By now I seriously hope most of you have heard of the Aussie disco phenom DJ/producer Felix Bloxsom, aka Plastic Plates. He’s remixed the likes of Adele, Empire of the Sun, Sia, and The Human League. Track after track his productions provide that funky synth sound that is impossible not to groove to. I make sure to catch his sets every time he is in the greater Los Angeles area and was lucky enough to sit down with Felix for a one-on-one not too long ago. His next LA performance will be June 12th at Dim Mak Studios along side Belgium mastermind The Magician. You best believe I’ll be in attendance for that one! You can check out his other tour dates [HERE].
You’re from Sydney, Australia – there’s just a huge amount of disco talent coming out of there right now.
Yeah, Cassian is from Sydney. Other friends of mine like Bag Raiders too. Beni, I went to high-school with. The Presets, they’re not really disco music but they’re dance; they’re fucking monstrous in Australia, they’re old friends of mine. The Cut Copy boys are really old friends of mine too. There’s just a huge music scene there.
Why do you think Australia has such a strong disco presence specifically?
They like dance music, it’s a big thing. Kids, the general public, they love partying in Australia. Since I’ve left there about five years ago and I’ve been around the place on tour and playing the drums with people… I’ve realized Australian people are definitely very enthusiastic. Like… maniacs (laughs).
But why disco over; say, electro or house?
Well, that’s huge there as well. Like, any kind of club music is monstrous. Like, for example, the biggest festival in the summer circuit, for years and years – I remember going to it when I was a teenager in the late nineties (I’m 31 now) – was a festival called “The Big Day Out;” it became very big and commercial and whatever. The biggest festival this year; financially, is this thing called Stereosonic; which is where I played with Empire of the Sun. Madeon was there, Avicii, Afrojack, all sorts of stuff. Drop the Lime, real techno guys, everything. Crookers, Bag Raiders, all sorts of stuff was on the bill. That is going to be by far the most commercially successful festival. If that’s an example of mainstream stuff, dance is definitely huge in Australia. And it’s everywhere! I can’t get over it. I turn on the radio and every single pop tune is like… You look at the credits on David Guetta’s record and it’s like Usher, Snoop Dogg, Sia (who I used to play the drums with). Like, every type of person is on that record, it’s crazy! And it’s completely fine! Like, nobody gives a shit! It’s completely normal.
Who would you say are some of your favorite American disco producers right now?
You currently live in Los Angeles. Does living in the US feel like home after moving from Sydney?
Yeah, I mean it’s different. [Disco’s] not as much a mainstream thing, but the people here… I DJ’ed around the states for a bit and everybody that comes out are huge fans. I mean, the little bit more sort of housie version of everything – like Soul Clap from Boston and Beniot & Sergio from Washington DC – is like incredible amazing dance music. I mean, obviously dance music really started in The States, like Detroit.
Yeah, I also feel like it’s an extension of the American dance music scene of the 80’s.
Well, the sound that me and the people that you could associate me with… yeah, there’s a lot of influences of the 80’s and I think a lot of it is the equipment – a lot of synths are from then and that adds itself to the sound. Also, a lot of us grew up in that time, it’s hard to get away from, and it’s just good music in general.
Which artists have you been listening to recently?
I’m a big Tiger and Woods fan (Italian guys). My mate Mickey from Belgium has a song called “Love for Sale” with the Monarchy guys singing on it and it’s stuck in my head right now [Mickey – Love For Sale (Feat. Monarchy)]. Little Dragon I’m a big fan of at the moment, especially after seeing them live a couple of times.
You began your musical career as a Jazz percussionist and even won the “Young Australian Jazz Artist of the Year” at the 2004 Australian Jazz Bell Awards. What’s the transition into a successful dance club DJ and producer been like for you?
It’s been a crazy ride for me. It’s all been very new. I’ve been a musician my whole life but focusing on [my DJ career] just sort of happened unintentionally. I started DJing with a friend of mine and we called it something and that’s how I ended up with this silly name, but it stuck. We did only a handful of DJ gigs together and he ended up going and working at an office job. But yeah, I’ve been very lucky this year and last, like doing a remix for The Human League [The Human League – Sky (Plastic Plates Remix)] – I was very excited about that. Things turned into things that I could have never imagined, like my remix for Adele [Adele – Set Fire to the Rain (Plastic Plates Remix)]. I never anticipated that she would become so huge and; by association, I got a lot of attention. All sorts of weird things like, I did a remix of a Katie Perry song [Katy Perry – The One That Got Away (Plastic Plates Remix)], which was a funny thing for me. Like, how on Earth did I get asked to work with such a huge, mainstream, commercial artist? At the same time, a lot of my good friends wrote half of her record, so it’s not that far away. That was a funny thing for me.
So what’s next on your “plate” in the near future?
I don’t know; ask Wendy my booking agent (laughs). I’m going to put out some original music finally. The funny thing is, I haven’t really had a plan with anything. Everything’s just sort of fallen in my lap and I’ve run with it. So now, I’m starting to get a little bit more serious about making something out of it and putting out some original shit. [Plastic Plates – Toys (Original Mix)]