Australian DJ, Producer, Audio Engineer, and founder of record label Sorta Kinda Music Damo Cox is a true sonic maven with an unapologetic captivation for all genres of music. Currently residing on the sunny shores of the Gold Coast in Queensland, Damo delivers his tunes straight from the studio to festivals including Splendour in the Grass as well as clubs & bars from Cairns to Sydney.
His music speaks for itself and his latest EP ‘Wub Me’ is yet another gem to add to his toolbelt. It’s a fantastic musical rollercoaster that takes you on a wild journey through the world of house music.
The first track, “Get With Me,” is pure dancefloor magic that offers rumbling bass grooves and seamless sampling that makes this one irresisable. “Deep Wubs,” follows and pans out to be the chill counterpart. It slows things down, giving you a chance to catch your breath and get lost in its mesmerizing melodies. One thing that Damo Cox yet again proves is his ability to create such different yet cohesive tracks.
We had the chance to speak with him about his music and this EP. Enjoy!
Can you share some insights into the inspiration behind the Wub Me EP?
I wrote both at a point when I was going through a tough time with my mental health. It was a bit of a roller coaster! There would be some dark days, and there would be some really good days. I wanted the EP to showcase the light and dark, so ‘Deep Wubs’ has those darker undertones and a deeper vibe, whereas ‘Get With Me’ is on the lighter side, especially with the bouncy bass line.
Around the time I was working on “Get With Me” I came across a video breaking down all the different samples Liam Howlett used in The Prodigy’s album “Jilted Generation” which gave me some ideas to experiment with when I was working on the vocals for the track. I was listening to a fair bit of Paul Karkbrenner which I feel was a bit of an inspiration behind the deeper vibes that came out in “Deep Wubs” and the The XX’s track “The Intro” was what I used to model the sound design for the synth plucks I used in the track.
How would you describe the overall vibe and sound of the tracks on the “Wub Me” EP?
I think the vibe of the EP reflects what I was going through at the time, with the light and dark, I guess you could say. “Get With Me” being the more club focused track, has a fun, bouncy vibe to it. Whereas “Deep Wubs” has that darker, deeper vibe to it.
Were there any specific goals or intentions you had in mind with this release?
I’ve been challenging myself to push my sound into different genres and really let the ideas and creativity flow when I’m producing. So this EP was really about showcasing some of the different sounds I have been creating.
How do you know when a release is ‘done’ and ready for exporting, are there signs you look for or certain feelings you get?
Whenever I talk to other producers, we all say the same thing, that it never really feels “done”! You can drive yourself mad by continually making tweaks and changing different elements in a track. Being an audio engineer as well, I think that makes it even worse at times because the standard has to be very high for me to be happy with it. Giving a track the dancefloor test is usually the best way to know if it is done or not, I think. ‘Get With Me’, for example, I actually hadn’t intended to ever release that track. But every time I drop it in a set, the people on the dance floor love it! So I guess that’s the ultimate way of knowing a track is ready.
What was your creative process like for this release? Was it smooth and quick or perhaps more challenging than expected?
“Deep Wubs” creatively came together pretty smoothly, and I actually held on to the track for a while thinking it wasn’t finished because I felt it needed a vocal to bring it all together, but in the end I ended up bringing the synth forward in the mix and making it the feature of the track.
“Get With Me” was definitely a long process that never seemed to end. I tried and tested it out so many times, and dancefloors love it, but for me, there was always something that felt off. Just before I played at the Initiation NYE 2022/23 Festival, I ended up reworking some of the percussive elements in the track and testing them out in my set at the festival, and when it dropped, the vibe from the crowd was off the chain! So it only took two years, but I was finally happy with the track haha.
Do you prefer being in the studio versus on stage, or you don’t have a preference?
These are two completely different modes for me. I can disappear into the studio for days, totally immersed in a creative headspace, barely making contact with humanity, but in a totally happy place. Being on stage is almost the polar opposite; it’s a shift in gears where it’s all about connection with people through music.
The energies are totally different, but you need that in life, right? Plus, being on stage gives you the opportunity to actually witness how those introverted hours in the studio affect people. It’s hands down the best way to know whether you’ve hit the mark with what you’ve created. Charting and stuff is nice, of course, but the ultimate kick is seeing people vibing with and responding positively to something you’ve created. That’s happiness right there!
What are some industry or cultural changes that stand out from when you started the Damo Cox project until now?
Since I started out, there have been so many changes in the industry. COVID was obviously something that flipped the industry completely on its head, which put a strain on festivals, clubs, and venues in the last few years, especially here in Australia. Despite the downsides, there’s been plenty of positives though. I think it has forced a lot of people to think differently about the way they put on their events and the different spaces in which they are held. Which is cool because I think there is an awesome underground scene building here in Australia that could put us on the map and make Australia a top-notch music destination over the next few years if it continues to grow at the rate that it is.
Another thing that has changed over the years I’ve been in the industry is the rate at which music is consumed and how quickly styles, sounds, and genres become the “current sound” one week and within a few weeks it’s moved on to something else. The industry has always cycled through different genres and sounds, but in the digital age of music and with how closely everyone is connected, it’s crazy how fast it moves now. In a way, it is sad because there is some really amazing music that is getting lost in the noise because of how fast paced it is, on the other hand it is introducing more and more people to different sounds in the electronic music realm.