Richie Meldrum
Richie Meldrum

Apart from weddings and some funerals, going to church isn’t much fun. The Catholics were actually the first to realise this. They knew if you wanted to pull a crowd, you had to have a show worth going to. All the hymns and rituals and preaching was boring the shit out of their congregation so they created a new role in the organisation to liven things up a bit. The Master of Ceremonies was born. Their job was to connect with people and make them realise what a goddamn great time they were having. They’d oversee proceedings on the floor, big up the donation tray and give a few shout outs to the main man upstairs. Overtime, the job became a skill, and then the skill became an art form. It flourished most in dark, hot environments with lots of water, and when rave became the new religion, the MC became its voice.

Today MCs are an integral part of modern music and especially effective when heavy bass lines are involved. Anyone, in doubt should check out new night, Sensi Saturdays at the Mercat Basement where, this month, MC LowQui will show us just how far things have come. “I first started going to raves, illegal parties put on by the legendary Spiral Tribe in fields around the M25 around 90/91,” says the Londoner. “Hitting 3 clubs one after the other over two days was the norm back then. My memories of the old days are predictably vague but filled with excitement, it was a fresh culture taking over the world.”

Thankfully the dementia hasn’t fully kicked in yet or we’d never get to witness the talents that have led to LowQui performing with some of the biggest names in the business including, Andy C, Bukem, Goldie, Friction, Klute and countless others. “My job is to communicate between the crowd and the DJ, to pass energy between the two through the set and to enjoy myself. I just let the music do the talking and add my element over the top. Less is more, hence why I’m called LowQui, pronounced ‘Low Key’”.

But how did this all come about? What path should an aspiring MC follow? The answer, as is often the case, is breaking the law and sleeping around. “Me and my boys started the Optical Noise Crew in 1992 and put on our own legal & illegal parties for a few years. We started out DJ’ing and MC’ing with no thought of it being a career or an industry, just something we had to do. I’ve never had a game plan or sent a demo, just gone with the flow and it’s worked well so far. Any new MCs just have to bribe and sleep their way to the top, start with the cloakroom attendants and work your way up.” Write that down kids!

Having recently moved to Melbourne from the UK, LowQui is eager to raise the bar wherever he can. “I fell in love with Melbourne once I arrived. It’s a great city with a good club scene. It used to be world famous for its dnb scene and I’d like it to get back to that level. It’s moving in the right direction at the moment with regular events by the Broken Beat Assault Crew and new nights like Polaroid developing. Dubstep is growing in the right way here and Melbourne is already picking up a world wide rep for good dubstep parties.” That’s certainly good news for LowQui, as he’s been known to flow over dubstep, a skill he’ll be showcasing on the night. “Skream hooked me into my first dubstep set at a festival in Germany, I repaid the favour by throwing him into his first stage dive. Now I chat on dubstep sets around the world and he falls face first into crowds on the regs’. Seems like a fair swap.” Ahem to that.