FEW Aussie DJs have the accolades or skills of Dexter Fabay. His turntable virtuosity helped drive his former band The Avalanches and their much-revered album Since I Left You, which is regularly regarded as one of the greatest Aussie albums of all time.
DJ Dexter (as he’s known to many) is also four-time Australian DJ champion and placed second in the world finals in 2000, leading to him working with David Bowie, Public Enemy and the Beastie Boys.
But for the last couple of years he’s been mostly secluded in a studio working on a solo release, only occasionally stepping out on to the live circuit to recharge his batteries.
“It always helps to play live again and reconnect that way and then go back into the studio,” Dexter said.
The solo project features a DJ mix record and an EP of his own material, with some tracks from the latter to be incorporated into the former.
“Some of them were written in ’02-03,” he said of the songs on the EP.
“There’s no samples in any of the music. I’ve been concentrating on writing more tunes with a sound closer to my record collection and what I play in my live mix.”
Dexter said these projects couldn’t have happened unless he’d left The Avalanches about a decade ago.
“It was a transition to not listening to records for samples to listening to records and capturing what makes them a part of me and applying that to writing,” he said of his departure from the group.
“That was 2002 and I haven’t looked back. I’d been (listening for samples) since I was 12 or 13.”
That culminated in the all-sample The Avalanches album Since I Left You — a record Dexter says deserves all the accolades it gets.
“The Avalanches was a very small (yet) very significant part of my DJ life,” he said.
“I was in the club when I was 14, doing over-30s R&B side rooms at the Market (Hotel) in Sunshine … next to the TAB. Since 1991 I’ve been in clubs.
“I did the (DMC DJ Championship) for four years and I met The Avalanches through that process.
“I was only with them for four or five years of the past 24 years of DJing.”
That journey to become one of the world’s most highly-regarded turntablists began when the brother of fellow The Avalanches band member James De La Cruz showed Dexter his first taste of DJing.
“He came over with some VHS tapes of the DMCs and it was the first time I saw the Rock Steady Crew and guys like Mix Master Mike and QBert and Apollo and that was it for me,” he said.
Dexter will be doing what he does best at the Gallery Nightclub in Warrnambool on Saturday night, with support from local DJ Brenton Hussey.