Dallas Observer Mixtape With DJ Cymatic: Grandmaster Flash, Aphex Twin & More

Cymatic has been a regular face among the The Guild DJ crew over the past year or so, utilizing his deep knowledge of the more experimental side of dance music and integrating it with something more digestible for the dance floor without losing the edge. Despite his youth he has firm roots in vinyl DJing, even dabbling in turntablism, which is not often seen in dance music outside of hip-hop. For this week's mixtape, Cymatic breaks the confines of genre by exploring everyone from Grandmaster Flash to Apex Twin. He's eclectic, but with purpose.
How did you get started DJing? How long have you been DJing?

I started mixing drum 'n' bass records when I was 16. I'm 24, so that was eight years ago. I started playing styles like breakcore, jungle and darkstep at post-rock and heavy metal shows the following year.

How was this mix made? Is there a particular theme for the track selection?

I used a Traktor sound card, a Denon mixer and a Kaoss Pad KP3+. All digital. No records on this one. Lots of Rephlex-style acid breaks, '90s rave-style breaks, some video game music and jungle/drumfunk. All that stuff goes well together for me and fits the theme of music that stems from innovations in electronic music in the late '80s to early '90s.

Where does your DJ name come from?

Cymatic is the physics of waves or sound. I like science.

What DJs have had a profound impact on you?

DJ Qbert is a big one. That dude can freaking scratch. When I was younger I was really into DJ Kentaro. There's a mix where he beat juggles Luke Vibert and Squarepusher jungle tracks. That really blew my mind at the time. As far as what inspires me as a DJ it's mostly DJs who are all over the place genre wise with new tracks every minute or less. DJ Mo Dave on BOOM 94.5 FM has been a huge one for me lately. He mixes a lot of hip-hop. He used to mix funk as well, before the station's program change. A few months ago I tuned in and it sounded like he was throwing down a fresh track like every 30 seconds and ended on a Herbie Hancock jazz tune.

What is your most memorable music moment of the past year as a DJ?

Hard to pick. Mostly packed crowds going nuts. There was a set I played of electro at Beauty Bar early this year that was off the chain. It was a shorter set so I just played my favorite bangers and kept speeding it up til I was going 160 bpm mixing electro, footwork and jungle.

What is your most memorable music moment of the past year as an audience member?

I usually attend a lot of concerts but I really haven't been to much in the last year. I'd say the last Pedestrian Deposit show I saw. I feel like people in the audience were probably crying at that show. It was intense. One of the members' legs turned blue from her hanging [overhead] from it as she was smashing things onto a spring with contact microphones.

What is your relationship with turntablism?

I started mixing with records. I've only been taking scratching seriously these last few years. I've been more digital in the last four years. It's so much easier and I can throw down way, way more tracks in a mix. I like the selection of my record collection much more than my hard drive full of music. It's a lot of weird stuff that a lot of people would have a hard time dancing to, though.

Where do you like to dig for tracks? Any specific websites or stores?

Bleep.com and discogs.com. Twist and Shout Records in Denver is my favorite record store.

Do you have a preferred genre or genres that you like to operate in?

Lately when I'm playing out it's mostly electro and breaks. People have been dancing to that stuff lately and that's one of my main goals when I play out. It's been a challenge for me over the years because I mostly listen to experimental electronic music and jungle. When I'm at home it's a lot of experimental, jungle and drumfunk.

What is your relationship with The Guild?

I started camping with them a few years ago. We set up a camp at burns and throw parties year round. We're a really close group of friends so you can usually find us kicking it.

What is in your near future as a DJ?

The Lowdown every Thursday at Red Light Lounge. Myschevia is in a few weeks. Hopefully more warehouse and loft parties.

1. D’Arcangelo - Color Two
2. AFX - MC-4 Acid
3.Gescom - D1
4.Steel Erector - 3aremaster
5. Aleksi Perälä - Death By Stereo
6. Shitmat - Best Before 10-11-1992
7. Jun Chikuma - Mimesis
8. Bong-Ra vs The DJ Produce - Glowstyx Bangface VIP
9. DJ Trace & Ed Rush - Don Bad Man
10. Jun Chikuma - Supplement
11. Bad Mice - Drumscare 2
12. Astrobotnia - A3
13. Digital - Spacefunk
14. Macc & dgoHn - Forget Stuff
15. Hidden Agenda - Pressin' On
16. Concealed Identity - Undertow
17. MC Lyte - Cha Cha Cha
18. Astrobotnia - Hallo
19. Meat Beat Manifesto - Moving Body
20. Bass Junkie - Listen To The Beat (V2.0)
21. Broken Glass - Style of the Street
22. Jodey Kendrick - +10 Funk
23. Yuzo Koshiro - In The Bar
24. DMX Krew - Confuzion
25. DMX Krew - Mr Blue
26. Ceephax Acid Krew - Mediterranean Acid
27. Luke Warm - Party Piece
28. MC ADE - Bass Rock Express
29. Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five - Scorpio
30. The Chemical Brothers - Prescription Beats  
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Wanz Dover
Contact: Wanz Dover