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The DEA- We like really attractive girls

Author: Katie Elles
Thursday, September 18, 2003
Melbourne duo DEA (aka Richard Sekesan and John Barker) are notorious for rocking local sound systems with their unique blend of deep, dark and banging techno.

Their live act is a multimedia extravaganza with futuristic visuals created by Phoku, a Melbourne based video artist who shoots footage in various locations for DEA's shows.

"We don't get to see a lot of it because we're usually performing in front of it - but from what we hear it's really good," laughs Richard. "It's great to have that something extra because when you're making music it's good for people to have something to look at." "It's pretty boring just watching us there," adds John. "Most of the time we're concentrating on making fucked up sounds for everyone."

The pair has been performing as DEA since 1998 but knew each other for some time prior to forming the act, having worked in the local music industry for a number of years. Before DEA, Richard was involved in electronic four-piece band, Audio Meltdown and prior to that, Alice Dee. He also heads up promotions for Australia's largest dance music festivals including Welcome [New Years Eve], Two Tribes and Summadayze.

John's sound and musical production career spans well over a decade, having toured with bands like The Prodigy and Nirvana. In addition to DEA he currently works as the Production/Sound Manager for our biggest producers of dance music in the country, Hardware and Future Entertainment.

"It all came to mesh one morning at the Palace I was working there," explains John of DEA's early beginnings. "I had full access to the place and all its gear and Richard had some toys so, we combined his toys, with my gear and their gear and it just started by chance - and here we are."

Despite their shared interest in performing deep, dirty grooves, the duo insists they are "very individual people." "He's got long hair and I've got no hair," laughs John when asked to describe their differences. On a more serious note he adds, "We've got a decade of sound difference. Punk for me and heavy metal for Richard."

The pair say their interest in techno naturally progressed from working in clubs and their involvement in the scene. Things have changed considerably since the early days, particularly for John, who is currently employed by such a major commercial dance company. The parties just keep getting bigger and John says he hopes the trend continues.

"From my side of it it's great - I can end up with bigger budgets so, I can spend more money on production to make them bigger and bigger. There's nothing better than seeing a couple of semi trailers out back getting unloaded and filling this huge area full of production - kicking the whole thing in the guts at ten o'clock and then turning it all off at seven.

"It's like fuckn' thank you very much people! You see thousands of people pouring out of the place with huge grins on their faces saying 'yeah!' It's always a challenge but I hope they do get bigger."

Unlike many techno music professionals and partygoers, John is not perturbed by the risk of over commerciality in the scene. He doesn't see it as a threat - in fact, he embraces the notion with open arms. John takes the view that if you don't like it - then stay home.

"At the end of the day it's a business - if you want to run it and make x amount of dollars a year. Some people have got high ambitions and expectations and it gets bigger and it'll get more promotional - but such is life.

"You can't please everyone and people who don't like the parties - don't need to come to them. I'm not going to hold my gun to their head and say 'you've got to go to this party.' It just means that those people will miss out on some of the best talent in the world because of their view - but so be it."

The boys are gearing up to play another big party this weekend - War of the Worlds. It is their second time at the event and they are looking forward to the night, which boasts six arenas from dru