Vinyl has made an epic comeback over the past decade. It's a comeback few would have seen coming, given its seeming fall into obsolescence decades ago. But while the above-average music fans have gravitated back towards owning their favorite music on vinyl, the dj profession has by and large made a mass exodus towards digital DJing. The long-valued culture of crate digging continues to be a rarity.
In any era where DJing can be done from an iPhone, there are still outlets in Dallas where the DJs leave their computers at home in favor of the classic two decks and a mixer format. Here's a list of the best local residencies.
For the past two years DJ's Wild in the Streets, Scott Mccullogh and Gabriel Mendoza have thrown down some of the sickest soul and funk gems from deep in the crates. Rotating wax from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. every Saturday at Single Wide, they bring in some of the city's busiest crate diggers to drop classic soul and funk cut. You are just as likely to hear rare soul singles alongside truly groovy Hungarian soul, exotic Indian raga funk or French pop maestro Serge Gainsbourg at his funkiest. All three residents have been vinyl-heavy crate diggers for well over a decade and that depth of knowledge comes through with their deep selections of classics and obscure floor fillers you are not likely to stumble on to yourself.
Alvin Booth has been dropping the needle for the Disco's Revenge party since 2009. Throughout that existence he has thrown a series of special events and one-off parties. Although Disco's revenge has moved around from venue to venue over the years, Booth is now joined by local vinyl vets Rick Simpson and Nekstone (a.k.a. Brandon Ayala) for a regular residency every third saturday at Crown & Harp. This past March, Disco's Revenge partnered with one of the world's largest online electronic music magazine's, Resident Advisor, to bring it's "Horizons" series to Dallas with guest Hunee from Germany, helping land their night on the international DJ radar.
What started out 10 months ago as a one off party idea for Too Fresh Productions' promoter Leo Salazar's birthday has snowballed into a highly anticipated monthly celebration of the original single format. Support slots are held down by resident DJs Jay Clipp, local house producer Jt Donaldson and DJ Spinderella of Salt 'N Pepa fame. The out of town guests they have flown in have been a who's-who of crate digger's from across the country, like Chicago house legend Derrick Carter, Supreme La Rock and Natasha Diggs. This week infamous Brooklyn vinyl enthusiast Geo-logy comes to lay down wax for the night and Salazar promises more headlong DJ's for the rest of the year. Fresh 45's takes place on the third thursday of every month at Crown & Harp.
More of a selector night than a DJ night, Vinyl Tap is a gathering place for crate diggers and vinyl junkies to buy, sell, trade and show off vinyl of all genres. Mark Ridlen has been holding down the decks since 2008, when this night was still called Singles Going Steady. In July 2013 he started inviting vinyl dealers to set up booths to sell records and Vinyl Tap was born. Rather than dominate the decks with his own records all night, Ridlen regularly plays records people bring to the him. If you want to just nerd out on rare vinyl of all genres and all sizes, Monday nights at DoubleWide is the spot.
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Running for the past decade, Smoke residents Marcos Prado & Jason Harris hold down one of the region's only nights dedicated to northern soul. A specific type of soul music made popular in northern England in the late '60s and mostly comprised of American soul artists who only found regional success, the genre became extremely popular amongst Manchester dance halls. Northern soul records are typically very expensive and hard to find. The residents are all very dedicated collectors and the selection of tunes you get at the Smoke is always top-shelf, upbeat soul music. Frank Popp from Germany, Terry Finn from the U.K., Greg Waletski from Minneapolis, Ben Mena from Saint Paul and many more have all made visits to Dallas to play one of the city's longest running residencies. The Smoke has moved around to many venues over the years, but they will be celebrating their 11th year in existence at Panoptikon on July 26th.
Deep Shade goes down the first Friday of every month. They specialize in house music with the occasional nod to techno and acid. The night is hosted by Ackhertz, Ms. Gina G and recent buzz act TX Connect. They represent a very small minority of the younger generation of Dallas dance DJs that adhere to a vinyl-only ethic, dropping cuts that even experienced vets wish they had in their collections. TX Connect has gained international notoriety ever since he dropped a twelve inch single on the taste making Brooklyn label Long Island Electric System. This has led to notable bookings in Toronto and Detroit for a Movement Festival after party as well as DJ mixes for a variety of specialty podcasts.