18 Nov
The inimitable Gus da Hoodrat from Australia's biggest DJ crew the Bang Gang DJs gives us a tour of his hometown

GusHoodrat

Coordinates: Sydney

[Every Coordinates we’ll be bringing you the best of a city, a personalized tour of a locale’s dizzying highs n terrifying lows as seen through the eyes of an LIAS Ambassador.]

For the inaugural installment of our Coordinates series we could not have chosen a better subject than Angus Gruzman, aka Gus da Hoodrat, aka Fisto McManiac. As one of the core members of Australia’s premier DJ collective, the Bang Gang DJs, Gus has seen the world five times over — which is integral for this series, as it’s only possible to really know your hometown if you’ve had the benefit of copious travel to put it all in context. I have spent a week crashing on Gus’ couch at his house in Paddington and it will be a week I will never forget. First, because he invited me to one of the best parties I’ve ever been to in my life (it was in a velvet-wallpapered former bordello about the size of a large living room, and the DJs included MIA, MSTRKRFT, Digitalism, Busy P, The Avalanches, Bumblebeez…if you had mustard gassed the club you basically would’ve wiped out the entire electro movement in one fell swoop). Second because I regained consciousness that morning sitting on the stone steps of a cathedral not having any idea of who I was. Everyone kept calling me by my name but I didn’t recognize anyone…including myself. So yeah, I’d have to say if you want to have a good time in Sydney follow at least some of his advice — the man knows a good time…

[Btw, here’s a free download for the Bang Gang 12″s For JJJ mix Gus and the Bang Gang did to promote their newest release, A Radicool Compilation — a compilation of 12″ tracks from their Bang Gang label. Enjoy the sounds of Sydney!]

Name, and nicknames:
Angus / Gus / Hoodrat / Angelo Cruzman / Mr Faranheit / The Finger Prince / Fisto McManiac / Gruzmaniac

Currently living, city, state/country:
Paddington (P-town) in Sydney, Australia. Southern Hemisphere.

Occupation:
Disc Jockey/Kangaroo Cowboy/Free Dance Expressionist/and Record Label Big Wig Executive Know-it-all (Bang Gang 12 inches)

My favorite local hangout:
The Duxford in Paddington. This is my house. I have been living here for 4 years and cannot ever see myself living anywhere else. I live with some absolute legends. Limbo is the in-house cook and a madman at it. Mark works in alcohol branding – and you can imagine the fringe benefits of this. And Hugo (who is my little cousin who moved to our couch one day and never left) is a constant supply of Simpsons quotes and amazingly obscure music.

“Sunday is the best night to go out in Sydney, because anyone who hasn’t been laid all weekend is throwing everything on the line.”

badhatters008

Top 3 Restaurants for Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner/Late Night:

Breakfast – Petit Crème: This is a nice little French café that is open only til 3 in the afternoon which sometimes puts it out of my schedule (especially on the weekends). It is always spot on with the specials and they do the best ‘eggs benedict’ in Sydney. Also the service has attitude and looks good and often talks about you behind your back. I like that.

LunchNth Bondi Italian : The outlook is amazing, the service is more than friendly, the menu is well priced and great to share with friends or to snack on by yourself. I like heading here after a big night and a swim at Bondi (Beach), which is the best way to cure your hangover. You can stroll off the beach and onto the deck, beer in hand and ass on seat within 2 minutes.

Afternoon Snack/Dinner Rockpool Bar and Grill: They have the best burger in the world (alongside McDonalds cheeseburger and In n’ Out Burger in Los Angeles). I know that is a large statement but this is about personal opinion and that is mine. The venue here is impeccable, they have thought it all out and spared no expense. It is one of many great up-market eateries in Sydney’s CBD (central business district) but I feel it is the most laid back which is why I frequent it.

Continue reading Coordinates: Sydney via the eyes of Gus da Hoodrat to learn the Best Places to Get Drunk, the Best Hotels, and the Best Place to Watch the Sun Come Up after the Jump

“I like heading here after a big night and a swim at Bondi, which is the best way to cure your hangover. You can stroll off the beach and onto the deck, beer in hand and ass on seat within 2 minutes.”

I love my city because:
It provides me with an easy lifestyle. I am a stoner from as far back as way back. I am lethargic and do not really enjoy to be challenged all the time. My city makes sense to me. I love to travel and meet other people and be caught up in strange situations – but when I am at home I like to roll out of bed, cruise to the beach, catch my mom for a bite to eat and watch the world go by (especially on Mondays).

I hate my city because:
Sydney has a distinct lack of underground culture. We are very good at commercializing certain things and flogging them until they are dead and then moving onto the ‘next big thing’. This is not a good quality to have – it puts people in a bad mind frame I find if they are always looking for something better.

Favorite activity or place to kill time without spending any (or little) money:
The Duxford (my house). I have been running a drop-in-centre for a number of years from my Paddington home and have found it to bring the entertainment to me at no cost – often bearing gifts.

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Best place to people watch:
From my deck down the side of my house. This is mainly because of the comfort of having my fridge, stereo and usually a housemate to throw down some witty commentary upon the passing minions.

Top 3 favorite places to get drunk:
Melbourne
: Seriously, Melbourne is a short flight away and has a bar and club culture that tops Sydney’s by so far I’m not sure you could even call it ‘fair game’. I spend almost every second weekend down there and am always impressed with the attention, top detail and service provided. The CBD is my stomping ground there…Head to Cookie‘s for a dope espresso martini, New Guernica for some disco dancing and dumplings, and Sorry Grandma to watch the sun come up from behind a cloud of smoke and a strobe light.

La Campana/Good God Small Club: Great people, cheap beer, excellent tunes (from reggae to disco to acid house to 50’s swing and back into reggae, its all here for you) and broken wooden seats give this place more character than a Marvel all-stars comic.

goodgodsmallclub

Neilson Park : On a summers day hit this lovely park with a bunch of friends and an esky full of beer. Then please come back to me and tell me why it ain’t good because I would love to know. This is a nostalgic place for me – I grew up across the road and spent many a school afternoon riding my bmx around here and getting stoned in the hidden caves on the cliff top…And then jumping off into the cool waters. Never broke a bone.

“The best place to people watch is from my deck. This is mainly because of the comfort of having my fridge, stereo and usually a housemate to throw down some witty commentary upon the passing minions.”

Best bookstore:
Ariel’
s in Paddington. It’s got a great selection and stays open til real late – which is an amazing feat in Sydney… Plus you can steal the chocolates at the counter because the staff are always blazed out of their minds.

Best boutique:
Victor Churchill’s Meats
on Queen St. This is the most amazing boutique that has sprung up in the past year. It is a butcher that has decided to take your experience to the next level. The custom-made door made of iron and with a door handle made of iron cast sausages catches you on the way in before you notice the amazingly detailed floor and ceiling that have also been custom-made. There are glass encased ‘carve’ rooms where you can watch your butcher slice your cuts the way you would watch a peep show through a window in downtown Amsterdam.

Victor Churchill’s Meats

VictorChurchill

Best coffeeshop:
I’m not a huge coffee fan. I am a huge fan of the espresso martini (the alcoholic’s alternative to a morning kick). But the next best thing to getting this may be a hot chocolate at Max Brenner’s on Oxford Street in Paddington. Kick ass chocolate everything there.

Favorite place to take a girl out:
Honestly, I haven’t been on a date in about 2 years. I have a commitment issue. I always say to myself  “wouldn’t that be nice taking a girl there” but then I realize it is just a passing thought.

Favorite place to take out a visiting buddy:
Taronga Zoo
– it sound cheesy but it is amazing. You can chase kangaroos around their enclosure and watch the seals attack the keepers… mega mega fun (in the sun).

The best place to see the sun come up:
Bronte Cemetery
. This is an amazingly creepy yet beautiful place. It is perched on the edge of a cliff against the ocean. You can lean up against your favourite tomb and kick it with a joint and watch the ghosts come home.

Best club night:
Funnily enough there aren’t many good club nights left. Some monthly parties still impress but they aren’t club nights.

Best 3 hotels:
Medusa in Darlinghurst
: Crazy interiors themed around the lady with snakes for hair. It is quite small and boutique situated right in the heart of Darlinghurst and surrounded by lots of great places to eat and drink.

MedusaHotel

Park Hyatt in The Rocks – Get the penthouse and stare down the harbour past the Opera house when you wake up. Then jump on a jet boat outside reception and head to Watsons Bay beer garden for a late breakfast of barbecued lobsters and tempura oysters washed down with a VB. CHOICE!!!!

Park Hyatt overlooking Sydney’s famed Opera House…

ParkHyatt

The Albany in Melbourne – Yes I know this isn’t in Sydney but I stay here all the time and it feels as through it is here in my hometown, that’s how comfortable they make me feel. It is a Motel-turned-Hotel with a totally laid back vibe and cheap cheap rooms. There is a roof top pool with Melbourne’s biggest sun-bed and a bar. Great way to waste a hot day.

My favorite hometown hero is…(alive or dead)
Damon Downey – Alive
.
A Stalwart of the Sydney nightclubbing scene. This dude has partied and partied and partied. With the best and the worst and everything and everyone in between. A creatively outrageous force that will teach you the ins-and-outs of many a secret rabbit hole in Sydney’s party district. He has a Sunday night at Hugo’s Lounge in Kings Cross that has been going strong for 10 years now. I am there every Sunday trying to tell my face from my ass. And when the night is over Damon is there to carry me on a magic carpet ride through Monday day and usually all the way through to Tuesday.

Brett Whitely – Dead. My favourite Australian artist. I used to live behind his studio when I first moved out of home. This guy was proper crazy. I mean like water in your car and petrol in your belly crazy. Check his studio if you come to Sydney.

Favorite local band/DJ/artist:
Andee Frost
– This guy is a local Melbourne deejay. The king of disco, the queen of tranny techno, the macho-machino-master-mind-bender. This guy runs his own night called the House-de-Frost on Saturdays at ‘The Toff in Town’ and is resident at Melbourne’s finest super-not-so-super club ‘Sorry Grandma’. He is a force to be reckoned with in the heavy-weight disco ring, and always has his hand on the smoke machine and lazers.

Canyons – Nu Disco warriors from Perth via the skies above our desert. These guys are my favourite guys to pester when my mind ‘eludes me’ as to which song it was…. In other words – they have what I ain’t got… and most of the time I want. Acid house and prog-disco are their specialties.

“I am there every Sunday trying to tell my face from my ass. And when the night is over Damon is there to carry me on a magic carpet ride through Monday day and usually all the way through to Tuesday…”

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The local cops are: LAPD, Mayberry, Hazzard County or Law & Order?
I hate the Police. That is something that is never going to change I think. Unfortunately they are not very well paid members of the civil service department so it is not an attractive position to start with. Many members are not too bright and are in it for the ‘moral reward’ that it brings. They are stripped of all common sense and many are overly violent (probably due to lack of sex-life). So I’m gonna classify them as Mayberry Cops.

Best night of the week to go out:
Sunday, because anyone who hasn’t been laid all weekend is throwing everything on the line. And the folks who have been working there asses off all weekend are there to burn the dance floor with some mock moves they picked up from strangers all weekend.

Worst night of the week to go out:
Saturday, because every loser and their pet dog is out looking to find treasure that doesn’t exist.

Favorite secret walk or spot:
Gordon’s Bay. This is a little rocky outbreak on the coast a few beaches further south of Bondi. It is a great place to lay back and get away from the chaos of most beaches around the area on a hot summers day. And lovely place to take some acid and go snorkeling. You can also take your dog there, as it is pet friendly. Most beaches nowadays aren’t that way inclined.

Best way to get around town:
A combination of anything but public transport tends to work well in Sydney. Taxi drivers generally don’t know where they are going, riding a bike can be extremely hazardous, and driving a car can be extremely confusing due to the lack of ‘grid’ and lots of one-way streets.. An auto like a mini moke could prove to be the best investment.

Favorite market and why (any type – farmers, supermarket, corner store, bodega, etc):
Sydney fish markets are great for quality fish and are a lovely place to grab a meal while you are there. I like picking my own fish and getting it scaled. Then you can do as you please with it when you get home… Nothing better than a whole fish on the BBQ after a long stint on the beers at the beach.

If you were Lost In a Supermarket, what aisle would we find you in?
The confectionaries and Soda drinks aisle. My sweet tooth has cost me 3000 dollars in the last 3 months. I am going to become the only dude on my block with grillz soon, and not because it looks cool and totally g-force. Mine will however be made of candy that is replaced at the end/beginning of every day to satisfy my need for speed (as a by-product of sugar).

Bang Gang

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