a very heavyset-type body is ear to ear, the slashie squadron holding down various emotionally charged projects across the globe. whether they're compiling selections submitted by your music-interested grandparents, or pairing long lunches with long mixes from tornado wallace, there's a certain science in the team's stride through music discovery.
1. Could you tell us a little of the ethos powering the multi-faceted ear to ear project?
ear to ear is website, mix series, and events collective. On a basic level, we work by asking people to create a mix or playlist of music relating to an everyday life situation, though the thought behind the idea runs deeper than this. Choosing what music you feel like listening to is often a subconscious decision. We want to create a platform which encourages people to think a bit deeper about this decision. With this being the conceptual goal, I guess the motive is to help give artists exposure while at the same time making it easier for people to find great music!
2. As far as we know, the ear to ear team is made up of folk from Sydney, AU. How have you found working with Sydney’s notoriously variable venue landscape.
Tobias was in Sydney when the whole lockout law situation unfolded. At the time ear to ear hadn’t yet formed but it is something that we, along with everyone else in the scene, have found challenging. The decline in venues has forced people to be more creative with their parties. Since the lockout laws were introduced in February 2014, the amount of quality renegade parties has skyrocketed and it’s been super reassuring to see.
It’s always better to focus on the positives and look at how everyone has been getting around the roadblocks by turning to throwing day parties in parks, parties in bunkers, under dusty bridges and in abandoned warehouses. Warehouse spots pop up, get shafted, new ones arre found, they stand strong for a time, they get done and the circle continues. But we don’t stop looking and people are finding their way around things and managing to keep spots alive for longer.
For our first party we had planned cart speakers down to an incredible tree and rock covered headland with Harbour Bridge views, though Sydney got it’s way and the police clued on before the music had even started (after we’d carried the speakers down). The whole thing turned into a nightmare when the police found a machete and drugs in the audio hire van which they also figured out was unregistered. We ended up rushing everything to a different location on the other side of the city and continued the party as planned.
Parties in random locations like this are so much fun to be apart of, whether you are dancing, DJing or even just setting up. The majority of them are illegal but all with the end goal of bringing everyone together in appreciation and enjoyment of music - something that is often achieved to a greater extent than might be possible in a club. Having said that, I think everyone misses the club. I can’t remember the last time I was at the club, just for the sake of being ‘at the club’. I think this is something that Sydney peeps wish they still had. There’s definitely a lot of nostalgia held in some of the old clubs like Spice or the SASH terrace at the Abercrombie.
3. Is Sydney remaining HQ for all gig happenings? we hear a few of the team members have recently scooted across the seas for study and such?
Tobias is holding fort in the big smoke right now as the rest of the crew go global. Oli has gone to Mexico, Ben to Montreal, and Robin is heading back to Europe later in the year.
The scene in Mexico City is challenging to navigate and faces similar trials and tribulations to Sydney. As a result there is a very tight group of people who really know their shit and put a lot of effort in keeping to vibe alive. To us that is super appealing because it gives throwing a party more value; as it’s something that is having a tangible impact on the cultural fabric of the city. A big goal of ours right now is to make a party happen in that part of the world in collaboration with a local crew but there are a few roadblocks to overcome before that happens!
4. What else is on the cards for 2017, and beyond?
We’ve got some super exciting stuff locked in for the rest of the year including our first international booking, a couple of mixes and playlists from people on our wish list, as well as the addition of some new features to the site. Looking further down the track we (Tobias & Oli) are going to head to Japan next March with a briefcase full of money and two even bigger briefcases which we will be packing tight with records. That’s something we are really looking forward to.