Bon Spengler is a mainstay in the underground house and techno scenes in Dallas. Along with her husband Corey Spengler (of the electronic duo Opencloud), she has been responsible for a series of notable parties featuring local and touring techno, tech house and house talent that are not usually known to come through Dallas (or even Texas), including an upcoming gig with Drumcode approved Techno DJ Kyle Geiger. With a gig schedule that occasionally wanders outside of Texas borders to different techno hotspots, she brings a bit more of a worldly view to her sets.
You can check out Spengler in person this friday where she'll be the guest DJ for the Ellumental residency at the recently opened Red Light Lounge in Deep Ellum. For this week's Q&A Bon gave us a little insight into how she came to DJing, how Proton Radio came about and what sounds are catching her ear of late.
DC9 at Night: How did you get started DJing?
Spengler: My older sister inspired me with her late '80s and '90s vinyl to make bedroom DJ style cassette mix tapes for friends and family during high school. In college I took multimedia courses, exposing me to Pro Tools and the digital side of wavs, mp3s and eventually CDJs.
What other genres or artists do you two like to spin or listen to outside of dance music?
I really do love all music -- jazz, acid rock... I love listening to disco from the likes of Donna Summer, Shannon, Chic, Shalamar, SKYY and Stephanie Mills; old school hip hop such as Newcleus, Man Parrish, Egyptian Lover and Herbie Hancock; electronic synth acts such as Kraftwerk, Grace Jones, New Order, Depeche Mode, 808 State, Pet Shop Boys. And I enjoy Prince, but not sure what category he's in.
Who are some of your favorite producers and DJs?
Some of my favorite DJ and producers are Mario Bassinov, Oxia, Ten Walls, Oliver Huntman, Gesaffelstein, DJ Koze, DJ W!ld, DJ Pierre, Tigerskin and Boris Dlugosh.
How did Proton Radio get started?
It actually got its humble start here in Dallas, in the late 1998 to 1999 time frame. The Proton Project was inspired by a couple guys from the United States and Canada who used to talk about trance music in music chat rooms, sharing their favorite tracks and DJs. Eventually in May of 2001, wanting to promote a new style of music called Progressive, Sam (Proton) founded Proton Radio using a server room located in a basement of accounting firm right off of highway 635 and 75 area. The internet revolution made it possible to bring the Proton Project ideas to a streaming format that made it easier for people to hear their favorite underground DJs online.
And how did the performances evolve from there?
Starting very small, Proton's goal was to create a roster of weekly or monthly shows from Bedroom DJs throughout North America to showcase their talent. The idea quickly caught on, and by 2005, Proton had a selection of shows spanning from Dubai to Tokyo, Los Angeles to Athens. Now in its 13th year, Proton Radio has become the most respected online radio station for up and coming talent as well as established labels, artists and DJs, such as John Digweed, Hernan Canteneo, James Zabiela, Get Physical, Drumcode, Viva Music, Octopus Recordings and Audiofly's Flying Circus have all joined Proton, uniting the underground with mainstream.
How was this mix made?
I don't have the new Nexus CDJs yet, so for this mix I used Native Instruments Traktor, because I love having more options of music at my fingertips in a folder versus a CD book, and also because I'm a purist of sorts when it comes to technology of electronic music. My college professor would have this saying: "If it's made digitally, it should be played digitally." Which made sense and made me a believer in the future of dance and club music. For me personally being able to see waveforms and manipulating them to make remixes on the fly is excellent practice in prepping me for my own music productions.
Is there a particular theme for the track selection?
For this mix I used deep techno house music, because every so often I love to make mixes that mingles techno with a few select house tracks to give me the edge I want.
Who have been some of your favorite touring DJs to share a bill with?
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Artist that I loved to opening for are Shawn Reeves, Jamie Jones, Three, Mr. C, Slow Hands, Clint Stewart, Francis Harris (Adultnapper), Bob Moses, John Templeton, Ataxia, Raiz and course Opencloud to name a few.
What gigs do you having coming that you are excited about?
This year I'm especially excited to play the Love Rich annual Halloween Party at the Green Elephant at the end of the month on October 31, because the theme is "Zombie Disco" and I have a chance to showcase my disco fever in front of my friends. Then upcoming in November are Dimensions SoundsLike camping party in the Texas hill country, and in December is Nothing But Techno warehouse party here in Dallas with Kyle Gieger, because techno is my secret passion
Tracklist: 1. Aaron Bingle - Ghananight Moonlight 2. Benn Finn - Luma Pipes [Finn Music] 3. Adler & Finn - Time 4. Benn Finn - Black & Chrome 5. Benn Finn - Rocking Motion [Finn Music] 6. Mathais Adler & Henirettas Park - Go Through (Micro Niemier Remix) 7. Saccao - Wont Be The Same 8. Sebastian Cha - Tropical Origin 9. Skinnerbox - Mary Of Exeter [Bpitch Control] 10. Steven Beyer - If I could Be [Supdub Digitales]