Dallas native JT Donaldson has spent the past two decades making a name for himself as a top-notch house DJ and producer. After years of traveling, in 2011, he returned to Dallas, where he's worked closely with Josey Records and started his own record label. New Math Records has house music roots but releases a wide spectrum of music.
The label's New Math Mondays event has helped make Monday one of the most rewarding nights to go out in Deep Ellum. Donaldson hosts musicians, producers and DJs from all over the country alongside local talent. For this week's mixtape, Donaldson assembled a mix of tunes from his artists, and in the Q&A, he tells us what makes New Math tick.
What has New Math Records' place in the Dallas scene been in the past year?
This past year, New Math Records has released multiple projects in addition to hosting a free weekly party at Off the Record showcasing local and nationwide DJs and musicians.
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You're known for your house music productions, but New Math has put out releases in many genres. Was this by design?
At this point, I'm really just interested in releasing projects that I like from artists that I believe in, and feel I might be able to help by pushing their sounds out into the world. It's a passion project, for sure, and I've been able to release some really great projects from some incredibly unique and talented artists. Hopefully, the label curation reveals some varied influences and musical inspirations outside of the house music sound I've been known to release personally.
What is the connection between New Math and Dolfin Records?
That's the family unit. We started at the same time through Josey Records here in Dallas. Ben Hixon, who runs Dolfin Records, and I are good friends and co-resident DJs at New Math Mondays as well. A lot of our label artists are also friends and co-collaborators.
How did you connect with Afrikan Sciences and Seven Davis Jr.? What are they doing for New Math?
My homie Damon Bell in Oakland connected me with Afrikan Sciences. He and Seven Davis Jr. both contributed songs for our relief album, A Sound Cause, which helped raise money for the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts here in Texas.
I met Seven online as a fan of his music production, booked him to play at New Math Mondays early last year and at the one-year anniversary party, and he's also done a remix for the label and some edits for the Dolfin Records crew's upcoming Raché 12-inch vinyl release.
You are easily the most prominent name associated with the label. Will we see more releases from you in the coming year?
Yes, most certainly. I'm working on new material now for New Math, as well as continuing to release music from others.
What releases did you do in 2017 in general?
New Math released a vinyl full-length album by Los Angeles artists Swarvy and Pink Siifu; a 12-inch by Brooklyn recording artists Dave + Sam, which features remixes by Chicago's own Derrick Carter, Seven Davis Jr. and Columbia Nights; as well as a full album by Seattle native Notwolfy titled Lawnliness.
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What new artists do you have coming down the pipe this year?
We've got Foisey coming soon, Black Taffy, Bout, Get Money Squad ft. Jon Bap and a cassette release party with DJ Sober and Gina G. We also continue to have artist like Ghostdrank selling their original works out back and DJ 5D setting up, selling hand-picked soul, funk, disco and hip-hop albums.
Do you have any special plans for your New Math Mondays residency for 2018?
Really just to continue doing what we've been doing — hosting acts and performers on a weekly basis.
Are there plans to throw another anniversary bash for the label?
Yeah, for sure. We're planning our second anniversary event Memorial Day, May 29 of this year, which will feature another great full day of DJs and live music.
1. Anthony Valadez — "Onward Solo Samba"
2. SPK — "Stayin Up Late"
3. Norvis Junior — "Wrong Way 2 Love"
4. Not Wolfy — "Whydntwefck (pt.2)"
5. Swarvy with Pink Siifu — "Closer"
6. Dave + Sam — "You Da Shit (Girl)"
7. Noey Lopez — "Flamingo Drive"
8. Afrikan Sciences — "Unfastened Sports Alternative"
9. Ben Hixon — "Body and Brain"
10. Ben Hixon and JT Donaldson — "Keep awn"
11.Damon Bell — "Safe From Harm"
12. Lord Byron — "New Math (Interlude)"
13. Seven Davis Jr — "Overtime"
14. Blaque Dynamite and Ben Hixon — "I'm Not Trippin' That Las Sh*t Was Tite"
15. Malik Abdul-Rahmaan — "Sleep Discipline"