Through their record labels Audiophile, Audiophile Deep and Audiophile XXL, Jimmy Freer and Chris Wu have become cornerstones of Dallas dance music. Outside of the dance community, their labels may be overlooked in Dallas, but Audiophile has a higher profile than the vast majority of local record labels. They release music from a roster of producers from all over the world, with a lot of tracks that chart on sites like Beatport and Traxsource. For this week's Dallas Observer Mixtape, the pair put together a mix of tech house that serves a good entryway to their labels.
Dallas Observer: How did you get started DJing?
Freer: I first discovered DJing in my early years of high school, probably in 2001 or 2002. I had been scouring the web for anything and everything electronic music years before that, trying to get a grip on what this music was and where I could find more. I would have to accredit Paul Oakenfold’s Tranceport compilation as being the segue to the underground.
Wu: Funny enough, my first experience DJing live was last year at a friend’s birthday party where she rented a mansion in the middle of wine country, and flew 30 of her friends out for the weekend. People went from wanting to kick me off the decks in favor of more EDM style music, to allowing me to play for seven hours straight after I earned their trust.
How was this mix made? Is there a particular theme for the track selection?
Freer: This mix was made on the Pioneer XDJ, which has essentially been a really compact and amazing practice tool for people who can’t stomach seeing their CDJs get outdated in a year's time. There is no particular theme for our mixes, but our collection is very curated to our style, which can best be described as “utterly random flavors of mostly European tech house.”
What is going on with Audiophile nowadays?
Freer: We’ve actually been taking a different approach in really forming a core roster of talent, in particular for our Audiophile Deep and Audiophile XXL labels; getting them ready for the inevitable streaming revolution. With more and more fans being exposed to the music, it really is in our best interest to take this extremely seriously, because the consumer really keeps the record side afloat (unless you are pressing vinyl). An enormous amount of time is being spent via our Spotify presence and curating our playlists for fans.
You recently brought Pig & Dan to Dallas and also have Umek coming to town. What are your plans for future events?
Freer: Our future plans are ideally to really dive more into the underground. However, we do have some indie dance and nu disco-type acts such as Nora En Pure dropping by for appearances. Ideally we like to bring very strange bookings, because boring is not exciting.
What inspired you to get into the event promotion side of things?
Freer: Multiple things. Dallas is and always has championed the likes of American house and techno, but we always had the itch to really dive into the more European flavor to see if people would respond to the same type of music we were feeling... Funny enough, the other inspiration was actually from multiple frustrated producers who felt like there was absolutely no chance for them to make it out of Dallas.
What is your relationship with techno?
Freer: It was actually Umek who gave me my first education on techno. I was too young to understand what it actually was, but it sure helps transition a lad into the classier edge of what’s out there at a much faster pace.
Wu: There was a period of time early on when Jimmy and I would bounce tracks back and forth and I was really obsessed with minimal, which I didn’t realize was just a sub-genre of techno at the time. A track by Discount Rhinos called “Pills & Champagne (Christopher Norman Vicodub Remix)" was a favorite of ours.
What has been the most profound music experience you have had in the past year?
Freer: I got a pleasant shocker in seeing Hernan Cattaneo for the first time at It’ll Do a couple of months ago. I can’t remember the last time I closed my eyes and had such a hair-raising-off-arm moment. Not really my regular taste, but he now has a new fan.
Wu: Finally being able to attending Desert Hearts, with a release on their label shortly thereafter.
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What up and coming producers are exciting you as of late?
Freer: Our own roster is packed with undiscovered talent that has already been getting huge support from big DJs, and we will be collaborating with them long into the future, like Lewis Beck, Morpei and Haidak.
1. Artful & Ishi - Toss & Turn (Red Handed's Bedbugs Dub) – Forthcoming on Audiophile Deep
2. Dubspeeka – K130 (Original Mix)
3. S.K.A.M. – Next Level (Original Mix)
4. Haidak – Ancient Beings (Original Mix) ) – Forthcoming on Audiophile Deep
5. Andre Gazolla – Further (Original Mix)
6. Kreature – Robot Talk (Original Mix)
7. Onno – Tribute to the Gigolo (Original Mix)
8. David Keno – Moonshine (Original Mix)
9. David Jach – Cracking Drop (Original Mix)
10. Sidney Charles – Wax Digger ’88 (Original Mix)
11. Hotspot & Komaroff – Get Wild (Original Mix) – Audiophile Deep
12. Latmun – 123 (Original Mix)
13. Denney – Bambuco (The Mekanism Remix)
14. perr0 – Fuse (Original Mix) - Forthcoming on Audiophile Deep