Gabriel Mendoza has built a reputation in Dallas over the past decade for being one of the must adventurous DJ's in the city. Mendoza made this reputation not by sticking to any particular genre, but for playing that new favorite song you never even knew existed. From psychedelic turkish funk to boogaloo to northern soul to '80s hardcore to ska, the one constant is that it will most likely make you wanna bob your head, shake your feet or warm your soul. This week's mixtape is an all-vinyl mix of deep, exotic and funky cuts. For the Q&A Mendoza gives us a little insight into the mind of one of the city's busiest crate diggers.
DC9 at Night: How did you get started DJing?
Mendoza: I started back in 2004. My friend Patricia Rodriguez asked me to be her partner in a psych/garage night. I couldn't think of anyone better to collaborate with than my best friend and we started doing the Lollipop Shoppe. We're celebrating our 10 year anniversary October 8th at The Kettle.
How long have you been collecting vinyl? When did you crossover from record collector to bonafide crate digger?
I've always bought records. Thanks to my grandfather, they were just always around since that was his favorite format. (8-track was a close second.) So I always bought the random records I liked as a little kid. Everything from Queen to Elvis to Motown or oldies collections. I started collecting vinyl seriously back in high school. Those were mainly hardcore, punk, metal or noise records. Getting stuff from Dischord, SST, or Touch and Go catalogs as well as hitting up Direct Hit Records, Last Beat or Underground Records back in the day. I still use a lot of those records for Away From The Numbers and Punky Reggae Party. The Lollipop Shoppe pushed me into digging for more soul, funk, and garage and psych. That in turn led me into collecting more international wax. Funky and groovy weirdness from Turkey, Iran, Thailand and Africa.
What residences do you currently hold down?
I currently have a few residencies at Single Wide: Away From The Numbers the first Saturday of the month and Punky Reggae Party usually on the third Saturday. This month were having Punky Reggae Friday the 25th as part of Single Wide's 3 Year Anniversary. I'm also one of the rotating DJs for Stoned Soul Saturday. That's our weekly daytime soul, funk and R&B happening.
Do you have any favorite DJs or vinyl collector that inspire you?
The guys that inspire me are the DJs that are diggers. The guys that get down and dirty and go to the ends of the world to find the perfect beat, song or discover something new. Some of my faves are Theo Parrish, Andy Votel, Egon, the Gaslamp Killer, DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist, to pioneers like Russ Winstanley, Mike Pickering, Afrika Bambaataa and Grandmaster Flash. Local DJs that inspire me are guys like Marcos Prado from The Smoke Mod Night, Gina Garza and Gavin Guthrie from Deep Shade. Luke Sardello, Roger Hinkle, R9, Wild in the Streets, Mr. Rid. This city if full of some of the best crate diggers around. A ton of respect and love to all of them.
What are some of your go to cuts that rarely leave your crate?
Tracks that rarely leave my crate are Tommy Dark's "The Wobble," the Jackson 5's "It's Great To Be Here," Selda's "Yaylalar, Yamasuki's "Yama Yama," Serge Gainsbourg's "Requiem Pour Un Con," Baby Huey's "Hard Times," Ike Turner's "Funky Mule," Jun Mayuzumi's "Black Room" are just a few. As far as AWFTN and PRP, Fugazi, Gang of Four, Prince Buster, Joy Division, King Tubby, The Specials, Junior Murvin, Cock Sparrer, Jim Carroll Band, Black Flag, and the Wild Dub Collection are a few I can think of at the top of my head.
What are some of your favorite local or online record stores?
As far as local, I like GrooveNet, Dead Wax, Good Records and Doc's. Online, I like Dusty Groove, Juno, Ernie B's Reggae, Finders Keepers and of course Discogs
Are there any upcoming releases that you are looking forward to?
The release I'm really looking forward to is Daniela Casa's Sovrapposizione Di Immagini collection from Finders Keepers. I discovered her when I bought the Criminale Volumes last year. Mind was blown. She was a pioneer of experimental pop music. Working with synths, weird electronics. She had funk soundtrack instrumentals too. Mostly library stuff; highly recommended. Check out her cover of Black Sabbath's "Black Sabbath." So sick!
Tracklist: 1. Last Poets - "On the Subway" 2. Joe Bataan - "Subway Joe" 3. Paco Zambrano y Su Combo - "Meshkalina" 4. Ersen - "Sor Kendine" 5. Jimmy Castor - "It's Just Begun" 6. Marva Whitney - "Get Together Now" 7. Miguel de Seus - "Black Soul Brothers" 8. Los Charley's Orchestra - "Al Ritmo del Latin Funk" 9. The Bamboos - "Tighten Up" 10. Les Ambassadeurs du Motel de Bamako - "Get Up James" 11. James Brown - "And Saying Nothing" 12. Naomi Shelton - "Wind Your Clock" 13. Louise Freeman - "I Can Do It" 14. The Bombay Royale - "Sote Sote Adhi Raat" 15. Issac Hayes - "Hung Up on My Baby" 16. Dorothy Morrison - "Rain" 17. LJ Waiters & the Electrifies - "If You Ain't Getting Your Thing"
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.