EORA - SYDNEY
DJ, PRODUCER, LABEL BOSS, AGENT/MANAGER, PROMOTER/BOOKER
TECHNO, TRANCE, AMBIENT, DNB/JUNGLE
Tell us about the label; what kind of music are you putting out and what does the label represent?
Pure Space is a Sydney based radio show and record label run by myself with assistance from Mija Healey. The radio show launched in August 2016 and the label in January 2019. We explore a vast amount of music, both club constructed and that for home listening intent. I think of Pure Space as a platform for elevating Australian artists. The radio show is the starting ground, and how I make a connection with a lot of the artists that we then go on to work with on the label. That on-going relationship is really important for me. We also use Australian visual artists and mixing/mastering engineers, keeping it home-grown is really important and something that I am really proud to be promoting to the rest of the world.
What made you want to start a label, and how did you get it off the ground?
Running a label has been a dream of mine since I was a teenager. I was obsessed with future classic at the time, and my main goal was to work for them. I was lucky to do so for a few years while I was studying at uni, and I continue to work with them today. During my time with them, I have learnt so much and am continually inspired by how they create value for their artists. A lot of that has impacted how I approach Pure Space. When I launched Pure Space the radio show I always knew that it would turn into a label. But I also knew I needed to be in a position where I could give a valuable platform to the artists that I was working with. When it came time to start the label I was DJing regularly so could save easily for the financial investment that I needed to get it off the ground. Pressing a record is incredibly expensive, and far from lucrative, therefore it was essential that I could back myself, have full faith that the music would hit and that I would be able to promote it successfully.
When I launched Pure Space the radio show I always knew that it would turn into a label. But I also knew I needed to be in a position where I could give a valuable platform to the artists that I was working with.
What are some other labels you're digging at the moment?
What do you think the main barriers are that have created an industry with such a disparity of men and women & gender-non-conforming producers? What are some of the steps we can take to fix this problem?
I would put it down to visibility and community, both as the problem and solution. I can remember the first time I saw a female DJ play, it was DJ Helena at Academy in 2010. That moment had such an impact on the trajectory I could see for myself as an artist. That was a decade ago and I was working in the Canberra scene that was then entirely run by men who were mainly booking other men. For the most part when I was booked it was to support other women, though I appreciated the opportunities they felt tokenistic at times. The first party I ever promoted back then was with two other female DJs in Canberra (shout out Eddie Shaggz & Dinah Rose). The party was called #GRLPWR (iconic lol). We created a safe(r) space for ourselves to DJ, and gave opportunities to the other new female DJs in the scene. Creating that community was vital for us. One of the things I really value about my role hosting and programming Mix Up on triple j is being able to be a part of increasing the visibility of diverse artists. I love scrolling down the mix archive and seeing so many unique faces, I can only imagine the impact that would have had on me a decade ago. I feel the same with WIP Project, the visibility of the talent on this platform is vital! Having people in positions of power in the industry understand the importance is also so important. I am really proud of both my booking agencies (WAT Artists and One House Artists) have created policies for diversity and safe(r) spaces for the bookings / events that they work with. Both are also giving their time to assist promoters that they work with to learn and be a part of active change.
What advice would you give to others who would like to start their own label?
I've spoken about value a lot in this interview but I'll say it again... Plan to be a valuable platform! It's so easy to get your music on Bandcamp and streaming services but you need that music to reach across the world, to be reaching the ears that want to hear it too. I don't think you necessarily need to pay for PR, but do that work yourself. Be strategic, look at the platforms that you want to hear the music, and get it into those inboxes. Find new interesting ways to promote it online, and don't be shy about it! The hardest part when releasing music is the time after the music and art is finished and before you share it with the world.. Take your time, have a release plan, engage with press outlets, send the music to your favourite DJs and radio hosts, include it in your DJ sets, plan a release party. Do everything you possibly can to get people as excited about the music as you are.
What's your favourite record atm?
OM Unit - Acid Dub Studies - Cannot stop listening to it at all hours.
What's next for your label?
We have heaps of music that is in the final stages so are preparing for a flurry of releases to come out in the latter half of this year. Both home listening and club styles from some of my favourite artists. We will also do another fundraiser release toward the end of the year.
Be strategic, look at the platforms that you want to hear the music, and get it into those inboxes. Find new interesting ways to promote it online, and don't be shy about it!
What do you think the future holds for the dance music industry?
I feel optimistic that the changes we have seen in the industry will continue to ripple. There will always be a hill to climb but I feel the sense that our community is embracing these changes - and those who lie adjacent from our scene will still feel those ripples too.
Check out Andy Garvey's WIP Profile Page for more!