DJ Ian Wagner - Biography & DJ Profile
IN THE BEGINNING:
DJ Ian H began his DJ career in Melbourne at the age of 18, landing his first club gig in 1988 at the famous Chapel St nightclub district in South Yarra.
After a couple of years of further honing his skills on the decks, Ian was lured by the summers of fun found on Queensland’s Gold Coast.
Surfers Paradise is a premier tourist destination and a surf city that rarely sleeps. Over the following 11 years, Ian held resident DJ positions at major nightclubs such as The Esplanade, The Rose & Crown, Studio 54, Cocktails & Dreams, Shooters Saloon Bar, Billy’s Beach House, Fortunes, The Broadbeach Hotel, The BakeHouse and played at the majority of venues on the Gold Coast’s party circuit.
THE WINNER IS… SYDNEY:
Taking a break from the Gold Coast in 1994 / 95, Ian moved to Sydney where he joined the Kea Entertainment Company (founders of Sublime, Sydney). Playing exclusively at the world-famous Kings Cross Hotel (KCH) At the time, KCH was catering mostly to an international backpacker crowd. Ian quickly set to work on attracting more of the local club-goers. His music programming ability paid off in helping to extend the action in the Dance Pit till 7:AM in the morning.
LET THERE BE DANCE:
In the late 90’s, Dance music began rapidly working its magic through the Gold Coast and Brisbane City. And it soon found a home at some innovative radio stations. In 1999, Ian’s association with The Gold Coast’s #1 Dance music station: 105.7 Hott FM (Now known as Radio Metro) became a launch pad for even further success.
Ian’s time at Hott FM was highlighted by the hugely popular Sunday Morning Daybreak Show. Every Sunday morning he would deliver 3-hour sets of seamlessly mixed club tunes, ranging from deep funky house through to Hi-Octane NRG Trance and HardHouse. Perfectly timed to cater for a beat-hungry clubbing fraternity that had just been ejected from the Gold Coast’s 5:am licensed venues. Backing up the live sets was a busy schedule of residencies and guest spots playing alongside some of Australia’s best, including Pee Wee Ferris, Mark Dynamix, Sean Quinn, and Groove Terminator, to name a few of that era.
2001 – 2007 saw Dj Ian H increase his profile as a truly International Dj with a residency at the Joe Bananas group of venues in the nightlife district of Hong Kong. More recent career highlights include nightclub consultancy in China and an opening residency at Ministry of Sound Taipei.
WHAT OTHER DJ NAMES HAVE YOU BEEN KNOWN BY?
WHERE WERE YOU BORN?
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN DJ’ING?
DESCRIBE YOUR FIRST GIG:
I was very lucky to score my first job as a DJ in my hometown of Melbourne, at a club called The Brat Pack Bar. It was underneath The Jam Factory on Chapel Street in South Yarra. I was playing mostly up-front imported House and Dance of the era.
HOW IS YOUR SOUND DIFFERENT FROM OTHERS?
I spend a lot of time on re-editing and in some cases, re-mixing tracks that I play in a club setting. The key element is track length. Nearly all the killer tracks in my library have been edited down to an average of two-thirds of their original length maintaining their original intros/outros. This enables me to shape and maintain the crowds’ attention and energy levels more effectively.
There’s nothing like the sound of a venue going off instantly after I’ve dropped a track that they know and love, so I try not to get too hung up on beat-mixing all the time. Sure, Playing remixes can be a great thing if they add something to the song. But by playing the versions that people recognise; I always get more of a reaction from the crowd.
One thing I’m asked on a regular basis is; What’s your favourite song?
The answer is simply “Anything that makes people dance and have a good time”.
While I do have my own very particular musical tastes; time and time again I’ve found that I’ve started to enjoy songs that I originally thought were terrible. Once you see the crowd enjoying it so much, it changes your perspective. It’s all about the people!
BIGGEST DJ ACHIEVEMENTS TO DATE?
My biggest achievement to date would probably be the 2 years spent working for 105.7 Hott FM on the Gold Coast. That experience gave me a lot of exposure and opened the doors that led me to Asia. The list of venues that I have had the pleasure of playing at always puts a smile on my face.
Memorable Club Gigs Include:
• Shooters Saloon Bar (Surfers Paradise, Australia).
• Cocktails & Dreams (Surfers Paradise, Australia).
• The Bakehouse / The Sound Lounge (Broadbeach, Australia).
• The Kings Cross Hotel (Sydney).
• Joe Bananas (Hong Kong).
• Carnegies, (Taipei).
• The Brass Monkey (Taipei).
• Brown Sugar (Taipei).
• Ministry of Sound (Taipei).
• The Ark Bar (Koh Samui, Thailand)
• Bar Black (Melbourne)
• Bridie O’Reilly’s – Chapel St (Melbourne)
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