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Deepchild - The Prodigal Son Returns

Author: Cyclone
Tuesday, October 7, 2008

After migrating to Europe to pursue his musical aspirations, Sydney’s producer/DJ Deepchild is back in the country to promote his fifth album Departure. 3D’s Cyclone finds out all about it.

Deepchild, AKA Rick Bull, has returned from his wanderings across Europe with his fifth studio album Departure in his hand. It may just be his most dancefloor-orientated album yet.

The Sydneysider acquired his rep producing post-trip hop, but these days he's enamoured with German minimalism. Indeed, Deepchild has made repeat visits to Berlin, forging a 'new dub' ethos.

“This album is a catalogue of tracks that have been played out a lot in live sets by me, so that's the major difference," Bull enlightens. "I'd write tracks during the year and I'd test them out and, if they worked, they'd make it onto the album. So they've all been played out as dancefloor tools. It's aimed a little bit more at DJs - people who will listen to it loud and hopefully play it out."

In fact, Bull has evolved into a progressive sound designer. "I'm really interested in texture and glitch and hum and rumble." He uses words like "wrongness" and "wonkiness" in reference to his sonic aesthetic.  "Someone described it as 'drunken techno'," Rick says gleefully.

Bull also demonstrates a new playfulness, introducing the alter-ego Diddy 4000, a "wack MC", on the vocal cut Droid_Musik. Nevertheless, Bull's attraction to contemporary Germany is profound. He's intrigued by how Berlin has grappled with the 'rawness' of its history.

Over recent months Rick has based himself in Scotland, of all locations, his partner working for the Edinburgh Fringe.
Bull had intended to stay in Berlin, close to his Get Physical pals, but, as he and his girlfriend discovered, the unemployment rate is depressingly high. "I have a lot of sympathy for Berliners - and I do feel a little bit protective. If there's a shortage of jobs, part of me thinks, German jobs for German people! I'm just a clandestine bandit who goes in and does my bit but, then, I'm grateful to have an opportunity to play there for actual money.

"I don't know if being an Australian has helped, but I've played all the clubs on my dream list there, from Watergate to Panorama Bar to Cookies - Tape Club last time, which was wicked. But it is hard to enter the scene.

"It's the irony that's here - there's still lots of clubs in Australia that I would love to have a go at playing, but I'm not gonna get invited 'cause I don't play the right music or something (laughs). You can't pick it. For example, I like the space at Chinese Laundry, but I've never been given the opportunity to play. Then you have DJs who play there really regularly like Mark Dynamix, who's trying to break out of that overly branded commercial scene - because he's got quite a wealth of knowledge and skill in music to do some big room whatever. But, when he goes to Berlin, he can't get a foot in the door.

"The Berlin temperament is naturally suspicious of people who come in and just say, 'I'm gonna be a big DJ here, book me for this shit...' I really never wanted to be that guy.

"The fascination with the place, and what's going on there, is the main fuel, rather than thinking ‘this is the place where I'm gonna be a star.’  It's sweet how its unfolded the last few years but, if I never got booked for another gig there again, I'd wanna hope that I could keep supporting the music that comes out of the place."

WHO: Deepchild
WHAT: Departure through Future Classic / Inertia
WHEN: Out now