FreQ Nasty comes full circle for Eclipse2012
When global breakbeat and bass king FreQ Nasty returns to the Far North this week for Eclipse2012, the Fijian-born, New Zealand-raised and US-based producer and DJ will be coming full circle.
Speaking to Hit this week from the US before heading to Eclipse2012 to both perform and host a series of Yoga Of Bass workshops, Darin explains that his attachment to the region comes from well before he became a world-famous producer, DJ and live act.
"Oddly enough, I have a lot of history in Cairns," he says via the phone from California, before jetting out to the Far North this week.
"When I first moved from New Zealand, before my first record, I travelled in Australia. Like a lot of New Zealanders, before they head anywhere else, they go to Australia.
"My friend and I bought a van, put a sound system in it and drove all the way up the east coast from Sydney to Cairns.
"We rented this house in the Julatten Tablelands called the Old Goat Farm.
"Me and my mate, who is now a producer and engineer living in LA, were kids fresh out of NZ and it was our dream to get a sound system and our samplers and live in the rainforest and make music.
"We would work all through the night, then go and sit out on the little concrete slab out the back and watch the wallabies, there used to be a little family with a mum and three or four little ones.
"We were up there for a few months and the funny thing about it, is that I've thought about it many times.
"It was always my dream to get back there at one stage and here I am.
"I never thought when I left the Old Goat Farm that it would be so difficult to get back to living that kind of life. So much has happened since then.
"But I still think it's one of the most beautiful places in the world."
When he lands in Cairns this time round, Darin says he not only comes armed with his genre-bending breakbeat sounds, but a series of Yoga of Bass workshops that anyone at the festival can participate in, too.
Getting caught in the party lifestyle can be easy if you're a globetrotting producer, but Darin says the workshops alongside his own Buddhist spiritual practice help him stay grounded in his life on the road.
"A couple of years ago, I decided to take a little break with music," he says.
"Travelling around the world DJ-ing can take its toll. When you're doing it full time, especially internationally, you're always jetlagged and always knackered.
"I can see how people become alcoholics, or get hooked on other things, when you have a lifestyle of that level of speed and intensity.
"I decided to opt out for a while. I've always had an interest in (yoga and meditation) and I'd been practicing yoga at that time to help me keep sane, sleep after a gig and stay in decent physical shape.
"I left London in 2006-2007 and when I got to LA, I met a lot of great (Buddhist) teachers there and started to study under them.
"The combination of these two things yoga and Buddhism had always appealed to me, so that's where it started.
"I thought, `you know what? Music can wait, if it happens to be that I can't get back into the game when I'm done, that's fine'. As it turns out, it's not been so much of an issue.
"Bringing those two strands together is what the workshops are about.
"All people appreciate music makes you feel a certain thing.
"At these kind of events, you've got a lot of people talking about music in spiritual terms, so it wasn't too hard to bring these things together."
Darin is also a veteran of the eclipse festival phenomenon, having already performed at Symbiosis' event in the desert in Nevada earlier this year.
He says he thinks it will be quite a different experience than in the states in May, but no less amazing.
"It was pretty epic," he says.
"The thing you don't realise is the silence.
"They shut down the sound during the eclipse.
"Out in the desert for Symbiosis, there is not a whole lot of stuff making noise, the silence is palpable.
"But there is so much noise in nature in your area, it should be interesting to see how the birds and animals react.
"I'm just really looking forward to coming back to Australia, especially Cairns for the reasons we've talked about.
"If you see me at the festival, come and say hello."
Check Eclipse2012 Festival at Palmer River from Saturday until Friday, November 16. General admission presale tickets are $400, or $500 on the gate. Eclipse viewing glasses are included as part of the ticket price. If you can’t make it to the festival for the actual eclipse, special prices will be available from 10am on November 14 for $150, or $100 from 10am on November 15. For more information or tickets, see eclipse2012.com
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Bass king: Internationally-famous producer and DJ FreQ Nasty.