Dance music genres go in and out of fashion, but drum and bass has continually defied the odds to remain relevant. Two:Tone Crew ahem done the same. They've provided a consistent platform for drum and bass music at their Thursday night residency at Wit's End, where they regularly host international visitors.
This week, U.K. Neurofunk specialists Ed Rush and Optical will be stopping by, and in the past, DJ Dara, Marcus Intalex, Commix and LTJ Bukem have also paid visits.
For this week's mixtape, we focus on Noso from the Two:Tone Crew, who delivers a blistering mix that falls just shy of three hours. He's as much a music fan as he is a DJ and that comes through in this mix of controlled chaos.
Dallas Observer: How did you get started deejaying?
One of my fellow band nerds in high school, Aaron, was deejaying already and played all the latest electronic music. After his influence and heavy listening I eventually decided to pick it up. After listening to the Prodigy and Chemical Brothers I couldn't stop.
How was this mix made?
Two Pioneer CDJs and an Allen & Heath mixer – pretty standard setup.
Is there a particular theme for the track selection?
I was kinda just going with the flow on this one. It was at an afterhours Burning Man fundraiser, so it's a pretty good mix of classic and new tracks I have been digging.
Do you still buy vinyl?
Every now and then. It's more expensive these days. I started deejaying with vinyl so I definitely have my collection. It's pretty much mp3s these days for me – way less hassle. Of course I bust out my vinyl here and there.
What are your thoughts on Ed Rush and Optical coming to Dallas this week?
I actually met Optical on a plane in 1999 not realizing it was him until after the conversation. We talked about him being a drum and bass producer without him revealing who he actually he was. I put two and two together and finally figured it out.
Dallas has become one of the primary hubs for drum and bass in America. Outside of Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York, you don't see drum and bass legends touring through most cities as often as we have been getting on our home turf.
Where do you dig for tracks for your sets?
If I purchase them, it's typically Juno or Beatport – sometimes specific drum and bass label sites. But I also dig on SoundCloud.You wouldn't believe how many great and free tunes there are if you just put in the time to dig a little. Otherwise, I get some tunes from fellow artists/friends I've met over the years with booking stateside/international talent at Two:Tone.
Who are some of your favorite DJs to share a bill with?
Man, that's a tough one. Just to name a few: Lenzman, S.P.Y., Concord Dawn, Planet of the Drums, Doc Scott.
How did you come to drum and bass?
It was quite honestly an easy decision for me. I saw the Roni Size "Brown Paper Bag" video in '97 on MTV – crazy concept I know. And I was sold after that. Never looked back since. I spent time going to Illmatic and buying records from Squirt, and then eventually Titan at Core records. I caught the tail end of the old Dallas Music Complex parties and that cemented my intro.
Are there other genres you would like to play more of?
I've actually been playing around with that idea lately. All I have to say is, look out for Esta Sneaky in the near future [laughs].
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How did you get involved with Two:Tone?
I'd say how any DJ would with any collective. Show up, support at shows, get to know everyone and play your heart out any chance you'd get. During this process I met T. Allen, A/C, Astro, Leo J, System, Titan, Squirt, Katalyst and all the usual suspects in the drum and bass game back then, circa '03-06. Around May '07, T.Allen, A/C and Souljah started Two:Tone at Firehouse Pub. A few months later it was moved to Whisky Bar and that's when I was asked to join. And the rest was history.
Is there a track that you always come back to as a DJ?
I always have my favs for a particular year or so. But I would have to say it's the one that brought me here: Roni Size "Brown Paper Bag." It's simply a timeless and classic drum and bass track. That upright bass though [laughs].
What gigs do you have coming up?
I'm playing at the Two:Tone 10 year Anniversary with Dom & Roland and Dara headlining on May 27. Turnstile Tuesdays at Beauty Bar on May 30 with MC Astro, Jahvis and Omar Mustafa. And I finally get to play alongside my major early influence, Roniz Size at the Church – Dragon's De – in New Orleans on July 9 for my early birthday celebration.
1. Submorphics - "Step in the Spot"
2. Total Science, S.P.Y. feat Riya - "Piano Funk"
3. Random Movement - "I Stayed Around" (Lenzman remix)
4. Dave Owen feat T.R.A.C. - "The Party's Arrived"
5. Jaybee and Random Movement - "Good Enough"
6. Rowpieces - "Retreat"
7. Random Movement - "Savage Brutus"
8. Phase 2 - "Come With Me"
9. DJ Marky - "Silly"
10. Command Strange - "Easy"
11. Artificial Intelligence - "Nobody"
12. Phors - "Shining Star"
13. Tokyo Prose - "Songbird"
14. Lenzman - "African Dream"
15. Big Bud - "Lady Sing the Blues" (Flaco remix)
16. High Contrast - "If We Ever"
17. Lenzman - "Past Lives"
18. Unknown - "Down for Whatever"
19. Atlantic Connection - "Nothing Can Separate Us"
20. Seba - "Nightrider"
21. XRS, DJ Marky, Vikter Duplaix - "Moments of Lust (Makoto remix)"
22. Roni Size - "Brown Paper Bag"
23. Commix feat Steo - "How Ya Gonna Feel?"
24. Flaco, Glen E Ston, Dave Owen - "I Wanna Show You"
25. Random Movement - "Sleazy Bitch (Ivy lab remix)"
26. Lenzman feat Redeye - "Don't Let Go"
27. A.I. - "Dreams of Freedom"
28. Ivy Lab - "Live On Your Smile"
29. R.M. - "I Stayed Around"
30. Paul T, Serum, Edward Oberon - "Take My Breath Away"
31. Break - "They're Wrong (Calibre remix)"
32. Bailey feat Tali - "Stargazing"
33. Roni Size - "It's Jazzy" remix
34. Commix - "Be True"
35. Alix Perez feat Peven Everett - "Forsaken"
36. Hyroglifics - "Astraya"
37. Halogenix - "Her Waves"
38. Dave Owen - Unknown
39. Alibi - "Fire feat Charlie Brix"
40. SpectraSoul - "Slippin"
41. Halogenix, Zoe Klinck - "Too Good"