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๐”–๐”“๐”„โ„ญ๐”ˆ ๐”‰๐”’โ„œ๐”ˆ๐”–๐”— โ„œ๐”„๐”‘๐”Š๐”ˆโ„œ // ๐”–๐”“๐”„โ„ญ๐”ˆ ๐”‰๐”’โ„œ๐”ˆ๐”–๐”— โ„œ๐”„๐”‘๐”Š๐”ˆโ„œ // ๐”–๐”“๐”„โ„ญ๐”ˆ ๐”‰๐”’โ„œ๐”ˆ๐”–๐”— โ„œ๐”„๐”‘๐”Š๐”ˆโ„œ

Photography by Jason Boltex

The FROCKUP mix series returns with the very talented DJ and Beat Mag mix series curator, Ham. Ham has been on our radar for a while now, ever since her outstanding Novelcast 73 and mixes came out earlier this year. But as fate would have it, I had the absolute pleasure of meeting her at Outta Range in April, a small festival run by some of the minds behind Dance Flaws. We chatted about all things music, the local scene and certain Nikki Webster B-sides and upon hearing her eclectic approach to the interstitial DJ duties, we knew we just had to get her involved in the FROCKUP mix series.

Ham's range and diverse music taste definitely shines through in this mix, crossing atmospheric breaks, percussive house and even spooky Sigourney Weaver film samples. This mix has been aptly titled Space Forest Ranger, taking the listener on an interesting and well thought out interplanetary journey throughout the beware the complex bleeps and pulsating bloops. Ham was joined by MX Mami for a couple mixes, a Scottish DJ now based in Naarm, forming an hour and a half of truly special listening.

In the midst of the Pandemic and against multiple lockdowns, Ham has still had an outstanding year. From playing across Darklove and organized noise parties, to mixes for Genre Spanner and arvo girls, to hosting a daily wake up call for Area 3000, itโ€™s been hard to keep up with the constant goals Ham is kicking. Not only this, but Ham has been curating the Beat Mag mix series, delivering one of the most impressive and diverse series currently in Naarm. We canโ€™t wait to see everything Ham keeps on doing, but until then have a listen to her mix below.

Hi Ham, thanks so much for being a part of the FROCKUP mix series. Howโ€™ve you been over the last year with everything going on?

Thank you for having me! Very excited to be here :) Iโ€™ve been really well! Of course itโ€™s been hella up and down but Iโ€™ve been really grateful to have witnessed and been a part of little projects over the last year with many legends in the community.

Iโ€™ve been able to share and collaborate on mixes, work alongside some incredibly talented artists in the form of the Beat Magazine column through features, interviews and a little mix series, and had so much fun playing around the city when we can inbetween shitty-arse lockdowns making the physical community aspect pretty difficult sometimes.

Thereโ€™s so many collabs and initiatives going on within the electronic music scene that it baffles me every week, so despite the shitstorms and uncertainty Iโ€™d say itโ€™s still been pretty damn good!

Can you tell us a bit about the direction you went in with this mix? And are there any special tracks we should look out for?

Iโ€™m so excited for this mix. Iโ€™m calling it Space Forest Ranger because itโ€™s intended to take you on a special forest space adventure. It begins with a sample of a Sigourney Weaver film where she discovers some aliens before the spaceship departs with RMโ€™s Cosi Cosi and its outrageous electric guitar riffs, followed by a bunch of fun earthy and spacey tracks, including Francois K, Ex-Terrestial, Paul Blackford, Francis Inferno Orchestra, Shanti Celeste, Red Axes, Shadow Child, Low Tape, a newbie from Andras and more :)

Music and finding new gems is a beloved addiction for me and an important part of keeping me happy and centred. Iโ€™m quite particular with music and find myself on a never-ending search for new tracks that have elements of grounded earth meets delicate sassy space stomp.

This was recorded with a bit of a tag team with one of my faves, Mx Mami. I curated the playlist and we did a bit of cheeky back-to-back so this one is a gift from our baby turbo XDJ-R1s which become a little spaceship controller on a planet to record silly spaceship mixes to take you to planets elsewhere.

Youโ€™ve played at so many events and parties lately itโ€™s been hard to keep up, from Whitehart bar alongside Greetings and Fka Obi to the Organised Noise event with Andee Frost and Jazz (as well as a special shoutout to your interstital tunes at Outta Range!!) Do you have a favourite memory from your most recent run of events?

It has been a heck of a lot of fun playing gigs around town and Iโ€™m so thankful for each opportunity. Whitehart was pretty fun with Greetings and Fka Obi because the dance floor turned into a full mosh pit and was such a vibe. Revs Cage was pretty dreamy, considering a lot of my closest and oldest friends of whom some are even colleagues now, we met on Sunday arvos there when I was younger so that was a pretty special moment.

Outta Range was definitely a highlight because most of the crew behind the event are my og pals who Iโ€™ve been having cherished moments over electronic dance music for nearly a decade now. They always wanted to run a festy and between some of the cityโ€™s most talented electronic artists, live bands, stand-up and some epic beautiful hills and scenery it ended up being such an amazing weekend. Interstitial set was very fun - thereโ€™s no better feeling than dropping Outkast at the right time and place.

You currently run the Beat Mag mix series, which has featured some incredibly talented local artists such as DJ Mum, the Fluxx crew and Pretty Girl to name a few. What do you look for when curating such an eclectic series?

Itโ€™s been so great getting the chance to deep dive into the stories of so many amazing locals and their music productions and projects. The curation comes mostly from word of mouth but I also try to keep an eye out for artists who are killing it in their particular niche. I think sometimes the electronic music scene can get a bit bubbly so itโ€™s more about showcasing diversity of both sounds and individuals involved, and that the artists can showcase whatever their favourite exploration of producing a mix may be.

Iโ€™m such a dinosaur and slow with it though because tech and I arenโ€™t very good friends so if anyone is interested in feature writing, editing mixes and interviews do hola! I wish I had more time in my weeks to showcase all the amazing stuff going on in the city.

Are there any local artists or crews youโ€™ve been loving lately? Or any parties youโ€™re keen to check out over the coming months?

Weird response but I actually am not too sure and canโ€™t call out anything specifically! And itโ€™s hard to plan parties in advance atm lol

Thanks for taking the time to chat to us. But before you go, whatโ€™s next for you?

Just keep digging, writing and learning more about all the amazing tunes and people behind them :)

Artwork by Ivy Rose

To keep up to date with Ham, follow her on Instagram or Soundcloud.

Words + Interview by James Morgan

Artwork by Ivy Rose

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