Charlotte Birch - Silver Birch
A former lingerie model, DJ Charlotte Birch has some pretty impressive promo shots. There’s no doubt about that. Equally as impressive is her skills with the dancefloor, which you can witness first hand at Sublime this week. 3D caught up with the British ex-pat.
How has the move to Sydney changed your business-
Sydney has opened up a whole new outlook on business to me here in Australia. I’m playing to new crowds and encompassing new tastes and directions. This is a very revolutionary stage of my career and I’m a lot more daring and open-minded musically. Australia is a fantastic country and new opportunities seem to arise almost on a daily basis here – very exciting!
Your sets are notoriously banging, do you predominantly plan them or improvise-
I normally have a fair idea of which tracks I think are definitely going to make an appearance that night, but if I can see something’s not working then I’ll just try something else. I used to play a lot of classics when I first arrived, purely to give myself time to acclimatise to what was going down in the Sydney scene. I’ve now played out enough to know what people here like. That’s not to say it’s always what I like to play. So I’m adapting my style whilst not compromising my own taste.
You transition between techno, electro and hard dance, which makes you way more marketable than single genre DJs. Was this a strategy or are you just doing what comes naturally-
I never set out to be a multi-genre DJ, in fact I was worried people may find it confusing, so I was going to change my name for my electro/funky techno. But other people play more than one style and it’s great to be able to play to different crowds. I began in 1996 playing funky house and classics anyway, and then turned to the hard side in 1999. In the UK I was actually playing predominantly electro sets even though I am better known for hard dance. So basically I do both to the best of my ability and keep them both separate, but it’s cool to do a set in two rooms on the same billing, which is what I’m going to be doing going forward.
You have created a very recognisable brand. How have you put that together-
Dropzone began by pure chance. I had a birthday party on a Sunday in early January in about 2001, when the club had said it would be shut anyway and had only mentioned it to a few people and put out 500 open invitations. We had over 1,000 people turn up to it and the management of the club were like, ‘Wow! Wanna do it again-’ So Dropzone was launched monthly after that. We had everyone playing, including Tidy Boys, BK, Nick Sentience, Amber D, Glazby and it ran very successfully for years. The record label followed off the back of that, then the DJ agency Dropzone Management. So it all happened but was a lot of hard work.
What do you see in the future for Dropzone releases-
Initially Dropzone Records is being launched on trackitdown.net. We’re kicking off with two releases that I did a while ago but never got round to releasing. They’re typical of my UK style and have already featured on Extreme Euphoria, Tidy Summer Camp CD, Good Greef and Mixmag covermount CD, Summer Bangers, mixed by Lisa Lashes. So not a bad way to kick off the label! I’m expecting to use it as a platform for my own material; I have studio dates lined up with various people, including Tom Parr and also looking to get into the studio with local Australian and New Zealand talent, such as High Dosage. I’ll also be looking for new material and artists to sign.
Finally, what’s in store for your upcoming set at Sublime-
My usual blend of UK hard dance/hard trance and classics and what ever takes my fancy on the night. I will also be giving away 50 copies of my new mix-CD on the night.
WHO: Charlotte Birch
WHAT: Plays Sublime at Home
WHEN: Friday 13 February