For years, Something Else have been putting on some of the finest parties Sydney’s underground scene has to offer. We met up with the brand’s personal Jesus - Alex Dimitröff for a chat...
RR: Alex - Your Something Else parties have become a firm favourite for the city’s house and techno heads. Can you tell us how it all began?
Alex: Something Else came to fruition when our last brand "La Famiglia" came to an end. One by one our other partners on that brand had moved on to other projects or out of state, but Dave and I still wanted to work together after 3 great years together. So we decided a new brand would be the best thing moving forward... something a little different to the past years, "Something Else"...
RR: Nice! How would you describe the music policy at your events?
Alex: We still describe the sound as house & techno, but it is definitely more on the techno tip these days. Very eclectic - like the Detroit sound one night, then quite dubby & rolling on other nights. We try to keep a broad spectrum for the sound but stay away from the commercial tip. We want our punters to have a new experience every time they enter the venue, but with the same underlay tones so it feels familiar and comfortable.
RR: Before moving to the Bunk3r earlier this year, you ran parties every Saturday at the Burdekin. Can you describe that period and what it meant for the evolution of Something Else?
Alex: We loved the Burdekin. It was the birth of 2 of our brands, and countless parties before that... we spent a little over 5 years in that venue and truly loved every minute of it, so that space will always hold a special place in my heart. We were given the opportunity to really make the place our own with the weekly Saturday nights we did there between 2012 and the end of 2016. Even though this period hurt a lot of businesses with Lock out laws being introduced, they were some of my favourite times with the calibre of headliners we were able to attract and the sheer size of those parties when using 3 to 4 levels in a night.
RR: We had a recent chat with Alex Ludlow about the Bunk3r being named one of the best new clubs in the world by Mixmag. Tell us about your involvement with the club and how you felt when you found out.
Alex: Exactly a year ago this week, we felt it was time to leave the Burdekin... I was really keen on a nice long break as it had been years since my last holiday. Then we stumbled across this space that Alex had been using so my grand plan of 5 months off quickly went out the window as we started planning a way to overhaul the raw space, and turn it into a place we could all call home. That basically meant strip it back to raw brick walls, black floors, minimal lighting & the biggest Funktion One rig we could fit down those narrow stairs! As for being named in the Mixmag article, it is truly humbling. To have our 200-capacity venue mentioned in the same piece as a place like Printworks in London, which is arguably the best venue in the world at the moment, is more than we could have ever expected when we undertook this project in January...
RR: It’s a massive achievement mate. We really dig the abstract artwork for your events on social media - it follows a very unique colour palette. Where did the concept come from?
Alex: Our original designers Riet & Daniela from Parallel Berlin really understood our concept of making minimalistic artwork that highlighted the artists, not just the brand and were able to interpret & expand that concept. It's a nod to the artwork we love, that 90s and early 2000s German Minimalism. Primary Colours, rich deep tones, geometrical patterns. Everything very structured. Like our sound, the art has also grown with us over the years so a mention to Nergal Youkhana for being able to continue on with that same feel this past year and a half.
RR: Eric Cloutier is playing at your event in December - we're big fans of his work. What do you think we can we expect from his set?
Alex: I can't wait to have Eric back this weekend. Every time we have hosted him, he has always delivered. With it being a 4 hour set i think we are in for a real journey. It’s plenty of time for him to create a real progression in his set from start to finish & that extended time slot can really send you on a rollercoaster of ups and downs. So I think that’s exactly what we have in store - dubby, tough and abstract. I think we will get a little bit of everything, and probably something unexpected, as per usual with someone as talented as him. Having Dave Stuart warming up for him is perfect - that dub techno sound to start the night off is the best way to get you into the swing of it.
RR: Of the many nights you’ve hosted, which one has really stood out for you?
Alex: I can't isolate it down to one night, but I can give you the short list. Best live set goes to the Guti show we did a few years ago, best crowd interaction has to be The Martinez Brothers show we did as a Circoloco after party 2 or 3 years ago... and this year’s highlight, DJ Bone. I've never seen someone so flawlessly jump from house to techno to 90s nostalgic tracks like that, and to do so with those choppy cuts in and out! Also special mention has to go to Guy J - we have had him play for us twice and each of those shows has had the most amazing atmosphere and electricity in the room.
RR: Sweet. If you could pick any one DJ to play at one of your events, who would it be?
Alex: KiNK live set... he played a live club show around 5 years ago at The Burdekin that blew me away and then played for us at Lost Paradise when I was working with Finely Tuned. That dude has the best live show I have ever seen - if you ever get the chance to see it, especially in a smaller more intimate space, do it. He will not let you down!
RR: Yep, we’re big fans of his. Ok, what else is in store for Something Else?
Alex: Plenty more in store for the brand... continuing our events & casual touring of artists as well as hosting parties and joint ventures with brands we like that have a similar vision to us. It's no secret that we (mainly Dave) have been dipping our toes into the vinyl business so who knows... maybe a shop... a mixed space for that and our other love - sneakers. We are happy taking it one step at a time until the right things open up but there are definitely a few people we have loved doing business with and have all intentions of continuing to. The only certainty is the music and Sydney’s nightlife is always our primary focus.
RR: Which leads us into the final question - your shoe game really is something else! How many sneakers do you own and what’s your favourite pair of kicks?
Alex: Be around the 120 - 130 mark I’d say... favourite pair changes every week, but New Balance x Concepts 997 Rosé or the Ronnie Fieg x New Balance Mykonos pack are always in the weekly rotation. And you can't go wrong with the OG shape Air Max 1...
RR: We’ll hunt a pair down - cheers Alex!