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  • Henry Johnstone

The Records That Shaped Jamie Palmer

The Sydney DJ and Club 77 regular talks Mad Racket, Sounds on Sunday, and the music that shaped his self-confessed B-side taste.

The Records That Shaped Jamie Palmer

Can you tell us a little bit about your journey into music and DJing?

I started mixing pretty young. I was 13 and messing around all the time on a mate’s pair of bodgie belt-drive turntables. A girl we knew asked us to play at her birthday party, she gave us a $250 advance, and we bused to Central Station Records the next day to buy a load of happy hardcore records. We just went for it. It was a complete mess but we had fun.

From there, I went to raves quite a bit in my mid-teens and was pretty in to all of that. But the big turning point was when my older brother got his first pair of Technics. I was obsessed. Every chance I got, I’d be on them. When he moved out, I used to catch two buses halfway across town with a bag of records just to have a mix. I started getting exposed to proper house and techno in the late 90s via my brother’s collection and also my early clubbing experiences. This led to me really getting my skates on with buying records.

You were part of the Sounds On Sunday crew back in the ‘00s, the infamous Sunday party at Greenwood Hotel. How do you think did that period of time – and perhaps to an extent, progressive house – influenced your approach to DJing?

The main influence from those times for me was more technical as opposed to musical. Getting to watch masters of their craft (like Ben Korbel and Robbie Lowe, to name a few) week-in week-out was a treat and I learnt so much. From the fundamentals of a good mix to the little tactics they used, it helped shape the way I went about playing records.

You were also a member of the Kinder Spiel crew, which in my opinion is still yet to be beaten on flyer design. What are your memories of the party and do you think it will make a return one day?

Fond memories of the whole thing! We ended up going for about 12 years. It was a family affair. Playing records with the ones you love, for the ones you love doesn't get any better. Yeah, the series of flyers were so well done. That's down to my best buddy and instigator of the whole party, Langdon [Cook], who designed them. I wouldn't rule out a return.

The Records That Shaped Jamie Palmer

You took a break from DJing and took up the mantle again a few years ago. Why the pause?

Playing out has never been something I’ve wanted to force. It happens when it happens. In 2017 a few great doors opened and things kind of snowballed from there.

How would you describe yourself as a DJ and what kind of music inspires your sound these days?

The quality that inspires me most about my favourite DJs is their ability to deliver their ‘sound’ so cohesively while blending genres and spanning decades. So that’s generally something I’m trying to do when I’m playing. Sound wise, I’m always drawn to the deeper stuff. I’ve have B-side taste.

You played the Mad Racket party a few months ago. How was it?

I can’t overstate the impact Mad Racket has had on me. So it was incredible to be asked back for a second time. The first time I played there back in 2018 I was quite nervous as it was a huge moment. Luckily, I just about managed to keep that in check and it went really well...but I couldn’t enjoy it as much.

This time around, for whatever reason, I could sit back and really get into it. It was super fun.

How have you been enjoying playing at 77 since it relaunched?

I’m loving it and very grateful to be a part of it. The determination, care and vision of the team is next level. I’ve relished the extended sets, both the early warm ups and the late-night bang outs. Sharing nights alongside incomparable legends like Lorna Clarkson and Simon Caldwell has been a highlight for sure. Hearing some of the amazing local talent coming through has been really inspiring too.

The Records That Shaped Jamie Palmer

Mood II Swing - Move me | Music For You Ears | 1995

I love it as much now as I did then. One of the gems from my bothers collection that influenced me early on.

Maurizio - Untitled / M4 | 1995

I could insert just about anything by Basic Channel or Deepchord here. Dub techno has always been my happy place. From a mixing perspective, it’s great to learn on. Long and loopy.

Kings of Tomorrow - Fade to Black | Yoshitoshi | 1997

This is the complete house track.

The Aztec Mystic AKA DJ Rolando - Jaguar | Underground Resistance | 1999

When I first heard this, it had a big impact on me. It was Sabotage at The Metro and Ken Cloud closed his set with it. Blew the roof off. It’d just come out and that Monday I was into Reachin Records to buy it (off Ken)!

Hardlife - UR | Underground Resistance | 2001

My love for this record was forged on the Mad Racket dance floor over the years. It's one of those tracks you’d have to come up with a few new dance moves just to get the energy out.


Jamie Palmer and Telefunken play Club 77 on Saturday 29 July. More info here.

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