With regular shows at Melbourne’s Onelove and OneSixOne club, Chardy is a local dance legend. Now that he’s remixed a disc for the new Neon Essential compilation, the rest of Australia is falling for this electro disco dub tech house wizard. I caught up with him today to chat about the Neon Essential project, performing live, and Paris Hilton.

You’ve mixed one of the discs on the new Neon Essential compilation. What was it like to work on the project?
It was quite amazing actually, a lot of fun to work with the guys from TV Rock. I had an absolute ball.

What was your favorite track to mix?
Probably my favourite track at the moment is “Doov,” a Bass Klephs mix by Ben Colin. It’s probably one of my most played records in my cage at the moment, so I’d probably have to say that.

This Neon Essential album has been released in conjunction with Novanation, the new 24-hour digital dance station. What does a station like this bring to Australia’s dance scene?
It’s going to be huge. They’re signing all different artists, a lot of bedroom DJs, young DJs who aren’t even out playing. I know a couple of guys that they’ve signed up after little remixes they’ve done as well. So I think they’ve got some big stuff in store. They’re not really trying to look for big artists that are already writing big tunes. They’re more looking for independent style artists who haven’t got their stuff out yet. They’re doing a really good cause, the Neon label. Good on the guys.

You played your first show of the Essential tour last weekend. How did that go down?
It was massive, it was huge. I play Onelove every Saturday night, but I’ve been away a fair bit lately. But we definitely had a good start.

The tour takes in capital cities, but plenty of regional centers as well. Are you looking forward to playing for those crowds that don’t get to experience a lot of live dance shows?
I’m so excited about the tour that it’s not funny. We started last weekend and I think we’ve got two and a half months worth. We’re going everywhere, even Wagga Wagga and in the middle of nowhere really. We’ve got Darwin on Sunday night and I’ve never been to Darwin before so I’m excited about getting up there and seeing how everyone relates to different sounds up there and how the scene is up there too. I’m really excited about it.

What do you love about performing for a live audience?
That’s a hard question, there’s so much I actually love about it. I love the music. There’s nothing better than when you’re working a crowd and everyone’s into it, everyone’s happy and loving what you’re doing, when you’re programming well and one tune flows into the other perfectly, there’s not a better time in my life. I love rocking it really.

You’ve DJ’d all around the country and the world. What have been your favourite venues to play?
Probably my favourite venue to play sound-wise and vibe-wise, because everyone there is so cool, is Onelove every Saturday night. Platinum at the Gold Coast is up there as well I think. Every time I hook up there is just happens, and Joey up there who owns it, we usually end up having a good time. Also OneSixOne on Sunday mornings has been really good as well lately. The sound in OneSixOne is out of control. You’re sort of in there playing one of the best systems in the world really. It’s awesome, really good fun.

How do you keep things fresh during your massive sets?
Basically just try not to play too many big tunes. Keep in the cool ones as well. You might get away with playing a heap in a row, but definitely try not to play too many big things. There are obviously times, particularly if you play closing sets, where you need to keep a few of those big numbers around.
I figure that’s the key to it these days. Anyone can go out and play a heap of big tunes in a row and rock a dance floor. It’s having a bit of a sound and programming the right tunes at the right time that keeps people there.

What are your current favourite songs to fill the floor?
“Doov,” that’s a big one for me. And an old record I’ve been playing for a while is “Three Girls” by Pump The Disco. That’s a tune that I still play. I’ve been playing it now for about a year and a half now. It’s just a tune that everyone knows and when I pop that on everyone gets up and has a bit of a dance. So they’re probably the couple of favourites at the moment.

I read that you’ve got a gift for reading a crowd. What’s your secret?
I think it comes down to programming. It’s different when I’m playing OneSixOne because I’ll sort of think five tracks in front. But when I play main-room sets, the punters get a little bit bored when you’re playing too much of the same sound. A lot of people are playing that at the moment, that one set genre. But I try and move through a different fusion, different style, it might be breaks, a bit of house, or even old school, three or four years ago. You’ve got to keep moving it around so it’s not just one sort of sound. I’m really trying to nail that sort of mixing at the moment.

And finally, what celebrity would you want to see on your dancefloor?
Well I’ve seen Paris Hilton. That was pretty cool.

How did that come about?
I was actually up there playing at Summer Field Days last year, and she was there at the side of stage. She wasn’t actually on the dance floor, but that was pretty cool. I probably would have liked to see her right on the dance floor, but I don’t think she was allowed on there.

But Dave Hughes would be a good one, get him on there. It’d be funny I think. He’d probably be cracking heaps of jokes at the same time.

You can catch Chardy, TV Rock, and other artists on the Essential tour at the following venues!

1 May 2009 – The Met, Brisbane feat. TV Rock / Zoe / Chardy
2 May 2009 – Bar 240v, Mooloolaba feat. TV Rock / Zoe / Chardy
3 May 2009 – Discovery, Darwin feat. TV Rock / Zoe / Chardy
9 May 2009 – Club 4 Play, Geelong feat. TV Rock / Zoe / Chardy
16 May 2009 – Whalers Hotel, Warrnambool feat. Ivan Gough / Zoe
22 May 2009 – Hunter Valley Brewery, Maitland feat. Ivan Gough / Zoe
23 May 2009 – 21 Arms, Ballarat feat. Ivan Gough/Zoe
30 May 2009 – HQ, Adelaide feat. TV Rock / Zoe / Chardy
5 June 2009 – The Duke Hotel, Wagga Wagga feat. Ivan Gough / Chardy
5 June 2009 – La La Land, Byron Bay feat. Grant Smillie / Zoe
6 June 2009 – Velvet Underground, Cairns feat. TV Rock
12 June 2009 – Plantation Hotel, Coffs Harbour feat. TV Rock
13 June 2009 – Onelove, Sydney feat. TV Rock / Zoe / Chardy
19 June 2009 – Limelite, Perth feat. TV Rock / Zoe / Chardy
20 June 2009 – Platinum, Gold Coast feat. TV Rock / Zoe / Chardy
26 June 2009 – Black Swan, Bendigo feat. Chardy / Zoe
26 June 2009 – The Consortium, Townsville feat. TV Rock
27 June 2009 – Academy, Canberra feat. Chardy / Zoe
27 June 2009 – Magnums, Airlie Beach feat. TV Rock

Image used with permission from Warner Music Australia