Hulon Pate has been an active DJ since the '90s. Locally Pate has held down a residency at Absinthe Lounge for the past 5 years, but he's built a more substantial audience through his Grind2Shine Podcast. Although he is admittedly a techno fan as reflected in his mixtape this week, he's a true digger within dance music history and often handles the daunting task of multi-genre DJing. Pate can read a room and react accordingly. For this week's Q&A Pate touches on podcasts, vinyl and his humble beginnings as a DJ.
Dallas Observer: How did you get started DJing? How long have you been at it?
Huon Pate: I have been playing records since the early '90s. I learned mostly from watching others. Being a working DJ, I learned how to program a variety of music for the specific needs of a nightclub venue. Opportunities throughout the years to play and program electronic music seldom come outside major cities. It was only when I moved to Dallas that I was able to flourish professionally as a DJ.
How was this mix made? Is there a particular theme for the track selection?
This mix was made using a Pioneer 600, MacBook Pro with Traktor Scratch Pro 2 and two X'1 Controllers. I would say that I am a non-traditional DJ, which I find to be much more efficient and exciting inside a musical performance. The mix is a collection of the more techno side of electronic music I enjoy.
Who are some of your favorite DJs or producers?
These days with social media we are all able to keep in touch and build friendships with so many amazing people who play and produce music around the world. To name just a few people who make really amazing music are Francis Preve, Beaumont Stafford, Andy Kneale and Saytek (Live).
Do you still buy vinyl?
I do but mostly for obscure vinyl-only labels. Outside of records I also collect movies.
Where do you like to dig for tracks? Any specific websites or stores?
Beatport or iTunes. I find iTunes much more efficient. I go to Downtown 304 for all my other vinyl and CD needs.
Which do you prefer, DJing or producing?
DJing is more hands-on and live, yet production is much more fulfilling personally and artistically.
How many releases do you have out there?
I have only put out one release, way back in 2006 on my own digital label. I've made some of my own edits to play in my sets, but have refrained from trying to get back in the digital game — mostly because I just really want to put out exceptional original electronic music and not just fillers with overly used samples and kick drum. it was under my old Lonestardjz guise entitled "That One Girl" which was on my own label called Temporal Singularities. The name came from me being an uber sci-fi film fanfic..
How did you get into podcasting?
I started podcasting as an alternative to club gigs. Shur-I-kan and Freerange Records podcast were my early inspirations. It took quite a bit of work to get it going, quite a bit of research and trial and error. I entered into the "Techno" category not because the music was proper techno but because everything was being labeled house. The audience is global from mostly non-English speaking countries. It shows my programming abilities, which in today's DJ market is a skill set that most people seem to forget. They get caught up in the purity of traditional DJing. My Grind2shine Podcast can be found inside the iTunes podcast directory.
What other genres or artists do you like to spin or listen to outside of dance music?
I will always love '90s-era Brit-pop bands like Primal Scream, Suede, the Smiths, Foals, Oasis, Blur, U2 (I thought the free iTunes album was brilliant) Bad Lieutenant, Super Grass, Spiritualized, Happy Monday's and my favorite, Mansun. I also dig '70s and '80s R&B music. I am also well versed in adult contemporary and programming; I can throw down some love songs. These days I am a big fan of best of compilations.
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What gigs do you have in the near future?
I have had the good fortune of playing the Absinthe Lounge for the last five years (Deep After Dark) as a monthly resident. I’ve just always tried to make the best of things. My new Dark Science monthly kicked off Thursday, May 28 at the all-new Absinthe Lounge.
1. Envoy "Transition 9" B/w RadioSlave "Don't Stop"
2. Paul Ritch "Pulse"
3. Slam Pattern A3
4. Pig & Dan "Blossoms To Ashes
5. Ramiro Lopez + Arjun Vagale "Bomber7"
6. Dosem "The Path"
7. DrumComplex + Roel Salemink "Clock Work"
8. And I.D. "No More Words"—