DJ To DJ: Mic Newman & Francis Inferno Orchestra


Ahead of their impending Dance Tunnel double bill, fellow Australian producers and good friends Mic Newman and Francis Inferno Orchestra posed each other some interesting, and some odd questions…

Mic: Youve built a solid reputation for yourself as the Francis Inferno Orchestra in the house and disco worlds, with key releases on labels like Under the Shade, Join The Dots and Kolour. More recently, though, youve focused more heavily towards a harder and faster brand of techno as Deep Throat. Whats inspired this creative shift, and, also the name? 

FIO: I’ve always been a fan of techno, more so the really early stuff. I’ve never written techno music before so I started doing tracks under Deepthroat alias to see if I could actually do it. So far the reception has been really positive, but it’s just a bit of fun really. The name is very tongue in cheek, I find so many techno artists have such serious names and are very conceptual, so I wanted to do the complete opposite and have a laugh. 

Mic: Youve recently added the role of Record Label Guy to your job description. Can you tell us a bit about the motivations and vision for this project? 

FIO: I guess the start of my last answer kinda answers this but I’ll expand on it. My good friend Tyson Ballard  and I run the label together. It was more of an experiment because I wasn’t sure if people were going to like it, so we only did small runs of pressings for each release. We called the label BBW to roll with our ‘names’ (his alias is Linda Lovelace) and basically we make tracks that pay homage to classic techno. 

Mic: Word on the street is that youre about to take a leap-of-faith and relocate to the Big Smoke London. As a fellow Melbournian, I can vouch that things have been pretty decent back home, so what do you hope to gain from this move, and why now? 

FIO: This is true, I’ve been thinking about coming over for a long stint for a while and it happened to sort of come together this year so my girlfriend and I decided to go for it. I’ve made the journey twice before but only 1-2 months in length each time. I decided to make the move because I needed a change of scenery basically, there’s more to do here, more shows to play, in Australia I can go play in 3 different cities, maybe 4. It’s very limiting, and that’s probably why you’re always coming over here too! 

Mic: Youve spent the last Month here in Europe, playing various gigs, probably tanning and hopefully making the most of the exchange rate. Can you share some highlights from this trip so far? 

FIO: The exchange rate isn’t looking to good right now but weather is good enough for the poms to complain which means it’s just about perfect for me. I only really just got here but I went to Switzerland for the first time and also Garden Festival, both were really great experiences. Playing at renowned Zukunft club in Zurich was a real treat, felt very homely and the dudes involved were legends, that was a special night. Shouts outs to my boys Alex and Ron! 

Mic: Who are some DJs, producers, or just generally awesome music people who are keeping you interested at the moment? 

FIO: It changes everyday, but I think producers like I:cube, Vakula, Floating Points and Pp Bradock prove themselves over and over again. There are so many great producers out there, but these guys just relentlessly blow minds. Also I really love the Sex Tags Mania/Wania/Amfibia/UFO labels, the music is incredible but the concept and the aesthetic of the label really does it for me. Also back on home turf, all the Melbourne and Adelaide dogs are continuously raising the bar, notable mentions however go to The Carter Bros and Sleep D, they crazy. 

Mic: What upcoming projects should we be keeping an eye out from the Griffin James camp? 

FIO: An EP on New York’s Let’s Play House label is due out some point later in the year, also a handful of remixes are due soon. A follow up to my Dreamtime EP which just came out on Drumpoet Community will surface at some point, as well as more music for the Voyeurhythm camp. A lot of budding producer mates are in London so I’m sure a few collabs are going to happen! Also BBW3 is on its way.

FIO: You’ve released a great new EP under the Fantastic Man guise on your own label just recently (June to be precise) We’re yet to see a Mic Newman release in 2013, is the dream over? What’s happening next?

Mic Newman: Why gee, thanks! The Mic Newman thing, well, Im not really sure myself. I have some more Fantastic Man bits coming out, including a follow up EP for Lets Play House in September.

Ive had a few remixes out as MN this year, for Retrofit and the debut for LOFT records, but no new originals planned, which is totally unintentional. Ive been kept pretty busy with travel so that could be a thing. Who knows really, Im just going with the flow for now.  

FIO: We both get asked a shitload of questions about our lovely city of Melbourne and its music scene so I’m not going to go there, but my question to you is, what is something about Melbourne that foreigners wouldn’t know about but should know about? I guess what I’m asking is, if you had a friend come and visit, what would be the number thing you’d take them to? 

Mic: Something about Melbourne that foreigners wouldnt know I guess that would be most things. If you came in winter, something totally unique to Melbourne would undoubtedly be a game of AFL football at the MCG, where youd experience the best and – depending who you see the worst our culture has to offer. Im also a big fan of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, so if you happen to visit in April, Id recommend, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

FIO: When was your first release, and how did it come about? Correct me if I am wrong but was the Hermione record with old mate Lewie Day aka Tornado Wallace on the German 8bit imprint? 

Mic: Im gad you asked this question. Um, yeah, lets say it was. It was my first ever release on vinyl anyway. It came about in the same way as most releases come about, sending music to the label and them saying yes. Mind you, this was in 2007 so its fair to say a lot has happened since.   

FIO: I’m going to steal one if your questions now because I’d like to hear your opinions too, so, Who are some DJs, producers or just generally awesome music people who are keeping you interested at the moment? Anyone we should be keeping our eyes on?

Mic: Indeed this changes with almost every visit to the record shop. Of course though, there are the long standing influences, as you mentioned, like the Floating Points and Moodymanns. More recently, though, Ive been filling my crate with more club-orientated jams. Ive really enjoyed Anthony Naples last couple of releases and in general the Mister Saturday Night bits. I also like looking back and finding forgotten gems. Ive bought a few old Definitive records from Discogs lately, which are sweet, and not so expensive. Locally, our mate Tornado seems to be keeping two steps ahead of the pack and Roland Tings, who does really cool things with his live show.

FIO: OK curve ball now, I really love playing the game ‘Would you rather’, it’s really quite fun. So. Would you rather have penises for hands or penises for feet and why?

Mic: I can only answer this insightful question with another question; Why are you always bringing up penises? (Pardon the pun)

And here you can find a downloadable mix by Francis Inferno Orchestra

Mic Newman and Francis Inferno Orchestra play Dance Tunnel Presents on Saturday 10th August.