Interview: Zane Micallef
Originally from Vic but moved over to the Nsw scene for a little & now has returned to Naarm Zane Micallef has been on the rapid rise after a very big closing set @Bloom! Zane has also been dropping heat tracks over the past couple of months, tracks such as "The Danger" & "Obsidian" are a few of many that Zane is known for! Having a love for fast paced progressive techno Zane is inspired by artists such as Tred, DJ Ali, Dina.
We recently caught up with Zane to talk about what the future holds for him and where you can expect to find him playing throughout the year!
Q & A:
Question 1: When did the drive to start mixing and being involved in Dance music be a big thing for you in your life?
A: My drive to stand out as an artist began when I was 18, and I had just had a production lesson with Mitch Landers – half of Melbourne Duo ‘LXA’ back in the day. With the elements I was taught I immediately set out to try and stand out with my productions rather then follow with what the crowd was doing. At this point I was really pushing what was called ‘Hardstyle Bounce’ – please reference my tracks ‘Inception’ and ‘Psycho’ released around this time.
As the years went by I experimented with all the main underground sounds, minimal, hardstyle, prog and trance. And then two years ago I chose to pursue Techno, as I believed it was my true calling to really develop my own sound, hence the sole reason to quit gigs during this time, to really push myself to not only be respected as a legitimate artist but to stand out from the already huge Melbourne roster of Techno & Dance Music.
Question 2: What has been the most important thing for you so far in 2022?
A: Networking. Probably my biggest goal for this year. With already 10+ tracks ready to release, I really want to focus my time on this year into events, groups and other artists I am absolutely vibing at the moment. I believe to really become successful artist you really need to nail these three elements: Networking, Branding and Production. And out of these three I feel like my networking can do with some improving. So I am doing what I can to make the most out of being out of my comfort zone. With the addition of also living interstate, its forcing me to network, in my opinion, to remain relevant.
Question 3: What is the key to knowing when your tracks are ready personally for you?
A: The groove. The flow. If the track flows from start to finish, then that’s usually the first sign. I do my absolute best to really evolve the track from beginning to end, and if it really has a lovely touch of percussions and really shows up some heavy and progressive elements, then all it needs is some mixing, some limiting and the correct amount of stereo-width then the track is ready. The process gets easier, and as well as more creative as you go! And I think the most enjoyable part about production is when at times you seem to impress yourself. And that’s what really matters. If you love it – release it!
Question 4: Favorite Gig or Fav Venue you have played at recently?
A: Bloom, Geelong. – Had been a huge goal of mine of the last two years, so it was extra special this venue being my first gig back. Such a surreal experience to not only play on a Funktion One Sound System, but to also close the venue after Australian Techno Heavyweights – Handsdown & Leighboy
Question 5: Favorite All time tune?
A: Builder – Hardbeat Market
Question 6: Have you ever thought of a b2b set with Stewi or even working on a collab track togethert?
A: Oh yes most definitely, after hearing Stewi's set at Shelter & also his feature on Third Testament, i know we could really put on one hard, heavy & fast b2b. A collab would even be better, we have quite similar taste in music, & would be a fun little experience as well bouncing ideas from each other.
Question 7: Who inspires you?
A: Of recent, Leigh boy – With everything him and Handsdown have been achieving is great to see. From seeing these boys originate from Geelong, to supporting Boris Brejcha, like how could that not inspire you. And also not a lot of people would know this, but Leigh boy has been my mentor for the last two years also. Has helped me so much, helped me find direction, and have really helped me develope a genuine style in Techno
Question 8: What would you say is your style when it comes to your sets & production?
A: Aggressive and Progressive. I really try to keep to this style in my productions, and love to produce tracks at any tempo between 132 – 145. I really try to push for a truly progressive set as well, and I love putting on those sets where the tracks just get faster and faster. I love implementing a ‘mind bending’ aspect to my productions, I found them a lot of fun to not only produce but also listen to.
Question 9: Do you like sticking to one genre or do you like others that you show off in your production and mixing?
A: I appreciate all levels of progressive techno. Ideally I love mixing with hard techno, hard rave, progressive techno and hard dance. With a ‘Zane Micallef’ set you can really hear all these in one single composition. For a prime time set, I love playing progressive techno around 132bpm, I find that to be the perfect number, and having nice progressive grooves and rumbling basslines at this tempo is a bloody climax.
Question 10: What is one piece of advice you can give to those just starting in the industry?
A: Don’t let the politics behind the industry blind you. It’s happened to me and its quite easy to let happen. If you purely just focus on music, and not worry about gigs or being signed or anything like that, you ll find the results will actually begin to happen. Don’t be scared to try something new. Be you!
Question 11: What is your life dream goal as a DJ/Producer?
A: Right now PITCH is my goal! Everyone that was fortunate enough to be a part of that line-up was well deserving and all put on such incredible sets! That moment where you find an artist at PITCH accidently, and they blow your mind, so you go home, Soundcloud them and realise where have they been hiding this whole time – I want to be that guy! That drives me.
Question 12: Originally you come from NSW would you say the techno/rave scene is different over there?
A: Have lived in Geelong, VIC all my life and only for the last year made the move to ACT/NSW. Still exploring the scene to be honest. ACT has a very limited house/techno scene. However is come to my attention they have quite a large techno/doof community here. Since being here my prime focus has been production. My days quite literally revolve around my partner, music, work and sleep. Repeat.
You can find Zane below on his socials!!
Spotify: @Zane Micallef