ill76 has been floating around the DFW DJ scene since the '90s. In a town where actual techno DJs are a rare breed, ill76 is a cut above the rest. He used to run the beloved local DJ shop Illmatic Records, a store that was a cornerstone of the local scene and even served as a training ground when the now-celebrity DJ Maceo Plex started out as an employee. Since the passing of Illmatic Records, ill76 has been making regular appearances at various after-hours parties. If techno is needed for an occasion he is the go-to vet in Dallas. His knowledge is deep and expansive in the world of techno and that comes across in his DJ mixes as along with his top-notch mixing skills.
This year ill76 stepped into the production side of DJ culture with an EP of meditative dub techno on the Italian-based Subosc label. ill76 prefers to let his music speak for him, but we managed to get a few insights into his world to go along with his mixtape.
DC9 at Night: How did you get started DJing?
ill76: I started trying to DJ around '88. I was really into hip-hop, and my nephew was trying to rap. He needed a DJ, so this pretty much sparked my interest.
Who have been some of your favorite DJ's to share a bill with?
I don't really have a favorite, but opening for Juan Atkins was pretty dope.
Who are some of your favorite producers and DJ's?
Jeroen Search, Conforce, Developer, Claro Intelecto, Convextion, Truncate, Area Forty One, Delta Funktionen ,CRC, ROD, Rodhad, Steve Rachmad. Too many dope producers out there. I could go on for days.
What other genres or artists do you two like to spin or listen to outside of techno?
I have a gig on Saturdays where I play downtempo. As far as what I listen to, it varies from soul, funk, old school hip-hop, disco, '80s. A little bit of everything.
Do you still buy vinyl?
Yes, but I haven't bought any in the last three to four months.
What are your favorite record stores?
Ameoba, Crosstalk, Juno U.K., Forced Exposure, et cetera. Anywhere I can find good records at.
How did Illmatic Records come about?
It was kind of spontaneous. Me and a friend just thought one day, "Who says we can't run a record shop?" And it just happened.
Do you miss running a record store?
Not really. It had its perks, but I'd rather be a costumer than be the owner.
How was this mix made?
The mix was made with two Technics 1200s, vinyl and a busted Pioneer DJM500.
Is there a particular theme for the track selection?
Not really, I don't really like to plan mixes. Takes the fun out of it. I did, however, try to put a few different styles that I'm into in this mix.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to the Observer's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Dallas's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
What gigs do you have coming up?
Maybe something in November. Just keep your ear towards the underground. You can also catch me playing downtempo every Saturday at Tei Tei's Robota Bar.
1. Thomas Kufner - "Maginus"(Kurbel) 2. Exozz - "Orangeblue" (Mosaic) 3. Grad_u - "EV-5"(Redscale) 4. Henning Baer - "Europium) 5. Jeroen Search & Dimi Angelis - Sub Modular"(A & S) 6. Mirror_1 - "Astronauta" (Out-er) 7. Fred P - Splitting Particles" (The Corner) 8. CTRLS - Displacer" (Token) 9. Radial - "Asiel" (Mord) 10 . Dario Zenker - Chris De Slurgh"(Ilian Tape) 11. CRC - "Walpurgis Night" (Munk) 12. Alexey Volcov - "Gewichtheber" (Planet Rouge) 13. NGLY - "Some Relationships" (L.I.E.S.) 14. Ever Vivid - "Lost Love" (Open Mind Recordings) 15. Schneider TM vs. michi.gan - "The Light 3000" (City Slang)