Drumming all Dave

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Percussionist Dave Kastner was born in Melbourne but spent most of his childhood and adolescence in Hobart, Tasmania. He had a natural flair for rhythm and would sometimes pull out all the saucepans and frying pans in his parent’s kitchen, line them up on the floor and, using wooden spoons as drumsticks would make a lot of noise.

But it wasn’t until his early teens he realized he wanted to play drums. He then spent many years in Hobart studying classical percussion, West African drumming, contemporary jazz drum kit and Indian Tabla before playing drums or percussion in a variety of different bands and styles including a percussion ensemble named “Too Bent To Hit Straight”, a melodic death metal band named “Gorgon” (of which 2 members have gone on to find international fame in renowned technical metal band Psycroptic ), a seven piece funk band named “Cut Lunch” and regularly performed with blues and jazz guitarist Devon Robson as ‘Mr.Percussion’, as well as a 2 year stint as auxiliary percussionist for The Tasmanian Youth Orchestra’s Wind Ensemble.

Dave Kastner

Dave Kastner

He then joined a funky original party band named ‘Trouser’ playing bongos, congas and a unique seven cowbell setup and when half the band decided to make the journey across Bass Strait in pursuit of more gigs they asked Dave to join them. At first he said “no thanks” because he did not want to leave his friends and family behind to move to a concrete jungle but then the bass player asked Dave what else he was going to do and that struck a major chord.

“What was I going to do if my band moved to Melbourne and left me behind? I realised I had nothing to lose by making such a bold move and was suddenly excited by the prospects of moving to a city with a population almost 15 times larger than Hobart” he thought.

It didn’t take long before Dave met an ex-Tasmanian, Felix Greenlees, who had already been living in Melbourne for a few years studying classical music and audio engineering, and they decided to start making experimental electronic music together under the name Mental Extensions.

Over the last several years Mental Extensions has performed at nightclubs and electronic music festivals across Australia and released a successful album on UP Records in 2010 titled ‘Inner Reality’. Their style can be described as dub infused mutating bass beats with a twist of trance. Or maybe it’s just music.

Lately Dave has also been producing his own quirky trance music as Cone&Drum, playing at many outdoor parties with live improvised electronic percussion which make his performances unique, unpredictable and exciting.

Dave’s long term plan is to teach drumming workshops, take on private students and write books on rhythm so basically “I want to pass on my extensive knowledge to inspire a new generation of percussionists”.

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