Sal Castaneda is riding the wave of vinyl resurgence under the nom de plum Flash45s. Over the past decade there has been more attention paid to the niche of the vinyl 7-inch format more affectionately known as 45s. The format is particularly inviting for DJs since it is a singles format. For this week's mixtape, Castaneda put together a mix of classic house tunes with an extra emphasis on the classic part. In the Q&A, Castaneda reveals details about his journey as a DJ.
Dallas Observer: How did you get started behind the decks?
Flash45s: My brother Raul introduced me to it. He learned from a friend and I learned from watching him.
He would mainly play high energy disco records. He began in the early '80s, and I picked it up in late '88/'89.
What is your relationship with Dallas DJ culture?
I like to stay connected with all circles or genres, I like to support everyone from the new school to the old school. DFW has lots of talented DJs and it’s good to stay in touch and support each other. Rob Vaughan has been very supportive to me by allowing me to play in between his sets back in the Aqua Lounge/Fishdance days. To me that was huge. My favorites have always been A1, Redeye and Jeff K. I currently enjoy listening to Sam Malone, 5D, Jay Clipp, Dj.Love and JTDonaldson. I can't forget my turntablist Spiderman and Tums. Some of these folks have actually become good friends of mine.
How was this mix made and was there a concept behind it?
I wanted to recapture the early house anthems or rhythms with a touch of acid beats from back then. It’s when I started listening to house music, so its refreshing to me.
How did you get into 45s?
Three to four years ago my friend Raul Lara sent me a Facebook invite for a show called Fresh 45s. I had never seen any DJs do an entire set on 45s; I’d only seen it done on YouTube videos. So that night was my calling. I felt the music, the ambience, the connection that the Fresh 45s crew has. It was magical. Also, that night the special guest was Natasha Diggs. She’s amazing with the 45s and I instantly became a fan of the night. I then began collecting 45s and I now have close to 800 — something like that.
Where do you like to dig or research for tracks?
Thrift stores; flea markets; record shows and the locals such as Josey, Retroplex, Good, Bills and Half Price Books. Of course, the hard to find ones are sometimes found in Discogs or [through] my 45s dealer Bryan Coonrod.
What are your thoughts on all of the new labels and bands spearheading the funk 45 revival?
I think it's great for everyone. It gives the artists a different channel to be profitable and connect with their fans, while some people wanna feel connected with their idols. To me a vinyl record production does just that. You can own their song, art sleeve and show it to your friends and family like a trophy. For DJs, it gives us a chance to introduce new funky sounds when doing our sets. There's no mystery that vinyl records have made a comeback.
What has been the most profound music experience you have had in the past year? How has that experience affected you as DJ?
Kicking off and promoting the name Flash45s. It has allowed me to re-introduce myself to everyone. I sold my 12-inch records back in the mid-'90s and now I feel like it’s a perfect second-time-around story.
What gigs do you have coming in the near future?
I’m still doing 45s Friday at Epocha every other Friday with my partners in crime, Priest TD and Brandon Ayala. I have something very special planned for December. I can’t talk about it just yet. I’m always open to do a guest set here and there.
1. Raze - All 4 love (dub mix)
2. Raze - Jack the Groove
3. Steve Silk Hurley - Jack Your Body
4. Royal House - Can You Party
5. Johnick - Play the World
6. Nightcrawlers - Push the Feeling
7. Hardrive - Deep Inside (Dstrukt remix)
8. Falcon Punch - Paid Dues (45 mix)
9. Lidell Townsell - Get Wit U (def mix)
10. 2 In A Room - Take Me Away