Ahead of their 1st birthday celebration at the Civic this Friday, featuring progressive powerhouse Khen, we caught up with Stuart Hunter of Sydney-based events crew Motif for a chat.
RR: Stuart, happy birthday to Motif! You’ve definitely made an impact on the prog house scene in Sydney. Tell us how Motif came in to being.
Stuart: Thanks! Well Barry Kitts, Jesse Koora and myself are all from the UK and knew each other from going to the same parties in Sydney. We all decided to start DJing around 2014 then eventually progressed to doing our own parties.
RR: Cool. You’ve put on some great parties this past year. How would you describe the experience so far?
Stuart: Epic… it’s mad to think none of us could even mix two years ago! After going to parties for years we’re now doing our own, which means we can push the sound we love. We’ve come a long way and met so many great people who have supported us.
RR: Great. We’ve seen you tearing up the decks a few times. How would you describe your sound?
Stuart: I really love deep, melodic tracks, especially the progressive side of house. These days I’m in to a lot of Middle Eastern sounds, instrumental stuff with strings and flutes. The kind of stuff you might hear at All Day I Dream.
RR: Well, Khen who will be playing at your event this weekend is from Israel and has that Middle Eastern flavour. Has he been a big influence for you?
Stuart: Definitely. I’m really excited that we’re bringing him over as he’s never been to Australia before. There are some amazing DJs in that part of the world like him and Guy J. They love their progressive there too - Sasha, Digweed and Nick Warren are huge out there, all the DJs that I’m influenced by.
RR: So what’s been the most memorable set you’ve played so far?
Stuart: Probably my first time opening the terrace at SASH, I’ll never forget it - Boxing Day 2016. There’s just nothing else like that room, everyone just goes for it the whole time. Taking over from D-Nox at one of our own gigs was really special too and the other one that stands out is probably the first ever DJ set I played. It was a Spektrum night at the Burdekin. I was so nervous haha.
RR: Haha, not surprised! We’ve been tuning in to your Radio Motif show on Bondi Beach Radio. How has that been going?
Stuart: It’s been awesome. It’s really good having a regular slot to play fresh music. We can also invite DJs we like to the show, I think Zankee Gulati will be playing for us soon which we’re excited about.
RR: Now, you’re supporting Cristoph at the Burdekin on December 16th. We can’t wait for that party. What can we expect from your set?
Stuart: Yeah, we were actually thinking of getting Cristoph down for one of our nights, but when the Spektrum boys told us they were bringing him over and asked us to host a room, we bit their hand off! I think me, Barry and Steve Marx will probably go back to back all night.
RR: Sounds good to us! So what does the Motif crew have planned for the future?
Stuart: We just want to continue doing what we’re doing. We have a residency at SLYFOX in Enmore on the last Friday of every month so we’ll be bringing progressive artists through there, plus we have a few more internationals in the pipeline. Can’t give away too much though haha.
RR: Fair enough, we’ll be keeping an eye out. Last question… fast forward one year to Motif’s second birthday bash. If you could choose any DJ to play with you guys there, who would it be??
Stuart: Damn, that’s a hard one! Maybe Cid Inc. I’m really loving his sound at the moment, his production is quality. There are too many to choose from though!
RR: Well, we look forward to seeing who you get. Cheers mate.