“Walked on the beach, went to a vineyard for lunch, smoked weed, drank too much and got to play my music all weekend: Etta James, ’80s stuff, Winans Brothers Louie Vega remix, The Orb and John Tejada’s Sweat On The Walls.” Ms Helliker-Hales
When your mum sends you texts like the above it’s perhaps not surprising you find yourself with a musical career. For the Helliker-Hales brothers in Chaos In The CBD, it’s strictly a family thing. They may well be one of the hottest propositions in the current house firmament, but they’ve still managed to maintain the homespun vibe that comes from growing up in the idyllic suburbs of Auckland.
These days the duo – Louis and Ben (aka Beans) – are part of the tight knit Peckham dance community, but the chill summers of New Zealand’s North Island still hold a place in their fertile imagination. Having been schooled in the wares of bands like The Cure and Joy Division from their music-mad parents, it’s now the boys turning them onto house music and, yes, John Tejada.
The pair has always had a certain drive to succeed right from their early forays into electronic music after Louis’ Damascene conversion from rock to house at a Melbourne rave. He returned a convert, guiding Beans’ meandering explorations on Fruity Loops towards the sound of Chicago. They’d stand and watch local heroes like Soane, Dick Johnson, Bevan Keys and Greg Churchill and imagine themselves in the booth. Later, they received lucky guidance from Detroit-born Re-cloose, who washed up on Auckland’s shores and stayed several years.
Their move to Peckham, however accidental, couldn’t have been timed better if they’d tried. They met local scenester Bradley Zero on a train, the week they arrived. That fortuitous connection became part of their new network in the buzzy, emerging Peckham, with Bradley later releasing the vaunted breakthrough EP, Midnight In Peckham.
Having built a reputation in the studio and followed it up with the constant rigours of the DJ touring life, they’re now ready to take stock, step back and examine where they want to be in ten years. They’ve taken the big step from having a laugh to building a career and a lot is in store.