Liechty has been DJing for the past 7 years, and is the founder of '90s night, one of Denton's hottest dance nights, bringing people from Denton and Dallas to Hailey's Club every Tuesday. He's also recently kicked off DentStep, a monthly Dub-step night which also takes place at Hailey's Club on the last Friday of each month. Lately, Yeahdef has been getting into booking and promoting acts and events, bringing talent like Anamanaguchi and Jessica 6 to the region.
Whether booking an event or DJing it, Yeahdef promises a good time. His inspiration? "To see the crowd boogie down."
Have a listen after the jump to Yeahdef's exclusive DC9er Mix. And if you like what you hear, now you know where to find him each week!
How long have you been DJing for?
How did you get your start DJing?
Like so many other DJs, I was just curious about scratching. I had an 'itch' to know what it felt like. I didn't know anyone who was a DJ, so I picked up a garbage Gemini belt-drive table and rack mount no-name mixer from American Pawn on my way home from work in Oak Cliff in the summer of '03. I was instantly hooked. Self-taught all the way.
What was your first gig like?
It was a house party at Jim Harrington (who currently plays bass in Writer) and Jon Grubbs' (who currently teaches English in Taiwan) house on Bernard Street in Denton. Right across from R-Bar. [Laughs.] We had a lot of adventures with R-Bar back then. Basically, all of us were getting tow up, and I was mindlessly mixing Beastie Boys and the Pokerap--getting faded.
Who/what are some of your biggest influences musical or otherwise?
I'm obsessed with the concepts of recursion, puns and word games. I love the book Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas Hofstadter. I've played the SNES RPG Earthbound over and over again--probably 100 times or more. Old school RPGs in general inspire me.
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Which DJ's do you follow? Do you have a favorite?
Locally, I examine the moves other DJs are making in the region. I love any DJ who isn't ashamed to flip something retarded just to get a few smiles--even if the dance floor comes to a grinding halt. You can always win back the floor, but sometimes you have to get silly with your mix. I hate serious-faced DJ's in general. Goof troop 4 lyphe. No favorites, but when I think of that sort of question, Jazzy Jeff comes to mind.
What's your favorite genre of music, both to play and to listen to?
DJing, I love crafting together sets of golden-era hip-hop. Driving in the car, I listen to stuff like Modest Mouse, Flying Burrito Brothers and Interpol. At home, I like to go early electro and funk and spend most of my time listening in bed previewing new music to play out. I listen to talk radio at work--lots of old episodes of The Phil Hendrie Show and Coast to Coast AM.
How do you decide what songs you're going to play?
I get a vibe for the night from talking to any other DJs performing, find out how long I'll be playing, multiply by the Coefficient of Radness, then divide by zero.
How much preparation goes into putting a set together?
For my weeklies--'80s and '90s night--I've spent well over 300 hours making those playlists. Hell, I've spent my whole life making those playlists! If I get invited to play somewhere or I put together a one-off event, I'll usually go in for around 1 to 2 hours pulling material for the night. I'm OCD with library management so it doesn't take me long to find what I need to get people moving.
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 want to surprise them. Give them something they thought they forgot about, but it was still always rattling around in their heads somewhere. Ultimately, my goal is to get them drinking a lot--making my employers money. I'm not in the art-school of DJing; it's a business like anything else, and I do a fine job. That being said, transitions and building the mix is of huge importance to me, whether I'm mixing top 40 to pump up some unfamiliar faces or obscure Mtume b-sides to have people saying "WHAT IS THAT?!" It's going to be done properly. I HATE trainwrecking--so I make sure I know my songs and my equipment so that doesn't happen.
What can someone expect when they come to see/hear you play?
Sort of answered in the previous question, but depending on the night and time they show up, you could see me chilled back, selecting obscure italo or fist pumping to the Bloody Beetroots.
What kind of equipment do you use?
Hi-speed Midi turntables. Numark V7s + Pioneer DJM 800 w/ SP-303 Sampler on Serato Itch. The Numark joints are the absolute latest and greatest of the midi controllerism revolution that's been going on for the past four years. I'm a huge gear-head and relentlessly read up on new ways to interface and expressively DJ in a compact setup. My setup usually changes drastically each six months or so. I'm really interested in what the iPad will offer. It's capable of becoming a very cheap Lemur controller.
Requests. Love em or hate em?
They're great for crowd morale and if the requester is polite and succinct, I can usually make it happen. A good way ensure I play your song is to just write it down on a napkin and hand me a few dollars. "Please" and "Thank You" are great phrases to remember! A good way to make sure I never play your song is to ask for it over and over again and complain if I don't bust it out fast enough. I DJ to see the crowd boogie down, not to feed my own ego.
If you could play a gig anywhere, with any other DJ/music act, whom would you play with and where would it be?
I would love to play the demolition of a building or historic artifact--like the Parthenon or something. Maybe the implosion of King Tut's tomb with a troop of b-boys led by Mr. Wiggles with me dropping "Moments in Love".
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What sets you apart from other DJs in Dallas/Denton/Fort Worth?
Allow me to speak for tech-minded nerdy sci-fi DJs as a whole: I have a few kindred spirits of DJing around the region--we can't form a 'crew' because we are too individualistic. Our idiosyncrasies force us to play unexpected drops, ruin childhood memories, and we love to play anything from either Chronic albums. We live online almost better than we do IRL.
When/where will you be playing next?
I'm doing '90s night at Hailey's Club in Denton, every Tuesday.
What can Dallas expect to see from you in 2010?
You might be seeing me expand my weeklies to some spots in Dallas. There's been talk of a '90s night monthly. In fact, I should probably be following up on that. L8R!
1. Spooky Tales and Scary Sounds - Frankenstein's Thunderstorm
2. Kamil Wolnikowski - Tree Bark Mobile
3. Yellow Magic Orchestra - Key
4. Klymaxx - Video Kid
5. BB & Q Band - Dreamer
6. Destiny's Child - Perfect Man
7. Diamond D - Stunts, Blunts, and Hip Hop
8. Big Boi - Shutterbug
9. 213 - Sassy Ways
10. My Mine - Hypnotic Tango