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DC9er Mixtape, Vol. 21: Mikey Rodge

Dance Your Face Off! creator and promoter, Mikey Rodge, hasn't been DJing for long.

The party-promoter first dabbled in playing tracks two years ago when he decided he'd like to take a shot at some behind-the-booth action. Despite an unsuccessful first attempt, Mikey Rodge kept at it, and eventually graduated from practicing on a software demo program in his bedroom to playing on actual equipment to actual people.

Rodge has played several shows at this point and is out to please his audience--just don't ask him to play your favorite Top 40 song mid-set.

Because when it comes to requests, he "hates them."

Make sure to check out Rodge's Q&A and exclusive DC9er mix after the jump. And, if you like what you hear, check Mikey Rodge out tonight at the OMFG! Dance Party at The Verandah Nightclub in Richardson.

For how long have you been DJing?
Since the summer of 2008

How did you get your start?
I started just as a promoter throwing parties called Dance Your Face Off! at The Cavern with fellow local DJ, Genova. Eventually, I got the itch to give DJing a try. I downloaded a Traktor demo and started fooling around with songs on my laptop for fun. It kind of just snowballed from there from a little hobby I'd dabble in after work into something I had become extremely interested and passionate about. I would end up spending 3 to 5 hours a day messing around with loops, effects, and just learning how to be a better DJ.

What was your first gig like?
It was a total disaster. I asked Genova one day if I could do an hour guest spot at The Cavern on this little dinky MIDI controller I had at the time and he said yes. I plugged into his turntable mixer and, when I started, the sound quality was absolutely horrible. After about three songs, I could tell the bar patrons were getting uncomfortable so I just asked Genova to go back on. So that was about it: Three songs that sounded like they were coming out of a walkie-talkie.

Who/what are some of your biggest influences musical or otherwise?
My biggest influence as a DJ is Klever. Watching him spin made me want to become more than just a bedroom DJ. Musically, I've always been highly influenced by punk, rock and hip-hop.

How would you describe your personal style?
Hmmmm, I'm not sure how to answer this one. Is "crunkness" a word?

Which DJs do you follow? Do you have a favorite?
Klever is my all-time favorite without question. Diplo and AC Slater are up there on the list, too. But, at the moment, I am really into Jack Beats, Foamo, Doorly, Afrojack, Sidney Sampson and Chuckie, just to name a few.

What's your favorite genre of music, both to play and to listen to?
To play, I like to have a healthy balance of Dutch house and bass-heavy electro. I also enjoy throwing in a handful of dubstep tracks in my sets as well for a small change of pace. As far as just listening to music goes, I like almost everything. I will listen to punk, metal, hip-hop, classic rock, and even cheesy pop songs from the '80s and '90s. I generally like more music that I hear [rather] than hate it.

How do you decide what songs you're going to play?
Depends on how the crowd is. General rule as a DJ is you play to the crowd. If the crowd is light and mostly hanging at the bar, play some chill tracks. If it's packed out and live on a Friday night, give them something more upbeat. I will admit, though, that I get bored very easily playing too many chill tracks.

How much preparation goes into putting a set together?
Not much. If it is an important gig, I will pick about 15 songs that I want to play that night.

What are your main objectives when it comes to playing music? Are you looking to entertain the crowd, educate them, or something different altogether?
Entertain the crowd. That's why you are there, and that's what people want when they go out. If some people in the crowd find my music selection educational, then it's a nice bonus.

What can someone expect when they come to see/hear you play?
For one, they won't see me just standing there spinning. I like to move around a bit and get into what I am playing. Expect to hear funky beats and basslines.

What kind of equipment do you use?
I run off of Traktor Scratch Pro on either CDJs or vinyl turntables--whatever is easier at whatever club I happen to be playing. At home, I play on two, ancient Pioneer CDJ 100s and a Stanton M.212 mixer.

Requests. Love em or hate em?
Hate them. I don't mind it when the request is legitimate. But if I am standing there playing House music for an hour, don't ask me for a Black Eyed Peas song.

If you could play a gig anywhere, with any other DJ/music act, whom would you play with and where would it be?
If I could just go to Europe on someone else's dime and play a gig I would be happy. I'd probably pick my good buddy Genova to DJ with me.

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What sets you apart from other DJs in Dallas/Denton/Fort Worth?
I am always trying to get better. I am not one of those DJs that learn to match a beat, rock a few parties, and then be like, "OK, I am an awesome DJ now!" I want to always be improving.

When/where will you be playing next?
I will be playing tonight at the OMFG! Dance Party at The Verandah Nightclub in Richardson with Whiskey Pete from L.A, and many other great DJs, like Hunter Vaughan, Yeahdef, and Mountblood just to name a few. Party is 18-plus and starts at 9 p.m.

What can Dallas expect to see from you in 2010?
Expect to see me playing bigger parties, and dropping more mixtapes.

DC9er tracklisting:
Song Away (Jack Beat's Anger Management Remix)
Pase Rock - Nights (Nadastrom Remix)
Stafford Brothers - Speaker Freaker (LA Riots Remix)
Silvio Ecomo & Chuckie - Moombah (Afrojack Remix)
Sidney Sampson - The World Is Yours
Foamo - Jookie
Nas & Damian Marley - As We Enter (Foamo Instrumental Remix)
Diplo & Blaqstarr - Get Off (Jack Beats Remix)
Armand Van Helden & Dizzee Rascal - Bonkers (Doorly Remix)
Little Boots - Remedy (A1 Bassline Get Hype Remix)

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