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Jason Rudeboy and Mad Rod tells the whole Club Filter story

Author: Andrez
Sunday, January 1, 1995
With five years under its belt, Club Filter has virtually established itself as a cultural icon within Melbourne``s dance music fraternity. Not only has the club been around for the long haul, but the five year milestone makes Filter Australia``s longest-running techno club and one of the true veterans of the global scene.

Throughout its half decade Filter has continued to push the boundaries, establish new directions and nurture upcoming local talent. Early on the club brought out internationals like Dave Angel, Colin Dale and Lenny Dee before their careers really took off, and more recently they``ve invited cutting edge artists Jammin`` Unit and his brother Khan (aka Bizz OD) to play. On another level local achievers like Zen Paradox and Voiteck got their first big breaks at Filter, while the current crop of producers coming through - people like Soulenoid, Blimp, TR-Storm, Organism and Honeysmack - have all played there as part of the Wednesday night tradition within the past six months.

The fact is that Filter has become an enigma. Most visitors from interstate and overseas - regardless of musical tastes - are struck by its vibe and its chameleon-like quality, with Dom Phillips of the UK``s Mixmag going so far as to declare that "Filter is a wicked club, one of those long-running midweek specials that are, somehow, always cool . . . Some things are international."

So what exactly is it about this club that makes it so special- Both Jason and Rod have their own theories. "I think the fact that it``s consistent on whatever level it``s performing on at the time," assesses Rod. "It``s got a very casual atmosphere and everybody feels welcome regardless of the music or scene they may be into. Filter is also a very interactive environment - doing your own thing is basically what it``s all about."

Jason agrees and takes it further. "Yeah, it``s probably because we try to put something different on every week and we put a lot of energy into the club. We do banners and we dress the room up - apart from MUD [Melbourne Underground Development] nobody else really does that. Nobody. At Filter we``re constantly changing the environment people are in. But above anything else it comes down to the people who turn up every week - if it wasn``t for them it wouldn``t be on." Here he shrugs. "I don``t really know. We just do it every week and it``s busy every week."

For the record Club Filter is run by DJ``s Jason Rudeboy and Mad Rod in conjunction with their silent partner Dave Pumpkin. Rudeboy also helps run Octave Records in Prahran and has a program on Kiss FM, while Mad Rod continues to produce his ground-breaking show Tronik Voodoo Exorcism on PBS; both have been asked to DJ at various clubs and parties around Australia and - in Rudeboy``s case - even China. But since 1992 the duo have stuck with their club, beginning under the brief name of Switch before switching it to Club Filter and barely looking back since.

Filter``s musical policy also overcomes the usual perimeters, taking in the various sub-genres of dance music such as acid, house, techno and drum ``n`` bass, a fact that both guys are very happy about. "We have a lot of variety," Rudeboy assesses, "so if one set of people aren``t into what``s going on one week then they``ll what``s on the next week - or the week after that. A lot of other places stay the same and never change."

"That``s what I mean about it being consistent," Rod adds. "No matter where we go on any particular night - we basically present the best parts of all these areas, or whatever``s happening at the time. It``s all one thing anyway. These days there are so many different realms of music and so many different cultures with their own particular communities and energies, which is a good thing. It``s nice to explore all of it."

The live music element has always been a fundamental aspect of Filter``s philosophy and it``s here that live acts have been able t