Clinton Butler is a serious devotee of the techno and house arts going by the name P2P DJ. As an audience member, DJ and promoter, he has spent time in Denton, Dallas and Austin over the years and kept his ear to the ground of the Texas techno scene as a whole. His passion for underground sounds is fervent, which is obvious from his DJ sets that are well informed by the global culture. For this week's mix P2P DJ delivers a set drenched in acid (the dance genre, not the drug).
Dallas Observer: How did you get started DJing? How long have you been at it?
P2P DJ: Kinda funny actually, I started in 2010 with a weekly (monthly?) called Why Denton Sucks at Hailey’s Club with the guy who ran the eponymous/anonymous Twitter account. We were just quantizing tracks in Ableton to mix back then and playing music videos on the projector. We had this huge Sunn PA back then, too, and would play house parties with just one of the giant speakers because they were so loud. I guess that all kick-started my drive to select music at parties.
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How did you get the name P2P DJ?
The last party I did was with my good friend Chris Briseño, we called it Peer-2-Peer and had Patricia (Opal Tapes, L.I.E.S.) as the headliner. A couple of my Dallas favorites played, too — TX Connect and Gina G — who always deliver, by the way. Chris and I planned to play the opening sets so we billed ourselves as P2P DJs, since neither of us really cared how we were listed. Chris moved to Austin recently so Peer-2-Peer is on indefinite hiatus, but I really liked how P2P DJ sounded and I was trying to find something new anyway. (Shout out to DJ Brisueño)
How was this mix made? Is there a particular theme for the track selection?
This particular mix is done live in Traktor, not my preferred medium but works in a pinch and is way more fun than quantizing tracks for Ableton. I really like CDJs and Serato Vinyl, but I’m trying to fill out my vinyl collection mostly now. This life ain’t cheap!
Hmm, theme for this one … Should be fairly obvious but I’m thinkin’ “deadbeat acid freak."
How did you start getting involved with Dallas DJ culture?
I cut my teeth learning to DJ in Denton with a few weeklies some friends and I held down up there (shout to to M3SA), but it wasn’t until I started getting involved in throwing parties that I really went full-freak about it. I helped Matt Creech pull off all of his amazing art direction for the Track Meet "Slime Rave" some years back in a basement in Denton. I think that party taught me how much environmental design plays into the partygoer’s experience and the more immersive the better. Once I get a party off the ground, venue and artists confirmed, I really start to think about how I want it to look inside. The environment has to match the sound and I think that’s really important. Sasha Cwalino (Deep Creep) and some of my other friends in Austin throw some really amazing and well-designed parties. Mostly, my friends around the state inspire me and I just want to contribute as well.
What is your relationship with house and techno?
Well, to be honest my life revolves around dance music. I go to grad school and have other interests and stuff, but all I really think about is house and techno. I’ve spent one weekend in Dallas this year so far; the other weekends I’ve been in Houston and Austin going to house and techno shows. Texas has a really beautiful, burgeoning resurgence right now and I’m just gonna soak it up. I also plan my trips out of state around shows. I'm unwaveringly into it.
Do you still buy vinyl? If so, do you have a favorite record store (online or storefront)?
I actually had a pretty big collection at one point, but between my move from Denton to Dallas a few years back I managed to lose all of them. [I'm] working on building it back up again. I hope to play a vinyl set at the Bill Converse party on February 19. Just need a few more records … As far as record stores go, I love End of an Ear in Austin and Josey Records in Dallas, but last weekend I got to check out Friends of Sound Records in Austin before they permanently close. (Shout out to DJ Clueman.) It's an all-used store accessed from an alleyway (my kinda store). I had to dig a bit but I found one serious Tresor gem for $5 that I will share only through speakers. The clerk at Friends of Sound said, “Good luck on your hunt for techno records” as I left the store — which makes me laugh but also like, damn, he’s right. This hunt ain’t easy.
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Where do you like to dig for new tracks?
I listen to a ton of mixes by DJs and producers that I look up to. They turn me on to new and old sounds alike. YouTube is a goldmine as long as you don't actually rip anything from it. I also try to befriend as many Texas artists as possible and build relationships with them; some end up bouncing down tracks for me to play out. I really like having exclusive tracks from friends that are totally killing it in the studio. Bill Converse, Alex M, Shareeff, Juntmane, Cygnus, Wanz Dover (wink), Supraman, Spice Boys, AFTV, Trunkrider, DJ Demasiado. The list could go on and on. We have so much talent in Texas.
What DJ set have you seen in the past year that has stuck with you most?
Hard to pinpoint a single set, but honestly Bill Converse, one of our own here in Texas, has played like four out of the top 10 sets I’ve seen in the past year. I went to Sustain-Release in New York and heard so many powerful DJ/live sets there. Mike Servito, who I’ve seen once since S-R, and who is an obvious influence, plays some truly wild acid sets.
What gigs do you have in the near future?
Well, I won't speak about anything underground, but I do play Stereo On Strike on February 20 at Red Light Lounge. The tracks planned for that are more on the dark techno side, but I always play a lil’ acid. I can’t help it.
Privacy - Exact
DJ Slyngshot - Runnin From It
Greg Beato - Who's the Licho In Charge Ovaa Here
Rebeval - Brainiac
Dance System - Turbulence
Funkineven & Delroy Edwards - X
Neil Landstrumm - Disfunction
Gesloten Cirkel - Gesloten Cirkel
Spokesman - Acid Creak
MGUN - Tritan
Greg Beato - Intermission
Transparent Sound - Insert Coin
Luca Lozano & Mr. Ho - Autonomika
Jamie Lidell - Compaction Blues
Baby Ford - Flowers
Umwelt - Motor Co-Ordination
Armando - Pleasure Dome
Hollis P Monroe - I'm Lonely