Chase Dugger is a core member of the Disco Initiative and The Guild and creative director for Deep Ellum venue The Nines. In these positions, Dugger has helped to keep dance music alive in the neighborhood.
Dugger deejays under the alias Space Chase. You can hear him every month at his One Nation Under a Groove residency at The Nines.
His mixtape for the Observer this week is 90 minutes of banging, uplifting house music that serves as the perfect soundtrack for a summer party.
Dallas Observer: How did you get started deejaying?
At first I was just making mixes for fun, starting in the summer of '09. By that fall, I was attending UNT and had made friends with [a guy] Eric who had been doing the same thing, and a mutual friend asked us to deejay his birthday party. We hauled out this terrible megazord of home stereo speakers, probably 10 of those things all strung together. I think Eric has a picture of us posing in front of his loaded minivan somewhere. Deejaying college parties turned out to be really fun, and it's history from there.
How was this mix made? Is there a particular theme for the track selection?
With this mix, I wanted to deliver a specific message that I think is pretty clear. Love yourself, love others and have fun. You contain the power to change your world and create the life you want to live. This mix was recorded on the trusty XDJs at Disco Initiative HQ.
How active are you in production nowadays?
I feel that I still have a mountain of music to consume before I could think about production. The legacy of dance music from the past three decades or so is truly mammoth, and more stuff comes out every day. Maybe someday.
You're versatile as a DJ, but do you have a preferred genre? Are there genres that you would like to spin more often?
House. Any flavor. I am fortunate to be able to play all the house I want. I definitely have a sweet tooth for trance, so to speak, but I'm content to enjoy the selections of trance DJs who have put in more work than me in that area. But who knows, maybe I'll jump on a Texas Psy bill one of these days.
How has Movement Festival [an electronic music festival in Detroit over Memorial Day weekend] had an effect on you as a DJ?
Movement was a bit of a wakeup call in more aspects than just my deejaying. That festival and all those satellite parties didn't execute themselves — each event had a fiercely tenacious, creative and highly tasteful team behind it. Everyone focuses on making their own party as cool as possible, and those four days or so of parties wind up being something so much more than the sum of their parts.
But the overall experience is rooted in these independent modules of crews pushing their own agendas. I was fortunate to attend the weekend with the full Disco Initiative team, and we are rejuvenated in our own agenda of bringing that good time to as many people as we can.
In regards to my deejaying, though, the exposure to that caliber of DJ sets, on those caliber of sound systems, certainly left an impression. I'm paying much more attention to the low end of tracks when digging. You don't always get to hear your tracks on systems like those — moving forward I definitely want to make sure I'm prepared with tracks that will translate well to that environment.
How did you become a creative director for The Nines? Do you have an overall goal for your programming at The Nines?
I had been doing regular events there as a promoter and DJ from the start, including our ongoing weekly Thursday party, The Lowdown. In December, I made the leap of quitting my day job in favor of freelance work, and Allen jumped with an offer almost right away.
My goal with The Nines is the same as it has always been at my events — to create a space where you can leave your troubles at the door and just let loose and have a killer time. Only now I have the opportunity to do this on a much larger scale. It's a chance to expose more people than ever to the joy of the dance floor that so many readers of this publication know and love so much.
Where do you like to dig for tracks?
Wherever I can find them. I like to meander among labels, artists on those labels, other labels those artists have released on — ad infinitum. Traxsource and Beatport make that technique really easy with their layouts.
What non-dance music has been catching your ears lately?
I'm kind of on two different kicks right now. Some days I've been listening to a lot of punk and ska; other days are more Willie and Hank.
Is there a track that you always come back to as a DJ?
That Rhemi track I included in the mix, "Shake Your Body Down." It's my No. 1 weapon since I picked it up. That song just lights up any room no matter what. I don't leave the house without it.
What gigs do you have coming up?
Just my regular gigs at The Nines currently. You can usually catch me playing at The Lowdown, as well as the Disco Initiative house music monthly, One Nation Under A Groove. That one is every first Friday.
Xinobi — "Searching For" (Original Mix)"
Severino — "Smoking (ft. Princess Magnifique) (Eli Escobar Remix)"
Jasper Street Company — "Wanna Be Happy (DJ Spen & David Anthony DA Vibes Remix)"
Jozif — "Troy (Original Mix)"
Harvard Bass — "Out of Town (Original Mix)"
Loco Dice — "How Do I Know (Original Mix)"
Denney — "Visualise (Original Mix)"
Seumas Norv — "Wuvulu (Original Mix)"
Romanthony — "Too Long (Nice7 Remix)"
Dennis Cruz — "Mad (Original Mix)"
Mark Knight, Green Velvet, Rene Amesz — "Live Stream (Original Mix)"
Audiojack — "Interlude (Kevin Griffiths Acid Dub)"
Locxwax, Danny DePoe — "Feeding The Rhythm (Original Mix)"
Paneoh — "Follow (ft. Maetrik) (Original Mix)"
Stephanie Cooke — "Holding On To Your Love (Acid Mondays Remix)"
Nytron, Andrey Exx — "Shine On Me (The Deepshakerz Extended Vocal Mix)"
Kenny Dope, Raheem DeVaughn & Rhymefest — "Final Call (Kenny Dope House Mix)"
dj-Vox — "Charles de Gaulle (Original Mix)"
Roland Clark, Alexander Technique, Steven Mestre — "The Last DJ On Earth (Marco Lys Remix)"
Audiojack — "Turya (Original Mix)"
Chris Child, Chris IDH — "Stereo Rave (Original Mix)"