You Can’t Stop CC:DISCO! From Dancing

You Can’t Stop CC:DISCO! From Dancing

Following the release of her First Light (Vol. 2) compilation, we catch up with one of Australia’s finest selectors, CC:DISCO!, to learn about her tastemaking skills and her return to the stage.

Australia’s Courtney Clarke — better known as CC:DISCO! — loves radio. She first started on the airwaves at the age of 15 in her hometown of Cobram in Victoria. Moving three hours south to Melbourne, she locked in a residency at PBS FM and hosted the show Smoke and Mirrors for six years, showcasing her rare disco and house selections every Friday night.

But there’s one thing CC:DISCO! loves more than radio — dancing. Eventually she traded the isolation of the radio booth for the exposure of the DJ booth, exploding onto the scene with her irresistible energy. And since then, she’s played at clubs like London’s Corsica Studios, Berlin’s Else and Renate, and festivals like Glastonbury, DGTL, Love International, Kala, and a plethora of Australian gatherings such as Beyond The Valley, Sugar Mountain, Strawberry Fields, and more.

In 2018, she released her first compilation via Soothsayer, First Light (Vol. 1) — a tasteful and timeless album comprised of boogie, balearic, funk, disco. And now she’s dropped its second iteration, First Light (Vol. 2), which shines a light on 24 incredible productions by a global cohort of artists from Australia, Russia, Japan, Zambia, Spain, Sweden, Indonesia, the US, Canada, and beyond.

Currently back in her native Australia, where clubs have resumed after an unforgettable hiatus, we caught up with CC:DISCO! to learn more about her new compilation, the process behind it, her transition back home from Europe, and how it feels to be back in her element.

Thanks for joining us! How has 2021 been treating you so far?

Tip-top, thank you! A rather stressful beginning trying to get home after five months of failed attempts due to Australia closing its border on everyone, but I made it back! Super thankful to see my family and mates. 

You made a move to Lisbon in 2020 and have now made your way back to your native Australia. Can you tell us a bit about the move and what your experience living in Portugal? 

For some reason, years ago, I wanted to live in Portugal, and I’d never even been there. I just knew in my head it was for me. In 2019 I needed to move to Europe, and to base myself, I chose Lisbon. I have no regrets whatsoever. The sun, the food, the smaller city vibe, I just love it. It was such a nice place to be in 2020 as well. It felt like a loving community that looked out for each other. I plan on moving back there as soon as I can to set up my life there again. Covid pending!

It’s been three years since you first came out with your widely-celebrated First Light (Vol. 1), and now, you’ve released the second iteration, First Light (Vol. 2). How long did Vol. 2 take you to put together, and how did the compiling process compare to putting together Vol. 1?

I think it took about a year to work out and compile all the music. It was a bit easier this time round, given I expanded it to international artists and not just AUS/NZ. I started the process about two years ago, so it’s been a long wait, and I’ve been playing these tunes for so long so it’s nice to see them come to life. It’s been a great journey and it’s lead me to find so many new artists along the way. 

First Light (Vol. 2) spans numerous genres and features unsung artists from all over the world — Australia, Russia, Japan, Zambia, Spain, Sweden, Indonesia, US, Canada, and beyond. Are there two are three up-and-coming artists from the album that you’re currently excited about?

Certainly!

Jenifa Mayanja – always. She’s not up and coming, but I love her and just can’t get enough of her vibe.

Comfy Bella – She’s the all-around package, so much talent in one lady, and I can’t wait to see where she ends up in the next couple of years.

Hybrid Man – Melbourne’s beloved icons. I love what they do and really hope the rest of the world catches the Hybrid Man vibes soon.

Unlike most of the rest of the world, Australia’s dance floors are back in action. How did it feel to hit the stage (or dance floor!) for the first time after such a long hiatus?

Yeah, wow, it was something special. I was so nervous but dying of excitement inside. I really couldn’t get the smile off my face nor stop dancing the whole time. I just love dancing so much, so it was actually a first for me too. It was an extraordinary moment for everyone, one that I will never forget. I would love everyone to have that feeling across the world. It just feels unfair it’s gone on for so long now.

Have you noticed a difference in the energy and attitude that people bring to the floor that differs from what you saw pre-COVID?

I can let you know that people ARE READY!! Australians are always ready, to be honest, but they feel more turbo than ever now. I think now once you go dancing, you get home, and you just feel full. It’s a great feeling that you really can’t ever take for granted again. 

We heard that you decided to go all out on a dance floor with a little bit of salsa and some river dancing which resulted in a trip to the hospital. How’s your hip feeling?

Yeah, finally I planned a day of dancing and seeing all my favourite Melbourne DJs and got way into a river dancing/salsa combo as a joke. Ended up in hospital but did come back with crutches and a pain relief injection so I could see the last acts and eat a kebab while sitting behind the stage.

What’s next for you this year?

Get through it, keep dancing, get back to Europe and have my beloved job back as DJ full time again… here’s hoping!!!! 

CC:DISCO!’s ‘First Light (Vol. 2)’ is out now via Soothsayer. Listen below and purchase it on Beatport.

Cameron Holbrook is Beatportal’s Assistant Editor. Find him on Twitter.



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