Between a consistent stretch of residencies and dipping his toes into the production realm, Chris Roze has come a long way since he last popped up on Mixtape three years ago. Roze has a long history as a musician but has focused on expanding his craft as a DJ the last few years. His diverse musical background is personified in his sets by being able to genre hop from such disparate genres as hip-hop to house. It's the kind of diversity that keeps DJs employed and bar crowds bouncing. His proven capability behind the decks has led to upcoming high-profile gigs at It'll Do and Lights All Night New Year's Eve electronic music fest. For this week's Observer Mixtape, Roze dives deep into his house and disco roots for a mix of floor thumping.
How has the DJ scene changed for you since you started?
There are a lot of new groups throwing shows now, which is nice to see. There is a nice mix of variety and options for genres in the Dallas scene.
Which residencies are you holding down nowadays?
The Move with Black Frames at Off the Record in Deep Ellum on second Thursdays (house music and a little hip-hop at the end of the night). Hotel Zaza every other Friday, which is open format. Windmill Lounge the last Saturday of the month, which is mostly house and disco.
How was this mix made? Is there a particular theme for the track selection?
This mix was recorded on CDJs. My theme here was a house mix with touches of disco elements. I wanted this mix to feel like it was recorded live at the club. I chose several tracks that have crowd noise in them to add to the live feel. This mix is longer than my typical mixes, but I wanted to take the listener on a journey and let tracks play out as opposed to quick mixing.
Where do you like to dig for tracks?
Mostly SoundCloud and Beatport. I like to listen to new mixes while I run and often find tracks to use in my sets if they are available. I often have to revisit those mixes months later as the good tracks are always unreleased.
How did you get involved in production?
I’ve always wanted to create music. I played piano as a kid and then drums in middle/high school. I love listening to all of the subtle sounds and unique effects that are hidden in the mix and try to create my own form when I’m writing a track. The best electronic tracks are those that use unique sounds that you wouldn’t normally envision that genre using.
What are you doing on the production front?
I have a few tracks in the works (Ableton) and have taken some lessons online and with Gabriel Isenberg at Left/Right Pro Audio. Learning to produce can be daunting, but once you get over the technical hump, it’s so rewarding to create something that can move people at the club. As a producer, you never stop learning, and it’s so much fun to learn new tricks and sounds that will make your tracks stand out.
Do you have a preference between DJ and production?
I love to DJ, but next year I’m going to focus more of my time on producing. I’ve been DJing for several years and have played events I would have never thought possible when I first started. The next challenge is to create and release original music.
Who are some of your biggest influences on your craft and how has that changed since you started?
I love the unique sounds and production style of Tourist, Mura Masa and Kastle.
What was your most significant musical experience of the past year?
My favorite show was Zhu at The Bomb Factory. I was unfamiliar with a lot of his work and was surprised by the live setup and lighting. It’s always fun to go to an event with no set expectations and come away pleasantly surprised. One of my favorite DJ gigs was opening up for Kastle at Wits End this summer. Kastle always brings a lively, open-minded crowd, and it’s great to be a part of that vibe and energy.
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Is there a track that you always come back to as a DJ?
"Girl" by NVOY. It’s a smooth track that always moves the crowd. I love the synth and vocal arrangement. You also can never go wrong with any of the Dirtybird label tracks. They also have a bass-driven sound with weird synths and lyrics.
Are there any genres that you would like to explore more as a DJ?
Mura Masa. Most of his stuff is slower tempo and hip-hop-based. He also works with an amazing videographer Yoni Lappin.
What gigs do you have coming up?
I’m opening up for Will Clarke this Friday at It’ll Do. It’s been a few years since I’ve performed there, so I’m excited to be back. It’s such a great venue and has gotten international acclaim from the bigger acts that have performed there. I’m also playing Lights All Night on Dec. 28. The stage I’m on is called the Disco Galaxy by Light Leaks and features an immersive 360-experience with mirror balls. Light Leaks is an installation by Kyle McDonald and Jona Jongeian and featured at Day for Night.
Lost in Music (Original Mix) - Gay Marvine
Do You (Original Mix) - Saison
Give You Love (The Piano) (Dario D'Attis Remix) - Simion
The Funk (Original Mix) -Tobias
Ananas - David Keno
Love Machine (Original Mix) -Superlover
Satisfied (Saison Come With Us Remix) - Alaia & Gallo
Funkasso (Oh Yeah) (Alfred's Piano Mix) - Alfred Azzetto, DJ Fopp
Back & Forth feat. ShatZ (Joeski Frisko Disco Remix) - Davina Moss, Shatz
Put It Down (Original Mix) - Mad Villians
So High (Original Mix) - Mario Ochoa
Lonely (Original Mix) - Friend Within
I Feel Like (Original Mix) - Dale Howard
Yeah Yeah (Original Mix) - David Penn
The Real Thing (Original Mix) - Wehbba, Antonio Eudi
Wanna Give It Up (Full Intention Remix) - Ralphi Rosario, Linda Clifford
Smith And Wellsong (Joeski Remix) - Jose M., TacoMan
Leave Me Baby (Qubiko Remix) - Joe T Vannelli, Thelma H.
Gotta Come Back (Extended Mix) - Ridney
Revolution (Deep In Jersey Extended Mix) - Harry Romero
Larrys Exotic Blend (Original Mix) - Zappe
Keeping Warm (Tough Love Remix) - Tough Love, Soul Divide
Do It (Original Mix) - Lex Luca
Sip The Juice (Original Mix) - Saison
Need Someone (Full Intention Remix) - Purple Disco Machine
Cast A Spell (Original Mix) - Rubb Sound System
Walk On In Ft Ratcatcher (Original Mix) - Doc Daneeka