Damion Pell (AU)
Spanning a career over 2 decades, Damion Pell has quietly worked within the global music industry, never too far from being a promoter, journalist, DJ, producer; to the Editor of various magazines. His beginnings started in the late 80's in hip hop but grew tired of the negativity it brought with it. In late 1991, he had a chance encounter with an electronic producer and DJ who introduced him to emerging underground dance music scene in Australia. After immersing himself in the rave culture, he took quickly to the music and found himself regularly on the line ups of various warehouse parties and clubs. With various residencies in the early 90's, it once again was a chance encounter and interview with a journalist at an illegal warehouse party he was promoting who reached out and invited him to contribute to Squish Magazine, a local stress press covering the raves and clubbing in his home town. It wasn't too long before he took over the post as Editor and regularly found himself involved behind the scene, willing to covering stories that other magazines considered taboo or not commercial enough. It was to set up the stage almost 15 years later in the United Kingdom with one the worlds most respected industry voices – Decoded Magazine. A shift in music styles is part of developing as an artist and Damion found his shift from his early days of playing Hardcore in the early 90's to the foundations of Trance and NRG. This was to take him over the next 8 years across almost every major club in Australia, including interstate guest residencies at the world famous Bass Station, Hard Kandy, Bubble, Heaven II and more. In 1999, after writing for numerous publications including Ministry Magazine (MoS) Onion, Rip It Up, and Zebra, he challenged himself to create his own monthly street magazine – EQ. It was a challenging (yet rewarding) experience even when mired in running costs, delayed deadlines and growing pressure from a new competitor, he merged his magazine a year later and exited from writing to focus back on his DJ career. Fast forward, it is 2005 and after extensive touring, managing award winning clubs and promoted over 90 (including outdoor festivals) events across Australia, he made the leap to the United Kingdom and turned his back to a scene he loved, but knew he needed a new challenge. London, and Damion didn't take long to reach out to his network and quickly begun guest gigs across the UK which landed him as the booking agent for Anam, a bespoke club in Angel Islington and begun a yearlong residency with a new found love of deep tech and progressive house. After a year and a half of the UK and an opportunity to open a 7000 capacity venue in Sydney, Australia, he packed his bags for home. Fresh off the plane, before too long, he found himself back behind the decks, headlining various events and clubs, leading to numerous residencies and club management roles. 2008 and Damion teamed up with 2 other promoters to create the global brand – Musicology. The mixture was perfect, soulful to jackin house finished with techno. A recipe that worked for 5 years with events in Milan, London, Ibiza, Sydney, Barcelona and more, but by 2012 with differences in the group, it was left and an opportunity to co-own London based label and promoter – Bootleg Social Records was too great. From the start of 2011,Damion returned to London and it wasn't too long before he was regularly finding himself each month playing in various rooms at Ministry of Sound to across the capital, such as Brixton O2 Arena, Alexander Palace, Gigalum, Lightbox, Corsica Studios Hidden, Fire and more supporting events from Mixmag to Lock and Loaded. By 2013, Damion playing across the UK and Europe weekly to the main stage of Snowbombing (Austria) to La Terrazzza (Barcelona) After releasing a mix album with his label in 2012, by late 2013, he grew increasingly frustrated at the quality of journalism in the wider music industry and banded together with partners to create Decoded Magazine. As the Editor, he took to his role and left the label to continue with his former partner. Not an easy decision, but a needed direction to focus on what now has become one of the most influential and industry respected magazines globally. Taking back to his days of promoting, he quickly established events in Amsterdam, Mauritius, London, Miami, Toronto, Manchester, Montenegro's and Ibiza with Hernan Cattaneo, Guy J, Nick Warren, Dave Angel, Josh Wink, Dave Seaman, Eelke Klein, Darin Epsilon, Jaydee and many more including an official Amsterdam Dance Event closing party. By 2015, he had also expanded Decoded Magazine into North America with its own editorial staff and offices, whilst managing to partner with Romanian progressive house producer Alex Preda to form Pell & Preda, releasing numerous originals and remixes with Stripped Digital and Krafted Records, gaining massive support from Sasha to Maceo Plex. With an 12 month break from DJing, a move to Amsterdam and a focus on his magazine, it wasn't too long before the industry has drew him back after his success with his Kollective mix series and numerous guest radio shows, it is not uncommon for Damion to delve deep into all forms of underground electronic music from progressive house, techno, minimal and house finding himself back once again where it all began; on stage.
Previous editions –