Jeremy Word has been a trailblazer among Dallas dance music promoters. He's been a behind-the-scenes player responsible for countless electronic acts coming through Dallas and the infamous Meltdown Festival, which was the city's premier electronic music festival for most of the '00s. On top of all that, he remained a staple among Dallas DJs and producers for years.
A few years ago, Word decided to chase his passion for cinema by moving to Australia to study film. It was a much-needed break for a guy who had been on a serious music grind for years. Although the vast majority of his time was wrapped up in film school, Word still managed to book roadshows at It'll Do, keeping his toes in the local music scene even from a great distance.
For this week's mixtape, Word drops a selection of Blade Runner-inspired four-on-the-floor heat in advance of his return to Dallas this Friday at It'll Do for his Future music-themed "District" night.
How long have you been out of the DJ circuit?
I started DJing back in the late '90s. I had heart surgery a few years ago, and somehow that translated into hearing loss in my left ear, which turned into a bit of a break from DJing and producing. I still listened to music in
my one good ear but focused more on event production and working on film projects.
What drove you to film school?
I had been writing scripts for a few years. I’ve watched enough bad movies to know that I wanted to not fuck it up. So I nerded out in Sydney for a couple years learning everything I could get my hands on in relation to film. Sydney’s music and art scene is thriving, and there is magic happening there.
How hard was it juggling school in Australia and booking a venue on the other side of the world?
The timing was tough, but I am equal parts passionate about music as well as film. [Owner Brooke Humphries] and the family at It’ll Do are amazingly supportive, and we found ways to make it work.
Have you kept up with production chops over that time? Is that something you plan on coming back to as an active concern?
Producing music is what really got the ax on my schedule. That time dedicated to writing music was transferred over into the film school program.
What are your near-future plans as a promoter, a DJ and a producer?
100 percent of my energy is pouring into "District" this Friday [Jan. 25] at It’ll Do. I am sampling bits from sci-fi films like Blade Runner to pull through the set that night to give it some texture.
Do you have any plans to bring Meltdown Festival back or anything like that?
Film school taught me to embrace "Yes, and" vocabulary. Anything is possible at this point.
The scene here has grown exponentially as far as labels, producers and promoters bringing touring acts. How tapped into the Dallas scene are you?
I’ve definitely been paying attention to the major moves happening in Dallas while overseas — specifically, the most recent film we did there. I reached out to artist Left/Right to see if he was interested in scoring the whole thing. He brought his A-game, and his score turned out next-level.
Any particular local artists catching your ears?
Left/Right hands down. Red Eye is still the mainstay as personal fave to see perform. Local producers I have my ear on are Demarkus Lewis, Aidin Hafezamini, Hunter Vaughan, Pass The 40 and James Kelley.
How active were you in DJ culture while you were in Australia?
Aside from listening to mixes while studying or working, there weren’t many nights out. I took a director friend of mine to her first rave in a park to see Sasha and The Martinez Brothers. She absolutely loved it. Also got the opportunity to be part of the documentary team at a bush doof [outdoor dance party], which was an epic experience. Aside from a handful of nights out, I was either working, studying or filming.
How was this mix made and was there a theme behind it?
I’ve been rehearsing at It’ll Do and thought it would be cool to put together some music that could live in the world of Blade Runner. I am fully obsessed with both Blade Runner films and imagine the music from that world to be future-minded and tech-y with a tinge of hope.
Dance music trends tend to change directions faster than Texas wind. How have you changed or evolved during your time off?
Expanding my input to more than just music helped my passion for music grow. Our cine teacher’s assignment one day was to go out and do non-film-related stuff like a concert, art gallery, protest, whatever and then apply what we learned to our camera work. His stance was, exploring and living life to its fullest will make you a better filmmaker. I found this to be a common thread into the realm of music too.
Horowitz - Oh Lui
Pablo Bolivar - Seconds of Light (Simon Garcia Remix)
Framewerk - Running from Time
George Fitzgerald - Burns (Lane 8 Morning Mix)
Dubfire - Ride (Solomun Remix)
Karmon - Endless
Kidnap - Skin (Rinzen Dub Mix)
Elax - Reaktor
Dino Lenny - Shoot Me to the Sky
Dubfire - Grindhouse
Guy Gerber - What To Do (&Me Remix)
DJ Seinfeld - U
Hot Since 82 - Voices
Dino Lenny - Guilty Officer (Maceo Plex Remix)
Township Rebellion - Romeo
Carl Cox & Nicole Moudaber - See You Next Tuesday (Danny Tenaglia Remix)
Joe Brunning - Now Let Me See You Work (Joey Beltram Remix)
Darlyn Vlys - Runner