Red Eye is the epitome of a Dallas DJ staple. Over the past few decades he has always been a constant in Dallas DJ scene with well regarded resdidencies at the legendary Club One to his current haunts at Beauty Bar and It'll Do Club. Somehow he still finds time to do a monthly '80s night at Crown & Harp. There are veteran DJs in this town and then there is this guy; he garners equal amounts of respect from the oldest old-school DJs and the younger sect. A DJ mix from this infamous man about town is extremely rare and we are pleased to host his first mix in a long awhile here at DC9.
DC9 at Night: How did you get started DJing?
Red Eye: Dance music has always been around me. My uncle was a DJ in Austin during the disco days and the '80s. I remember going to visit and being mesmerized by all the records he had. I was always fascinated by 12-inch singles and remixes et cetera. So when I started going to clubs, it was just kind of a natural progression I guess. I kinda just started.
What was it like getting started?
Back then it wasn't about being the center of attraction. Nobody wanted to be a DJ then; everybody wanted to be door person. They had all the power [laughs]. I was only dabbling in it until I watched "Go-Go" Mike Dupriest (RIP) at Starck Club. He's the one that set me on my path.
What other genres or artists do you two like to spin or listen to outside of dance music?
I am a notorious '70s adult contemporary music fan. Can't get enough of it. But I like dub, a lot of indie rock, a lot of '70s soul. Still kick around some punk every now and again, ska, plus a lot of electronic stuff that's not dance music. Then there's that Depeche Mode thing I've had going for 30 years now.
Who are some of your favorite producers and DJs? How have they influenced you?
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Oh I love Deetron, Todd Terje, Lindstrom, Maceo Plex/Maetrik. Ben Westbeech is an f'ing genius! That man can do anything. Henrick Schwartz can do no wrong. As far as DJs there will always be Danny Tenaglia, Laurent Garnier and Derrick Carter in my top five. Each of them is a master of their genre that no one can touch. Until you've seen those guys take control of the decks, and the room, you have not lived yet. None of my heroes throw cake or fake their sets. I can tell you that much.
What years were you a resident at Club One? What is your best memory of Club One?
Wow, I guess maybe '95 to '02 I think. It was the better part of almost 10 years. There are way too many memories. But I would say that my last night there was pretty damned amazing; it was pretty emotional. The crowd literally ripped down the plexiglass wall coverings and wrote messages to me on them -- and basically gave me the walls. Three giant panels of love notes and appreciation. I really felt the love that night. It let me know that I had made a positive impact on a lot of peoples' lives.
How did it'll Do come about?
It'll Do happened out of our own desperation to have someplace to go. It was a completely selfish thing [laughs]. We just weren't having fun. Period. No one was bringing the artists we wanted to hear. No one was giving us the vibe we wanted to feel. It seemed like everything that we thought clubbing was about, had gone missing.
And what were those things you felt were missing?
Good sound, pioneering talent and a great mix of people that just wanted to go out and dance. The basics. It seemed like everyone had forgotten the basics. Everything had turned into a fashion show/competition/too cool to dance/stare at your phone/bottle fest.. So tired. So one day Brooke called me, said she was picking me up, took me to the building, and said, "I want to do this with you." So we did.
How did Audiophile Deep come about? What release do you have coming up for the label?
Audiophile Deep is the sister label of Audiophile Live which was a sort of EDM-y, dubstepp-y, big room-sounding label. I was approached by my now partners Jimmy and Jacob to be the A&R of the "deep" sister label they wanted to do, label focused on more sophisticated, techy, moody house music. Not necessarily "deep house," just different vibes. Sometimes techno, sometimes house, sometimes gritty -- whatever. Just always groovy. So I said, "Let's do it."
How has that experience been?
We've been pretty lucky thus far. We've been getting feedback from a lot of big names we never guessed would be playing our releases. We have signed a lot of stuff. I'm really excited about a single called "Simplicity" that Vanilla Ace and Dave Pezzner both turned in remixes for. Also I'm trying really hard to grab some of our homegrown talent and get it out there.
How was this mix made?
By hand, live at It'll Do. Two CDJs and a mixer. A lot of people are making their mixes using things that make everything absolutely perfect. I don't like when things are too perfect. I like to hear the tug and the pull. Not like a stampede of double beats, mind you; I just like to hear the human element. It makes a difference to me. Perfect is boring. Life's little flaws keep things interesting and real.
Is there a particular theme for the track selection?
No not really. Just typical me. It's a bit sexy, a bit disorienting, a little quirky, maybe a little creepy, highs, lows, a tongue-in-cheek sense of humor, with just a splash of "fuck it" thrown in. I like to think that the music I play, when I'm free to do whatever I want, is very reflective of all the voices in my head. Facets of my personality, if you will.
What gigs do you having coming that you are excited about?
I'm excited about every gig I have coming up! I'm very fortunate to able to have such opportunities to play with these people. I can tell you our holiday party is going to be a great one, but I'm not allowed to talk about it yet. Boy George is always a good time. We've done several dates together over the years. Always a hoot. I'm really actually excited about finally getting Catz N Dogz. I've been trying to get them since we first opened.
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What releases do you have coming down the pipe?
Although I have a bunch of music released over the years collaborating with other folks, or doing vocals for peoples tracks, I never have done a Red Eye solo track. So I just did that. It's called "Speaking In Tongues." I will be doing a remix of a forthcoming Audiophile Deep single by Francis Preve. Nancy Whang from LCD Soundsystem and I have a project planned. I've done a track called "Turn of the Lights" with Positive Divide over in the U.K. Also my buddy Paul Parades and I will be donning our "Lavish Habits" moniker again to remix an old track I did with John Larner called "Acid Planet." That one will be coming out on a label called Doin' Work out of Poland. So I'm definitely staying busy.
1. Intro: Mama's House/ Red Eye- Acid Planet (Red Eye-apella) (forthcoming on DOIN' WORK Records) 2 Anthea-Distraction (Dan Ghenacia Remix) 3.Christian Burkhardt/Frank Lorber- Blizzard 4.Maceo Plex- Conjure Superstar 5. Ladis Kouba- Neptune's Massive (forthcoming on Audiophile Deep Rec.) 6.Tabula Rasa- Remote Persona 7.The Infinite "We"- Party Guilt (Matt Styles Remix) 8.Sidney Charles- Ruffline 9.Ramiro Lopez- 1,2,3...Fire! (Bontan Remix) 10. Juan MacLean- A Simple Design (Deetron Remix) (forthcoming from DFA RECORDS) 11. Steve Ward- Splash of Green (Alexander Kowalski Remix) 12.Giorgia Angiuli- Desires (Kasbah Zoo Remix) (forthcoming from KMS Records) 13. Mathias Kaden/Affkt- Kadenzaffkt 14.Patrick Kunkel- Frauen and Blumen 15.Locussolus- Berghain (Darkroom Mix) 16.Chelonis R. Jones- Blackout'