This week's mixtape brings the focus onto scene vet Josh Kynd. As a DJ, producer, promoter, label owner and vinyl retailer, he has been a cornerstone of the Dallas scene for two decades. Along with his partners Jason Ramirez and Johnny Leake, he runs the Our House Collective, which has been a constant amongst house circles in the city for years. With a vinyl collection that outpaces most record stores in town, Kynd's experience and depth of knowledge makes him the epitome of an old-school DJ. For this week's Q&A, Kynd peels the curtain back on his diverse life as an artist and vinyl collector.
How did you get started DJing?
I didn't intend on being a DJ when I began collecting records. I started to go to big warehouse parties in the early '90s. You couldn't get this music I was hearing on CD, or tape for that matter. So I would go to the record stores and just buy the singles for playing at the house one at a time with some friends. After three crates, a good friend of mine bought some cheap tables and we started to try mixing them. I had a lot of good stuff, but no one to show us how to do it.
How soon did you start performing?
It took me three years to finally play in front of anyone. By then I was pretty good and played any house party I could. I played everywhere, ended up headlining many shows off of promoters seeing me firsthand. I didn't make a mix to pass out till 2008 and started in 1994.
Do you have a preference between DJing and producing?
I have been DJing for 20 years and producing for 14. I have never taken producing seriously up till the past couple years. I have always put myself as a DJ first. I play everything from house to breaks to full-on '80s to funk and soul. I have a little bit of everything.
Who are some of your favorite old school DJs or producers?
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I'm a huge fan of DJ Sneak and Doc Martin for DJs from the early years. But out of the locals, I would have to say Rob Vaughn and Gary O are my favorite DJs. Producers would have to be Orbital, Hardkiss, Rabbit in the Moon, the Orb Sasha and Soul Oddity, to name a few. These guys turned me into an electronic music junkie.
Who are some current artists you enjoy?
I'm kind of a odd person to ask this question due to [the fact that] I really don't check out most new music. I stay about four years behind, trying to catch up on the good stuff that has been passed up from the over-saturated market. But if we are talking about DJs, I would have to say that the few that have impressed me a great deal would be Johnny Leake and Aidin Hafezamini. They both have a great sound and [are] the best of people you can come across.
Do you still buy vinyl? If so, do you have a favorite record store -- online or storefront?
I do buy records, you could say. I run an online store through Discogs. So I buy in bulk from collectors and stock my store as well as run a portable store called Pop-Up Records, where I post up at events. I mainly collect old funk and jazz for my personal collection these days. Electronic music to DJ costs too much for me to keep up with. Plus there hasn't been a store that has hosted this type of music in Dallas for a long time now. Josey Records may change my format if they start ordering new stuff. I own close to 55,000 records as it is.
How was this mix made? Is there a particular theme for the track selection?
Well, like I said, I don't pass out mixes or even make them much, so I take a lot of time preparing for a mix. A total of six mixes have been made over the past 20 years. I kind of overthink it. I feel if you want to give someone a taste of your skills and what you are into outside of the live environment, you need to think it out and not just hit record. So for this mix I studied 30 tracks from a total of 250-plus I picked out. I chose more of a melodic sound on this one. You never know what you will hear from me. I try to make each set something most have never heard.
What has been your favorite release out of your own catalog?
I would have to say my favorite track of my own is the one in this mix.
What upcoming releases do you have coming up?
My next release would be just a remix of Demarkus [Lewis] on our label [Grin Tech]. I have a couple other tracks in the works for other labels, but not finalized. I also have about 30 unfinished tracks that I will be finishing over the next year. So expect a lot of activity next year.
What gigs do you have in the near future?
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[Lewis and I] have a release party on the 19th coming up at the Electric Lotus. I also have an all vinyl event called Wax On Wax Off at Off the Record in Deep Ellum. I also do Turn Style Tuesdays with DJ partner Samma Lone under the name Beats Repeat 1st Tuesdays at Beauty Bar.
Tracklist: 1.Robert Babicz - A Night In Melbourne (Original Mix) 2.Chaim - Blue Shadow (Original Mix) 3.Paul Kalkbrenner - Sky and Sand (Robag's Borsi Alpakka Rehand) 4.Matthew Dekay & Lee Burridge - Fur Die Liebe (Original Mix) 5.Chopstik - Birds (Original Mix) 6.Chopstik - Birds (Afrilounge Liapin's Rework) 7.Joris Voorn - Deep Side Of The Moog (Original Mix) 8.Matthias Meyer - Tout Va Bien (Original Mix) 9.Daniel Allen-Land of Misfits (PointBender Remix) 10.Alex Smoke - Blackbody (Original Mix) 11.Joshua Kynd - The Woulds (Original Mix) 12.Larry Cadge - Vicious Circle (Original Mix)
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