After a long break, we are back to wrap up the final run of Observer Mixtape. We are almost to mixtape No. 200, and this week we feature Feezy, a scene veteran with two decades behind the decks. Feezy walks the fine line between the pop sounds of crowded Deep Ellum bars, encyclopedic knowledge of underground sounds and the deep history of dance music culture. He is a workhorse, and his versatility keeps him booked and making crowds happy, no matter what venue he is performing in.
For this week's mixtape, Feezy uses that deep knowledge to bring together a mixed genre of house, electro, acid and techno tunes (that he refers to as H.E.A.T.) for a focused journey through modern dance music, including tracks from standout Dallas producers D.F.G. and Cygnus.
How long have you been in the DJ game?
Twenty years this Jan. 1. I started my first residency at the Slip Inn the first week of 2000. Of course, I had played at parties in college and after college, but to really get paid, it was then.
What are your current residencies, and what are you playing at those nowadays?
Currently, I still do my Candleroom Wednesday, which has been going for 12 years now. Also, Barcadia Saturday and Monday, as well as Wits End on Thursday and every last Saturday.
How have your own music tastes evolved in recent years, and what is catching your fancy most as of late?
I’ve always done the pop/hip-hop thing on one side, and a more underground side of disco, house, techno, electro, and (left field) beats and breaks. Lately, I’ve been digging electro on the underground side of things and a lot of dancehall, Afro-pop and Latin pop on the more mainstream side of things.
How has the working DJ landscape changed in the past few years in Dallas?
I’d say that electronic venues are on the wane, while the mainstream hip-hop thing is in full force in the upscale, bottle service end and most bars in general. Latin styles have really picked up on the mainstream side too, which shows that Dallas has a very vibrant Latin demographic.
How was this mix made, and is there a theme or concept behind it?
The mix was made in Ableton because of the shorter time frame (1-2 days) because when I do live mixes, it can take up to a week to get it right and redo the mix. Editing in Ableton is much quicker when you go back through and listen to the mix and decide you don’t like this mix or that song. The concept goes back to the H.E.A.T. formula that I have done on several mixes. It's an acronym for house, electro, acid and techno, and one I have built on for several parties at Wits End. It covers what I think is currently relevant but also staples in the fundamentals of dance and electronic music. Acid house had a very relevant comeback about 4-5 years ago, and electro has been strong over the past 2-4 years.
Do you have any current fave or up-and-coming local DJs or producers that have caught your ear?
I’d say on the production side of things, Cygnus and Convextion/E.R.P. are two guys that have a great sound and continue to represent Dallas well in the international scene. D.F.G. is a local guy coming up, whose track is included in my mix, has a really nice style and the track is available on the release Alamo Basement Tracks on Gavin Guthrie’s local imprint Texas Recording Underground.
Any fave non-local DJs or producers?
I’d say recently Paul Woolford, Gunnar Haslam and Versalife have really kinda been on fire for me. Local Dallas ties but now moved on, Mozhgan is based in San Francisco and doing great things there and internationally. Very impressed with her style and selections.
Do you have any tracks that never leave your crate?
I quickly change tracks and try not to get caught up playing the same tracks. In the vinyl days that was more of a reality since you are limited in the number of tracks bought and that can be carried out. In the digital world, I never have a shortage of new tracks that I want to hear out on a big system, combined with thousands of classics available at any time.
Where is your fave place to find new tracks?
I find new stuff on the internet and retired from record/CD shopping altogether a few years ago. Digital-wise I try to buy as much from bandcamp.com because of their commitment to paying more to the artist, and downloads are available in all formats for the same price whether it's AIFF, Wav, Mp3, FLAC or Ogg.
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Are there any requests that you hope to stop getting in 2019?
Not really, requests are part of life as a DJ, and really as a human. It's just how you handle them and treat people with respect and not being a total jerk to people, which many DJs do.
Are there any genres that you wish you could play out more often?
Absolutely, I’d love to be able to play anything from disco, to UK bass, to electro or Chicago footwork on a regular basis, but those are getting harder to play at most bars or clubs. Since Dallas doesn’t really have an arts scene and turnout is generally fairly low, most bars want a more mainstream kind of vibe, which is fine too.
What was the last full album you listened to all the way through?
I was late to the party, but I really liked Khruangbin’s last album Con Todo El Mundo. An amazing band from Houston originally with a chill, laid-back sound. Perfect for listening and not partying — depending on how you want to party.
Supreems - "Amygdala (John Beltran's Summer Drive Mix)."
Earth Boys - "Perfect Blue."
Deetron - "T-Symmetry."
Donald Dust - "Ecstasy."
Justin Cudmore - "Are You Ready."
Reset Robot - "Idiolect."
SCB x Wehbba - "New Culture."
E.R.P. - "ZRX."
No Moon - "aoe_advancing."
Curses - "Surrender." (Jennifer Cardini Remix)
D.F.G. - "Gateway."
Chinaski/S-F-X - "Paura."
Konx-Om - "I'm for Real (feat. Nightwave)."
Cygnus - "Decent of Man."