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Simon Caldwell

Simon Caldwell – DJ – Sydney

Born and raised in Sydney, Simon began playing records in 1991 when he inherited the Funk Inc. show on 2-MBS FM from Paul Carroll, playing a mix of funk, jazz, soul, hip-hop, house (and whatever) for over five years. During this time he also teamed up with Trevor Parkee for some small gigs, which soon led to a residency at the now legendary All Funked Up night at the Bentley Bar alongside co-residents The Continental and Kid Dolphin. Over five or so years Simon held residencies on six out of the seven weeknights at the Bentley Bar. In this way he managed to showcase his diversity, switching from the retro flavours of All Funked Up to the tribal/deep house sounds of Thursday’s Cuba with Seymour Butz and Nervous. Simon also began to play at the Funk Inc parties and various small events around town, always noted for bringing new flavours into the mix, dropping instrumental hip-hop and future beats (before they came up with that wonderful term trip-hop) into 70s funk and Afro beats.

As Simon’s notoriety slowly spread, club promoters started to take notice. On a club dancefloor Simon could finally indulge his other musical passion – soulful house and techno – and it didn’t take long before he was being booked, not only at clubs, but at larger events too. At first in back rooms, then in main rooms, Simon acquired a reputation for playing “The Morning Set”, and began to develop shocking sleeping patterns. To the present day Simon has rocked the dancefloor of practically every venue and club night in Sydney, with notable residencies at Home on Saturday nights and the Chinese Laundry. He is regularly booked to play peak sets at some of Sydney’s biggest house events and has pitched his skills alongside dozens of internationals, including Derrick Carter, Derrick May, Andy Weatherall, Mark Farina, Q-Bert, DJ Godfather, Richie Hawtin, Kelli Hand, Frankie Knuckles, Gilles Peterson, Norman Jay, Thievery Corporation, James Lavelle, Ian Pooley, Luke Slater, Chris Duckenfield, Daft Punk, Recloose, Common Factor, Patrick Forge, Losoul, Stacey Pullen, Carl Craig, Rolando, Blake Baxter, Claude Young, Ectomorph, Dave Clarke, Russ Dewbury, Kid Koala, Sharon Jones, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Public Enemy, James Brown, Grace Jones, Todd Terje, Jazzanova, Heiko Laux, Quarion, Daedelus and Ark. (And by ‘alongside’, we mean on the same stage, not tucked away at a tiny bar at the same festival or adjoining suburb).

Although Simon can hold his own in the big arena, his heart remains true to the intimate vibe of the underground scene. He presented the ‘All Funked Up’ radio show on 2SER-FM for 13+ years, now presents Monday Sunsets (6-8pm) on FBI radio, and also co-promotes Mad Racket, one of the freshest, friendliest and longest-running (10+ years) underground parties in Sydney, held at a lawn bowls club, which has toured the likes of Herbert, Jamie Liddel, Moodymann, Theo Parrish, Darshan Jesrani (Metro Area), Steve Bug, Swag, Charles Webster and Tom Middleton. Simon has also released two mixed CDs: the first, with Ken Cloud: DJ Excursions Vol.5 through MDS in 1998; the second with Mako: Mixed Business in 2003. He regularly plays interstate at the cream of Australia’s underground clubs.

In 1998 he went further afield, playing in Berlin (at Tresor) and in Barcelona (at Nitsa) where he also attended the Sonar festival, having the privilege to witness Kraftwerk live. In 2001 he went to the Czech Republic to play three gigs with Ken Cloud. Simon has also played club gigs in Hong Kong.

As a DJ, Simon Caldwell continues to push new ideas and influences while still being able to draw on the history of his expansive and discriminating record collection. Whether he’s playing deep house, techno, ambient, soul, hip-hop, bangin’ Chicago house, Detroit electro or jazz, you can expect to hear the old alongside the new, but in the hands of Simon Caldwell, music is timeless.

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