I will let Escapee, Kaiser Waldon introduce Robbie Lowe. “Meet our very special guest Robbie Lowe. He’s personally been a big influence on my own DJing in terms of mixing technique and music curation! He’s won the hearts and minds of three generations of clubbers in Sydney and we are super excited to have him as our headliner at Escape next week.”
Robbie Lowe has been at the top of the underground crop Down-Under for many years and has been one of Australia’s finest and most influential DJ’s over the past two decades. Robbie loves to DJ, openly pledging to play forever. So far, he has been doing just that and in the process getting punters into a dance music tizz for more than 25 years.
Well, as we do, we kick off with the basics. Name, age, and how did you get involved in DJing…..
Robbie Lowe. Age 45. As a teenager I was hooked on early 90’s hip house, house and rave. I would listen to a lot of DJ mixes and was fascinated with how DJs mixed records together, to create an endless groove and journey. When I was about 20, a good friend lent me his turntables plus a pile of records to play around on. I was instantly hooked! I would mix for hours. When the day came for my friend to collect them back, I saved money as fast as I could to get my own set up! That’s pretty much my introduction into DJing …
Where did you first play a gig? How’d it go?
My first gig was a friend’s 21st birthday party circa 1994. The set up was a small rave cave under his house. I remember being so nervous! My hands were shaking mixing my first two records together. After that, every mix got easier and my confidence was building. By the end of the party you couldn’t get me off the decks! The gig went great and the feeling of making people dance was amazing.
That was Sydney in the early days of electronic, right? I recall Sydney was a live music power house in the early 90s. How was the clubbing scene back then? Was there much resistance to electronic?
It was vibrant. There were many clubbing options. You could go to a different clubs and dance to different genres of dance. The underground world was also strong. Secret warehouse raves were plenty and of course, the famous Hordern parties. There’s always been resistance of some form but definitely more freedom than today. You could enter a club anytime of the night and leave at daylight. There’s often focus on electronic music from the authorities and usually for all the wrong reasons. That happens a lot more in Sydney today.
Yes there has been a lot of discussion about rave party casualties lately. But of course more people die in car accidents than raving in any case. Bless them all, of course. Has the music you play changed much over the years? Or at least, the music you are interested in, has that changed much over the years?
The music is always changing and regardless of the style, there are certain attributes that always attracts me with the music I play. I’ve always liked warmth in my sound. I also like melody and depth. Plus I love my bass lines and groove! I have an open mind to music and have a very broad music palette.
Here’s Robbie warming up for Sasha and John Digweed last month in Sydney
What have been some of the highlights thru your now 25 years of DJing?
Some of my earlier highlights that come to mind are … Warming up for both Sasha and John Digweed In Sydney on several occasions. My Sweetchlli residency (One of Sydney’s original Progressive house parties) My Spice Cellar residency … I had some amazing gigs here – especially my 8 hour set for my ‘20 years of DJ’ing’ anniversary party. Playing gigs in the US, China, Fiji (Cloud 9) and Indonesia. Doing a mix for Ministry Of Sound (Sessions: Rebirth). And more recently being asked again by Sasha & John Digweed to warm up for them at their two Sydney Weekend In Residence, Ministry Of Sound Shows.
Who would be your greater influences in music today?
Some of my main influences these days are; Danny Howells, John Digweed, Sasha, Nightmares On Wax, Cassy, Till Von Sein, DJ Tennis, Uone, Jimpster, Roy Rosenfeld, Deetron, Prins Thomas, Lady Blacktronica and Ian Pooley. Whether it’s the tunes they are making or sets they are playing, they are the ones doing it for me!
How about the recording front, what highlights have you had there?
I’ve done several remixes, collaborations and solo releases over the years on labels, Proton, Low Pressings, Xima Records and Outta Limits. I kinda took a couple years off just to focus on DJ’ing. But now I’m back and hungry to get into the studio. I have an EP coming out next month with longtime production partner Matt Rowan on Late Night Music. The EP is called ‘Actual’ and has a couple great remixes from B-Tham and Kazuki.
Here’s a collaboration with Matt Rowen called Impossibles.
And you have been to Bali before a few times right? Do you have any fond memories of the place and what can we expect next week at the fab Escape show at La Brisa?
I’ve been coming to Bali for years to DJ and chase waves! Every visit has been awesome. I have great memories playing at venues such as the now defunct Koh, W Bali, Jenja and Single Fin. Always a great vibe and mix of people. I can’t wait to play at Escape July 17. Scotty Callaghan & Kaiser Waldon are good friends of mine from Sydney. The guys know how to throw a party! I will keep the music fun with a mix of house and techno… But you never really know until the day, so anything is possible… I know it’s going to be good! [Trauts]