Although he’s now on UK soil, Francis Inferno Orchestra is still deemed a leader of Australia’s burgeoning House music scene. Born Griffin James, the young Melbournite abandoned his degree in Industrial Design, and with the support of his parents, took up music full-time. As one of a tight-knit community of artists championing Australia’s fledgling sound, including Fantastic Man (with whom he now co-runs the Superconscious imprint), he launched his career with a release on UK label Under The Shade in 2010. In the short space of two years he established his signature Disco-indebted sound as both an in-demand DJ and producer, touring in Australia and all over Europe alongside releases on Kolour Recordings, Wolf Music, Join The Dots and Sleazy Beat.
In 2012 he launched the Techno-oriented BBW label with friend and producer Tyson Ballard. Initially, James planned to release anonymously to preserve the credibility of his FIO moniker, but instead went by the name ‘Deep Throat’, giving his creations crude titles like ‘Gag Reflex’ and ‘Gush’ to inject some much needed humour into an otherwise serious Techno scene. Despite reaching a far-flung audience and winning many fans, the once close-knit family of artists and promoters disbanded around 2013, coinciding with James’s move to London. Although they’d made an indelible mark on the Australian dance scene, the group were no longer inspired by the ‘slo-mo’ sound they’d popularlised, and with everyone’s tastes and schedules colliding, fizzled out. Since uprooting, there’s been a palpable change in FIO’s sound to match his new faster pace of life. abandoning the down-tempo productions in favour of a jauntier, sample-heavy groove on his most recent LP ‘A New Way of Living’ released last year on Voyeurhythm.
Before making appearances on the European festival circuit this summer, including closing Tief’s stage at Gottwood festival next weekend, Griffin treated us to an eclectic playlist of his favourite tracks, samples and performances.
1. Tullio De Piscopo – ‘Stop Bajon’
A big favourite of mine for a long time, really good to listen on a nice day like it is right now in London. This video of it being performed live is so merry.
2. Louie Barletta’s part from Enjoi – ‘Bag of Suck’
There’s no one like Louie, dude’s on his own level and I always love watching this part as you see the guy is having a lot of fun and not taking himself too seriously.
3. DJ Screw – ‘Popped Up & Screwed’
Classic Screw, what else can I say? There’s a heap of his old mixes floating around on YouTube for people who want to hear more.
4. Sebastien Tellier – ‘Live La Voix’
I was having a nostalgic time with myself last night and a friend watching YouTube videos when I stumbled across this. It reminded me of the time when I saw Tellier play in Melbourne a few years ago with some friends who were all on acid – good times.
5. HMC – ‘Digits’
Classic Australian Techno, I saw that Cam was reissuing 6AM and Marauder but this one has always been my favourite of his.
6. Rene Bendali – ‘Tanki Tanki (Rabih Beaini Edit)’
There’s no particular reason I included this Rabih Beaini track, but I really like everything he does so I decided to put it here.
7. Deep Forest – ‘Deep Forest 1992’
I would love to see this get played in someone’s set, peak time at a full club. Everyone would get totally weird.
8. Doot Doot
Those eyebrows man.
9. Software – ‘Digital Dance (Full Album)’
AMAZING album, innovative communications heat! There’s so much more on this label that is worth a look but this one is a favourite I always go back to when I want to chill hard.
10. Zanzibar Chanel x Andras & Oscar – ‘Looking Back’
New video from the Zanzi homies – every video they put is so great. I’m really stoked we got them to do solo stuff on my label Superconscious. They have a really bright future ahead and I’m always excited to see what they do next, big ups boys!
Francis Inferno Orchestra is performing at Gottwood Festival on Sunday 14 June. You can buy tickets here.