The Operatives are here to break the mould.
A collective of multi-talented musicians and curators of the clandestine Espionage gigs, they are responsible for tours of ground-breaking local and international talent and most recently, a record label responsible for promoting Australian artists to a global audience.
The Operatives and it’s Agents are a unstoppable and talented force of DJs, producers, singers and songwriters, radio hosts, audio engineers, photographers, videographers, writers and artists who are responsible for Melbourne’s most exciting creative output. From their own musical accomplishments to curating independent labels, compilation series and community radio shows. The Agents have one target: pushing the boundaries of Australia’s music scene, regardless of genre, be it hip-hop, electronic, drum ‘n bass or soul music.
Since it’s inception in 2010, Espionage has been more than just a ‘gig’ – it’s an event that feeds your senses. Selecting the most innovative musicians from across the globe to tour across Australia, New Zealand and Asia, Espionage aligns local and international musical talent with mind-bending visuals and unique venues. From their humble beginnings above a karaoke bar to selling out the city’s largest dance floors, the discerning and ever-growing followers of The Operatives ensure that Espionage never remains secret for long.
The Operatives are also focused on fostering the music and culture community locally. Newly launched monthly ‘Remedy’ offers all profits to a charitable cause and Espionage also provides intelligence for Melbourne Music Week, White Night Melbourne, Let Them Eat Cake and Meredith Music Festival among many more.
Always evolving, The Operatives have now set their sights on the launch of their in-house label. The current roster spans the diverse talents of Melbourne’s most promising musicians, including the unfathomable future-funk of AMIN PAYNE, astonishing soul singer SYRENEYISCREAMY, the smooth sounds of multi-instrumentalist SILENTJAY, the driving force of tear-out drum n’ bass legend HOOVES, boundary-pushing producer ABLE8, the Jazz-inspired sounds of MPC-banging COSMO, the genre-bending experimental beats of FUGITIVE, underground pioneer of bass music A13 and the dark, diverse productions of The Operatives own director JPS.
Swept into music writing by an appetite for words and a thirst for late nights and underground sounds, Rebecca Florence soon found herself unearthing Australia’s emerging electronic landscape for ACCLAIM Magazine, ViceMagazine’s Noisey and Thump, the based-out-of-London Dummy Magazine, literature journals, Undertow, In Brief and curating a guest mix series for The Bookery Cook. From interviewing some of the world’s most exceptional musical figures – from Peanut… Read More
JPS aka Jerry Poon is known to most as the head honcho of The Operatives, which over the past 5 years have had an unparalleled commitment to bringing out ground breaking experimental beats artists to Australia and New Zealand. Active in his role as DJ, Tour agent, promoter and producer, JPS has progressed on to… Read More
Chronic Sans specialises in mixing abstract and bizarre film footage. Shocking audiences with her live performances, she has curated visuals for artists such as FLYING LOTUS, ROYAL-T and TEDDY amongst many other international and local Producer / DJs. Chronic Sans Soundcloud Chronic Sans Vimeo Chronic Sans Facebook
“Has studied photography – a Bachelor in Fine Arts, majoring in Photo Media. That’s a bit different, hey? Has been freelancing since 2008. Likes amongst many things, change.” cargocollective.com/melissacowan
From delivering DIY zines in pizza boxes to taking the portraits of some of the world’s most mysterious luminaries, Michael Danischewski’s work spans across all media. Be it digital, video, print magazine and film, few photographers capture the spirit of a subterranean moment quite as well as the Melbourne based artist, who began shooting at… Read More
A13 is one of Melbourne’s most exciting new DJ/producers to emerge on the Australian scene. With 10 years of DJ experience under his belt, A13 has been partly responsible for introducing Melbourne to the dubstep and future-beat sounds that have spawned from underground studios all over the globe. He has recently started producing his own… Read More
With the ability to fuse hip-hop and EDM as a boundary-pushing producer, with contagious appeal as a front man as an MC and a behind-the-scenes promoter, event organiser and label curator for Uncomfortable Beats, ABLE8 has gone from strength to strength in his music career. His distinctive style of alternative hip-hop and electronic bass evolves… Read More
Launceston, Tasmania-based producer Akouo (ah-koo-oh) was locally recognized as a beatmaker and DJ in Australia’s underground hip-hop scene before gaining national and worldwide attention as a solo act in 2013. His breakthrough came after his reworks of Flume and Childish Gambino effortlessly floated into Hype Machine’s top 5 most popular charts, and he has since… Read More
Amin PaYnE has built a serious reputation as both prolific producer and unmissable live performer since moving to Australia to further his music career from New Zealand. After first making beats on ‘a real slow desktop computer, guitar and karaoke mike’, Amin spent years experimenting with sampling what ever he could find, including cassette tapes… Read More
Few digital media artist’s can capture as diverse subjects as exploratory electronic music and serpentine ballet dancers in visual form as succinctly as Brendan Harwood. Be it constructing hallucinogenic and reactive geometric shapes, turning the human form into inkblots or curiously revolving cats Brendan uses projection mapping like a paintbrush – capturing unconsidered spaces and… Read More
Around ten years ago a shipment of MPC1000’s mysteriously washed up in the bay in Wellington, New Zealand and COSMO has been banging it ever since. Now, living in Melbourne his future analogue grooves are a little more public – from playing at the The Jazz Crimes Beat Invitational series 1alongside heavyweights DIZZ1 and SEAN… Read More
While technology might have made it easier to become a DJ, few are able to connect with their audience quite like DJ KUYA. With almost thirty years experience and three Victorian DMC State titles (1998-2000) and earning the Australian ITF DJ title in 1999, it seems DJ KUYA has done it all. DJ KUYA has… Read More
Since relocating to Melbourne after the devastating 2011 Christchurch earthquake, FLOAT quickly began to carve out his own niche in the city’s underground music scene, crafting his sets from an selection of funk, soul, hip hop, future beats and all things bass. FLOAT’s fingers are heavily on the pulse of emerging electronic music from around… Read More
From the fertile musical lands of the ‘beats’ scene this elusive artist has been producing across many disciplines. From deep-cosmic-soul-hip-hop and future garage to straight-up rude beats FUGITIVE delivers fresh contemporary tunes for similar minded ears in his innovative style behind the decks or in his own productions including the gangsta-lean of this years’ single ‘Definition‘… Read More
One of Melbourne’s busiest DJ’s, HANSDC is also one of the most versatile on the circuit. With three weekly residencies, a couple of monthly spots and guests appearances at a handful more, he still manages to find time to nurture the genre he loves most – techno. There has been much change in the evolution… Read More
Fluent as a DJ, studio producer, drummer and live sound engineer, for John Clayton aka HOOVES, music has been a lifelong engagement. Based in Melbourne, Australia, the native New Zealander worked his way through the genres of funk, soul, jazz, hip-hop and heavy metal, before diving deep into the drum and bass scene in the… Read More
Founder & DJ
Few DJs or promoters have changed the shape of Melbourne’s music scene quite like JPS (Jerry Poon). His diverse tastes and years as a crate-digging-collector are always on point no matter the crowd, be it art gallery openings or 3am hidden warehouse sets, his ear for the right beat at the right time will always have… Read More
“Music can unite and delight. People can connect through music whether they share a mutual language or not and it can soothe in ways that are indefinable,” says Freya Barnes, known across Melbourne dance floors’ by her alias LADY BANTON. With impassioned love of Jamaican music, LADY BANTON is renown for her infections rhythms and inciting… Read More
One of the Operative’s founding members and Australia’s most diverse selectors NAM has made a name for himself at the forefront of Melbourne’s musical landscape with his signature mixing style and contagious energy behind the decks. From his start as a drum ‘n bass regular, a natural evolution in taste and an eclectic record collection… Read More
Sean Deans is a well respected Dj in both Melbourne and his native country of New Zealand. Starting out as a jungle / drum n bass Dj in mid-nineties Christchurch, he eventually moved to Wellington where he made a name for himself playing at the now legendary Bass Frontiers parties. These days he is part… Read More
Almost-forgotten 90’s R&B B-sides, dusty ’45s, a blissful midday nap and the sting of not-quite realized romance are just some of the rich textures and colours that Melbourne-based multi-instrumentalist Silentjay – the project of Alejandro Jay Abapo – captures with his unique production, soulfully understated voice and phone book of friends and collaborators that he… Read More
A creative power-house, Screamy has been heavily involved in the music industry for nearly 20 years across multi-genres. Studying Performing Arts in NZ then relocating to Melbourne to study a Bachelor of Music Business, she wears many fancy hats from, singer, writer, recording artist, music producer and event management to artist development, film production and… Read More
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