Israel Marcano, Jr. could be considered an ex-pat of the infamous '90s Dallas rave scene. He has witnessed Dallas go through it's many phases over the years. Israel's mix for this week reflects that by not settling stylistically. The propulsive pulse of house music with dashes of techno and breaks weave together into a fine quilt of floor filling goodness that only seems to come from experienced vinyl DJs. For this week's Q&A Marcano reveals a bit of his journey as DJ, producer and promoter.
Dallas Observer: How did you get started DJing?
Israel: When I was thirteen I was living on an Army base called Fort Bliss located in El Paso, Texas. Basically everybody I hung out with at the time was a transplant from somewhere else and all of us were into Breaking, Graffiti and Hip-Hop. My good friend Shawn Davis, who lived across the street from me, had a mixer & turntable and I also had a turntable and some records so we’d get together in my driveway and practice while our other friends hung out & danced.
How long have you been DJing?
I started learning to spin when I was thirteen but I got my first professional DJ gigs in legendary El Paso nightclubs such as “Club 101” and the infamous “Old Plantation” when I was around nineteen or twenty. By the age of twenty two I was one of a handful of DJ/Promoters that had started organizing some of El Paso’s very first warehouse raves and hangar parties.
How did you get involved in Dallas DJ culture?
In the early nineties I started to buy records in Dallas at places like “Autobahn” and “Oaklawn Records”. I also went to raves & frequented nightclubs such as Club-A, DV8 and Aqua Lounge. My best friend Duncan Medlock was living in DFW and was sharing taped recordings of DJ Jeff K’s now legendary “Edge Club” with me. From that point I knew that I wanted to live in Dallas and be a part of the scene. In ’94 I made my move and have been here ever since.
What is Elemental Souls?
Elemental Souls is a brand I came up with several years ago when I decided to start organizing my own events. It was basically created to promote the celebration of underground electronic music & DJ culture in Dallas and it also serves as an umbrella for a few other concepts of mine such as "Streetcorner DJ's" and "Strategic Sound System". Elemental Souls consists of an ever growing roster of DJ's. At the moment it's Michael Douglas Duncan, Kenneth "Kendo" Marrero, Joel "The Windmill" Gajewski, Henri Jason, David Martinez and myself. Dallas has become a bit of a hub of amazing talent so we're always on the lookout for new DJ's to add to the crew or to join us as guests. Oh and we're not genre snobs so if you've got the skills, by all means, reach out & let us hear what you've got.
How was this mix made?
I recently put away my controller and got back into spinning on my turntables. These are all records I’ve added to my collection in the last month or so. I still play digital files with control vinyl but this mix is strictly just records.
Is there a particular theme for the track selection?
I think maybe the theme is for DJ’s not to be afraid of expressing themselves and to be risk takers when they’re selecting tunes and performing.
What is your relationship with house music?
My relationship with House music goes way back to the days when me and my friends would geek out on mix tapes and trade them amongst each other. Since I grew up on a military base we had a steady stream of tapes coming in from all over the place. That’s how I found out about House music and what was happening in cities like New York, Chicago and Detroit.
What other genres of music do you enjoy?
I love music first & foremost and I always have. I’ve studied and listened to basically every genre I’ve come across throughout my life. Hip-Hop, House, Techno, Disco, Salsa, Reggae, Jazz, New Wave, Punk, Industrial and so many more. I appreciate art very much and the creative minds behind it.
How did you get into production?
It was a direct result of my love for music, spinning records and technology. For me production seemed to come as a natural progression to being a DJ. You can only play other people’s music for so long before you start thinking about how you would like to arrange things or how you could remix this or that.
Which do you prefer between DJing and production?
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I love them both. Producing because I really enjoy seeing projects go from a bunch of ideas to an actual finished piece of music and DJ’ing because of different people’s emotions and energetic reactions to what they hear the DJ play.
How often do you play out nowadays?
Not often enough to tell you the truth but I do have a few local shows happening in the near future that will be lots of fun. On Saturday May 28th I’ll be playing out on the Continental Avenue Bridge near Trinity Groves along with a few other DJ friends and on Tuesday June 7th I’ll be playing out at Beauty Bar. Other than that I recently kicked off a new mix show called “Barrio Boogie” via my Youtube channel. There’s only one show posted up now but there’s definitely more to come so stay tuned as they say.
1. Azealia Banks - Van Vogue - Interscope Recs.
2. Duck Sauce - Big Bad Wolf (Gesaffelstein Rmx) - Big Beat Recs.
3. Livith Mafia - Shaved (Orig. Mix) - Neo Recs.
4. Plank - ToolB
5. Interflow #6 - Kathaan - KYR Recs.
6. More Funky Shit - 611 Records
7. Terry Bones - Angels Groove (Orig. Mix) - Nukleuz
8. Zicky - Follow Me (Mas Mix) - BXR Superclub
9. Oceanlab - Satellite (M. Schulz Cold Harbour Mix) - Ultra
10. Vince Watson - Radiance - Parallels EP
11. Submode vs. Bassoon - Taste Your Kiss - Delirium
12. Rue East - Birmingham (Hardgroove Remix)
13. Ratio - Central 3 (Hardgroove Remix)
14. Scan 7 feat. Aaron-Carl - 4 Types of People (Mourad’s Carthage Remix) - Wall shaker