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Getting to know Sydney selector Merph

16 January 2019 | 3:45 pm | Caitlin Medcalf

Sydney's got a bangin' weekend ahead. Why? Summer Dance returns, that's why!

The local dance institution is kicking off for the first instalment of 2019 this Sunday, and it's a sold out affair. The good folks at Astral People have put together a massive lineup of choice selectors, including the queen of disco herself, CC:Disco!, Chicago's Jamie 3:26 who has promised to deliver a feast of soul, funk and house and local selectors Tom Studdy (Midnight Swim) and Merph!

Merph's a Sydney based selector who has been making waves across town. She's a rare one in that she's genuinely passionate about the sounds she spins. She's an avid crate digger specialising in a unique blend of deep, jazzy house cuts that are guaranteed to take you on a journey.

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Ahead of Summer Dance this weekend, we threw a couple of questions over to Merph to get to know her, what she's got going on at the moment and what she's got playing through her headphones.

Who are you?

My name is Merph and I’m a DJ from Sydney. Alongside music, I’m currently completing a PhD in Human-Robot Interaction. I find the interplay between science and arts alluring- each offering freedom, flexibility and insight. For me, balancing both makes each more vibrant.

What have you been up to this past year?

This past year has been so, so full! I signed on with the ever-incredible NECTAR family and got to wet my appetite guest producing Simon Caldwell’s Sunsets show on FBi. Playing out, I’ve been lucky enough to support some huge names like Bicep, Mildlife, The Revenge and Harvey Sutherland, as well as two of my personal idols Max Graef and Motor City Dance EnsembleThis year I've absolutely loved playing at some of my favourite local parties, like Midnight Swim and Best Effort, though my clear standout gig was recently playing a set at Community ChestIt was inspiring to be part of an event that championed inclusivity, accessibility and safety. I felt these values translated genuinely and effortlessly, offering me a platform to play a meaningful set that I am still quite proud of.

What are we talking, vibe-wise?

I honestly enjoy listening to anything that I feel is a little bit odd or emotive. What I play out tends to depend on a loosely fluctuating combination of the event itself and my current mood. I enjoy challenging myself, so the process of researching music before an event ends up being incredibly consuming and rewarding. Generally speaking, house music is my happy place and where I excel. I enjoy house best either deep or when seasoned well with elements of jazz. Otherwise, I’ve recently found myself seeking solace in breaks, bass, and jungle. I look forward to exploring this side of things a bit more and seeing what grows from it. I have a good feeling about where that will go moving forward, but I guess only time will tell.

What can we expect from you moving forward?

I have a couple of exciting things in the works!! The big upcoming event has to be Summer Dance alongside CC:DISCO!, Jamie 3:26 and Tom Studdy. I’ve regularly attended Summer Dance over the last few years, so being offered the opportunity to play this year is a dream come true! I’ll also be supporting George FitzGerald & Black Loops in February which I’m still pinching myself about. Other than that, I’ll be playing around town at Harpoon Harry and The Dolphin, two venues that have ended up somewhat turning into my home away from home. I also have a little personal project currently simmering away behind the scenes. It’s been in development over the past few months and should be due for release sometime in the near future- so definitely watch this space!!

What are you listening to at the moment?

Some releases I’ve recently had on repeat are:

Where can we hear more of your work?

The best place to find my mixes is on SoundCloud! Otherwise, I always infinitely appreciate anyone and everyone who is present for any set I play. You can keep updated on my movements via the usual culprits: Facebook, Instagram, and Resident Advisor.