Watch :: Jordan Dorjee samples Sydney

April 25th 2013

Creating a documentary about Sydney’s underground culture isn’t something that’s usually expected of a DJ, but you’d better pay attention now that it’s happened.

Jordan Dorjee has fathered an unusual series of audio/visual mixtapes entitled ‘Sampling Sydney’. Taking snippets of audio and video from from his experiences in this city, Dorjee uses his skills as a DJ to mix them into a collage of information. He often focuses on the micro and consequently reflects the macro – that is, the ocean of bubbling creativity that lies just under the crust of mainstream horizons.

Watch the most recent instalment – Part 3 – below, and snatch a peek into the mind of the series’ creator through the interview that follows.


Sandro (Flog) :: You’ve said that you think of these videos as a series of audio/visual mixtapes. Is there something about Sydney’s underground scene that you’re trying to capture by using this style?

Jordan Dorjee :: I’m trying to capture a sense of kinship and community through sampling. Having that mixtape style allows me bombard the viewer with a colourful scene that’s always moving forward. It also allows me to remix different people and artists together highlighting common themes like self-funding, under-exposure, or grant writing.

S :: What does removing the often-predictable flow of traditional documentaries add to your work?

JD :: Removing that traditional doco structure gets the DJ in me to be like: “Hey, wouldn’t it be cool if I scratched the organiser talking… with the three bands she booked… in the one piece?” I like to mix the samples and music first and then decide the visuals later. I find that a lot easier!

S :: Your mixtapes observe that the cultural value of music is largely ignored by the industry’s elite. Is this something you would like to change?

JD :: Any change would have to do with creating awareness and celebrating the little guys who give us those places to hang out and unwind (that isn’t a bar). Also getting more newcomers involved the scene. That being said there’s still a lot to learn: council, money, real estate… so I’ll continue to run around asking others. Sticking a camera in their face and hitting record for anyone else interested.

S :: Was it a challenge to communicate a coherent overall message to your audience when piecing together so many small samples of your recordings?

JD :: It’s always been difficult to balance what I think: sounds cool, works visually and tells a story. Most of the time I take the three minute scratch solos and weird visual effects out at the last minute, realising those tricks don’t really add to the overall message. In the end, I just want to promote the curators, artists and festivals I have sampled and hopefully strengthen the community that thrives within Sydney.


Watch the first two parts of Jordan Dorjee’s ‘Sampling Sydney’ series below:


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