DC9er Mixtape, Vol. 11: DJ TraDeMarx

DJ TraDeMarx, aka Chris Johnson (and better known around town as CJ), is relatively new to the DJ game, having gotten his start at spinning just three years ago after a friend asked him to DJ his party.

Drawing much of his inspiration from Rio De Janeiro production duo/DJ's The Twelves and Brooklyn's indie electro duo Holy Ghost, DJ TraDeMarx's primary goal when it comes to spinning tracks is to get people moving while exposing them to something new. So how does he go about that?

"Most of the songs I play are either pop songs that I find to be especially dancey and fun or disco and electro tracks that I recently discovered," he says.

You can catch DJ TraDeMarx every Thursday night at Fallout Lounge and every other Saturday at Pizza Lounge, both located in Expo Park. In the meantime, have a listen to his exclusive DC9er mix, and read his Q&A, after the jump.


For how long have you been DJing?
I started DJing about three years ago, and started my Thursday night weekly about a year and a half ago.

How did you get your start DJing?
I had been interested in it for a while when my friend Rhett (former drummer of the Happy Bullets) randomly asked me to DJ a party he was throwing so I decided to just go for it.

What was your first gig like?
My first gig was surprisingly easy, like the first time you bake a cake and realize that its not as intimidating as you may have expected.

Who/what are some of your biggest influences musical or otherwise?
I draw a lot of my inspiration from Holy Ghost and The Twelves. I admire the way they can take a song that you wouldn't expect to hear at a club, like Fleetwood Mac for example and mix it with disco to make it dance-able. 

Which DJ's do you follow? Do you have a favorite?
I really enjoy Grum, Grey Ghost, Diamond Cut and Alex Metric. Grum is probably my favorite, though. Through the wonderful world of Twitter, I was actually able to get some feedback from Grum on one of my recent mixes, which was pretty cool.

What's your favorite genre of music, both to play and to listen to?
To listen to: electro-indie rock. I like to play disco mixed with pop music because it combines the music that I like with current music that crowds can identify with.

How do you decide what songs you're going to play?
Most of the songs I play are either pop songs that I find to be especially dancey and fun or disco and electro tracks that I recently discovered, re-discovered or have just been listening to a lot.

How much preparation goes into putting a set together?
I prefer to spend a couple hours before a gig outlining my set and perfecting the flow of the mixing. I am constantly on the lookout for new music to throw into the mix.

What are your main objectives when it comes to playing music? (Are you looking to entertain the crowd, educate them, or something different altogether?)
I just want to make people dance while introducing them to something they have not heard before. One of my favorite things about DJing is when someone asks me what a specific track is. I feel like I am, in a small way, helping to promote artists that I think deserve the support.

What can someone expect when they come to see/hear you play?
I hope that people can come to my shows and expect to simply enjoy themselves. Whether they are in the middle of the dance floor or bobbing their heads at the bar.

What kind of equipment do you use?
At home, I use two turntables, one CDJ and a KAOSS Pad. When I play clubs with that provide equipment, I like to keep it simple with just CDs and my KAOSS Pad.

Requests. Love em or hate em?
Requests can be really irritating because there are so many songs out there and the odds that I actually have what someone is looking for are not that great. Before a gig I do my homework and get a feel for the type of crowd that is going to be there. Taking requests from friends or party-promoters ahead of time can be fun and sometimes a challenge.

If you could play a gig anywhere, with any other DJ/music act, whom would you play with and where would it be?
Voyer in San Diego with Grey Ghost. He's got a residency there and I think it would be fun to join for a night. I also recently saw a bill for The Twelves and Grum in L.A. which would be a blast to play.

What sets you apart from other DJs in Dallas/Denton/Fort Worth?
Other than my height, there are not many other DJs that still use mostly vinyl as far as I can tell. 

When/where will you be playing next?
Every Thursday at Fallout Lounge and every other Saturday at Pizza Lounge, both in Expo Park.

What can Dallas expect to see from you in 2010?
Dallas can expect a big piping hot serving of movin' and groovin' this year.

DC9er Mixtape Tracklist:

1 I Want You(Leonardus Remix)--Bobby Analog
2 Finally (Kam Denny & Paul Zala Remix)--Ce Ce Peniston
3 Stylo (Alex Metric Remix)--Gorillaz
4 Quicksand (Boy 8-Bit Remix)--La Roux
5 The Reeling(BUBBLEGUM SCI FI REMIX)--Passion Pit
6 Grow Up(Cassian Remix)--Swick
7 Standing in the Way of Control(Playgroup Mix)--The Gossip
8 Beating Hearts(Blende Extended Remix)--Ocelot
9 Drunk Girls(Holy Ghost! Remix)--LCD Soundsystem
10 All Summer In A Day (Turbotito Remix)--VHS Or Beta
11 Shoes (BENI remix)--Tiga
12 Controversy(Stupid Fresh Remix)--Prince
13 Crave You ft.Giselle(The C90s Remix)--Flight Facilities
14 Crave You ft.Giselle(Cassian Remix)--Flight Facilities
15 Shooting Stars(Cassian Remix)--Bag Raiders
16 Dance In the Dark (Monarchy 'Stylites' Remix)--Lady GaGa
17 Disco Monster--Le Le
18 Happy House--The Juan
19 Kiss Kiss(acapella)--Chris Brown
20 It's the Beat(Shit Robot Remix)--Simian Mobile Disco
21 Happy House(VHS or Beta Remix)--The Juan MacLean
22 Feeling Better(Cavaliers of Fun Remix)--The Teenagers
23 I Feel Love(Summer '77 RE-EQ '95)--Donna Summer
24 Crepe Le Piste--Rubix
25 MC's Can Kiss(radio rip)--Uffie
26 MCs Can Kiss(Zombie Disco Squad Remix)--Uffie

KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Catherine Downes
Contact: Catherine Downes