John Walker has been a consistent presence in Dallas DJ culture for two decades. He's best known in house music circles, but he also deals in minimal house, tech house and, more recently, straight-up techno. For this week's mixtape, Walker meets in the middle of his many musical interests and provides a solid tech house mix.
How did you get started deejaying? How long have you been in the DJ game?
I celebrate my 20th anniversary this coming November 23. Rabbit in the Moon turned me on to the scene. [I also credit] Jimmy Johnson for teaching me how to cue a record and Josh Kynd for all of his help getting gigs, track selections, promotions and [teaching me] general DJ technical skills.
How was this mix made? Is there a particular theme for the track selection?
This mix was made in Ableton. I picked out some current tech house favorites, such as the Hot Since '82 track "Let It Ride."
What is your relationship with house and techno?
For me, house is for the body, techno is for the mind. Tech house is a blend of both. I got into house music by way of DIY and Hazy Daze crews. Corey and Bon Spengler got me more into harder, faster modern techno.
Are there genres that you would like to spin more of?
Possibly breaks. I like the energy of breaks. It’s a heightened sense of energy. I also really love Balearic house. My friend John Baugh turned me on to Andrew Clark. I love the slower tempos. I kind of imagine this is the music I would hear in heaven.
Do you still buy vinyl? Do you still play vinyl?
Rarely, but yes to both of those questions. Shouts to Retroplex and Josey Records.
Where do you like to dig for tracks?
Mostly Beatport for digital tracks. I still buy records and usually haunt Josey Records and Retroplex records. At both stores, the quality of the physical condition of the records is really consistent, and I've also been building up my yacht rock collection.
What non-dance music has been catching your ears lately?
Chainsmokers, Bad Suns and Twenty One Pilots. Twenty One Pilots is two brothers with an extravagant live show that make solid pop music. I got into Bad Suns three or four years ago. They remind be of early Beatles meets indie funk.
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Is there a track that you always come back to as a DJ?
Derrick Carter — "Boompty Boomp Theme" song. The first time I heard that, JT Donaldson was playing it at a party and it moved my soul. When we were hanging with Derrick Carter, I had him autograph the record.
What's the most profound musical experience you have had in the past year?
The most profound musical experience this year was when I performed "the turn@round show" for my first time at Get Lucky at the Green Elephant. I had a live painter and a hula hoop artist both performing while I was playing music that I wrote. Right before I started, I looked over and there was my ex-wife with her mother and our three kids.
What gigs do you have coming up?
I have a monthly with Chase Dugger every first Friday at The Nines called "One Nation Under a Groove."
"Chloroformd (Original Mix)" — Pleasurekraft, Jaceo, Vedic
"Break My Heart (Special Dubbb Radio Edit)" — Choklate
"Animal Trainer (Original Mix)" — Dragon Games
"Road Less Traveled" — Doc LInk
"My Heart Is Singing" — Sonny Fodera and Dajae
"Embassy & Metacentric (Strange Loving Remix)" — Desiree featuring Popartlive
"Hang Under (Original Mix)" — East End Dubs
"Brooklyn" — East End Dubs
"No Eyes (Original Mix)" — Claptone featuring Jaw
"Rather Be (The Magician Remix)" — Clean Bandit
"Play The Game (Original Mix)" — Maya Jane Coles
"Let It Ride" — Hot Since '82
"Where Did I Go Wrong (John Walker Edit)" — Steve Wariner