Kleptik is a recent transplant from Puerto Rico to Dallas who brings a different perspective to techno and tech house musings on the dance floor. His style features an extra emphasis on layered polyrhythms that are informed by original stomping grounds without being derivative. After hooking up with the Motif crew when he got to Dallas, Kleptik has popped up as a regular face on the local club scene. He brings his firsthand knowledge of soul techno sounds from Detroit, Berlin and beyond to this week's mixtape.
Dallas Observer: How did you get started DJing? How long have you been doing it?
I would say that I first started DJing by making mixes with cassettes, using my favorite songs at the time. But it was around 2001 that I bought my first set of turntables and started buying records of Downtempo — trip hop and drum and bass. I started playing in some local bars near the college town and in Old San Juan, where you can discover a myriad of interesting sounds and styles of music.
How was this mix made? Is there a particular theme for the track selection?
This mix was made using Traktor Scratch with two CDJs. I like the effects that this software provides and they are included in this mix along with a Mixer Pioneer 400 and some of its effects too. The theme of this mix can be described as techno based, with fresh dark sounds on a tech house flavor. Music for the dance floor.
How did you get involved with Motif?
I recently moved to Dallas — in fact, just got to two years living here. I started looking for groups of interest in the social network, and after a few months living here I was found by Roberto [Estrella] and we started talking the same language. Then he showed me the path of what I was looking for in music taste and environment, and after a few months I started being part of the crew, enjoying myself and having fun at some of the recent events by Motif.
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Dallas Symphony Chorus: Lawrence Loh - Christmas Pops
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Longview Symphony Orchestra: Dana Pundt and Jon Starling - Home for The Holidays
Friday, Dec. 6, 2019 / 7:30pm @ S.E. Belcher Jr. Performance Center 2100 S. Mobberly Ave. Longview TX 756072100 S. Mobberly Ave., Longview TX 75607
How is the scene different in Dallas from Puerto Rico?
It goes out till really late and the diversity of venues is greater. It has its base crowd, the music lovers and those close people that you can call family because you see them almost every weekend. Also it has its various weeklies in small bars... There are at least three to four festivals where an average of 15,000 peeps will attend either at a convention center, an open air park in the metro area or an event next to the beach or in the depths of a jungle. As for going late, I had a two-year residency at an after-hours club that went from 3 a.m. until 9 a.m. or beyond. So the weekends could have been really non-stop.
What inspires your approach to rhythm in your DJ sets? How much of that comes from where you grew up?
As I was growing up as a DJ, some of the focus in battling with other fellas was good mixing (no trainwrecks allowed ) and "shuffle." (Hard to explain but in simple words, it's like a flow of Caribbean sounds.) Working on this around people that enjoy it and don't stop to enjoy it definitely has been an inspiration and a model to keep sending vibes out of the speakers.
What DJs have had a profound impact on you?
There have been so many that the list won’t end, so I’ll try to mention a few and on a multi-genre [basis] and meaningful way. Monk, DJ Nature, Juan Mauricio Rojas, Max, Hugh Harry, Lady Liquid, Codezero. Roc Raida, Craze. Sasha, Dave Clarke, Jeff Mills, Richie Hawtin, Antony Rother, Mauro Picotto, Hernan Cattaneo, Ed Rush and Optical, Loxy, Andy C. Ame’, Reboot, Carl Craig, James Holden, James Zabiela, Mix Master Morris, Bonobo, Mr. Scruff, Nickodemus, Quantic, Green Velvet, Claude Von Stroke.
What is your most memorable music moment of the past year?
Last year I went to my hometown for five days and played four nights so I could enjoy the maximum of my stay there. Recently Movement Festival; it's always great to be in Detroit and have that vibe of some of the pioneers of techno and a great variety of emerging artists in one full weekend. Always have to say one of the best music festivals, period.
What were some of your highlights from Movement festival this year?
Movement never ceases to amaze me. It's still a festival and there are lots of great artists to see. I would go with Richie Hawtin, Marcell Dettman, Stacey Pullen, Mano Le Tough, Maceo Plex, the Saunderson Brothers, Method Man and Henrik Schwarz.
Do you still buy vinyl?
Not gonna lie: I don’t. I got some other priorities in my life now. I still stick to digital music. But gotta say that I got a really good collection back at home.
Do you produce?
I haven’t produced in a while. I'm looking to organize my priorities first to have a comeback hopefully not so far in the future.
Where do you like to dig for tracks? Any specific websites or stores?
I receive some promos from friends. Then I dig for Juno Records, Groovedis and always read into Beatport.
What music do you enjoy outside of club music?
Outside of club music my preferred genres are old school hip-hop, R&B and funk. I also got love for reggae, salsa, disco and Latin rock.
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What gigs do you have coming up?
We're working on some new places to bring the Vibe soon. But upcoming we will have some pool parties to close up the summer, so stay tuned.
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