There are few underground Australian DJ/producers with as good an ear for ‘big tunes’ as Rich Curtis. An honours graduate from the university of epic progressive house as taught by Professors Sasha, Digweed and Cattaneo, Rich has become one of the Queensland capital’s most valuable closing slamfest DJs with a relentless approach to his DJ sets; sets built on a foundation of chugging bottom end and rolling percussion but with enough sprinklings of melody to keep music fans shoulder to shoulder with dancefloor junkies in front of him whenever he plays.
It’s Rich’s discipline as a musician which has set him apart from the growing band of aspiring jocks in Australia through the mid to late noughties. Where many DJs - established, aspiring or otherwise - struggle to piece together one promo mix a year, you can set your watch to Rich turning in two quality mixes every month - always fresh, always epic, and always staying faithful to his sound, which sits at the big-room end of house and techno.
Schooled in the art of keyboard, trumpet, guitar and drums, it’s hardly surprising that Rich has an affinity with the more musical end of house music. He continues to draw inspiration from the progressive scene’s 1990s godfathers, with his endlessly rolling style and music collection very much reminiscent of John Digweed in full flight. So it’s appropriate that he’s played a pivotal role in bringing some of the other progressive masters to Brisbane, hosting Anthony Pappa on five separate occasions in the last six years (playing back to back with the man in 2009!) and also providing a leading hand in getting Hernan Cattaneo to Brisbane for the first time ever in 2009, then again for Ulterior in 2010 and 2012.
It was inevitable that Rich turned his hand to promoting, and he’s successfully hosted the Ulterior and Embrace nights under the banner of the Ritual Events promotional company, and the increasingly legendary Ulterior Sunset Series Boat parties. Rich also pushes his sound through a recent residency at Brisbane’s Barsoma (for Ulterior) and Skyroom, and in the past at Caloundra’s Tonic Lounge (for House Arrest) and Luna Loca on the Gold Coast. His skills have regularly been called on to play events like DROP, Lemon & Lime, F**k Fluro, The Sunday Roast and Therapy at such respected venues as Family, The Met, Empire, Electric Playground, Birdee Num Num, Mass (now Mystique) and GPO across Brisbane.
Since 2007 he’s been racking up the quality support slots across the south-east corner of Queensland, playing alongside Pappa, John Digweed, Nick Warren, Hernan Cattaneo, Charlie May, Jim Rivers, Reset Robot, Henry Saiz, Hybrid, Marc Marzenit, Slam, Fergie, Danny Bonnici, Nathan Fake, Chris Fortier, Lee Burridge, Vince Watson, Peter Horrevorts, Timo Maas, Desyn Masiello, PQM, Phil K, Ricky Ryan, Matt Rowan & Jaytech, Chymera, Sasha Le Monnier and Guy J among others. In 2010 Rich also made his debut Festival appearance at Future Music Festival, bringing his brand of underground big room tech-prog to the masses, and more recently debuted his live set at Brisbane’s largest dance-music festival “Stereosonic”.
In mid-2010 Rich turned his attention to production and in the space of 3 weeks churned out his first batch of underground prog-tech/tech-house tunes, several of which caught the ear of Replug Records’ label boss Cid Inc (ex Mashtronic) who has continued to sign and remix some of Rich’s productions. Scoring a release on the hugely respected underground label run by Hernan Cattaneo, “Sudbeat”, saw Rich gain a reputation for studio output that is consistently “cool, fresh and unique”. Combine his increasingly busy DJ/production schedule with a monthly shows “Resolutions” on GoldenWingsMusic.com and “Foray” on Musica-por-Favor Radio, and guest appearances on JJJ and 4ZzZ radio and you get to understand why Rich Curtis has become such a valuable player on this local scene. His lifelong mission to bring the music is bearing fruit, and his studies at the school of prog are all but complete.
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