Photo: Justin McManus, The Age September 2021
Since the early 1990s, David has worked as an electronic dance music artist, producer, composer, performer, DJ, academic, educator, and music technologist. He is an experienced music industry professional who innovates and inspires with his unique creative approach to music making. As the vibrant and energising live artist Honeysmack, he has earned a unique regard and reputation across the Australian rock and dance music circuits.
He holds a PhD in music composition, and his exegesis, Bacharach, Britney, and Acid Techno Bangers: The Evolving Creative Practice of Honeysmack, looked at various electronic dance music real-time compositional techniques. It specifically examines how Acid Techno is efficiently produced by merging studio-based and performance-based practices while being influenced by the stylistic traits of this well-established subgenre. By analysing the usage of electronic instruments and technology connected to electronic dance music, the research examined the origins and development of his creative approach. Through his improvisational approach to music making, David's research continues to explore new interactions and push the limits of Acid and Techno. Additionally, he is a multidisciplinary artist with experience in a variety of media arts disciplines, including music and sound.
David's music career has been long and successful most notably as the artist Honeysmack. Highlights include:
• Co-writing credits with Grammy and Academy awarded songwriter Burt Bacharach.
• Artist appearing on significant international labels including Zomba, Jive Electro, SonyBMG, Ars Publica and Mushroom.
• ARIA final nominee in 1999, for Best Dance Music Release, Walk On Acid, Honeysmack.
• Creating & directing independent record labels; Smelly Records, Idiot House and Hand Made Acid.
• Performing live electronica at popular music festivals nationally and abroad.
• Projects range from electronic dance music, experimental rock, western art music, sound design and film music.
• 200+ music works registered with APRA.
• Work exhibited at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, USA.
David’s academic experiences include lecturing in Interactive Composition at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, The University of Melbourne. His teaching covers electronic composition, music production, broader creative media practices, technology, communications and music business strategies. David's research profile includes a PhD in music composition from the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music, Monash University.
David has navigated the music industry in various roles from communications, media, print publishing, music journalism, radio, information technologies, music direction and creative consulting, including:
• Onelove Music Group - music label and events inc Stereosonic.
• Editor at Beat Magazine -100% Magazine, Furst Media, co-produced and co-hosted Beat TV clip show.
• Radio producer and presenter at Kiss90FM, Melbourne
• Music Technology demonstrator for global brands including; Roland, Elektron, Moog, Korg, Yamaha, Akai, Buchla and more.
Photo: Juan Castro, Melbourne Music Week December 2021
Photo: Kirill Kliavin, Beat Repeat, March 2021
Honeysmack live stream September 2021
Video: Ben Willis. Honeysmack performing live at Melbourne Music Week 2017, St. Paul's Catherdral
A world-recognised authority in the art of acid house, Honeysmack’s knack for hardware and give-no-fucks attitude saw him become a bona fide hero of Melbourne’s electronic scene - a status that lingers even to this day. ‘Walk On Acid’ saw Honeysmack sample Burt Bacharach’s classic ‘Walk On By’ and obliterate it with a thumping kick and slippery 303 bassline, and was so adored by the scene that it was nominated for an ARIA in 1999. If you’re a keen electronic fan, be sure to check out his live hardware sets on YouTube: this man’s an absolute master of his machines.
The 10 Best Aussie Rave Deep Cuts of the 90s, May 2020, by Will Brewster, Mixdown
Throwing convention to the wind, David Haberfeld’s (aka Honeysmack) pure-hardware performances of improvised techno were particularly spectacular! Within minutes, he dispelled the myth that live performances with modular synths are unstructured soundscape journeys.
Review of Melbourne Synth Festival 2018 by Jason Hearn, AudioTechnology Magazine
Maverick acid-house and techno producer David Haberfeld, aka Honeysmack, is one of the constellation of talents who gave Melbourne the name Techno City in the ‘90s. His dedication to the art of analogue wizardry is legendary, especially as he was one producer who believed the essence of dance music was in live performance, not DJing; and he was known for bringing a punk-rock spirit to electronic music. His 1999 classic Walk on Acid is instantly recognisable for its sample of Dionne Warwick and Burt Bacharach’s Walk on By, but it’s a cut far above the usual rave mashup, with its techno-soul keys, its sick drumkick and, of course, its electrifying 303 action.
100 Greatest Australian Dance Tracks of All Time, 2015 by Jim Poe, InTheMix