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Laboratory: The Collective Reviving House And Techno On The Central Coast

11 July 2023 | 4:49 pm | Staff Writers

Laboratory was born out of necessity, as there was a lack of spaces for like-minded individuals to come together and explore different facets of dance music through soundscapes and visualisations.


Laboratory (Supplied)

The Central Coast of Australia, situated on Darkinjung land, has long been known for its picturesque beaches and tranquil lifestyle, and the meat and potatoes of society.

However, the local music scene has often lacked the diversity and excitement found in larger cities like Sydney or Byron Bay.

That is until now. Meet Laboratory, a music and art collective founded by artists Redroom and Mozz, who are single-handedly reviving the spirit of House and Techno on the Central Coast.

Laboratory was born out of necessity, as there was a lack of spaces for like-minded individuals to come together and explore different facets of dance music through soundscapes and visualisations. Redroom and Mozz, with their passion for music and the arts, recognized the need for a creative outlet on the Central Coast and took it upon themselves to fill that void.

Jake Askitis, also known as Mozz, is a resident of Darkinjung Country and has been making waves over the past year.

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His unique blend of funky sounds, drawing from the late '90s to early 2000s influences, is a guaranteed recipe for getting hips moving on the dancefloor.

Besides his own successful sell-out Laboratory parties, Mozz has curated music and art lineups, bringing together talented artists who may not have had a platform on the Central Coast before, having supported the likes of X-Club, Sam Pepper, DJ Heartstring, SWIM, Crush3D and is a Daydream Resident in Newcastle at The Newy Hotel.

Meanwhile, Red Room, also known as Kelton Hirst, has been on a captivating sonic journey since 2012 when he first delved into music production, armed with a pirated version of Logic.

While his early musical roots were grounded in a love for '90s rock and metal, Red Room's curiosity led him to explore the realms of electronic genres like dubstep and drum 'n' bass.

In recent years, he has found inspiration in the revival of UK garage, jungle, and Detroit house, infusing his sets with modern influences while paying homage to the past.

Red Room's performances are an immersive experience that transports listeners to a nostalgic era. They evoke memories of carefree afternoons spent marathoning video games and the exhilaration of squeezing in some arcade racing before rushing off to catch a movie.

His soundscapes create an audio aesthetic that resonates with the heart and soul of those who grew up in that era, interweaving samples from esoteric PlayStation games and early 2000s pop culture. It's a sonic journey that captivates and ignites a sense of joyful nostalgia.

Beyond his work as Red Room, Kelton has made significant contributions as a touring bassist for Kesmar, Tyne James Organ, and Tim Ayre, showcasing his versatility and dedication to the music industry.

His experiences and influences from live performances across the country have further enriched his artistic palette, enhancing his ability to curate unique and captivating soundscapes.

Together, Mozz and Red Room have transformed ordinary venues into vibrant spaces where individuals can express themselves freely.

Laboratory parties have taken place at Mumbo Jumbo's Rooftop and The Savoy in Long Jetty, both of which have witnessed incredible turnouts and quickly sold-out tickets featuring other artists like CB, JYC, CK, Fritz, Curly Crumpet and Keeto.

What sets Laboratory apart is its commitment to providing an alternative to the commercial scene dominating the Central Coast.

While pubs and clubs may cater to mainstream tastes with top 40 DJs, Laboratory offers a haven for those seeking a unique and authentic experience aimed at the younger generation of creatives.

As Mozz puts it, "We are trying to create a space for people to attend 'quote on quote' cool and creative events, like make cool art, and let others express themselves, all without having to move to Byron Bay or Sydney."

Laboratory's success would not be possible without the contributions of other creative individuals, such as Kelton Hirst, who has played a vital role behind the scenes.

The collective's creative direction aims to foster an environment where artists, musicians, and enthusiasts can come together, pushing the boundaries of creativity and pushing the local music scene to new heights.

If you find yourself on the Central Coast/Newcastle, make sure to keep an eye out for Laboratory events. They offer an opportunity to immerse yourself in a world where house and techno reign supreme and creativity knows no bounds.

It's time to experience the revival of electronic music on the coast and let your artistic spirit soar with Laboratory.

Purple Sneakers caught up with Moz & Redroom to discuss their event, Laboratory, their creative process, influences, future events, and some of their latest mixes!

Hey Fellas, How are we today?

M: Pretty good mate, currently over in Europe and it’s such a good time

Your parties look sick, what’s the game plan? What’s next?

M: Currently taking a few months off to travel and really to gain some more inspiration from my travels. Laboratory has a bunch planned for the back end of the year including a massive event for December.

Any plans to take the party outside of the Central Coast in the Future?

M: It’s hard to say really. I haven't given it much thought yet. We are just super focused on the Central Coast.

Most people that are interested in a dance night travel a couple of hours north or south to be involved with the respective scene so to have something close to home for the artists, and the people is something to hone in on, and that’s our focus moving forward.

What would you say your influences would be for running these events?

M: I’ve been pretty involved in Daydreaming up in Newcastle as well as going to music events around home, and abroad the past few years so I look to those for inspiration and I let those influence Laboratory in an organic way.

I really look to other creatives within our space for ideas as well as brainstorming with my team.

Any plans of your own to release music?

M: I currently have a release scheduled on a VA with Transition. Pretty pumped for it, and the lineup consists of pretty talented people from all over the country.

What other artists do you have performing your events, and where can we find their mixes?

M: Kelton from Redroom, and Chloe from Oscill8 are my two homies from around the coast that are residents on all the events thus far.

But also big shouts outs to the boys from Staple Crew, and Keeto from Vnseen. Mixes can be found on their respected soundclouds!

Where can we find you?

M: For all Laboratory content please follow on Instagram. You can sign up to our mailing list for future events and cheap tickets but you can find me directly on @mozz_xx

Thanks for your time, any final words for Purple Sneakers readers?

M: I would love to give a massive shoutout to everyone that’s been involved with myself musically over the past few years.

It’s interesting to see where we have gotten with electronic music on the coast especially post-covid. Keen to see you all dancing from September onwards xx