Lifestyle & Culture

A Guide to This That with Peking Duk

Back for what we can only assume will be a sell out event, Newcastle’s This That Festival is set to shake Newcastle this November. Chris Daniel talks expectations and collaborations, with Peking Duk party-boy, Reuben Styles.

So far, 2016 has proved to be a redemption year at most, with new albums from SAFIA, Ball Park Music and Drapht, all of which are featured on the lineup. Though the year is not quite over yet, we can still expect some new hits from Canberra duo Peking Duk, who have hinted at what could be their biggest claim to success yet.

To put it into perspective, we had a chat to Reuben Styles, who not only teased his new music, but also gave a little insight to what they have in stall for Novocastrians.


Reuben Styles and Adam Hyde from Peking Duk.

CD: Earlier this year, you revealed that you had teamed up with several known artists for new music. With one of those being Elliphant, can we expect an onstage collaboration?

RS: “Well it looks like you knew more than most; you journo’s always know what’s up. Perhaps we can do an exclusive first play of our song with her at the festival.” 

CD: On the note of collaborations, you had also mentioned Daniel Johns will be featured. Is there any chance of him making the venture to the festival for a performance?

RS: “DJ will probably be in the States, but if he’s around we’ll be sure to ask him to come down. Definitely no promises there.”

Above: Say My Name rotoscoped by students of the Plasmatic Research Laboratory of UoN

After Groovin The Moo back in April, we published our review that mentioned the impact Peking Duk has had on the music industry. Considering they weren’t on the lineup, they were featured heavily throughout DJ sets, and were sneakily manifested in the sets of ILLY and SAFIA. The review can be seen here.

CD: Your impact on the Australian music scene is phenomenal, but what is the creative force behind you?

RS: “Thank you for the kind words! The ‘force’ I guess is a pair of dude on laptops, who got obsessed with making electronic tunes around the Bloody Beetroots/ Crookers era in 2009. We both come from a live music background of rock and hip-hop. Although Peking Duk is a dance music project, we love incorporating rock and hip-hop elements into each song. Not sure if that answered the question but maybe there is no answer – we just love making songs.”

Evidently that approach has proved to be ingeniously successful, as they quickly climbed to the top of the charts, managing to score the ‘Most Played Australian Work’ and ‘Dance Work of the Year’, for a song that featured fellow Canberran artists SAFIA.

CD: What would you consider to be more of an influence behind that success; the music scene in Canberra, or the mix of ideas between two profound Canberran artists?

RS: “Look they’re both great influences, mostly though; the song ‘Take Me Over’ drew inspiration from a time where Adam and I had just left Canberra for Sydney, and we had absolutely nothing. We went from having cafe jobs and living at home to paying rent and being jobless. Times were hard; we borrowed money off our housemates almost every rent day. We were hilariously malnourished from eating only Mi Goreng. Music was getting made and ideas were popping up left right and center. After our Passion Pit remix blew up, we started messing around with a bunch of songs in the same feel and tempo, ‘Take Me Over’ was one of them. It started with a random acapella; we then built the track around it and had a song. To make it an original song we ditched the acapella and hit up Ben from SAFIA, who then came up with some beautiful melody ideas. Next minute we made a bunch of ambiguous lyrics. We trimmed them back until it almost made sense and thought people might just connect to it!

In short… The song was influenced by Mi Goreng.”

We also managed to get in touch with SAFIA’s Ben Woolner, who immediately said, “I don’t see why not” when asked if his vocals will be featured in the Peking Duk set.

Our conversation with Reuben was short, but we couldn’t end on that note, so we gauged some insight from what we can expect from his visit to Newcastle.

CD: What else can we expect from your performance? Anything different or outrageous you should mention?

RS: Last time we played a festival in Newcastle we shot confetti canons and had to pay a huge cleaning fee, because confetti went everywhere and even onto the beach. We need a new strategy. Perhaps we’ll shoot things that wont blow away in the wind. Spaghetti, Meatballs, Cupcakes etc.…

Reuben asks anyone with suggestions to head to their twitter or Instagram @pekingduk.

This That Festival will be throwing down some vibes on November 5th. Limited tickets are available from their site, but make sure you get in quick.

Did you say you wanted even more music? Don’t miss these events…

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The Lass O’Gowrie Hotel, Wickham
November 27th @12pm

Peking Duk image provided by Mucho Bravado. No changes made.
Feature image taken by Chris Daniel.


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