Meet the new record label putting Newcastle’s EDM scene on the map
Think of the Newcastle music scene and the conversation invariably begins and ends with Screaming Jets and Silverchair – but Newcastle producer and nightclub manager DJ Fuel says it’s about time the spotlight falls on the city’s electro-dance scene.
“It’s a very strong scene, one of the strongest in Australia,” he said.
In his view, DJ Fuel has seen the city shift from house to trap to dubstep, and now it’s heading to techno and deeper underground. The strength of the scene comes from a discerning crowd that knows quality.
“Newcastle is such a melting pot of music but the audiences either love something or they hate something, they’re pretty unforgiving in that respect,” he says.
“That’s why they hold on to EDM, anything with a big kick drum they love!”
The weakness? The acts often lack the business and marketing acumen to take the next step to international success. This is where Pumping Records comes in, which launches today.
The label exists primarily to showcase Newcastle EDM, although the word’s got around and likeminded acts from Sydney and Melbourne have put their hands up to be involved. Pumping launches with five acts – DJ Fuel, Shiralee Coleman, Ibazz, York & 23rd and Sabro.
The spirit of the venture comes from Fuel’s own journey, which began when he was still a pre-teen listening avidly to radio and making his own mixtapes. By 16, he was playing drums and DJing at parties; two years later, he was doing seven-hour sets in a range of dance clubs and a residency at King Street Hotel.
Pumping Records has been a long-time dream for Fuel, which he will now juggle alongside producing records, imaging for podcasts and presenting the popular weekly radio show The Party Life on RAW FM.
“I’m an artist and the label comes from that point of view. I don’t want my artists to make the same record they made the last time,” Fuel said.
“If they feel they want to write techno now and house music or trap the next thing, go for it. I don’t want to mess with their creativity. Make what you feel, that’s when the best art comes out.
“Rather than put out hundreds of records and hope that something sticks, we’re really going to take our time with each release.”