved to the EU so that I don’t have to be on planes so much. Since most of my gigs are in the EU it makes sense to be here. If after 6 months my family and I like it here, we will stay. The EU just seems to be the place where dance music culture flourishes as a result of the number of producers and venues.
If Beatpharmacy was a cockatil, what would it consist of?
Whiskey & ice!