Garnering praise for their intimate groove sessions, _Rotarydisco have the disco/house sound locked down. We dropped in on co-founder Andy Donaldson for a chat..._
RR: **Andy - let’s talk about your upcoming NYD extravaganza. Rotary disco have teamed up with Return to Rio and Blueprint to bring us a massive lineup. How did it all come together? **
Andy: Ricky Cooper from Return to Rio and I are good friends. We were at a birthday lunch a couple of months back and I was chatting to him about some of the Rotarydisco plans that we were cooking up for a new year’s day party. He liked the idea, and in particular he loved the venue, so he came on-board and it become a joint venture. He then suggested Ben Nott from Blueprint... and bingo! The 3 crews came together. The nice thing about the dance music scene here in Sydney is it's very much a big extended community.
RR: **Each of the brands is hosting an area. What do you think the differences will be in the vibe and music between the 3? **
Andy: All 3 brands are a bit different musically. Rotarydisco is obviously more focused on disco, indie dance/nu-disco and house, Rio is more dreamy progressive and deep house, Blueprint leans a bit more tech/deep house... though it's a blurry boundary! The vibe on all 3 levels will be “up for it party”, full of lovely friendly people from all over the world and all walks of life.
RR: Since it’s conception in 2015, Rotarydisco has gone from strength to strength. Which of your parties stands out for you the most?
Andy: Crikey! That's a hard one. Two spring to mind, both of them this year. Back in January we did a double header with Ron Basejam and Dr Packer at The Port in Darling Harbour - that was awesome, and in September Eli Escobar headlined for us on the roof terrace of Cruise Bar. Eli had been on our hit list for a long time, so finally getting him locked in was really exciting. There was a golden moment at that party when he was playing fairly up tempo house and I managed to knock the power out - killed the whole sound system! We got it back on in a few mins and he used it as an opportunity to change the groove and dropped into Chaka Khan - Ain't Nobody. The place erupted! I get shivers down my spine just thinking about it.
RR: Sounds epic! And if you could have any DJ play a Rotarydisco event, who would it be?
Andy: Oh god, how do I answer that! Too many to choose from... I'm such a big fan of Eli Escobar I'd have him back again in a heartbeat. Outside of that I'd choose someone that's snuffed it as it can obviously never happen! ... Let's go with Ron Hardy.
RR: **Great choice. Now you’ve been spinning tunes since the early 90s in London. How did your career in music start? **
Andy: Music has always been central to my life. I started paying musical instruments from an early age and I went to a music school as a youngster in London where I grew up. In many ways, and like many other poms my age, I'm a child of the acid house/rave explosion that happened in the UK in the late 80s and early 90s. I was caught up on the wave of electronic dance music that swept the country, got some decks, spent all my money on records... and here we are many years later.
RR: We’ve heard you’ve got a mighty record collection. Which would you pick as your favourite?
Andy: Impossible to answer! But I will say this... I LOVE Stevie Wonder, and his album Fulfillingness' First Finale had a massive impact on me when I first heard it. I was about 8 years old and listening to it was like a musical epiphany. It changed my life.
RR: Can you tell us about your time with Pulse Radio and how you got involved?
Andy: In my other life I work in business and technology. I joined Pulse to work on the ticket product primarily, helping them to work with their software developers and refine and extend their ticketing platform. I left earlier this year as I had a few other opportunities I wanted to explore. It was an awesome place to work though. Wade and Simon that run Pulse are top fellas and the whole Pulse/Finely Tuned/Lost Paradise team are lovely. I miss them!
RR: Ok, now of all the sets you’ve played, which one has been your favourite?
Andy: No idea! The best one I've ever played was probably some time in the 90's in London and I can remember next to nothing of that time. Ha!
RR: We really liked the track you released under the deep house/nu disco moniker, The Garden project. Can we expect more releases from you?
Andy: You found that did you? Haha! That was myself and my lovely friend and Rotarydisco co-founder Tony Garcia having a tinker around in the studio. Hence the name - Garcia Donaldson - Gar/Don - Garden. Hopefully I'll get more pieces of music finished soon. I have the world's largest collection of half finished tracks. Somewhere in the region of 50 billion... but with 2 kids and busy working life I find it hard to get quality studio time locked in. I do have a pretty nice collection of synths and analogue bits and bobs though.
RR: Finally, what’s your new year’s resolution gonna be??
Andy: Spend more time in the studio!
RR: Get the kids involved! Haha. Have a great Christmas mate.