There’s a lot of overlap between fans of indie music and fans of dance music, and Fropsi thrives in that space. As a member of DJ crew The Guild, he has a weekly residency dedicated to electronic music at the Nines, where he’s known to bring in other upcoming talent for feature spots. Show up to the Deep Ellum club on Thursdays and you can count on straight-up dancing. It’s one of the few places in the neighborhood where that’s the case.
For this week’s mixtape, Fropsi — who also hosts a podcast about deejaying called “Mind the Headspace” — shows off his everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach to electro, and the result is an eclectic mix of bleeps, bloops, acid bumps, techno vibes and funky breaks.
Dallas Observer: How long have you been a DJ? What got you started down that path?
Fropsi: I’ve been deejaying since about 2010. Growing up I would occasionally find dance music I really enjoyed, for instance Discovery by Daft Punk was one of the first albums I bought with my own money after seeing the music videos on Toonami, but I didn’t have anyone else in my life to guide me or join me in my love of dance music so I just kinda picked up stuff here and there.
In high school I was really into dance punk or indie dance stuff like the Rapture, Cut Copy, !!! and Ratatat. What really pushed me into picking up deejaying was going to see Daft Punk play at Red Rocks in 2007. Before we went to the show we dropped by a record store to check some stuff out and I tried an experiment where I bought an album based solely on how unappealing the album artwork looked.
I bought an album with a giant black and gold cross on it, which turned out to be the first Justice album and I was blown away. That got me turned on to the whole blog house scene and I decided deejaying would be a fun and sociable hobby. Going to burn events provided me with a lot of opportunities to DJ before I ever started getting gigs at actual clubs.
How was this mix made and was there a theme behind it?
This mix is the kind of set I would want to play at an underground party for a bunch of weirdos; a setting where I know the crowd would be receptive to a set that isn’t just a straightforward 4x4 house music set. I also wanted to capture what I think is my signature vibe.
I’m not really known for being a diehard fan of any particular genre, but I do think I have a reputation for playing sets that are multi-genre, dark while still being fun, and have a lot of weird noises in them. My style is largely influenced by first getting into dance music through the “blog house” scene. I really liked how all over the place those mixes could be aesthetically and that’s definitely reflected in how I deejay.
How did you get involved with The Guild?
I got involved with The Guild through the North Texas Burner community. My friend Nick Cassiani took me to my first burn around the time i started deejaying and I felt instantly at home. We started The Guild with the vision of being a sound camp with a wide variety of sounds and a cheesy, super villain aesthetic. We aren’t as big on the villain part — we used to all wear red cloaks at our parties — but we are definitely still committed to being a camp with a very versatile crew of DJs.
Where does the name Fropsi come from?
Honestly my name doesn’t have a super interesting origin story. I was around 12 years old and needed a username for something, so I smashed my hands on the keyboard and Fropsi came out. I thought it was a fun word to say so I started using it for every username or character name in a video game. I adopted it as my DJ name because I thought it was unique and wasn’t one of those names where it was an obvious reference to a time, place or genre that could make it eventually sound dated.
How did your podcast “Mind the Headspace” come about?
Every time I would go over to a DJ friend's house I would see all these playlists they had in their library of stuff they were really into, but they never really played out because they didn’t think there was a local audience that would be into it. I wanted to give DJs a chance to make mixes focusing on those neglected playlists. In general I wanted to showcase DFW area DJs doing mixes that were more eclectic, left-field, or focusing on a very particular niche aesthetic.
Where do you like to dig for tracks? Online or in stores?
I dig for tracks on a combination of Juno, Beatport, SoundCloud, Bandcamp, and lots of podcasts. I tend to listen to mixes by artists I already know I like, research the artists in that mix, then see what those artists like to play out, and just keep doing that ad nauseam.
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Which new producers have been getting you excited?
Locally I’ve been really digging Sub Genii. They played a live P.A. set at one of my “Mind the Headspace” nights recently and absolutely killed it. Pintalabios is another Dallas artist who is pretty new to the scene who has been absolutely killing it. I’m honestly not very good at being on the bleeding edge of new artists or trends, but some new-to-me artists I have really been enjoying have been jungle/D&B artists like Danny Scrilla, Sam Binga, Fixate and Levrige. I’ve also been getting into some really chill low-fi house stuff like Auscultations, Route 8 and Tissu.
What has been your most significant music experience of the past year?
As far as [events] that I have personally performed at, I really enjoyed tagging with Sean Sparks at the after-party for the Body Hacking Con this past January in Austin at Vulcan Gas Company. It was a packed venue and we always have great synergy as a duo. When it comes to events I’ve attended, my favorite show of the past year wasn’t even dance music related. I got to see one of my favorite bands, Yo La Tengo, perform at the Granada last year and it was amazing. They played a quiet acoustic set the first half, and then the second half of the show they played all of my favorite noisier songs. I had a great time.
What gigs do you have coming up?
I play every Thursday at the Nines for The Guild’s weekly event, The Lowdown. Circumstances permitting I’m also going to try and keep hosting live versions of my “Mind the Headspace” podcast once a month.
1. "Time To Bump (Original Mix)" — Murphy Jax
2. "Kaiko (Original Mix)" — Djedjotronic
3. "Systemausfall (Original Mix)" — Commuter
4. "Pleasure & Pain feat. Miss Kittin (Original Mix)" — Miss Kittin, Djedjotronic
5. "Space & Smoke (Justin Martin Remix)" — French Fries
6. "Da Bizzy Jump (Original Mix)" — SCNTST
7. "Pull Up feat. Slarta John (West Norwood Cassette Library Remix)" — Groove Armada, Slarta John
8. "Lemsippin (Original Mix)" — CASSINI
9. "Optic (Original Mix)" — Clouds
10. "Step Back" — Sinden
11. "Bang! (Original Mix)" — Erol Alkan
12. "Wavy Acid Wonton" — JRapp
13. "Township Funk (Sinden Remix)" — DJ Mujava
14. "St. Hood (Original Mix)" — John Roman
15. "1 Bad Bitch (Cause & Affect Remix)" — Ripley, Zebra Katz, Ten Ven
16. "Up With Me (Original Mix)" — Modek
17. "Define (Rob Pix Remix)" — Go Freek, Dom Dolla
18. "Lean Before the Interview (feat. Assembler Code)" — Jensen Interceptor
19. "ROBOT MYSTERY" — Night Calisthenics
20. "Ruffa (Original Mix)" — Randomer
21. "Go (Special Request Basement Remix)" — The Chemical Brothers
22. "NT1 (Liar Optimix)" — Hostage