How did you get your start DJing?
I always enjoyed watching people DJ and liked listening to music of my choosing at loud volumes. I know there isn't much substance to that statement, but that's really about it. I used to write for a blog called Phoreladeliah that would make mixtapes called "Aural Pleasures Vol. __," so I figured I would try my hand at it.
What was your first gig like?
My first gig was at a going away party for Alan Palomo at the historical Fra House in Denton. It was a huge house party and Yeah Def and myself provided the jams. At one point in time, some bro told me to play a song of his that he had on a CD, and I played it at about 30 bpms too fast and he got real angry at me. I just laughed at him because his song really sucked anyway.
Who/what are some of your biggest influences musical or otherwise?
I'm not going to get on here and tell you something like how the impressionist movement in art influenced my style. Some of my fondest memories are listening to my dads copies of Duran Duran's The Wedding Album and Depeche Mode's Violator. Also, my best friend in middle school somehow stumbled across the song "Pocket Calculator" by Kraftwerk in the seventh grade and thought it was the most hilarious thing ever. Little did I know that they would become one of my biggest musical inspirations.
How would you describe your personal style?
I truly don't have much of a style, and have never really sought out to have one. What I play is what I'm heavily listening to at the moment, and tracks that will always be important to me. Lately, I have been doing all vinyl sets, which are fun but limiting. I can only play what I can stumble upon or afford. When I do computer-based sets, I have much more freedom, being able to pull anything I want out of 200+ GB of songs.
Which DJ's do you follow? Do you have a favorite?
Right now, my favorite DJ is Rick Simpson (R9). He has such choice taste, and mixes songs together with such fluidity. Oleg Belogorsky, who I DJ with, is also right up there. He has taught me a lot and is also a tastemaker. Other DJs that are always solid are DJ G, Yeah Def, T0MMYL33J0N3Z, Ops Esponjah, Travis Box, Wanz Dover and Ben White.
What's your favorite genre of music, both to play and to listen to?
I definitely go through different musical phases, but I've never had a favorite. Genres that are the most important to me are anything under the synth-wave umbrella of the '80s, EBM, industrial, electro, techno, kraut, minimal electronic and post-punk.
How do you decide what songs you're going to play?
That has changed quite a bit recently. I am just now starting to take DJing seriously enough to learn the art of beat-matching. Before that, I would just generally play whatever song I wanted, whenever I wanted. I also love to curtail the music depending on who I see walking through the door. If someone I know comes in and I know I have song in my collection that's one of their favorites, I'll throw it on. Now that I'm learning to beat-match, I become more relegated to playing songs within the tempo range we are in at the point in time.
How much preparation goes into putting a set together?
Quite a bit, actually. Whether it's driving around the metroplex seeking out records to play, practicing on the turntables, or organizing and categorizing my collection, I probably spend more time than I should on it.
What are your main objectives when it comes to playing music? (Are you looking to entertain the crowd, educate them, or something different altogether?)
To turn people on to stuff they haven't heard before, or to play timeless songs that are always enjoyable. When you are playing at Rubber Gloves, like we do, there appears to be an unwritten rule that anyone that goes onto the dance floor will be shot. This is a good and bad thing. We don't have a bunch of people coming up to us for request or feel the need to curtail what music we are playing. People just come to hang out and drink with good music playing in the background.
What can someone expect when they come to see/hear you play?
See genres listed above. Favorite artists of mine that I've been playing a lot lately are Giorgio Moroder, Konk, Skinny Puppy, Robert Hood, Pyrolator, A Certain Ratio, OMD, Tones on Tail, Bauhaus, Heaven 17, Psyche, Games, New Musik, Zombi, Art of Noise, Severed Heads, Cabaret Voltaire, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Visage, Grauzone, Yello, Alexander Robotnick, Nitzer Ebb, Ministry, New Order, Rational Youth, Propaganda, Tussle, Suicide, Naked Eyes, and many, many others.
What kind of equipment do you use?
Luckily, Oleg owns two Technics sl-1200's.
Requests. Love 'em or hate 'em?
Don't get many of those. I am not opposed to them at all as long as I have the song they want in my collection.
If you could play a gig anywhere, with any other DJ/music act, whom would you play with and where would it be?
Not that I don't enjoy DJing in Denton, but honestly anywhere that has a good sound system where the crowd moves. Like I said earlier, it's nice not having to curtail your music to a group of people on the dance floor. In turn, it's also a great time to be able to vibe off of what people seem to be going nuts for. Going back in time, I'd have to give the default answer of the Paradise Garage with Larry Levan.
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What sets you apart from other DJs in Dallas/Denton/Fort Worth?
The fact that I haven't gone out of my way to put together weekly themed events. It's an uphill battle to get people to come out to DJ nights, especially in Denton. But I've never felt the need to create events with a theme. I have much respect for '80s/'90s Night, Singles Going Steady, and Discipline, but I just like the idea of playing music that I personally enjoy.
When/where will you be playing next?
Just about every Wednesday at Rubber Gloves.
What can Dallas expect to see from you in 2011?
Nothing. Unless I get asked to DJ in Dallas at some point in the future?
Suicide - Wild In Blue
Dave Ball - Only Time
Kano - Another Life
Acos CoolKas - Meridian
Fad Gadget - Love Parasite
Konk - Your Life
Propaganda - The Chase
My My - Swiss On Rye
Yello - Vicious Games
Cabaret Voltaire - James Brown
Frankie Goes To Hollywood - Two Tribes
The Neon Judgement - The Fashion Party
Tears For Fears - The Working Hour