” Our government is quite nurturing towards our music and arts community down here. It has encouraged a great sense of community amongst the industry, and it shows with the response to the Melbournian 2am lockout back in 2008.” – The Journey

After the best part of 10 years learning, becoming, and now sculpting Australia’s House & Techno scene, Tom Evans and Jacob Malmo decided to pool their creative talents and energies together for something greater. Enter: The Journey.

The concept for ‘The Journey’ began one Winter’s morning on the way home from an elaborate night out. They recently released their debut single ‘Principium’ on their own imprint UGENIUS Music. Principium as well as the Jamie Stevens Remix was well received globally from artists such as Hernan Cattaneo, Matthias Meyer, Emanuel Satie & Tim Englehardt to name a few. In Australia it reached number 9 in the ARIA Club Chart stayed in the top 50 for 10 weeks, an outstanding achievement for a techno record.

Towards the end of 2016, The Journey was asked to remix the re-release of an iconic Australian anthem in ‘Yothu Yindi – Treaty’. Treaty also reached number 9 on the ARIA Club Chart and was a prominent feature amongst a number of sets at this year’s Rainbow Serpent Festival. In recent times, The Journey have warmed up for the likes of Booka Shade, Dubfire, M.A.N.D.Y, Space Dimension Controller and Reiner Zonneveld. As well as being added to the line-up at Electric Gardens, Babylon, Piknik Electronic and Tell No Tale Festivals alongside the likes of Eric Prydz, Ricardo Villalobos, Sasha, Pan Pot, Francios K, and many more. In March, the boys played Pitch Music & Arts Festival amongst an array of international and local stars.

At the beginning of the year, the boys released a Track called the Toad on well known Australian underground label “Open Records” which was followed by two big remixes for Made In Paris and Romanian producer Breky. I got to sit down with the duo with their latest Next single Cooee which is coming out on Ugenius Music and is accompanied but 2 huge remixes from Re.You, Kaiser Souzai.

Hi Tom and Jacob, thanks for speaking with me today. You have both been quite busy lately with the release of your latest Cooee on your own label UGENIUS with remixes from Re.You and Kaiser Souzai. You both have received some incredible support so far. With yourselves and a whole new family of Australian electronic artists breaking through, do you think Australia is finding its own voice in the global market?

Hey guys, thanks for having us!

J: It’s been a pretty cool ride the past couple of years since we begun, “The Journey,” and its very humbling to be receiving support internationally and nationally. It’s great to be surrounded by some amazing homegrown talent in Australia, who are consistently pushing out some fresh sounds and pushing the boundaries a little bit.

T: We have a common goal, so it’s definitely inspiring to stay creative and work harder. In terms of exposure, there are a great amount of amazingly talented Australian artists who are starting to make their mark abroad which certainly casts more overseas bookers eyes on emerging talent back here.

I want to just look back a little, you remixed and released an iconic song from the 80’s “Treaty” by Yothu Yondi, even reaching #9 on the ARIA charts, what made you want to release it and did they ever listen to your remix?

T: We have Gavin Campbell to thank for this one. He approached me with the opportunity and it was right after we had released our debut single ‘Principium’, so we thought what better way to follow that up than with a remix for one of Australia’s most iconic artists. It was great to see how well the remix was received. We played at Strawberry Fields Festival at the end of last year where they were also playing, and Gav brought the band over to our stage to meet us. They and told us they loved it- It was actually quite surreal.

Many Australians in the past left for Europe and the US to make their mark, you have both although well travelled, have stayed and nurtured the industry, how has that journey (pardon the pun) been?

J: Totally. It’s been great to see guys like Mic Newman and Lewie Day move overseas, making their mark on the scene and growing their profiles. Its very inspiring. Our goal for the next year or two, is to start playing in some new territories and travel a lot more.

Melbourne has gone in leaps and bounds in the last 5 years, with each city facing their own challenges (Sydney with lock-outs to name a major one) how has Melbourne differed from other cities to flourish?

T: Our government is quite nurturing towards our music and arts community down here. It has encouraged a great sense of community amongst the industry, and it shows with the response to the Melbournian 2am lockout back in 2008. They have also just introduced 24 hour public transport on the weekends, which makes it even easier and safer to get around town.

Jacob, you work with Thick as Thieves touring and come across hundreds of international acts travelling to Australia, but what local talent do you think we should be looking out for and why?

J: Yeah, I’m lucky to be working with Thick As Thieves and experience another facet of the industry. In terms of local talent I think Jamie Stevens, Retza, Made In Paris & Mike Rish are names who are pushing the boundaries on the Techno and Prog side and receiving global recognition for it.

T: On the housier front I’d say Rory Marshall, Tim Light, Jared Marston and SWOOP are all getting it done down here, James Winter is another one too.

You are both off to Europe later this year, is there anywhere you are excited to be visiting or playing?

J: We sure are. We are just in the process of locking down it all at the moment. I’ll be kicking things off in Austria, while Tom will be in Greece. We will be meeting up and travelling to Turkey, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands for shows. Watch this space for more shows to be announced :)

As a duo, how do you approach your music, is there ever a clash of ideals or sounds, or is it something that you have matured into over the years?

J: We have similar taste in music, be it house or techno, we also both have similiar artists who definitely inspire us with their sound. Even with our solo projects, we share all of our music and bounce ideas off each other. There are always going to be clashes in the studio, but in the end we tend to compromise on something that we may have disagreed on.

T: I always get my way.

You both are accomplished artists and have toured the country countless times, what has been some of the most stand out moments in your career?

J: There’s definitely been a few hours in nightclubs and festivals that’s for sure. For me, I would say a highlight would be playing at Sisyphos last year in Berlin, or one of the Main Stage appearances at Strawberry Fields festival… That’s always a good time. As the Journey, a stand would be a the sunset set last year we played at Strawberry Fields. That was a vibe and a half!

T: As far as gigs are concerned I guess Mainstage Summadayze in 2011 is up there. Any of the Likes Of You events were always an amazing experience too. Getting the opportunity to do our thing at festivals like Pitch, Babylon, Subsonic (to name a few) is pretty flattering. Music-wise, my new Tom Evans single, ‘About A Place,’ with Tim Light hit number #1 on the ARIA Club Chart- so that definitely takes the cake in that department.

It can’t all be serious, what has been one of the funniest moments you have encountered?

J: Funny you say that, because out of the two of us, I am most definitely the more serious out of the two….but we have had so many classic encounters over the years. I would say the funniest/stupidest moment we have encountered would have to be jumping on the train to the airport very hungover in Brisbane. Little did we know that we were going in the complete opposite direction on the wrong train and were told to get off at the end of the line. We weren’t laughing at the time but its definitely amusing looking back at it.

T: We got locked out of an apartment in Wollongong a few weeks ago. We went to the pub with Hood Rich from Townsville only to find none of us had any keys. 2 hours and 3 locksmiths later, down the door came then the cops turned up. Wasn’t really a great look. But we made it to the club with 10 minutes to spare. There are plenty of others- but my mum will most likely read this.

Thanks for speaking with me today, is there anything you can let us know what is coming soon?

J: Anytime! Thanks for having a chat with us :) We have a remix coming out for Jacob Plant on Fatboy Slims label ‘Skint Records’ very soon plus a few new tracks which we are talking to some very exciting labels about.

T: We have also started a project with Ivan Gough called ‘TJIG’ with a couple of records up our sleeve but don’t want to give away too much just yet.

You can now download COOEE by The Journey, Re.you, Kaiser Souzai on Beatport

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About the author

For the last 20+ years, Damion has been an international touring DJ, promoter, touring agent, label owner, magazine editor and producer. He is currently the Group Editor and Managing Director of Decoded Magazine. Hear more at https://soundcloud.com/damionpell-1

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