Throughout the mid-00s Alex Tulett and Rich Lucano were both playing in Sydney rock bands. Ten years later the two reconnected after spotting each others comments on a DJ Rashad video.
Alex had been throwing parties in Sydney since 2012 and producing under the moniker Tulett. He also hosted 'Re-Un-Review', a retrospective music podcast recorded at Sydney's FBi Studios. Rich was a producer and DJ, with his main project Phondupe, a Sydney-London based electronic duo.
After the YouTube incident the two reconnected and after a five-hour production session COOL CDs (inspired by the man who had brought them together - DJ Rashad) was born.
They've just released their debut EP Nu Media on UK producer Star Slinger's Jet Jam label. It's an expansive, diverse debut that gives a nod to Chicago footwork, jungle and 90s pop. Former Das Racist rapper Kool A.D. remixed the lead single "will2try" within weeks of it being uploaded on Soundcloud.
We spoke to Alex about Nu Media, Star Slinger and Sydney's electronic music scene.
Noisey: What was it like recording the EP and working with LA-based soayla?
Alex Tulett: It came extremely easily. The song with soayla, "nogood4", was originally a sketch that Rich had floating around on his hard-drives based on a demo that soayla had sent him. She released a different version of about a year ago. I absolutely love her vocal take on the track, her harmonies in the bridge do things to my heart every time I listen.
How did you end up hooking up with Star Slinger and Jet Jam?
Like many producers, one of my first solo laptop-based endeavours was a mashup project. In 2011, I threw together a mashup of Whitney Houston's "How Will I Know" with Star Slinger's "Copulate" for a mixtape I was making my girlfriend at the time. The whole thing worked pretty well so I decided to email it to him. I woke up the next day to find he'd uploaded to his own Soundcloud profile and credited it as a "dope mashup by a fan", linking it back to my account. I met him the next year at SXSW and we've been mates since, catching up whenever he comes to Sydney for gigs. I sent him 'will2try' to get his thoughts on the project when it was still in embryonic stages, and he came back to me and asked if we wanted to put an EP out on his label. I've never been more excited by an Instagram DM, to be honest.
What artists were most influential to your production?
Obviously Rashad is a huge influence (RIP), I'm a massive Daniel Lopatin (Oneohtrix Point Never) fan and his Chuck Person project is what inspired the vocal loop we used in "will2try". Sneaker Pimps, DJ Dahi and the Japanese footwork scene in general.
Sydney has maintained a healthy electronic music scene over the years. What direction do you see it going?
Absolutely, for a scene to remain healthy it needs to be constantly changing. I'm especially excited watching the next generation of younger producers, labels and promoters taking more risks and building amazing communities out of more niche sounds. Everyone's working really hard to keep the nightlife here alive despite the odds being stacked against us politically.
'Nu Media' is available now through Jet Jam.