Keith P, the founder of predominantly '80s Dark Wave night Black Fridays at Fallout Lounge, is adamant about keeping that era alive today. The mostly vinyl DJ has been playing around town for a decade now, and while his taste in music may be eclectic, Keith admits that a lot of his motivation for DJing comes from his desire to share music that once thrived in the '80s underground.
"I've dedicated myself to promoting well-known, as well as completely forgotten, music of the '80s underground," he says.
And while some may be moved to dance, Keith's main concern, it seems, is sharing his obsessions. You can check out Keith P on July 2, July 16, and July 30 of this month at Fallout Lounge in Expo Park for Black Fridays.
In the meantime, check out the rest of our interview, and have a listen to his exclusive DC9er mix, after the jump.
How long have you been DJing for?
It's been ten years by now.
How did you get your start DJing?
I was very enamored of rave and club culture during high school. These are the days of Decibel, Prototype, Valance, Core Records, and Oaklawn Records. It simply led to me wanting to pursue DJing.
What was your first gig like?
I'd been approached to come on as a resident at a night named "Funkdays." The person who'd started the night was a local DJ called "The Logic Theorist." We played UK Garage, which was becoming a very popular form of British dance music at the time. The night took place at The Sandbar, which was once a popular club in Deep Ellum.
Who/what are some of your biggest influences musical or otherwise?
My tastes have varied so much throughout the years that this question is a bit difficult. I've found that I've consistently championed styles of music originating in England. There's an underlying punk aesthetic that pervades all music originating from the British working class. I found that to be true of Jungle, Garage, Grime etc. But I took it a step further in embracing what I feel to be the origins of modern music (Post-Punk, Industrial, Synth, Goth, etc.). That being said, I enjoy rebellion, angst, and melancholy in equal amounts.
How would you describe your personal style?
It was once very eclectic, but I've dedicated myself to promoting well-known as well as completely forgotten music of the '80s underground. Even before that, I'd always had slight leanings towards darker music. That's been clearly evident since starting my night "Black Fridays."
Which DJs do you follow? Do you have a favorite?
Locals: Anthony Stanford, Benjamin White, DJ G, Shane English, Wanz Dover, and Lisa Bush. John Peel was and always will be a legend in my eyes. My strongest influences are coming from across the world right now and more often in the form of a live band and not a DJ. A night and record label based out of New York named "Wierd" has galvanized a lot of people into either making or playing this music. Also two acts, "Passions" and "Tense" on the label "Disaro," out of Houston.
What's your favorite genre of music, both to play and to listen to?
I've shown a very strong leaning towards coldwave and darkwave since starting the night. As one friend had aptly put it: "drum machine Goth." I cover a wide range of music, as do my partners at Black Fridays. I love playing synth, industrial and new wave at peak hours as well as during traveling gigs. All of these genres had fed off each other and influenced the next.
How do you decide what songs you're going to play?
It might be based off mood more often than anything else. Sharing this music is a form of therapy. I do spend time with my crowd, but DJing has become a far more personal affair for me.
How much preparation goes into putting a set together?
The most time-consuming part has been given to finding and sorting music. I tend to practice before my sets, but it seems DJing has degraded into something where people seem to care very little about the mechanics or skill of the act.
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'm worried about all aspects but, as I said, this is a release for me now. I'm hoping to share my obsessions.
What can someone expect when they come to see/hear you play?
Our crowd has come to know where the DJs at Black Fridays tend to go. We're not a "Goth" night in the sense that most people have come to understand it. We've gone back to the origins of a long-lasting sub-culture; we've come to play music that may have been otherwise unknown to the people at the time. Goth simply became an umbrella term for youth culture in the '80s that made or consumed this music. By all accounts, it seems Americans first knew them as "punks" or "wavers." Expect the music of all these subcultures and identities ,and even those that had been forgotten. We don't play Marilyn Manson, so get that out of your head.
What kind of equipment do you use?
I either use vinyl emulation or vinyl itself. I've never let go of the two tables and a mixer thing. I rely on Torq as my DJ software.
Requests. Love em or hate em?
I love them when they're relevant to the night or what's being played.
If you could play a gig anywhere, with any other DJ/music act, whom would you play with and where would it be?
I'm not looking for a huge stage or the rave anymore. I like intimate settings with crowds that understand or are perceptive to what they're listening to. That makes me happier than anything else.
What sets you apart from other DJs in Dallas/Denton/Fort Worth?
I'm unapologetic about my obsessions, I'm unapologetic in trying to give the scene something new or different, and I care very little for easy trend or clichés. I've constantly been looking outward in terms of interest. In fact, I'd say I'm quite militant in regards to music consumption. I feel that if you're not searching, learning, and discovering, then you're wasting your time.
When/where will you be playing next?
Black Friday's occurs on a bi-weekly basis. Our dates for the month of July are the 2nd, the 16th, and the 30th.
What can Dallas expect to see from you in 2010?
First, I want to see Black Fridays as having cemented itself as a fixture in the city's nightlife. I feel it's already done so, but I try to remain humble in that regard. We'd like to extend the reach of the night as well. I've tried extremely hard to provide Dallas with an outlet for what seems to be mainstay in most of America's major cities. This isn't an act born of elitism or posturing, but rather something I feel to be a necessity in any city of differing tastes.
1. No Words - "Futile Research"
2. The Cure - "Cold"
3. Sol Invictus - "Raven Chorus"
4. Ausweis - "Phase Fatale"
5. Christian Death - "The Luxury of Tears"
6. Little Nemo - "My Eternal Friend"
7. Asylum Party - "Julia"
6. The Glove - "Mouth to Mouth"
7. Anything Box - "Our Dreams"
8. Absolute Body Control - "Figures"
9. Tense - "Work Hard Short Life"
10. 3 Miles From Here - "Until Then"
11. The Bridge - "Love Dance"
12. Danse Society - "Danse/Move"
13. Neutral Project - "Head In The Sky"
14. Xeno & Oaklander - "The Shot, The Fall"
15. Clan of Xymox - "A Day (Remix)"
16. Sisters of Mercy - "Alice"
17. Xmal Deutschland - "Polarlicht"
18. B.F.G. - "Amelia"
19. Opera De Nuit - "Inivitation"
20. The Factory - "Burn Me Up"
21. For Against - "Amen Yves"