CDR Sydney has drawn some of the brightest minds in the city and Monk Fly is definitely one of them. We caught up with the multi-talented producer to talk about his label The Frequency Lab and studio life.

So tell us a bit about your label The Frequency Lab

I’ve run The Frequency Lab for over a decade with a slow, sustainable approach. Conceptually the label is home to forward thinking instrumental electronic / beats artists. We look for artists who have their own sound, feel the need to create and aren’t ego maniacs.

The name “The Frequency Lab” comes from a warehouse venue that a group of us ran for five years, in our early 20s in the early 2000s. 

I was a founding member of another Sydney based label and I felt that that one was derailed by egos, so I was very conscious that I wanted the Lab to be a place for the more sensitive creative types, who needed a more supportive label environment.

And how long have you been making music? 

I’ve been making music for a decade and a half. I started in bands in my teens and always had a diet of hip hop through my youth. I only started writing beats and electronic music in my early 20s when I got my first computer. It sounds crazy these days to have one’s first computer in their early 20s, but back in the day not everyone had one or could afford one!

What’s your production set up looking like now?

With a two year old son, my home studio has turned into a bed room, so currently my production set up is where ever I can put down my laptop and get a couple of hours to focus. 

Having said that I’m also Head Engineer at Music Feeds Studio, a very nice vintage analogue studio with excellent outboard pre amps, compressors, microphones etc. So I also get to play and create before and after hours in that studio as well.

What are your favourite bits of equipment?

My favourite at the moment is probably a Vintech 573 pre amp and I own two of them as of a week ago, but I leave them at the studio. They excel in getting a chunky Neve-esque thick kick and snare tone sound when recording live drums or processing line level audio.

I also love analogue compressors at the moment such as the 1176s. Distressors and so on for their warming, thickening abilities of the harmonic structure of drums, bass and synth stuff.

Have you a favourite club and/or soundsystem in Sydney? 

Favourite club for its soundsystem would be the Civic Underground, but due to the bouncers and management styles I don’t always enjoy the experience…

My favourite soundsystem for more out door / warehouse parties would be the Hijack Soundsystem or Tim Massive and BFGs new build which sounded stunning at Regen.

And how did you first hear about CDR?

It was at least a couple of years ago around 2011. My friend Sofie Loizou has been an integral part of CDR in Sydney (now Project Manager), I heard about it through her. 

Fast forward to 2014, what are your plans?

As far the The Frequency Lab goes, we’re in a rebuild phase. Nevertheless we will rebrand and shall hit the ground running with a few big releases before 2014 is out!

The Frequency Lab 

Photo credit: A.Potapova

Don’t miss the next CDR Sydney, Thursday 12th June with special guest Katalyst