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Kate Monroe Interview - SYDNEY HOUSE STYLES

Author: Emma-Louise Tovey
Friday, September 16, 2005
House spinner KATE MONROE is at the top of her game these days, holding it down for the Sydney massive. EMMA-LOUISE TOVEY spoke to her.

Labelled as Australia's first lady of house, American girl, Kate Monroe, clearly loves her job. Admitting "a good view and a jug of margaritas" could only come so close to filling the void the absence of music would leave, Monroe is on the fast track to DJ superstardom. With a new release from her own record label MAT Recordings, full control of 'Odyssey House Sundays' in Sydney and numerous other gigs under her well-placed belt, this Sydney house DJ knows her style and is confident in her musical ability to answer questions sans fluff - a rare quality in an industry where everybody has something extra to say about themselves.

When asked if it is difficult to stay true to her own musical style given the fluid nature of the club scene, she simply answers "no". She's tough and very sure of herself, and why wouldn't she be- In March this year she released MAT Black, the first of her three-part compilation series self-described as "taking you from the dinner table to the edge of the dancefloor." The second, soon to be released MAT White, is aimed at the dancefloor and the third will be the recovery CD with Monroe not entirely sure what that colour will be.

When asked what motivated her in creating her own record label, Monroe answers bluntly, "getting my ass sued because of an incompetent record label owner." She seems the type of girl who has a lot more crazy stories than this one up her sleeve. MAT Recordings is an acronym of both her surname and her business partner, Jude Tarran, as "well as being a reference to the mat slips DJs use on vinyl. Expect "beautiful, funky, slinky, sexy house," says Monroe of her label, although ensures even if it's not house and the people want to hear it, she will try to release it.

Monroe began DJing 12 years ago, admitting as she was growing up "music was a huge part of my life, my parents always had music playing... jazz, blues and soul were on all the time." She has been a resident at Sublime in Sydney for seven years, which has won best club in Australia at the National Dance Music Awards for the past three years. Monroe has played at Toybox, Queernation in Sydney and Red Raw in Melbourne. "I play to very diverse crowds from the Prince Hotel to gay dance parties to Sublime - all very different. I may change my style slightly, but I believe my core music remains the same. I am a house DJ first and foremost."

"The new MAT White CD is a good example of my floor filling style", featuring heavy house tracks and exuberant beats this CD will ensure your arrival square in the middle of the dancefloor. The first, MAT Black has been coined as the "definitive house collection for 2005", seductive, deep bass and soulful vocals combined with "playful piano" - this clever collection of tracks will surely have you in the mood for going out. Comprised of Monroe's vocal favourites collected throughout the last year, featuring Emily McEwan's Knee Deep mix, T.Jam with Shame Shame Shame and mrTimothy with Stand By Me. Produced by Richard Earnshaw, other highlights include A. Studio's SOS, Latin house acts DJ Sneak, Jason Herd and Mambana.

With her succession of CDs, Monroe removes all real need to leave your home, or the confines of your car for the duration of the night to experience all facets that clubland has to offer. "I'm a big fan of the 'Hotel Costes' series of compilations, in that the artwork on the CD covers is very specialised and moody, the music is a bit off the beaten track and I wanted our first releases to reflect that same thing in an Australian context," she reveals. Monroe accomplishes this objective in an entirely smooth and convincing way.

"It's great releasing my own CD, because I get to license tracks that I love. That's what it's all about for me, 'the love'" If passion is the key to success, Monroe is more<