Redsean has been a staple in Dallas' weekend DJ nightlife for the past decade. He's most often spotted dropping tunes ranging from the underground savvy to unapologetically pop music at various residencies in Uptown.
Redsean rides that fine line, but when pressed on the subject of his preferred genre, he proudly defers to his love of pop music in all forms. His preference for catchy hooks and wide-eyed melodic wonder is on full display for this week's mixtape, created for a summer vibe. He calls the mix "Need a Beach Vol. 4." It pulls together a diverse roster of artists, from Fleetwood Mac to Siouxsie Sioux's infamous side project The Creature to Powerman 5000, into a bouncy, disco-leaning mix perfect for summertime.
What was the concept behind the mix?
I had been wanting to make another installment in my summery-vibe mixtape series. Summers can really change a person, and that is why I latch onto the idea for a string of songs.
What inspired you to revisit these classic tunes?
I was randomly going through iTunes playlists I hadn’t listened to in a while and came across this group of songs I had pulled for a Cool Out guest appearance way back in 2011. It made me feel like this is what I would play on a beach at sunset or 4 a.m. I think both times would work here.
What is going with your Uptown Goths project?
I am currently working on the live setup and writing an EP using only that equipment. The Deluge has been getting more global attention lately, and it is the heart of my rig. I recently sold two sentimental pieces of equipment to make the purchase, and I haven’t regretted it for a minute. I’m hoping to be able to start playing out regularly by the end of summer.
What is going on with your club music as Redsean, and how different is that music from your live projects?
I’d say Redsean’s material is more lax on the method of creation for sure, as I use soft synths and Ableton a lot. I still use hardware in my productions, but it isn’t 100 percent live as it is when I record an Uptown Goths track. Musically, it tends to lean more toward house/disco/techno sounds, although my songs are usually too weird to pigeonhole into one of those genres solely.
Do you have a preference between DJing and playing live?
I love playing live, but sometimes it depends on the DJ gig. If I get to play what I want and am booked for my production, then that can end up being just as fun as playing live for me. I have missed playing live so much since my last band split around 2010. Uptown Goths is somewhat of a step back in that direction, but I have a few other things that I am working on for the future as well.
What draws you to four on the floor house and disco-leaning sounds?
I just think they are fun. You don’t have to really know how to dance to just more your feet to the beat. I have actually been doing more electro/breaks style stuff with the new Uptown Goths music, though.
What is the creation process like for your music?
It varies from day to day, song to song. Sometimes I wake up with a bass line or drumbeat in my head, and I can’t let that stuff go, so I go to the computer and play it until I have it right. Then the time warp happens, and six hours later, I have more or less finished the whole song. Other times, I will just turn on a synth because I’m bored, and some sound/note progression might trigger a loop, which usually ends up triggering the whole time warp thing again. Mostly it’s all about the time warp.
This Powerman 5000 remix in the summer mix kind of jumps out. Not at all what I expected. What was your process behind that?
I listen to a lot of things that are probably too embarrassing for other people to admit, but I loved that album in junior high and recently revisited it. It’s definitely not mixed properly or complete, but I figured I’d put the demo at the end since it might never see the light of day otherwise. It still oddly works for me.
You go from Fleetwood Mac to Stephanie Mills to The Creatures in this mix, music that, at first glance, seems like it might not go together. You make it not only work but totally flow together. What was your process behind the track selection?
We would have to ask 2011 me about that because I was so floored to hear this playlist after so many years but don’t remember what I was thinking when I put it together. I like things that don’t go together and making them go together. I have even set up girls I like with my best friends on multiple occasions. Call me the matchmaker.
What is the most significant musical experience you have had in the last year?
I’m probably going to have to say seeing Tears For Fears. And then later that evening seeing a wizard play saxophone with Hall & Oates.
What gigs or releases do you have coming up?
I’m currently still playing every Saturday at Bowen House and recently have been at Harlowe MXM on Fridays. I am launching a digital label this month, which is something I have wanted to do for years and am finally ready to take the plunge and follow through. The first release will be the debut Redsean EP, and eventually I will release other projects I am in involved with, as well as friends with likeminded sounds and ideas.
1. Fleetwood Mac — "Keep On Going (Cosmo Vitelli Edit)"
2. Risco Connection — "Ain't No Stopping Us Now"
3. Komiko — "Feel Alright"
4. Shalamar — "Make That Move"
5. Stephanie Mills — "Put Your Body In It"
6. Lakeside — "Fantastic Voyage (Hot Coins Edit)"
7. The Creatures — "Believe In Yourself (12" Edit)"
8. Massara — "Margherita (12" Anglaise Version)"
9. The Doobie Brothers — "What A Fool Believes (12" Jim Burgess Remix)"
10. The Hounds — "Under My Thumb"
11. Kid Creole & The Coconuts — "Annie I'm Not Your Daddy"
12. Powerman 5000 — "Watch the Stars for Me (Redsean Edit)"