Gabriel Mendoza, aka DJ Gabe, has been spinning (literally, he uses turntables) since 2004. His DJ career took off when his friend, Patricia Rodriguez, pitched him on doing a psych/mod night. Gabe's response was, "Hells yes."
He now spins all over town, and folks looking to unwind to some funky tunes can catch DJ Gabe this Saturday afternoon at Single Wide from 4-8 p.m., and later that night at Texas Theatre, where he'll be spinning psych alongside Fred Holston. In the meantime, check out his exclusive DC9er mix and Q&A below.
For how long have you been DJing? I've been DJing for eight years.
What was your first gig like? That first gig was fun. It was Valentine's Day in 2004. Nothing too crazy. It was nice that friends came out even though it snowed.
Who/what are some of your biggest influences, musical or otherwise? First major musical influence in my life was [my] grandfather. Growing up, he would show up with different records every Friday night. He'd stay up until 4 a.m. playing those records (very loud, I might add) and making mixtapes on 8-tracks. It was glorious. As far as musicians, Otis Redding,The Pop Group, Fugazi, Selda Bacgan, Ennio Morricone, Gang of Four, Howlin' Wolf, The Small Faces, Cock Sparrer, Jean-Claude Vannier, Motown, Stax, Northern Soul, Joy Division, Jose Alfredo Jimenez, PIL, The Slits, James Chance, Brian Eno Can, NEU!, Bollywood, and psych and funk from Turkey to Poland to Thailand and beyond.
Which DJs do you follow? Do you have a favorite? Wild in the Streets, DJG, Wanz Dover, R9, Travis Box, DJ Tigerbee, Jake Schrock, Timm Clark, Sam Ramirez, The Smoke DJs, The Finders Keepers DJs, Andy Votel, Dom Thomas and Doug Shipton.
What's your favorite genre of music, both to play and to listen to? Funk, soul, psych, post-punk and crazy global weirdness.
How do you decide what songs you're going to play? That depends on what kind of night it is. If I'm someone's guest, I won't stray too far from what they are playing. If it's one of my nights, I'll combine favorites and lesser known tracks.
How much preparation goes into putting a set together? It takes me a while. I'm pretty bad when it comes to going through records then narrowing it down. It's hard when everything sounds so good. After my record room is in chaos, I realize that I'm DJing for two hours and not 12.
What are your main objectives when it comes to playing music? Are you looking to entertain the crowd, educate them, or something different altogether? I want people to have a good time, whether they're dancing or just enjoying the vibe. But I do enjoy when someone wants to know what "so-and-so" song was.
What can someone expect when they come to see/hear you play? A potpourri of sounds. James Brown hanging with James Chance. Mod to The Mo-dettes. A mixed bag, but a fun mixed bag.
What kind of equipment do you use? Two Stanton turntables, a mixer, and the occasional CD player.
Requests. Love 'em or hate 'em? I don't mind request. If I have it, I'll play it. But if you've been hearing me play horror soundtracks all night, chances are I'm not playing the latest by Flo Rida.
If you could play a gig anywhere, with any other DJ/music act, with whom would you play, and where? Honestly, I get to play with of some the best people in the world here in Dallas.
What sets you apart from other DJs in Dallas/Denton/Fort Worth? My ability to play different kinds of DJ nights. I feel just as at home doing a post-punk night as I do playing a Bollywood night.
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When/where will you be playing next? I'm playing this Saturday afternoon at the Single Wide and psych music at the Texas Theatre that night with Fred Holston. After that, Away From The Numbers at Texas Theatre on August 4.
What can Dallas expect to see from you in 2012? Keeping busy. Away From The Numbers the first Saturday of every month, another Lolliopshoppe, and hopefully, before the year's over, another Bollywood Connection.
See also: Last week's DC9er mix by DJ Sissy Ross
Tracklist Giorgio Moroder -Tears Gene Chandler - There Was A Time The World Column - So Is The Sun Yamasuki - Yama Yama Marsha Hunt's 22 - (Oh No! Not) The Beast Day Jungle Rock - Down In The Jungle Tandy Love - Bear Ham Jimmi Green - The Robot Petalouda - What You Can Do In Your Life Jerline And Friends - Joy Trip (Part 2) Ernie Bush - Breakaway The Mystic Moods - Cosmic Sea Billy Davis - Stanky (Get Funky) Joe Bataan - Latin Strut Mongo Santamaria - Hey Sister Lord Rhadburn Combo - Disco Connection Eddie Floyd - Big Bird Mustafa Ozkent Orchestra - Burcak Guitar Red - Disco From A Space Show