With Melbourne being a haven for all things clubbing and house related at the moment, the corresponding plethora of DJ’s and producers that compile the scene are making their mark outside, and spreading the Melbourne gospel further afield. One of the most exciting of these producers is Griffin James, aka Francis Inferno Orchestra, who in the last 6 months has been kicking up a whirlwind of attention in the last few months due to his own slick productions and growing listenership on Soundcloud. Ringing endorsements have come in the form of luminaries such as Mark E spinning his tracks, not to mention the likes of Soul Clap queuing up to do remixes, while Resident Advisor also pointed him out as the one to watch coming out of Melbourne. As a DJ, his Melbourne Deepcast Set was a blistering showcase of his mature appreciation of the finest in house, a sensibility he clearly carries into his production a-game, exhibited by two of this years finer releases, ‘So Divine’ and ‘Meet Me In Salt Lake City’. His production midas touch certainly belies his age, and the appetite for more has definitely been whetted.
Tracklist below interview
Thankfully for the House Of Disco, FIO has taken some time out to give an interview on his approach to production and DJing, the Melbourne scene and cap on some of his main influences. He’s also kindly put together a guestmix of some choice cuts for us to enjoy… Make sure to check it out!
What’s the story behind the name?
At the time when I was thinking of a name, I was listening to a lot of disco bands, and I noticed that they all had these kind of ridiculous long names so I thought id take that idea and put my own little twist on it.
What was your inspiration to begin DJing and who were your early musical influences?
It was only in recent years that from listening to electronic artists, that inspired me to start djing and collecting vinyl. I listened to a lot of varied styes of music from the 60s 70s & 80s thanks to my folks, anything from Devo & New Order to Diana Ross & Madness
In terms of DJing, who would be your overall favourite DJs that you have heard in your career and why?
So many to choose from, A few highlights I guess would be Moodymann, Motor City Drum Ensemble & Marcel Dettmann off the top of my head. All were unstoppable.
What are your favourite places to DJ and why?
Bars or Lounges, i do love a club set, but I feel more relaxed and I guess my favourite time listening to music, is in a nice lounge over a few drinks with friends
Your own tracks have been rapturously received yet you showed you can also build a mix superbly through the Melbourne Deepcast. Which particular craft are you more comfortable with prefer and why?
Definitely producing, its far more creative thats no question, and i can just get the exact feeling and emotion that I want from my brain into my project.
What is it in the water about Melbourne that is turning it into such a hotbed for amazing house at the moment?!
Bad drugs? haha just joking, im not sure, but we certainly have shown that there is a lot of talent here. not only for house, lots of experimental guys coming through that are kicking ass. For anyone reading this look up “Galapagoose”.
Do you interact much with the other acts, such as Tornado Wallace and others? Or how does the scene operate?
Of course, Tornado is a friend of mine, we have some serious producers down here like Mic Newman, Andy Hart, “Fantastic Man”, The Tortoise, Andras Fox and more i cant recollect off the top of my head, but we are all friends and keep in contact a fair bit. Theres a good group of friends, djs, party runners here who are really pushing the music, its fantastic. And the great thing is its only going to get bigger! The Melbourne Deepcast guys have even started they’re own vinyl label in order to help the push. And we have the guys now running parties, Animals Dancing for example who are a huge part of it all.
Like most underground scenes around the world, its still small in the concept in comparison to the whole club scene in Melbourne, I find that the people here are incredibly slow when it comes to music, I mean kids are going to dance music events are moshing, explain that?
How have you been dealing with the new demands placed on your shoulders?
Haha not much demand yet, a lot of emails and all that to keep onto of, however I feel that i’m doing fairly well considering I take care of everything I do.
We’ve seen some amazing EP’s and albums come out recently, from people like Lone and John Roberts to name but a few. You’ve already got a wealth of top class material. Can you see yourself getting an album released sooner rather than later?
Thats the dream, I plan on doing one. I have that much material its ridiculous, just a bunch of half finished projects. My benchmark though would be like Trus Me’s Working Nights album, its just so damn good that I want to make something as good as it!
Which production are you most proud of so far, and why?
It hasn’t got a name yet, one friend has heard it, and it’s going to released on the Melbourne Deepcast label with Andy Hart
What is your opinion of the “edit” culture of disco records that has become popular in recent years? Does it take away from wholly original productions?
Depends how it is done, I think soundcloud ruined the concept of edits for me. I don’t want to sound like a snob but there is a huge amount of people who download a disco track, put a new drum beat on it, and change the tempo, then go, yeah heres a new track, send it to 8000 people on soundcloud and thats it. I think only once or twice I have build an “edit” around the original structure around the song. But I prefer sampling for sure, thats how its been done for years and its a lot more creative than what I just explained.
Are you more disco or house at heart?
If you could pick two favourite records of all time, one dance and one non dance, what would they be?
so many to choose from! i guess right now…
Dance -Galaxy 2 Galaxy – Hi Tech Jazz (i had a different answer but as soon as I played it for this mix I had to change it)
Non Dance – Teebs – My Whole Life
Can we expect to see you touring outside of Australia this year?
June, Ill be holidaying and playing a few shows in Germany, Amsterdam & ofcourse UK
What else does this year and the future hold for Francis Inferno Orchestra?
More Eps! Sleazy Beats, Join The Dots, Melbourne Deepcast, Scucci Manucci possibly a few others that need to be discussed
Do you remember how amazing The Girl From Tomorrow was?
To be honest unfortunately not, i was 3 years old when the series ended, did a quick read up on it though, looks pretty funny!
Interview by Eclectic Picnic
1. 95 North ft Phillip Ramirez – See The Light (A Choice Mix)
2. Circulation – Patterns (Iz & Diz Ghosts in Detroit Wake Up Dub)
3. Wax 20002 – No 20002 B
4. MCMLXXXVII – Work
5. Soundstream – Tease Me
6. Jay Robertson – Like A Jazz Thing
7. Rondenion – Like A Child
8. Jan Helmerding – Reachin’ (Zanzibar Edit)
8. Paris Underground Trax – NYC Underground
9. Jack Da Ripper – Jacks’s Back
10. Galaxy 2 Galaxy – Hi Tech Jazz Live Version
Check out FIO’s Soundcloud by clicking HERE