Wanz Dover, local DJ, musician, walking music encyclopedia and DC9 at Night contributor, is curating a new weekly mixtape series that will feature mixtapes and interviews with local artists. For the first installment, he spoke with Dragonlazer.
The duo of John Baugh and Allen McDonald have been staples in the Dallas underground DJ scene for the past six years. They are mostly known for being the residents for the infamous Soundslike parties that have been bringing top notch DJ's from around the world to Dallas since 2009, but you can find them playing out at various other venues around town like It'll Do Club, Sandaga 813 and Crown & Harp.
Baugh and McDonald have built a reputation for their classy approach to various forms of techno and house. For our first mixtape series feature, they were kind of enough to give us a little peak into how they came to be, their favorite haunts and what makes them tick as DJs.
How did you guys start DJing as Dragonlazer?
Baugh: Dragonlazer started as a joke. We met at a house party at our friend Jason Lovel's house and ended up DJing for about 12 hours straight. It really clicked. We were hanging out at Allen's house one night later that week and I said to [McDonald], "I had a nickname for you... It was laser." We all laughed and someone said I needed a nickname....somehow "Dragon" got thrown out there. Our friend Chad Humphrey was there too. He wanted us to play his party as a tag team and was going to list us as DragonLazer on the flyer. It stuck after that. McDonald: We actually met at a hippie party in the woods, but yeah something like that.
How was this mix made? Is there a particular theme for the track selection?
Baugh: This mix was made exactly how we DJ at a party. Back-to-back every track. No real theme. Just some tunes we're digging.
McDonald: Yea, this one went pretty well. John just showed up and away we went. It makes it a lot easier when we both know what each other's style is like. Which works really well because the tracks can take a turn since we each have something in mind that may work with each other's track being played. Usually the only planning we do is a simple text of "river music", "smoothies" or "pew pew pew."
Do you still buy vinyl? If so, do you have a favorite record store, either brick and mortar or online?
Baugh: Don't really buy vinyl anymore for DJing. I did pick up a copy of the Doobie Brothers' Minute by Minute on wax from Half Priced Books the other day though.
McDonald: I stopped purchasing vinyl back in 2003ish. I bought my first records and Technics record bag at Core Records. That was around early 2001. I lived in west Texas at the time so my favorite place to buy was online from Satellite Records.
Who have been some of your favorite touring DJs to share a bill with?
Baugh: That's a tough one. Lee Burridge, MANDY, Jamie Jones and Marc Houle to name a few.
McDonald: Lee Burridge on the Wiggin Out 3 boat for sure. I enjoyed Matthew Dekay, pretty cool guy. But I mostly enjoy playing alongside our local talent. You can't really fake the funk and if you mess up slightly your friends will let you know.
What other genres or artists do you two like to spin or listen to outside of what you are most known for?
Baugh: I listen to all kinds of music from rock, rap, blues, country, soul, funk to whatever.
McDonald: I listen to R&B a lot. I'm surprised I don't play it. Secretly that's probably what I would like to do.
Besides your own residencies what DJ nights do you like to frequent?
Baugh: There are so many good parties around town there's no way to list them all. Anything from Proton, Love Rich, Our House, Source 20/20, Diamond Deep, Boom or Deep Shade. The Burner community puts on some really fun parties too. For bass stuff TwoTone, Future, Trillwave, Battletech. [It] feels like I'm forgetting some. Or pop in at Sandaga 813, It'll Do, Beauty Bar, or Crown and Harp and there will always be good music getting played.
McDonald: What John said. Anywhere with good music.
Who are some of your favorite producers and DJ's?
Baugh: DJ Koze, Roman Fluguel, Alex Boman. Way too many to list. There's so much good music.
McDonald: Dahu, Stimming, Minilogue and definitely Fluguel.
What gigs do you having coming that you are excited for?
We're playing the SOUNDSLIKE & Diamond Deep Rooftop Party at Wits End August 22. That should be a blast.
What recent releases have caught your ears?
Baugh: The track that's really been doing it for me the past few months is Mr Morek's "Get Back (Brett Johnson Remix)." It's the last track on the mix. Lights up the dance floor every time.
McDonald: I've been digging Dahu's "North on Steyoyoke," works every time
Tracklist: 1. Reflections (Original Mix) - Chris Lattner, East End Dubs [Dogmatik Records] 2. One More Inch (Original Mix) - Shenga [Gosh Recordings] 3. Croosing (Original Mix) - Ray Okpara [Voltaire Music] 4. Creature Funk (Komon & Appleblim Remix) - dubspeeka [Dext Recordings] 5. Purple (Original Mix) - Jonny Cruz [Supernature] 6. Love Drug ft Fritz Helder (Mihai Popoviciu Remix) - Booka Shade [Blaufield] 7. Natural Instinct (Original Mix) - Jamie Funk [Kina Music] 8. Robogeisha (Original Mix) - Smash TV [Souvenir Music] 9. Disorientation (Original Mix) - Guy Gerber [Supplement Facts] 10. Repeal (Original Mix) - Ellroy [Tiny Lamp] 11. Get Back (Brett Johnson Remix) - Mr. Morek [Mile End Records]