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Currently Chooky hosts 2 internet based house music shows on www.reelhouseTV.com, which is based in the UK, with a large international audience every Wednesday and Sunday night. The shows are based around promoting and playing the best in Australian house music to the world, and with a base crowd from as far off as England, Switzerland, Dubai, France, Germany and America, as well as a local crowd from Australia, this is truly an international show.
Starting out in the late 80’s break-dance era, Gary Cook, AKA “Chooky” has been riding high on the DJ wagon for a long time now, and still with all the passion and enthusiasm he began with. He has the hard to find ability to cater to a wide range of party goers, from rappers and rock and rollers to house lovers, ravers and everything in between, but holds a personal love for club dance styles such as house, electro and breaks. The last decade has seen Chooky mixing up some of the freshest house, breakbeat and electro sets around weekly at clubs such as the Velvet Underground and Sanctum playing with a constant array of local, national and international talent.
From 1999 to 2004, Chooky spent 5 years as resident DJ, co-promoter and stage manager for the Reef Casino’s Nightclub, 1936, and was to a large degree responsible for the clubs weekly transformations over 5 years from retro club to a Superclub dance venue before becoming the Velvet Rope. rnHe has also promoted and co-coordinated events with dance labels and clubs such as Ministry of Sound, Renaissance, Bass-Station, Plastic, Fuzzy, Central Station and R’n’B Superclub amongst others, still holding good stead with all the companies he deals with. He has played in FNQ clubs with musical styles and patrons ranging from disco, club house, electro, break-beat, progressive and harder house styles. He also enjoys playing more obscure styles such as acid jazz, funk, rare groove, trip hop, dub, dubstep and some drum’n’bass if the time and atmosphere is right. Chooky has played with an impressive list of local, national and international DJ’s over the past decade, considering he has stuck to his home turf of Far North Queensland, including internationals Roger Sanchez, Krafty Kuts, Axwell, Chris Fortier, Serge Santiago, Elite Force, Supafly Inc, Tocadisco, Carl Kennedy, Tom Neville, Fort Knox 5, Superstyle Deluxe, Freq Nasty, Bodyrox, Hyper, Blim, Cut La Roc, Dave Seaman, Sharkey, Dave Lee (Slinky), Kai Tracid, Uberdruck and Kaylab as well as Aussie DJ’s Kid Kenobi, Phil K, John Course, Mr. Timothy, Grant Smillie, Ivan Gough, Jono Fernandez, Dirty South, Andy J, Andy Van, Archie, John Ferris, Peewee Ferris, Matt Kitshon, Mark Dynamix, Matt Nuggent, Sugar Ray, Ken Cloud, Sveta, Nick Fish, Declan lee, Jen-E, Thief, Goodwill, Tim McGee, Alex Taylor, Bexta, Sean Quinn, Odyssey, Aniki, Dexter and way too many more to remember over the past two decades. In the club scene, Chooky has played almost every venue in Cairns, Port Douglas and Innisfail at some stage, with long term residencies at Magnums Nightclub, House on the Hill, Club 1936, the Playpen, The Nest, The Sports Bar, Tropo’s, Soho (and Club Five-Nine), Velvet Underground, and NuTrix as well as an extensive list of smaller venues who have benefited from his musical influences, such as Gypsy Dee’s, the Chapel, F.J’s, The In Box, the Piranha Bar and The Lounge (downstairs at The Woolshed) to name just a few.
He has supplied beats at events such as the 1998, 1999 and 2000 FNQ Hair Awards at the Cairns Convention Center, the FMX Dirt Games at Kuranda Amphitheatre, the original “Full Moon” parties at A.J. Hackett Bungy site, Island parties such as Earthdance and local break-dance, in-line and skateboard competitions and demonstrations and corporate functions.
His obsession for dance music has seen him dissect it down to its bare elements, delving into studio and stage production with a stint in local electronic band, “Cloud Nine” from 1998 to 2001. This time gave him valuable experience in a studio environment using programs such as Logic Audio, Pro Tools and Abelton Live, as well as working with midi controlled keyboards, workstations, samplers, effects and automated mixers.
|Check out my weekly internet show for what I'm digging this week, on www.reelhouseTV.com every Sunday from 8 to 11 PM or Wednesday from 7 to 9 PM.
|DJ/producers: Rufus, Dirty South, Golden Features, Fear of Dawn, Purple Disco Machine, Sgt Slick, Le'Tric, Benson, Claptone, Aston Shuffle, Nicky Night Time, Phonatics, Set Mo, Friendless, Chemical Brothers, Lo'99, Armand Van Helden, Christian Luke, Low Steppa, Phil K, Kid Kenobi, Norman Cook, Freestylers, Plump DJ’s.
Bands: NuBreed, Infusion, Arthur Baker, New Order, Pink Floyd, Kraftwerk, Daft Punk, Run DMC, Midnight Starr, Massive Attack.
MUSICAL STYLES! Classic funk, retro and disco to acid jazz, trip-hop, R’n’B, hip-hop, current and disco, tech, funky, deep, acid & hip-house, garage, breakbeat, bass house and drum’n’bass.
|MINISTRY OF SOUND: Chooky has been involved heavily from the beginning in bringing the Ministry of Sound label to Cairns, along the way getting to know and play with some of Australia and the world’s finest Club DJ’s. Covering styles from house and breakbeat to EDM, the MoS tours set the highest standards for dance events in Cairns from 2001 to 2007.
DECKTIZM: “This is still the most fun I have ever had with my chosen art form, working closely with one of my oldest and closest friends." Decktizm was an idea which DJ Smooth(E) and Chooky created for Gypsy Dee’s Restaurant with 4 turntables, 2 mixers and a CD unit, and a shared passion to be creative and different, while still being entertaining.
ELECTROPICA AWARDS: 2003 saw the first Electropica Music Awards in Cairns, and Chooky winning an “Outstanding Contribution” award, as well as accepting the awards for best club for Nightclub 1936, “Best event” for Kid Kenobi’s 2003 breaks tour and “Best visiting DJ” for Kid Kenobi’s 2003 breaks tour. 2004 saw his MoS events tied with O.E.World for “2004 best club events,” while he again received “Best Club Event” in 2005 for the continued MoS parties @ Sporties.
G-FORCE: Promoting and playing at the G-FORCE club nights at Club Five-Nine in 2001/2002. This was Chooky’s first real taste of solo club promoting with A-class guest DJ’s such as Sugar Ray Goode, Peewee Ferris, Kid Kenobi, Chris Fortier (USA), Phil K and NuBreed LIVE, Keltec, Odyssey and G.T, and more in what was, and still is a great room. Chooky also administrated an amateur DJ competition at G-Force, encouraging fresh new talent to the reach for the surface around Cairns.
VIBES ON A TROPICAL DAY I and II: Chooky was the local instigator and co-ordinator for both “Vibes on a Tropical Day” festivals, which were arranged as an offshoot of the national electronic festival, “Vibes on a Summers Day” with Vibes founder, Joe Connelly (JOE 90) and CCG in 1999. The first event was held at the “Underdog” Hotel (The Jack) and the second at the “Tanks Art Center” in Edge Hill. Acts included Endorphin, Pocket (Poxy Music), Phatt Dex, Hot Rubber Glove, Trapazoid, Sharif Galil, Abel (El Toro) and many more. It remains one of the best electronic festival events Cairns has seen.
WICKID I and II: The WICKID festivals happened in 2001 and 2002, both drawing large numbers to the Cairns arenas. After playing a 15 minute set before “Sonic Animation” at WICKID I, (and dancing around in the Theopolus Thistler outfit on stage with SA) Chooky was asked to co-ordinate set-up and DJ production for the dance pavilion at WICKID II.
JJJ Mix-up: In July 2004 Chooky got his first chance to play JJJ’s national mixed show, Mix-Up with a mix which spanned his tastes from trip hop to breaks and drum’n’bass including some original material from himself and other locals to the larger Australasian audience. He has also been interviewed by Sharif for JJJ’s Groove-train show.
BUZZ DJ: Chooky was asked to oversee the DJ section for the new Buzz Music premises, turning it into a one stop DJ shop. He was involved in sourcing the right products and companies to deal with, equipment and vinyl ordering, sales and all aspects of retail service. Whilst there, he also held a successful DJ course which had over 30 participants attend a six week course.
“OFF YA DIAL” AND “PLUSH” RADIO SHOWS: “OFF YA DIAL” ran for around four and a half years every Friday night on 4CCR.FM from 10 p.m. to midnight with DJ Smooth (E). Apart from playing as much new stuff as possible, he covered local events, world dance news and interviews with all the visiting DJ’s he could get.
“PLUSH” ran for one year at TRIP FM in Port Douglas every Saturday afternoon from 12 a.m. to 5 p.m. with fellow music lover and Delicious Sydney DJ, Sara.
Internet shows: Over the past 2 years I have been doing live internet shows for UK based website, www.reelhouseTV.com where I showcase the Australian house music scene to the world. I enjoy great satisfaction form these shows, which I tweet out my track-listing for as I play. My Wednesday night show is called "The Deep Down Under Experience", and my Sunday night show is called "OFF YA DIAL".