Dust off your hi-vis raver pants, grab the glow sticks and head to Home The Venue (Sydney) for a massive party four decades in the making, featuring a DJ set from one of the country’s most successful DJs and producers, Andy Van.
Andy also runs his own dance label Vicious and still performs with his wife Cassie in the electro-house group Vandalism. He was also a member of ARIA-winning duo Madison Avenue.
“Music’s value has been decreased and I think it’s a shame."
As a prominent player in electronic and dance music culture in Australia, Andy recalls the prime importance of Central Station Records in distributing records the major labels wouldn’t. “I think it’s an exciting thing because I’m in a similar world where Vicious has been around for a long time, and we started a little bit after them but we certainly started at a similar time in regards to where music was at and we were making our own path,” Andy says.
“Central Station was the most important method for DJs to get music, apart from flying to the UK. It was such an important element of our lives, we would literally every week go record shopping and a lot of people today wouldn’t understand what that concept is. That was your job, your life; it was like buying art every week and it was super important.”
Central Station Records, owned by Jo Palumbo and Morgan Williams, became embroiled in a 40-year legal battle against the litigious ‘Big Six’ major record companies and fought to get the Australian copyright law amended to allow for what is known as ‘parallel importing’.
Andy understands it may be difficult for a modern generation of audiences with access to streaming platforms to appreciate the work of Central Station Records in bringing dance music and culture to Australia. “Appreciation is a good word,” Andy says, “because music is a form of art and a very important one because it touches people a lot and it’s so easy to touch people.
“Music is made then it can be in your ears, in your emotions and in your space in seconds, so it’s a really important thing.
“I definitely think DJs [today] think of music as very disposable because of the whole Napster thing, and Napster created a world where music was seen as something you grabbed for free and you could steal it, no problems.
“Music’s value has been decreased and I think it’s a shame, but its impact hasn’t been decreased because crowds love music as much as they ever have.”
If you’re heading along to dance the night away with the Central Station Records crew, you’re in for a big night with performances from the label’s very first pop star Dannii Minogue and latest artist Starley for her first official Australian show. There’s also sets from Bexta, Mark Dynamix, Kate Monroe and Pee Wee Ferris, plus so much more.
For Andy Van’s set, prepare for a colossal playlist of classics the veteran club lord is currently compiling, which he says comprises over 1,000 classics spanning the various eras of dance music.
“Because it was such a long time it’s really hard to narrow down,” Andy says, “but I can tell you some of the biggest records, like Armand Van Helden’s remix of Tori Amos’ ‘Professional Widow’… there’s so many that I’ve put on the list.
“Even going back way further, ‘Plastic Dreams’ by Jaydee; big songs like that made a big impact on clubs and I’d be interested to see who’s at the gig when I play them. It’s tricky but a couple of those are big ones I’m going to have in the set for sure.”