There are a lot of trophy-deserved players down here at Goodgod. So we’ve decided to begin a ‘Straight to the Pool Room Mix‘ series where Goodgod regulars record what they do best. For your listening pleasure, anytime, anyplace.
So let’s begin with Pelvis, residents at Goodgod and the latest bosom to protrude through Sydney’s laminated core. They are a black economy dance-party enterprise, they are slippery and uncatchable. Known for their stimulation of mind, body, soul and sole, their parties owe their success as much to their sound as they do to their sense of space.
Press play on their Pool Room mix below, whilst perusing this chat between Goodgod’s Jimmy Sing and the mysterious Pelvis collective.
Jimmy: Gday Pelvis. There is a fantastic degree of anonymity to your collective. We’re not asking you to name names, but paint us a picture of the who, what and where birthed Pelvis.
Pelvis3: We’re all from Sydney. We are all currently male. We all possess an equal love for music.
Pelvis1: The birth of Pelvis was sort of inevitable as we all just daydreamed about a party we’d love to go to but that didn’t exist. Something from another planet far far away that we’ve managed to teleport here into this small club.
Pelvis2: We had style, we had flair, we were there, that’s how we became.
Jimmy: We’ve never seen a local DJ advertised for your parties – why’s that?
Pelvis1: We have actually had friend and wonderful man Michael K (Noise in My Head) play at a party, alongside Standish/Carlyon and the Idjut Boys. But generally with six of us contributing records, if we have a guest we like to make sure it’s something that we all believe Sydney hasn’t seen before/doesn’t get to see very often. When people are passionate about dance music they often develop their own specific musical feelings and directions, and there is no shortage of people in Sydney who are super enthused by dance and dance music. Friends like Steele Bonus, Ben Fester, Marcus King, Pilarties, Lady Shave, Ryan and Leo from Canyons, Jingle Jangle, Slow Blow, Ariane, Charlie Chux, Levins, Valerie Yum and a host of others all doing their own things.
Pelvis4: We hog the booth.
Pelvis2: We definitely hog the booth – even though the parties have been going for more than a year now there are still a lot of records that don’t make it onto the turntables just due to us running out of time. I think something like 10 hour+ sets would be ideal for Pelvis but we haven’t managed to negotiate that with Barry O’Farrell yet.
Jimmy: So everyone in Pelvis deejays?
Pelvis5: I definitely do.
Pelvis6: I have.
Pelvis3: lol as you can see, the answer is yes but to varying degrees, but there is definitely a lot more work put in behind the decks by some than others. Pelvis is more representative of a collective musical mind.
Pelvis4: It is encouraging that people don’t know the answer to this because it means we are keeping the focus on more important things like – does everyone in Pelvis dance: Yes.
Jimmy: What are some of the tasks undertaken by Pelvis in putting on your monthly party that we might not know of?
Pelvis4: A lot of driving actually. We live all over the place and we get props and decorations together from all over the place.
Pelvis2: The genesis for the party is usually fairly quick, but the bits and pieces that make it interesting tend to appear a couple of days in advance. Before that it’s quite an organic progression of ideas and record buying. Watching movies, finding new records, having ideas on themes or something to make the party a bit special, and then boarding the brinkmanship in the final week and seeing how much of it can become reality.
Pelvis1: Tasks you might not know of include: cleaning records, daydreaming about ridiculous drink specials, removing outrageously expensive things from our ebay want/watchlist, arguing about what track is going to be played first, arguing about who gets to play the graveyard slot (which is the most sought after), and arranging for certain key dealmakers to be at the party.
Jimmy: Well those decorations that you drive all over the place to pick up have become a trademark. Someone once described your party to me as an ‘immersive dance on council clean up night’. What are some of your favourite decorations – both those that were a one-off and those that have haphazardly become essential to the party?
Pelvis3: Once early on when Client Liaison played we installed a small office cubicle, which was quite ridiculous and possibly ineffectual. Some of the highlights have included the bloodied mattress and bedroom scene from Halloween, and always the tunnel. Unfortunately there are laws that permit us being as hazardous as we would like.
Pelvis2: It becomes a mindset; you’ll be in Daiso or Bunnings for an entirely unpelvis reason yet eyes wander and you unwillingly start imagining how various products could find their way onto suspended ropes over the dancefloor or in the men’s bathroom urinal for decoration.
Pelvis4: The best decoration moment had to be when the original Jabba made his debut. At the beginning of the night all these girls were crowding around him partially scared, partially saying ‘aw cute’ when we unexpectedly hit the smoke machine remote and thick smoke loudly blasted out of his mouth straight onto them. I think one of them actually did a secret fear-wee.
Jimmy: Tell us the story of Jabba.
Pelvis2: The Jabba’s are blowfoam creatures of the deep, spiritual totems that let us know when there is not enough smoke.
Pelvis5: The original Jabba and spiritual leader of pelvis appeared by chance before us under a full moon in an alleyway. Luckily he fits perfectly in the tray of a 1997 Toyota Hilux.
Pelvis6: Something you may not know about Jabbas is that they aren’t all male.
Jimmy: How can you distinguish a male Jabba from a female Jabba?
Pelvis1: There is only one Pelvis who has this knowledge and the circumstances in which he uncovered it are a bit compromising so we better not go into it.
Jimmy: I love the long sleeve, multiple print shirts you’ve done. Reminds me of surf wear from years gone by. Is surf gear a direct influence here? What else has fed into your designs?
Pelvis4: Pelvis draws from the history of surf culture in many ways, probably often subconsciously. Late 80’s New Beat style from Belgium has been more a purposeful direction with these recent ones.
Pelvis3: The designs are a bit surf I guess but they always seem to relate back to dance too in a way. After you’ve watched a thousand old clips of people dancing in warehouses in Antwerp you start to associate that sort of clothing with the parties you want to give life to.
Jimmy: Talk us through the ingredients that make a good party into a great party.
Pelvis6: More smoke.
Pelvis1: The music is the main thing for us. It was a bit worrying at first because a lot of records we play would have been totally unknown and maybe even challenging for a lot dancers so they had to simply trust us. But it’s getting to the point now where you can tell people recognise tracks from prior parties and prepare certain muscles at certain key moments. This is definitely a key ingredient.
Pelvis4: The main ingredients are energy and stamina. A party can really happen anywhere but if it has these two elements then it will always work.
Pelvis2: Having a very special space to dance in. What makes us chuffed is observing our attendees experience a rare feeling when they enter Pelvis. There is a common assumption that as DJ’s we are there to be watched, but the party is absolutely about providing a rare experience for dancers. To emphasise this and keep the attention off ourselves we obscure the booth. Like we always say though the party is only as special as the people that come!
Pelvis5: Visuals and lighting – or lack of – we have also found have a big impact. Expect some seriously dribblingly aquatic footage this Saturday night.
Jimmy: It’s interesting you say that, I feel that often projections at a party can feel like a distraction from being present in the space. But you guys have found a magical balance of imagery that has impact as you say, but doesn’t make you need to stop dancing and gawk. What are some of your favourite tangents you go on when sourcing the visuals?
Pelvis2: Dancing is always the most important and unifying component of the party. Favourite tangents when sourcing visuals can get very self-indulgent, and are often not the most memorable for anyone else present, but recurrent themes/threads include New Way Vogue, Ken Russell, Michael Clark, Rinse Dream, PBS dance documentaries from the early 90’s, Tromeo, Pinku Eiga and Bob Fosse.
Pelvis.TV Episode 9
Jimmy: This mix is the first trophy mix going straight to our Goodgod pool room. So many tunes we’ve never heard before. Can you pick a couple out and tell us about them?
Pelvis3: Codek – Tim Toum. Afro fundamental and really a tribute to our influences – just the opening few seconds of this track is enough to make you imagine you are standing in Typhoon in 1982 as Beppe Loda starts the world’s greatest party off. It’s the type of reverie that has spawned a million “someone give me a time machine (vorrei avere unamacchina del tempo!)” youtube comments.
Pelvis2: The remix that Suzanne Kraft did for Retiree – a band a couple of us play in – is something we’re very proud to have on record.
Pelvis6: The Try To Find Me track makes me think of some of the best moments at the party whenever I hear it.
Jimmy: I wouldn’t have recognised that a lot of stuff in this mix is actually pretty damn new. Are you guys planning any production or releases under the Pelvis banner?
Pelvis3: More mixes first.
Pelvis1: We have dipped a toe with some edits – download on our Soundcloud. There’s more things to come.
The next party is: Pelvis Underwater, Saturday Feb 15, 11pm
Photos by Rafaela Pandolfini, James Martin, Maclay Heriot, Marto. Thanks!