The brainchild of Canada’s Thomas Von Party and Australian native DreemsMulti Culti was forged over a shared interest in “half-baked new age philosophies, psychedelics and world travels.” With an inclusive worldview, open minds and adventurous ears, the duo focus their efforts on sourcing music from all four corners of the globe. With a plethora of nationalities found beneath the Multi Culti banner, it’s testament to a seemingly tireless dedication to discover and connect with likeminded souls. 

Moving away from the “strictly club-oriented techno” that defined their tenures at Turbo Recordings and Bang Gang respectively, their label curation sees Multi Culti dip its toes into a melange of mind-expanding moods and themes. Cosmic voyages, psychedelic wanderings and balearic excursions represent a significant chunk of the label’s output, while a shared interest in sounds from foreign lands lends the back catalogue a distinctly multicultural feel (hence the name).

Stepping up their game since the turn of the year, Thomas and Dreems have delivered their largest offering to date with an extensive compilation, entitled Sun Gaze / Moon Faze. Featuring music sourced from fourteen different countries, it’s exactly what you’d expect from a Multi Culti release, with the likes of Tel Aviv duo Red Axes, Italian producer Rodion and Australia’s Kris Baha represented across the course of its duration. On the back of the full boxset release, we got in touch with the guys to discuss Sun Gaze / Moon Faze and the wider universe Multi Culti inhabits;

Sun Gaze / Moon Faze is out now – buy the digital direct from the label. You can find the 12″ EPs on sale at various record stores.

You both worked on record labels before starting your own. How does owning a label differ from being just a cog in the machine?

We both worked on small labels that were let’s say ‘friends & family’ so we never felt like cogs in a machine, but I think we both feel a deeper sense of ownership with Multi Culti, so everything that comes along with that – freedom, responsibility, tyranny.

Is it a holistic approach to life that defines the label’s curation or holistic approach to musical traditions that influences your own personalities?

The label’s identity is definitely informed by a holistic lifestyle, but yeah, getting baked to exotic sounds can and do inspire us to voyage beyond the borders of our brain-holes.

Can you tell us a bit about the process you took when choosing the tracks for the Sun Gaze / Moon Faze compilation?

It was a long process… we’d been stockpiling material from our core artists for a while and it felt like it was the right time to do a label thing rather than just a series of artist EPs, it was a nice way to include music from lots of different people and expand our reach in a way.

You’ve spoken about a “wishlist” of artists you’d like to have featured on the label. Have you been able to strike off many in recent times?

The list is endless but sure, it’s been great to work with some real influences / heroes like Zongamin, Mickey Moonlight, Red Axes, Manfredas, etc.

Are there any artists that have slipped through the net, and if so, any major regrets?

Actually we were sent an early demo of that amazing JAJA record but didn’t realize it was unsigned – that would have been a killer signing!

The upcoming compilation features music from Lithuania, Ireland, France, the UK, Switerland, Japan, Argentina, Israel, Ecuador, the Netherlands, Italy, the US and of course, Australia and Canada. How did you come into contact with artists from so many different nations?

Using a combination of email, telepathy, and word of mouth, really. The world is a small place when you’re high on a laptop.

Many of them also happen to have moved from their native lands to pastures new with Germans living in Brazil, Argentinians living in Mexico and vice versa. Would you say that a lot of the artists on Multi Culti share your globetrotting spirit?

Yeah, the German pastures in particular seem to be reeling in a lot of our folk-lords – about half our roster is based in Berlin right now, but winter is coming and I think most of them will scatter to Mexico, Australia or Brazil.

The ‘Sun Gaze / Moon Faze’ is obviously a compilation that covers two different moods. Would you say that you’re creatures of the day or the night?

Actually, we’re more early morning / sunset than deep night or high noon.

Is there a particular reason that you chose to release the compilation with a series of EPs and stagger them over the course of five months?

Yeah, so people would pay attention. Albums get digested and forgotten really quickly these days, we were very deliberate about trying to prolong the enjoyment. Tantric audiogasms, anyone

It seems like you have put a lot of thought and effort into the presentation of the compilation. In an increasingly digital age, how much importance do you place on having a strong physical product?

If you’re bothering at all, better make it outstanding, otherwise save your money for USB sticks.

Some of the artwork is amazing. Who’s responsible?

What do you mean some (lol)? The artwork was conceived by the two of us, and developed with the help of our resident design dog David Horne. The collages were all created with the help of Ventral is Golden, who we’d also worked with on the Dreems 12” releases. We put a lot of effort in to getting the visual side of things up to the level of the music… it often causes delays and headaches, but in the end we think it’s worth it, and hopefully one of the things that separates us from the ‘pack’ of labels biting at our heels.

You come from opposite ends of the globe, and environment often has an impact on the mood or personality of a label. Hailing from two countries with quite disparate climates, why do you think have ended up on a similar wavelength?

While the climates are indeed different, deep down we’re just two laid-back Commonwealth bros that share one queen – Mary Jane.

We can’t stand the term “World Music” – David Byrne actually articulates our views very succinctly. Do you have any thoughts on the matter?

It’s an offensive term in that it separates the western musical traditions from everything else… that kind of colonial centrism is, we would casually argue is the antithesis of the label’s ethos, which is very much about inclusion. We hopefully ride the line of good taste and fair play in referencing, sampling and paying homage to cultures different from ‘our own,’ but perhaps that whole idea of cultural identity needs to be updated to include more freedom. If you grow up exposed to multiple cultures, then why not cherry pick things that resonate with you from far and wide?

Multi Culti has signed tracks from Red Axes, Moscoman and 84PC, with the latter two featuring on the compilation. What do you think of Tel Aviv’s burgeoning electronic scene as a whole?

First of all, we love the word burgeoning, it’s in half of all DJ bios & press releases because it speaks to the kind of swelling popularity that we all need to make it in this crazy post-EDM world. But yeah, the Israelis are burgeoning hard, it’s a super tight crew out there in Tel Aviv led by the Axes, Moscoman and the Malka Tuti dudes… all really close friends and arguably the most exciting regional wave going on right now.

We regularly say that there’s nowhere near enough guitar in electronic music, but there’s plenty throughout the Multi Culti back catalogue. Was this something you consciously chose to address?

Consciously, no. Sensually, yes.

Sampling can prove a minefield with critics always ready to point the finger on the subject of cultural appropriation. Is this something you have to bare in mind when signing up tracks that borrow and repurpose sounds from all over the world?

We’ve all been exposed to fragments of culture and we’re constantly creating our own sense of cultural identity and perpetuating it. It’s much more sensitive in religion and art than in other areas – for example, would you give someone attitude for ‘appropriating’ curry in a restaurant? Nah, you’d just ask for some sriracha to heat it up even more. Seriously though – it’s a sensitive thing to for example use a vocal that you don’t understand, or sample a sacred piece of music, just laying some hiss and 808 over it and calling it your own… I think it comes down to being aware, having loving intention, and exercising good taste.

The UK just left the EU and Donald Trump wants to build a wall between the US and Mexico. Seeing as Multi Culti brings disparate nationalities and cultures together, what are your thoughts on the rise in divisive rhetoric among politicians and world leaders?

Anything that promotes tribalism on a global scale is fundamentally dangerous to our survival, as anyone with the slightest sense of the world’s problems can plainly see. Moreover, it’s just a shit fucking vibe.

Can you sum up Multi Culti’s output in three words?

How about one word? GROOVY.

Three records you’d sign if you had the chance?

Maybe like a Randomer record dosed with some shrooms and ‘ludes. Those WAFFLES records. Some unreleased Aphex jungle acid like that one ‘BIMBONGO’.

Is there an ideal environment for listening to the upcoming compilation?

Open air, bit of sun, bit of shade, a little fragrance in the air, some natural phosphorescence.

And finally, what’s next on the agenda for Multi Culti?

Summer touring, merch-making, killer EPs from Sascha Funke, Zongamin, Dreems, Von Party, Peter Power and Nicola Cruz, and a killer remix ep for Red Axes that includes Audion, Manfredas, Moscoman and more.

Sun Gaze / Moon Faze is out now – buy the digital direct from the label. You can find the 12″ EPs on sale at various record stores.

About The Author


Leave a Reply