DJ Titan has been a cornerstone in Dallas drum and bass for the past 15 years. He's been a musical pilot behind the decks and producer in the studio. For this week's mixtape, Titan digs deep for an upbeat, vocal-driven mini-mix of drum and bass featuring a few tunes from regional producers Sobo and Yunglist.
Dallas Observer: How did you get started in music?
DJ Titan: I started playing guitar when I was 11 in hopes I’d someday get to rock out at venues such as the Coca-Cola Starplex (now the Gexa Pavillion), Trees, The Galaxy Club and more. I was in one or two bands and we could never really decide what to play.
How did you transition to DJing?
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I attended my first rave at the legendary Decibel and I saw DJ Subtle playing all of my favorite drum and bass tracks... From that moment, I realized how much I just wanted to rock my favorite jams and expose the music to people that are ready to hear it. So, I ordered a belt drive set of Gemini brand turntables and mixer from eBay, hit up Illmatic and Core Records for some Drum and Bass wax and started taking my home stereo and decks to house parties.
How long have you been at it?
I’ve been playing out under my moniker since ’01, so I guess that means 15 years now.
How was this mix made?
I set up my three 1200s and recorded the mix via Traktor Scratch Pro and my go-to Denon DN-X1600 mixer. (I love that thing!) I also recorded it on video just to see how it came out since it was only a half-hour. Not so sure if I’m ready to share that yet, but I probably will at some point. Though I've made mixes using nothing but Ableton Live or Traktor via my laptop, I wanted to mix this with my 1200s.
Is there a particular theme for the track selection?
I usually tend to hit really hard at the beginning to grab attention, then lighten up in the middle and end with one final smack in the face at the end. This one and [a mix from last year called] “Resting Beach Face” are both deeper at the beginning and then, of course, get rowdy toward the end. Also, I wanted to show love to my homies that worked hard on killer music: Sobo and the Yunglist.
What is your relationship with drum and bass?
I don’t really know how to put it into words, but I will say this: Deftones has been my all-time favorite sound ever since I discovered their promo tape before their first album came out. Just recently, my other favorite band, [drum and bass act] Pendulum, announced they were reuniting for the first time in half a decade. While attending the Deftones concert in my hometown, Pendulum was hitting the stage at Ultra [in Miami] and it was streaming on YouTube. I sat in my car streaming the set until the last moment possible.
How did you get into production?
I teamed up with my good friends Left/Right + Big Balin Colin to form a group called Team Awesome. We did a commissioned remix for The Crystal Method as a result of a bootleg we did for Rage Against the Machine’s “Bulls On Parade." Soon after, I started collaborating with Deejay Shaolin before going on to do several remixes and bootlegs on my own.
Do you have a preference between DJing and production?
I’ve always said that I’m a raver first, DJ second and producer third. DJing is my passion and it’s my absolute favorite thing to do on this planet. I wish I had the time to be a more consistent producer, though, because it’s an absolute must these days in order to stay relevant.
Where do you like to dig for new (or old) tracks?
My producer friends. They always send me the heat. It’s still fun to hunt for music via blogs and websites. Facebook updates also are huge when it comes to catching my attention for new songs... I also try to make it a point to buy one vinyl if there’s something good at a record store in a city I’m visiting. Amoeba Music and Rasputin in San Fran are my current favorite places for that.
What is the most profound musical experience you had in the past year?
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DJing at the USA’s most profound drum and bass weekly, Respect, for the second time in 10 years. I was featured on a calendar with the likes of Digital, the Prototypes and several more. It was surreal to see my name featured as a headliner alongside those legends. I thought I was just going to be an opener, but then the calendar and individual flyers were released and I was top billed for the night I was playing.
What gigs do you have in the near future?
You can catch me playing May 19 at Two:Tone at Wits End for DJ System’s birthday, the Afterlife Reunion party on May 20, and May 28 at The Green Elephant for LIT with Riot Ten.
1. Mark Morrison - Return of the Mack (Sobo Bootleg)
2. Bensley - Tiptoe
3. Sobo - Feel U
4. Deadmaut5 - Arguru (Yunglist Bootleg)
5. Metrik - Want My Love (Club Version)
6. Sub Focus - Airplane
7. Major Lazer ft. Mø - Lean On (Benny Page Bootleg)
8. DJ Fresh - All That Jazz
9. Skrillex - Fuck That (Priority One Remix)
10. Bad CompanyUK - Equilibrium
11. Dub Phiziks - Do One
12. Metrik - Terminus
13. Cyantific - Outta Time
14, Delta Heavy - Reborn