Dreadnaught is a crucial player in the Dallas DJ community, one of the cogs that keeps the wheel turning. As the primary admin of the DFW Electronic Calendar, a popular Facebook group, he has established a virtual meeting ground for many of the local promoters and DJs. Although he is a versatile DJ playing a variety of club music styles, he has a penchant for the darker side of techno, and that's more than evident in this week's ominous mixtape. For this week's Mixtape Q&A, Dreadnaught also breaks down a bit of how he got started, where he has gone and what he is up to next.
How did you get started DJing? How long have you been at it?
In 2000 a college friend of mine introduced me to it, but I didn't really do much more than play with some gear occasionally and appreciate electronic music. At the time I played trumpet in a symphony along with a half dozen other ensembles, so my music focus was there. I later moved to South Florida away from the groups I played with and filled that void by diving into electronic music, eventually becoming a "bedroom DJ." I began "playing out" when I first kicked off the PCP (Panther City Productions) events in 2012 and have since played at more events then I ever imagined both across DFW and other states during some of my travels for my day job.
Is there a particular theme for the track selection?
This was a folder of tracks that I found interesting when I listened to them, which I mixed together in one take by feel and harmonics. This isn't all stuff I would play in a club or expect people to dance to, but an up and down mix for a listening trek across different genres. If I were to coin a name to this sound I would borrow a phrase from my wife and call this sound "Morgan Freeman on Acid."
Where do you dig for tracks for your sets?
I listen to what seems like a non-stop stream of music waiting for things to catch my attention. I follow many, many producers and labels on Soundcloud and Beatport script the soundtrack for my office day and commute. There is no shortage of incredible music to be found once you identify producers compatible with your taste.
Do you still buy vinyl?
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We have a crate of vinyl around the house and some tables, but they are my wife's. I've never really been into that side of the culture and while I respect it, I've elected to just dive as deeply as possible into the digital realm.
What DJs and producers have had a significant impact on you as an artist?
I can't begin to pick a favorite producer or big-name DJ as there as so, so many talented artists out there and I think ultimately local influences are more impactful. My friends Michael Todd and James Kelley have been my two biggest influences. Michael's tastes differ from mine a bit but I have learned much watching and playing with him. Many DJs seem comfortable only in one sound, but this guy can play a wide range of sounds in just about any setting -- something I aspire towards. James produces music with a timbre similar to some of my favored sounds; meeting him really inspired me to play sounds I connected with, even if they were quite a bit different from the norm.
What is your most memorable music experience of the past year?
Last year my wife and I were able to attend BPM in Mexico and the Innervisions party at the Blue Venado Beach Club was a magical experience. The music, environment, sunrise and company combined for a one-of-a-kind experience you never forget. I can't really begin to describe it in a meaningful way so will just say that it was more than worth the mysterious trek into what seemed like the middle of nowhere in multiple questionable vehicles to get there.
What is your most memorable DJ gig to play?
Definitely our first Glitz N' Glow New Year's Eve Party both personally and professionally. Nobody was really throwing an event in our circle for NYE and I thought it would make an incredible cover to bring all of our friends out to the same place to propose to Jen, my wife. We rented a huge private residence from a friend of mine and booked some of our closest talented DJ friends. The event sold out so I ended up interrupting a Dragonlazer DJ Set to propose to my wife in front of a packed house of 300-plus people which was more than a little intimidating. The following year we repeated the event at Sandaga 813 to have more space and for an even larger crowd, but I didn't make any more surprise announcements at that one.
Do you have a preference between DJing and production?
I studied music much of my school-era days and once aspired to be a composer. I feel like production is something I really will love but so far I've only dabbled in production making a few edits to tracks I think I can tweak towards a particular sound. Ultimately I want to focus on developing greater competency there but today I still struggle with the software language of blocks for sound and not notes on a staff. So [the answer is] DJing today.
What genres are you drawn to most as a DJ?
I am pretty eclectic and like sounds from different extremes. I really love hard techno, dark electro, a splash of EBM and heavier tech house stuff in the right setting. That said, I also really enjoy playing beautiful lush mixes of deeper indie dance and house oriented stuff. As a result of throwing parties in so many different mixed settings I also developed some play banks that are a bit more up-tempo, bouncy and funky.
What other genres of music do you enjoy outside of dance music?
For my own enjoyment I listen almost exclusively to electronic music, instrumental music and a range of film scores. I really don't enjoy much pop music, although I follow quite a bit of it in my work as a mobile DJ. I prefer music to be complex in either structure or instrumentation and ideally things I have never heard before.
What gigs do you have coming up?
Our next PCP event is May 2nd at Sandaga 813 in Dallas where I will be playing there alongside a pretty diverse lineup. Our parties don't have a set date or frequency we schedule them when a particular night looks good to throw a party and there is a nice space available.
Tracklist: 1 Pinbacker Suppled (Yannick Fuchs Bootleg) -John Murphy 2 Jupiter Skyline -The Hacker 3 One Thing feat. Robert Owens (Djedjotronic Remix) -Strip Steve 4 Moving Target (Original Mix) Disastar, Leon Boose 5 The Lord - Original Mix Dark Soul Project 6 The Cats (Original Mix) -Tesla and Plastic Robots 7 Room 2064 (Original Mix) -Stampflok & Deztroyer 8 Love Chemical (Miquel Santos Vocal Mix) -Pole Folder Feat ShelleyHarland 9 Body Clock (Original) -Thodoris Triantafillou, Cj Jeff, Thomas Gander 10 Favelas (Original Mix) -Nodin, Inphasia 11 Ritual (Original Mix) -Adrian Hour 12 In Balance (Pole Folder & CP Remix) -Quincy 13 Reverion (Original Club Mix) - Spektre 14 Music Is My Heart (Millimetric remix) -SIGNUM, Isis feat DREY 15 Night Train (Techno Edit) -Relaunch 16 Cop Assault -Boris Divider 17 Llight at the end of the tunnel (original mix) -Gabeen 18 All You (Original Mix) -Darlyn Vlys, Thomas Gandey, Melokolektiv 19 Exit (The Hacker Remix) -Dubfire feat. Miss Kittin 20 They Are (Not) After You (DN Edit) -Oliver Huntemann 21 2606 (Original Mix) -Marco Bailey, Tom Hades 22 Supastar (Victor Ruiz Remix) -Come and Hell 23 Goodbye (Yannick Fuchs bootleg) -Apparat
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