Local artist profile: Steve Stratton

January 28, 2024 BY

Mixing accomplished: It’s safe to say that Steve Stratton is an OG DJ, having manipulated the platters for more than three decades. Photo: SUPPLIED

THIS week we chat with DJ Steve Stratton, who has performed at the legendary Earthcore Festival on multiple occasions, St Kilda Festival, as well as a bunch of times at Melbourne underground classic club night SUNNY.


What initially motivated you to become a DJ?

I started going to goth clubs in Melbourne in the 80s, causing my love for electronic dance music influenced by bands like New Order, Depeche Mode, and The Cure.

I started collecting a large vinyl collection, a local club opened in Echuca and I scored a gig as a resident in 1989. Playing there for 10 years was fantastic fun, no phones on the dance floor, just people up for fresh tunes. We got away with playing so much cool music that no one had actually heard before.

Some of the tunes we played never got radio airplay for some 10 months after, with fresh weekly UK white label promo supplies from DMC Records and Central Station.

I can plainly remember driving to Melbourne every Sunday to blow my weekend gig money all on vinyl records.

It was fantastic with people coming up to the DJ booth asking what songs were. Good luck finding it!

I find DJs stood out individually back then and were respected a lot more for their skills and what they played. No Spotify, no computers to download, no phones on the dancefloor. 34 years later I’m still doing what I love.


How would you describe your style?

I would describe my style as deep, dark, dirty hypnotic techno.


Which other DJs or producers inspire you?

James Zabiela, Sasha, John Digweed, Anthony Pappa, Aaron Smiles,Gab Oliver, Ozzie LA, and Jason Tavener.

The late Phil K was the greatest DJ Australia will ever see. Totally mind-blowing mixing skills and would always totally erupt any dancefloor!


What are some highlights or fond memories you have from your career so far?

Hands down my greatest fond memories were playing four Earthcore outdoor festivals. The St Kilda Festival 2004 Catani Gardens DJ set to a 14,000 people dance floor was mind blowing.

I also played several DJ sets on Triple J Mix Up which was pretty special. Melbourne’s iconic underground music night SUNNY was totally incredible. Half the DJs were producers and the night was like a testing ground for their unreleased music. The crowd was amazing with everyone so up for the musical journey. The night would start around 10pm with the opening DJ playing very minimal deep dub house around 114 bpm with the night peaking around 124 bpm. Every DJ had full respect for each other – not there to steal the show but to create an incredible vibe. I also have some very fond memories playing with Jase Tav and the boys at the original Tonic Bar in Bendigo – we had an amazing underground scene of music happening then. Fantastic times.


Do you have any mixes or music posted online?

Check me out on soundcloud.com/ Steve-stratton and soundcloud.com/houseofwax-bendigo.

Turn it up!


Do you have any gigs coming up?

I have lots of private functions booked in the next 12 months and I’m looking forward to more House Of Wax gigs in Bendigo with the boys.


What would you say to young regional aspiring DJs who are thinking of making a go of the creative life?

Create your own style, play varied bpm in the mix, not 128 all night. Be yourself, create a mix no one else is playing and stand out!