Marco Mazzucco’s house is adorned with eclectic pieces from around the globe; ebony African sculptures, carved masks lay on the dining room table anticipating to be hung, colourful mats line the floors. He shows us a Mexican wrestling mask he picked up a couple of days before coming home from his last trip. Worldliness is an understatement; born in Sydney, his family moved around a lot. He grew up in Tanzania, Canada and Tokyo. At 18, he opened the record store ‘House of Trance’ in the East Village, New York. 14 years ago he created a home in Sydney, but wanderlust is an inherent part of who he is. He picks up a well-worn leather visor with badges pinned to the band. This is the cap he wears every gig he does as a DJ (known as Marcotix). He’s been at it for 20 years.
Marco's roots lay in the goa trance movement. His style and influences have developed over the years and today you will hear him representing contemporary electronica, techno, house, minimal and everything in between. His audience are open, the community is strong; one that is sharing and genuinely nice to one another. Thus, the music bonds people for the night, or for years: “It’s an experience that can stay with you for life, if it’s done right. People are buzzing off it for weeks and weeks.” It was the collaboration with the community, musicians and life long friends (he lovingly refers to them as ‘seniors’) through the scene which built the annual Subsonic MUSIC Festival, which continues to grow every year and is held at heaven on earth, Riverwood Downs.
The whole idea of music and dancing is an African concept. They would dance to clear their mind and enter some kind of trance, or meditation state.

Marco Mazzucco

It was gallivanting through Germany where he came across the ‘Fusion’ festival, which has been his muse for years (google it, it looks insane). The bedrock Communist philosophy rings of ‘power to the people’ mantras: a focus on art, creativity, equality, the abolishment of VIP hangouts or areas, with all DJ’s getting paid the same amount regardless of public pull or notoriety. In regards to how the creative team makes Subsonic happen, he explains, “we’re all working together. And that’s kind of the essence of the whole thing. Bringing different people together because of the music and everyone feeling part of something bigger than themselves. Every aspect of the festival is important. Every member of staff is crucial.”
I think a true artist really understands that he succeeds in his art because of the people who understand his art, and it’s those people who should get the credit. Without them, the artist wouldn’t be where they are.

Marco Macuzzo

The festival started with 500 people attending, the following year it grew to 1,000, and last year it reached 5,000. There is a symbiotic and unpredictable element to the festival’s line up, encouraging people to surprise themselves at what they might be into. The event promises everything from trance to techno, reggae, hip hop, house, minimal, psy-trance, drum n bass—the lot. Find some body paint and connect to your primal, tribal instinct. It goes off.
Photo courtesy of Subsonic Music
The homogenisation and ‘same-same’ bastardisation of the modern music terrain is partly what Subsonic responds to. Alienation isn’t their game, “like any scene, when it gets too developed, it starts to close out people. Trance has become a scene: there’s a uniform, everyone has started to dress the same, the music is not open minded anymore. We try not to impose any rules or vibes. There’s no majority, so everyone feels like they’re part of it.”
Today Subsonic transparently couples groove with ethical integrity, including minimising waste and upholding environmental accountability, encouraging people to respect one another, as well as imparting the belief that people can transform at these events: “to be more open minded and think for yourself.” However, despite admitting that he talks about Germany frequently because it’s at the fore-front of electronic music, he transparently presents it’s shortcomings: “it’s very segregated. You’ve got a club like Berghain, which only does Techno and certain big DJ’s, and this other club will only do underground guys and another will only do minimal. But we do a bit of everything. Everything from a Detroit techno, to the bass music movement, and then we’ve got the guys from Katermukke, which is a bit more melodic and bouncy.”
The different aesthetic of each stage is catered to welcome everyone: “Festivals are a creative process. We try to make the music flow through the stages. It’s all different dynamics. Every aspect is important, from the people who greet you at the door to the way managers interact with artists. No one is being corralled like sheep. People take care of each other. I think the more diverse the crowd, the better.”
What to look forward to at this year’s Subsonic festival? The Subsonic team are tag teaming with the folks at Symbiosis and Rainbow Serpent. It’ll be inherently Subsonic, but with interesting twists. There’ll be workshops in Ecology, Science, your rights, and big-time mind bending art to inspire the spread sheets out of ya. Prepare to froth over the most beautiful lights and sounds you’ll ever see. Incredible art, amazing people, and the line up looks sick (Fred P, Tini, Opiuo to name a few). Marco’s excited, and hopes that everyone who comes feels liberated, dancing into a much needed meditative state to leave the anxious chatter of the modern world behind: “It gives people a break from their day to day lives, which can be very dry and money orientated. A lot of people are living in mild depression as well, so for them to actually have a good time and forget about their problems can set them straight for a while. That’s what music has done for me.”
When the music’s good and everything’s set up properly, everyone is no longer there to pick up the girls or look cool. If everyone’s engaged properly in the music, they forget about sex, looking good, who’s ‘cool,’ and “am I standing behind the DJ booth?”

Marco Mazzucco

I think the more diverse the crowd, the better.

Marco Mazzucco

Get down to the rhythm, bathe in a cosmic river and dance until the dawn, friends.

To book your tickets, check out the line-up and bask in some groovy glory visit Subsonic here.

Words by JB Keogh
Photography by Daniel Stelmaszak
Illustration by YOUNGWALKER

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