Australian based DJ and curator Merve lays down a dark n’ stormy club mix with heavy doses of 90s rave and propulsive rhythms.

We connect with the acclaimed selector from the Melbourne electronic music community on the back of a highlight-filled European tour. As part of her tour, we recently had the pleasure of hearing Merve perform at the re-opening of Amsterdam-based club De School, which completely blew us away. Captivated and inspired by the whole experience, we sent her an invite the day after and were stoked to hear she was up to record a mix and have a chat for our series.

Check out the electrifying result below.

Hi Merve, pleasure to have you with us today! You recently visited Amsterdam to play at the reopening of De School, how did that all go down – you mentioned you could feel the hard work the team put into this new chapter?

Hi! Thank you so much for having me ☺. Yes, it was my second visit of the tour. The entire evening was a dream! From meeting all the legends playing the opening night along with the De School team at dinner, to the moment I finished playing. It was also so nice to see friends from Aus, friends I made during my time in Europe and my dream team there. The crowd was so great and hot! I loved the energy and the sweet faces I saw. There are a few moments I still think of from that night that make me smile. I also love it when there are no cameras/phones allowed in clubs, I think people get really into it and let loose.

You could definitely feel and see the hard work. Every member of staff and the team I interacted with were so lovely, caring and were just as excited as the club goers. It makes a world of difference to how a club feels when you have good people working in them. You were at De School that night too, the energy in the entire venue was fantastic!

You also mentioned that you just arrived back in Aus after a couple of months touring in Europe. Tell us a bit about that experience.. what have been some of the highlights, who did you meet along the way, and what kind of impact did the whole ride have on you personally and artistically?

I was away for about 4 months and (as I keep saying) it was the best time of my life! My whole time away and every experience I had was a highlight. I had so many fun, funny and strange encounters – I think I had at least one bizarre story to tell after every weekend, haha! I also met so many lovely people and friends for life. That was another reason why I had such a special time, reconnecting with friends I haven’t been able to see for a couple of years, and making new ones along the way.

Artistically and personally, a big discovery for me was learning that I’m made for touring and I really enjoy it! Right before I left Australia, I did have a moment of ‘can I actually do this though?’, in terms of hearing how hard touring can be mentally and physically. The time spent alone, meeting new people and being able to function on little sleep – it all works for me. I do need to thank my unofficial tour sponsor, caffeine. Couldn’t have done it without it :’) Sound wise, I’ve always been open to hearing and playing different genres, but I think I’m even more so now. And seeing so many great DJs – especially local acts, it’s super inspiring. Shout out to Dusty Fingers in Paris for playing some of the best house music I’d heard in ages, and Onquiet in Essen who totally smashed it! And it was so nice to see so many women working behind the scenes at clubs and festivals!

What will you be focusing on now that you’re back in Australia? Does the heavy schedule continue, or are you ready to take some down time with friends and family and focus on other projects?

I think after Europe, my schedule in Aus won’t feel as heavy. Last summer, Australia had a bit of a strange start as we went into a month and a half long lockdown immediately after new years day. As soon as it was lifted, gigs were very much back on. So I feel like I didn’t do a lot of summer activities and I’m actually looking forward to making time to go to the beach or see some nature.

I read somewhere that you are looking to move into production.. how’s that coming along? Any things we need to be on the lookout for?

Yes, another reason why I’m excited to be back is that I have all my music equipment again! It’s coming along slowly; I feel like showing people my work is a thing I need to get better at. Probably the only time I will genuinely say ‘I’m shy’.

What can you tell us about this mix you’ve put together for us? How did you approach it, what kind of energy can we expect and are there any special tracks in there you would like to mention?

This mix turned out to be very peak time/high energy. It’s a bit of a collage of tracks that remind me of a time or moment. But I mainly wanted to have fun with it without restricting myself, and for it to be a fun mix for the listener. A special track in the mix would be the second last track, Elegia – Aion (I-ON Mix). It’s so beautiful! It’s one of those tracks where I had that ‘omg this is the best thing I’ve heard in ages’ moment.

What else might you have coming up?

I think the one thing I’m both excited and a touch nervous about is my first ever all-night set in Naarm/Melbourne. I have avoided and said no to doing them for a while, but I feel ready for it as I’ve been enjoying longer sets. So that’s a new experience I’m looking forward to!

Photo credit 1: Jackson Grant
Photo credit 2: Benny Chiu
Photo credit 3: Jerry Dodson