Music by VICE

"Something From Patrick Bateman's Nightmares": The Glamourous, Dangerous Disco of CHASE

A first encounter with the Melbourne-born, globally-based artist.

by Hayley Morgan
19 March 2015, 11:11pm

A power babe from Melbourne recently released a track and video clip (directed by Darren Sylvester, no less) via YouTube. It was a subtle move, almost undetected at the time, but the waves are sure to be felt for a long time to come. The artist is CHASE and the song is "You". It's got all the retouched glamour-glow of the Disco section in your local secondhand record store and the commanding, sexy vocals to match. Like most tracks that spin in the refracted glow of a mirror ball, this one feels like pure fantasy; you can feel the dream-haze sweeping through the synths.

In this heightened state the mind drifts back to CHASE. Who is this nouveau disco star? You get the feeling CHASE is the type of lady who's too rich to work, but enjoys routine, so turns to a Balenciaga suite for structure. It's a theory, but who is she really? I had to find out.

THUMP: Hi CHASE. So we need to get a few things clear. What's going on, where are you? What are you doing?
CHASE: I have been living in New York on and off for the past three years. I have been using that as my base and traveling a lot to the developing world doing photographic work for a variety of non-profit organisations and, of course, making music on the side.

You're releasing music as CHASE, which is your real name, but is there a character involved, a different persona or a projection?
Yes, something from Patrick Bateman's nightmares.

How long have you been working toward this first release, what has to process been like?
The creative process has been informed as much by my interior monologue as it has with the great minds who have helped me exact this vision, Darren Sylvester's extraordinary eye, for example, has carried a lot of the weight of breathing life into this dream sequence.

Are there any other collaborations you're working on currently?
Not right now, no. But I am going to Berlin in a few months to work on an entirely different project with a producer named Marie Dior. He makes beautifully haunting minimalist dance music.

Darren Sylvester directed your video clip - can you talk a bit about how that came about, why you're interested in his work and working with him?
I have known Darren for years now. He is obviously an incredibly talented photographer and even before I knew him as a friend I was intrigued by him and his work. I trust him and most importantly he understands the dream and aesthetic. It was a synergistic creative process also including Alifeleti Tuapasi Toki who was involved with both producing and editing.

Can you talk a little bit about the storyline in the clip and the song?
It's just one of my re-occurring dream sequences relating to unrequited love.

Are there opportunities to see you perform live?
I have been singing late at night a few times a month at this beautiful hole in the wall in China Town but I look forward to performing back in Australia soon.

You're originally from Melbourne, but you've been moving around a bit, what's been the allure of travel for you?
I find it hard to stay in one place for too long. Even in my own country I find myself wandering around like a Bedouin nomad.

That being the case, where to next? What can we expect from you in 2015?
An EP and disappearing act.

Watch the video for "You" by CHASE here.