Boston Kassidy is notable for his contributions to the Dallas bass scene, but he also stretches into a variety of techno and house-related styles — a fact which is reflected in this week's Dallas Observer Mixtape. As a member of The Guild, Kassidy can often be found playing their Thursday events at Red Light Lounge. More recently, Kassidy has been involved with throwing parties with Disco Initiative. For this week's Q&A, Kassidy reveals details about the diverse palette he has developed as a DJ.
Dallas Observer: How did you get started DJing? How long have you been at it?
Boston Kassidy: I was first introduced to DJing at a house party in college. The moment I saw the whole setup with CDJs and a sampler, I was fascinated. Shortly thereafter I bought my own pair and the rest is history. That was about 10 years ago now.
Is there a particular theme for the track selection?
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For this mix, I tried to pick tracks that felt like they exemplified my style. Somewhat dark and moody, but still with a groove that you can't keep still to. I like to find a vibe and just roll with it. It seems like most DJs want to be the guy who goes the hardest at the party, but realistically every dance floor needs some finessing. That’s why I usually prefer to play the oddball time slots, super late usually. This mix turned out really chill, but since it’s a recording, I figured most people would be listening at home or in their car, where some chill, groovy tunes can go a long way.
Where do you dig for tracks for your sets?
Nowhere is really off limits. I listen to music constantly at work and on the go and try to keep a mind for new sounds and where trends are headed. YouTube is a surprisingly powerful source of some obscure music; you just have to dig for it. Then all the usual suspects as far as music shops are concerned: Beatport, Juno, et cetera.
What genres do you enjoy operating in?
House music was my first love, and I'll never give it up. But I’ve been really into contemporary breaks, techno and electro recently. Some interesting new things are happening with old ideas. Deep and techy house, breaks and future garage are my bread and butter. Music to dance to with your eyes closed.
What is your involvement with bass music?
I’ve been in the bass scene for quite a while. Back in the day it was dubstep, but now all sorts of genres are falling into this category. The impact of a powerful bassline is undeniable. I have really enjoyed how that thinking has moved through house music and other genres. As part of the art and DJ collective The Guild, we throw events and host a weekly — not specifically for bass music, but that’s a lot of what our DJs lean towards.
What DJs and producers have had a significant impact on you as an artist?
George Fitzgerald, Burial (who I included in this mix as a tribute), Chris Lorenzo, Catz and Dogz, Aril Brikha, and Jacque Greene to name a few. I tend to be drawn towards syncopation and rich textures.
What is your most memorable music experience of the past year?
The most incredible DJ highlight of this year would be playing the "Stratosphere" party we threw as The Guild. The whole place was decorated in color-changing clouds with ominous statues framing the booth. It was a Night Calisthenics set, a side project with my friends Steven Dormann, focusing on the darker, grittier side of future music. As we were throwing down growling basslines the party changed themes to storms, creating a crazy energy, and the room went nuts. Good times.
What other genres of music do you enjoy outside of dance music?
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Reggae and hip-hop are my go-tos when I’m not in a dance music mood. Punk is also an old love of mine, something I don’t think I'll ever really grow away from. Also, I’m a huge Thom Yorke fan.
What gigs do you have coming up?
On [Saturday,] November 21, I play Stereo on Strike at Red Light Lounge and an after-hours party at That That Gallery. Every Thursday I'm also at Red Light for The Guild's weekly, "The Low Down."
1. Massive Attack -Three [Trinity Dub]
2. Trentemøller - Always Something Better (DJ Tennis & Mind Against Remix)
3. Mak & Pasteman - Stagger (Digital Exclusive) (Original Mix)
4. W x T - Sweat (Digital Exclusive) (Original Mix)
5. Justin Jay - How I Knew (Original Mix)
6. Lucas Arr - Get Loud (Original Mix)
7. Elizabeth Rose - The Good Life (Alba Remix)
8. Richy Ahmed - Can't You See (Original Mix)
9. Mihai Popoviciu, Toygun - Micramour (Tuccillo Remix)
10. Snakehips - On & On (Alba Remix)
11. Jonas Rathsman - Hope I'm Wrong
12. Jett - Strong Look (Original Mix)
13. Tom Trago - For The Children
14. Nixon - Watch Dis (Original Mix)
15. Gardens Of God - Ys (Original Mix)
16. Steve Huerta - Falling Up
17. Burial - Street Halo
18. RAR - Do we (Original Mix)
19. Heathered Pearls - Interior Architecture Software (Physical Therapy Strength Remix)
20. E Stack - Is It Me Jim