WORDS DANIEL DUNKLEY
We knew we were onto something when we brought superstar DJ Sasha to New Zealand in 2016,” says Mitch Lowe of Audiology Touring. “He sold out a 1000-strong show. It was one of the greatest things we’ve ever done. We saw people in their 40s reliving their youth, and they couldn’t thank us enough.”
Acts including British DJ John Digweed and UK electronica group Leftfield followed. “Those guys were the top DJs at a time when it mattered; we knew it was time to give it a nudge,” says Mitch.
“After that, we set out on a mission to continue to bring legendary artists over,” he continues. “It has that wow factor, and you can bring so much joy. It was a challenge because the UK and Australia were so far ahead of us, and Europe is super-progressive too, so we started with small acts, playing for around 200 people, pushing the sound and doing it regularly.”
Although the house and techno scenes elsewhere in the world have historically been bigger than New Zealand’s, the genre is growing in popularity here. Audiology is at the forefront of our love affair with electronica and now puts on some of the biggest tours and club nights in the country. They’ve partnered with fellow promoter Collude to bring the
best house and techno acts to our shores. The upshot? More Kiwis are listening to electronica and more DJs are playing it.
Drum and bass, on the other hand, has long been a Kiwi favourite. One of Audiology’s longest-running ventures, A Night of Drum & Bass, tours the genre’s top acts around Aotearoa, regularly selling up to 1000 tickets per gig.
Through getting the right thumping sound systems and picking the perfect venues, Mitch says A Night of Drum & Bass has developed quite the reputation. “As anyone who turns up to one of our shows knows, it’s all about consistency. People know what to expect – it’s always quality artists and the production is on point. The sound is how a drum-and-bass head wants it to be.
“Drum and bass in New Zealand is here to stay, and that’s a really cool thing. You see genres come and go – trap came for a few years and died, then dubstep came for a few years and died. But drum and bass isn’t going anywhere.”