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Live Review: Ten songs that define UNDR Ctrl, according to Paul Stix

18 July 2018 | 11:24 am | Emma Jones

Another year has come and gone, and while it’s getting tougher out there in the music biz, some folks are actually thriving. Enter UNDR CTRL, who are set to celebrate another successful year as one of the country’s best electronic agencies as they turn another year older.

With a roster that boasts TOTAL GIOVANNISHANTAN WANTAN ICHIBANANNIE BASSBAG RAIDERSSET MOROLAND TINGSPURPLE SNEAKERS DJS and many more, the once-small agency has now become a force to be reckoned with, locally and beyond. Continuing to be ahead of the pack, they're on the pulse when it comes to new and exciting acts, working with artists from the early days and helping them grow into fully fledged superstars. Add to all of this their branching out into events like THE ISLAND LIVE and their festival with MOTORIKOUTPUT FESTIVAL, and it's certain that UNDR CTRL are absolutely killing it and aren't slowing down any time soon.

Of course, it wouldn't be an UNDR CTRL birthday without a big ol' party, would it? This year, they'll be taking over the Red Rattler in Sydney's Marrickville, tapping some of their roster to bring the party vibes all while raising money for Headspace while they're at it. And, as always, the theme is white on the night!

Before the party kicks off next month, we wanted to get to know the story of UNDR Ctrl a bit more, so we asked UC head honcho PAUL STIX what songs define his journey so far. Check it all out below and join us celebrating another year of UNDR Ctrl on August 4 - details right here!

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Annie Bass — Don’t Want

Annabel aka Annie Bass has been working for me at UNDR Ctrl for about 3 years now. She was my first employee and has been my rock ever since. When she passed along her demo’s I realised very quickly what a special talent she is. Annabel’s voice is out of this world, and I was really proud when this track jumped over 1 million plays on Spotify. 

Bag Raiders — Shooting Stars

It’s the gift that keeps giving! Jack and Chris are my longest serving clients, going back as far as 2010 when I was working at Modular Records. They trusted me way back then when I was totally fresh to Australia and I had to keep checking google maps to find out what all the key cities were called to research venues for their big LP tour! Since then we've developed a really special bond and this song has provided so many special memories for me. Watch this space for some very exciting Bag Raiders news coming soon!

Just A Gent — Heavy As a Heartbreak

I started working with Jacob when he was 16 and I first met him, his parents and his younger sister when they were in town to see the Lion King in concert! His production skills are crazy, and it’s been such a pleasure working with him over the past 5 years. This track is off his ‘Stories to Tell’ EP which was a really huge success — but there was a moment there for a while where Jacob really needed to dig deep and go away and work on his music. He showed great professionalism, determination and maturity to go away, regroup and come back ten times stronger.

MUTO - Wildfire

Miles is such a unique producer, so naturally talented. Triple j have added his last 4 singles to high rotation and that amazing strike rate is no fluke. I genuinely love all of Miles’ songs, though I can really relate to the personal nature and meaning behind Wildfire. I can't wait to see his new live show @ Splendour… the future holds no limits for this amazing young man. 

Poloshirt - Pinned Upon

We’ve been working with Polographia for a little while now, and when their management approached us about their new side project with Winston Surfshirt we were instantly on board. Poloshirt is that new thang, and so far the vibe has been great, with this first track Pinned Upon added to high rotation on the JJJ’s and the band debuted their live show at Curve Ball. The band are touring next in August around the country and then playing Listen Out festival… so it’s been a bit of a whirlwind so far… and I like it!!

Roland Tings - Floating on a Salt Lake

Rohan’s debut album was a real breakout moment, not just for him, but for the wider electronic dance community. Triple J made his record their Featured Album which in turn has helped amplify both his sound, and the sounds of his electronic peers to a bigger broader audience. Floating on a Salt Lake is my fave track off the album, I LOVE IT so much when it’s played out live, such a grower! It’s been fantastic to watch Rohan evolve as an artist from a solo machine to a 3 piece band in more recent times. Huge props.

San Holo - Light

I’ve been on the San Holo journey since day one. I had the honour of booking his first ever tour back in 2015, and since then it’s been so inspiring to watch his profile soar to incredible high heights. Sander is one of the most hard working artists I know and the phenomenal people around him really sum up nicely what team work is all about. I was lucky enough to catch Sander perform at Red Rocks amphitheatre a few years and when he dropped Light and the whole place lit up it was a pretty special moment.

Spank Rock - Bump

Spank Rock’s 2006 album YoYoYoYoYo was a game changer. I was booking clubs in London at the time and this new Baltimore sound was blowing up! Fast forward 10 years and I had the opportunity to book Naeem for an Australia tour. I paired him up with Jensen Interceptor and off we went around the country. Not only is Naeem one of the sweetest dudes you’ll ever meet, but that tour and in particular the Perth after party was one for the books, great times!

Total Giovanni - Can’t Control My Love

If I could be in a band, I’d wanna be in Total Giovanni! These blokes from Melbourne are 5 of the very best, and I can’t wait to share with everyone their album later this year and touring plans. This track is particularly special to me because it was used as the backing track to my wedding video (!) and it’s an all-time fave tune amongst my close friends. Side note — Jules from the band runs his own tailoring business and he made my wedding suit! Gotta keep it in the fam right!

World Champion - Avocado Galaxy

I’ve played football with Jules for years and there was a 3 month period when I’d drive us to the game each week and he’d tell me about this new music project he had going on. Every week I’d ask him a CD... and then finally 3 months or so later, he gives me this CD, and I’m driving along listening to these demo’s, and  3 songs in I call up Jules and tell him I want to be the band’s booking agent! Avocado Galaxy is their biggest track to date, and whilst we’ve been patiently waiting for the new music to drop, when it finally does, mark my words... it’s GOING TO BE HUGE!


August 4th, Red Rattler

Very Special Guest (To be announced on the day)

The Essential Stix

Lex Deluxe

Life Of Leisure

Motorik Vibe Council

Polographia (DJ Set)

Purple Sneakers DJs

Shantan Wantan Ichiban

DJ Still Weevens

World Champion DJs

The Unmade Bed

Intro by Emma Jones