Featured Artist – Sirkea

Hey everyone! Man, is it just me or does this week seem to be going by so slow? What’s worse is other than my time spent commuting, I feel like I really haven’t had any downtime either. I write to you right now aboard the San Francisco Bay Ferry on my way to work. It’s a smooth and scenic commute, one that warrants you to really appreciate the Bay Area.

In my last post, I wrote about making my long-anticipated return to my website and continuing with all the different article series I had started. Well, at least for some people that read my work, I would like to think I was able to either inform or entertain them.

Anyway, I’m rebooting my featured artist series with an artist that goes by the name Sirkea. He’s a really cool down to earth kinda guy. I actually met him by way of another friend of mine that some of you may know — Michael Mankerian.

One of the reasons, I clicked with Sirkea’s music was because it was so ethereal and moving in a spiritual way. He reminds me a lot of one of my favorite artists called Kaasi. Also, bonus points he went b2b with the homeie Ocean Roulette!

Sirkea, what does music mean to you?

For me, music connects. It brings people together, and it can connect me to a feeling, a place, a time, or a memory. 

Where are you from?

I’m from Orange County. Prior to doing music full time, I was a user experience designer for Amazon. 

How’d you decide on DJ/Mixing and/or Producing? Why?

As soon as I started going to raves I became fascinated with the art of DJing. I loved how DJs could control the vibe of the crowd and create unique moments in sets through mixing, and I wanted to try doing this myself. I started producing because I wanted to bring song ideas I had to life.

How long have you been DJ/Mixing and/or Producing?

DJing for 8 and producing for 7. 

How’d you end up on the name Sirkea? How do you pronounce it? 

‘Sirkea’ is a play on my last name. 

What has been your most memorable experience on your journey thus far?

Hearing Mark Knight start mixing in my song ‘Girl’ on Toolroom Radio. 

Any clubs, venues, or festivals you have played that really stuck out to you? 

Playing at Boogaloo because it was my first festival and I had never experienced something like it before. 

One of the most difficult aspects about being in this scene?

Waiting. Waiting when you send demos, and waiting for music to release.  

Do you feel like nowadays you can’t experience the music the same as you did when you were just a listener?

There is definitely a difference when listening to music now. Sometimes I get sucked into analyzing the music I’m listening to, whether it be the arrangement, what a particular instrument is doing throughout the track, the separation of elements in the mix, or the stereo imaging. I’ve been in crowds at festivals writing notes in my phone of things I’ve noticed while I’m listening. 

Favorite Artist or Favorite Track right now?

One of my favorite artists right now is SG Lewis. My current go to albums to put on are Outkast’s older ‘ATLiens’, Bonobo’s ‘Black Sands’, and Daft Punk’s ‘Random Access Memories’.

Any other upcoming artists and/or new tracks we should know?

My friend Steady Rock just dropped a mixtape of ghetto house remixes titled ‘Hood Anthems Vol.1’. 

Any mixes/tracks of yours we should check out?

I have a new Desire EP out on Audiophile Records. https://open.spotify.com/album/4UB4G39uTbaY5AR9qX8NHw

Do you have any cool shows or projects in the future?

I’m really excited for my first official remix to come out early this year, as well as some newer music. 

I, for one, can’t wait to hear Sirkea’s remix.

Stay Connect with Sirkea

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“New” Beginnings


I feel like I owe you all an apology — I know I have been MIA and in the shadows, but I needed to be. I needed to focus on other parts of my life specifically my work life / personal life and one of the consequences (or repercussions) of that was putting my entire project on hold. But I had to .. I needed to put all my energy towards becoming a better person and *actually* making changes in my life.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Growing up as a kid, I can recall being told that sometimes in life you don’t always get to do what you want to do — you end up having to do what you need to do. I thought I understood that towards the end of this past year, but honestly I don’t think I understand the full scope of things. I don’t think anyone does, there’s literally always room for growth.

It’s weird.. I feel like I’m writing now from a different place in my life, but it’s only been like about two months or so since I last published any writing.

When I last wrote something I was in a really low place: I had no full-time job and I was more or less living off of what little income I was getting. The one thing that was there for me was my website / music and by extension all of you — my readers. Now whether or not you were an actuantaince that stumbled upon my website, a friend of mine or simply a stranger.. you were there for me. To each and every one of you, I just want to say thank you and I truly hope you have had a great holiday season.

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About  halfway through 2018, I decided to change work sectors. I had been working as a personal assistant / nanny for the past 9 years. I worked in the food service industry as a barista, expediter and even as a restaurant manager for some time too, it wasn’t always just nannying.. But still something was always missing. I had never been able to really experience a 9-5 Monday-Friday job. So, I quit.. And I decided to pursue the tech industry.

Anyway long story short, I suffered six long grueling months in an effort to prove something to myself. I wanted to prove to myself and everyone else that doubted me that I would be able to secure a job in the tech sector without any prior experience. I wanted to know that I could achieve the goals I had laid out for myself.

Today, I can proudly say I work full-time as an Office Manager & Recruiting Coordinator for Airbus UTM — it’s seriously one of the coolest companies / projects I’ve ever been a part of and it’s so inspiring. I am really lucky to be part of such an incredible team. Shameless plug, but check out what we are working on at www.airbusutm.com.

Now more than ever though, I realize that life is really a balancing act. If you focus all of your energy on one thing say for example, work. you kind of lose sight of everything else such as your social life or in this case, my creative side.

What I want to focus on this year is being able to micromanage my own life. I want to live a well-balanced life

That being said, I fully intend to continue with my website and my project “Aries” (with Corey Reith) but in a way that is sustainable and realistic. I know now that putting out new fresh material whether a mix or an interview every week or even bi-weekly is tough work. I simply just can’t keep up, I have to dance around with all my other responsibilities and really gauge how much I can handle.

I promise it’ll be different from now on and I don’t necessarily want to bombard all of you whether you are a fan or friend with loads of information because I know you’re busy too. All I know is that I need this creative outlet in my life otherwise it just feels like something is lacking in my life.

This year will different for all of us. We’re all going to change….

If you’re following me on social media, you’ll see that I’ve been releasing a number of mixes that I’ve been holding onto. Here’s one of them that I released for The Horoscope by Aries. For those of you that are new readers, Aries is a project between my best friend Corey Reith and I wherein we just mix and have fun with the newest beats. We like to throw in some classics too.

If you’d like to do a guest mix just reach out to us at ariesxsf@gmail.com


Thank you.

Stay Connected with Christian Reci(K)nows

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Featured Artist: Torie

TGIF, amirite? Another jam-packed weekend of events and festivities coming our way!

With such an array of events and different artists playing this weekend it’s hard to figure out which sets to go to. There’s one artist, however, that’s playing this weekend that’s been on my radar lately – Torie. 

I first became aware of her after listening to my friend Sam Drank’s mix from the Shiba San Boat Party event. I was scrolling through his Soundcloud feed and he had reposted her mix from the boat party as well. 

From start to finish, Torie keeps this dance-floor sensational groove going. The mix showcases a lot of technical prowess as well as her eclectic taste in music. She dropped several tracks that had me Shazam’ing and googling lyrics.

One of the reasons why I wanted to interview her was because she had completely flown under my radar and it surprised me I had no idea who she was until that point especially given her talent. 

Here we are now though with an interview with lady herself! 

Torie, thank you again for taking the time to do this interview with me! Let’s jump right in. What purpose does music serve for you?

Music has always been an outlet for expression and emotion in my life. I grew up traveling the world, constantly finding myself in a new place where I had to remake my home, my friends, my life. Music was the only thing that remained constant for me, and finding songs that spoke to me gave me both roots in the ground and inspiration to express myself creatively.

Where are you from? And what were you doing prior to music? 

I’ve grown up across the globe, but have roots in San Francisco for the past six years. I work as a freelance social media marketer and also head up an electronic music publication, EDMTunes, as Editor-in-Chief.

How did you find yourself in this scene?

I’ve been a part of a Burning Man art car and music collective called ICARUS for many years. We’re based out of San Francisco, which is where I first found my foray into event planning and music curation. This was what brought me up close and personal to DJing. I was surrounded by many artists in our crew I admired, and I fell in love with the underground music scene we were immersed in.

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And how’d you decide on DJ/Mixing and/or Producing? Why?

A friend of mine, one of the ICARUS co-leads, is a female DJ I’ve looked up to for many years. Being a woman in such a male-dominated scene is challenging, I think, and she knew how to make herself stand out through her sound. After spending so much time watching her on the decks, she took me under her wing – and I quickly fell in love.

I’ve always been a fan of playing my favorite tracks for friends, so being a DJ felt like I had the prime opportunity to share music that spoke to me with others.

Liz photos of Torie

Photo by Liz Hagearty

How long have you been DJ/Mixing and/or Producing?

Roughly two years DJing. I’ve only just started to teach myself how to produce, so that’s still in the works.

How’d you come up with your DJ name? Is there a reason why you decided on using your actual name as your artist name?

Well, my first name is Torie – and rather than coming up with something complicated or disconnected to myself, I wanted to keep it simple. It’s short and sweet, easy to remember and keeps me connected to who I am as an individual. I also drew much inspiration from artists like ANNA and Nina Kravitz as leading ladies in the house and techno scenes that chose similarly.

Can you tell us one of your most memorable experiences thus far?

I had an amazing opportunity to play on a boat roof deck at sundown, sailing across the San Francisco Bay a few months ago. It was an incredible view to look out on as I played some of my favorite tracks. I shared a lineup with Shiba San – one of the original artists that drew me to house music and the Dirtybird crew – and a close friend of mine, Sam Drank. The crowd’s vibe was unbelievably infectious, filled with excitement and reacting to every single song I threw down. Needless to say, it was a bit of a dream setup, and I couldn’t be more thankful to DJ Dials for booking me on that evening.

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Any clubs, venues, or festivals you have played that really stuck out to you? 

I love playing at Monarch in San Francisco – their downstairs space is the perfect size for an intimate affair with a bumping sound system to match.

One of the most difficult aspects about being in this scene? 

I wouldn’t say that there’s anything I specifically dislike about being in the scene. Sure, it can be tiring, but it’s a grind and I love it. Plus, what doesn’t have its ups and downs? I do my best to keep an optimistic mind about the role I have the chance to play in the scene. I’m given the opportunity to play, I get the chance to prove my worth to promoters and clubs (and, hopefully, continue to grow my skills and spread my name further), I provide a place for my friends to gather and dance.  

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Do you feel like nowadays you can’t experience the music the same as you did when you were just a listener?

Yes, absolutely – but not in a bad way. It’s more that I listen to music much more actively now. I always laugh when I listen to a new set or song with other DJ/producer friends because we listen more specifically to the track selection by the artist and the mixes in and out of those tracks. I’m always on my toes listening to new music, keeping an ear out for music I’d love to play in my own sets. You’ll constantly find me Shazam’ing a set that I love!

Your set at the Shiba San boat party a few weeks ago really caught my attention especially because I didn’t actually feel like I missed out on anything until I heard both yours and Sam Drake’s sets. Do you have any pre-set rituals to get you in the zone? Or do you prep in any way?

Thanks! That was one of my favorite sets to play yet – I had just found some new tracks I was vibing with and was really stoked to play them to a crowd for the first time.  I try to keep it light before a set – spend time with friends and relax a bit, because I get overly nervous if I I start overthinking it. I’m a very anxious person, so I do my best not to overthink it and just roll with the punches based on how the crowd reacts.

In terms of prep, I’ve always had a rule for myself that 75% of any set needs to be new music. Abiding by this keeps me constantly looking for fresh tunes, which grows my library and lets me stay on the pulse of things. Beyond that, prep is really just what most DJs probably do – put a list of tracks together I’d love to play, load a few USBs, grab my headphones and get excited.

Check out Torie’s Shiba San Boat Party set below, it’s absolutely killer.

What kind of music do you tend to lean towards during your sets? You can get genre-specific if you’d like!

It completely depends on the event and who I’m playing with. I’m a big fan of tech and bass house – Desert Hearts, Dirtybird et all – but I also seriously love playing tribal tech, deep house here and there and, of course, some proper techno. I’d like to think I can be pretty versatile depending on the situation; it opens you up to play with more artists and let your inspiration play out in its own way.  

Do you have any favorite artists or tracks right now?

I could never pick one artist or one track – there are so many that I enjoy for their own respective reasons – but Seth Troxler, Nina Kravitz and the entire Desert Hearts crew have all had a significant impact in how I’ve developed my sound.

Any other upcoming Artists and/or new Tracks we should know? 

I just got back from attending Amsterdam Dance Event, where I discovered two incredible acid techno DJs – they’re badass ladies on the decks, which made me love them even more – named Dr. Rubinstein and Avalon Emerson. Their technical skills were mesmerizing to watch and they brought so much love to the dance-floor when they B2Bed at Shelter on Wednesday night. They absolutely are worth some attention!

Any mixes/tracks of yours we should check out? 

These have been two of my favorite sets to play so far:

Do you have any cool shows or projects in the future?

This fall has a bunch of bookings I’m really excited about, especially this Halloween weekend in San Francisco. I’ll be playing Dusk ‘Til Dawn at The Midway with Dusky this Saturday, October 27th with my significant other – we play in a duo that leans towards the fun, upbeat tech and bass house sound. I’m also stoked to play my first Tutu Tuesday – a San Francisco nightlife staple that’s been around for years – on Tuesday, October 30th.

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Last question, how do you know of Sam Drake?

Sam and I have been friends for years – I originally met him through some scene friends and we clicked pretty quickly, especially over our love for techno. He’s a great producer, artist and event curator – he runs a music collective called Inquiry Collective that does events across California.

Be sure to check out Torie this weekend at one of her sets, you won’t be disappointed. Be Be sure to keep an eye on Torie as she and her friend have created a new events collective called “Dance With Haha”

Stay Connected with Torie

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Featured Artist: Vissex

Isn’t it strange how certain things play out in life? Take this interview for example, I never would have come across Vissex had I not been in one of my Soundcloud blackholes perusing through Chris Lake sets.

I came across Vissex’s set (link here) and it was his name that first caught my attention. Overall, the set really showcases his talents as an artist, DJ and most of all an opener.

Probably one of my favorite sets I’ve ever had the pleasure of listening to. It’s one of those sets you hear and think to yourself “Damn, I really wish I was right there in the club for this.”

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I had to find out more about this dude so I hit him up and here we are now with an interview with the man himself!

So Vissex, where are you from? What were you doing prior to music?

I’m from Honolulu, Hawai’i, still live here. Before music I was a barista in Waikiki.

And how did you decide on DJ/Mixing and/or Producing? Why?

As a kid I’ve always wanted to be in a punk band. It was difficult trying to get your friends involved since we’d just goof off and get distracted. One day my buddy says “have you ever heard of dubstep?” And I’m like “no what kind of music do they play?”. He ended up showing me Make Me by Skream and I was blown away. That night was spent googling “how to make dubstep” and downloading a trial of FL Studio.

How long have you been DJ/Mixing and/or Producing now?

I started producing sometime in 2012 during high school, and DJing came afterwards in 2013 when I was old enough to go to raves and actually see it all in action.

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How’d you form your DJ name anyway?

I’ve had a bunch of stupid ass names honestly. One day my friend and I were going back and fourth and he suggested Vissex. It’s a play on my name (Vinny) and an homage to Skrillex. It was either that or Jackmaster3000. I’m happy with my decision.

What has been your most memorable experience so far? 

Botnek played my track “Bring That” on their radio show! I was in disbelief when my girlfriend was telling me this, I’ve been a botnek fan for years!

Any clubs or venues you have played that really stuck out to you? 

There’s this club in Hawaii called Electron I recently played a psytrance set at and the sound was incredible. I’ve played bigger clubs that didn’t sound as great as this place. Because of this the crowd went insane and it was definitely a night to remember.

What do you think is one of the most difficult aspects about being in this scene?

I hate how social media has completely taken over the industry. It’s near impossible to have a career without it, and it’s not something I’ve ever taken seriously. To me Instagram and twitter are detrimental to the mental health of our society, since now days it’s so easy to be influenced by people who don’t deserve that kind of power. It’s something I feel shameful for taking advantage of, and not something I have a huge interest in anyway so I try to stay off of it. 

Do you feel like nowadays you can’t experience the music the same as you did when you were just a listener?

Not necessarily, since I can remember I’ve always been interested in music and how everything’s made. Playing a guitar only made me listen to and admire guitarists even more, and the same goes for producing music. I find myself listening to a lot of pop songs I hated when I was a kid and just marveling at the production. We’re all sleeping on Backstreet Boys.

Do you have a favorite track or artist right now?

I’m really digging this French influenced bass house that’s taken over, people like lozz, koos, Jace Mek, BLANSH, and pretty much all of Confession. But I’m also extremely influenced by tech house, Kyle Watson just dropped an amazing album that I can’t stop listening to, Walker & Royce are pushing the sound to crazy limits, especially with their remix of Time. But if I have to choose one, I’d say my favorite track right now is John Tejada’s remix of “My Own Thang” by Walker & Royce. 

So, any other upcoming Artists and/or new Tracks we should know?

Roysun Records is doing a great job with finding underrated producers, they’ve been amazing to me and I’m sure it goes the same with all of their other artists. BLANSH is crazy underrated, so is Jace Mek. They make sounds so crazy it gives your ears herpes because of the flammage. Steve Darko will be a household house name in a couple years that’s for sure. 

Any mixes/tracks of yours we should check out? 

I’ve got a track releasing with Roysun Records on November 13th called “Back” that’s got this weird breakdown that’s completely left field. I have a few other releases with them as well, and a have a bunch of mixes on my soundcloud, either recorded live or a part of my mix series where I showcase the music I’m into at the moment

Do you have any cool shows or projects in the future?

I’ve got this Hawaiian House EP I’ve been sitting on for almost a year now that just don’t feel 100% comfortable releasing soon. I have a bass/halftime alter ego on SoundCloud named “A.VG” where I stretch the creative muscles that don’t ideally align with “Vissex”. Other than that I have this little rap group my brother, my girlfriend and I started, which constantly has features from our cat Champa. BVTANE VILLIANS represent.

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Anything else you want to mention?

I just want to say for anyone looking for a creative profession, try not to be influenced by social media. Your efforts are too great to be graded on a like count scale. Do it not for yourself, but for the cultivation of progress within your industry. Be timeless, and always thrive. Thank you Chris for having me!

Stay Connected with Vissex.

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Music is My Everything: Night Bass

Night Bass is one of the those labels that is always transcending music and truly paving their own path in this music industry. Part of what I enjoy about Night Bass is that they are not about the glory, the fame or the fortune, but rather they are just a collective of like-minded individuals that love nitty gritty bass heavy house music.

Before I started listening to house music a couple years ago, I was a huge subscriber of trap & dubstep. I had a number of friends who enjoyed house, but it was always a pale in comparison to the amount of friends that I had that enjoyed trap or dubstep. But that’s the thing, everyone always go with the masses in order to fit in. Night Bass though, they don’t follow any trends; they set trends.

One of my very first house shows was Night Bass’ Summer Phases tour featuring Night Bass boss AC Slater along with Motez, Landis Lapace, Sinden and hometown act 219 Boys

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I was listening to Night Bass here and there the months leading up to this showcase because I had somehow come across AC Slater in a Soundcloud blackhole while searching Destructo tracks haha. What immediately drew me into Night Bass sound was that they were this beautiful eccentric blend of bass and house. How could I not love it? It was all the heaviness of a trap or dubstep track coupled with the grooviness of a house track.

2 years later here I am trying to perfect my craft as a DJ and to learn how to mix. I’ve been putting off mixing a purely Night Bass mix because of how near and dear the label is to me, but it’s time to get past that and go back to my house roots.

Below you’ll find my very first Night Bass artists only mix in a sunrise sermon fashion. Hope you enjoy!

 

P.S. The Sunrise Sermon series is an ode to Destructo and his sunrise sermons. I’ve always wanted to play a set somewhere just before sunrise and bring in the sun, hopefully this will happen sometime soon 😉

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Aries – The Horoscope 007: Taste Tester + BADB Announcement

Hey there folks! How is everyone doing?

I sincerely hope you are all doing well and that you’ve all figured out your Halloween costumes! It’s been quite the ride this year and it’s not over yet! There are so many cool things happening this end of year such as the 1 year anniversary of a group I moderate for called Bay Area Dirtybirds.

It’s seriously one of the coolest groups I’ve ever belonged to so shoutout to Sarah & Anya for giving rise to it. For our 1 year anniversary, we are celebrating with a special show at Halcyon with an extended Trippy Ass Technologies set with the head honcho himself, Christian Martin, in Dolby Atmos

Direct support by the lovely ladies Ney x Miss Mak and the opener for this show will be one of our very own BADB members that will be selected via our exclusive members only mix contest! Buy tickets here

Alright now back to this week’s episode of The Horoscope presented by Aries. Honestly after recreating my first live mix for the sixth episode of The Horoscope at a renegade at this year’s Dirtybird Campout (which you can listen to here), I really wanted to experiment more with my own mixing.

I just wanted to mess around and have it be almost free form in a way. I was testing different tracks and mix patterns. I have a habit of relying on a select number of tracks during mixes and I’m constantly trying to push myself out of that comfort zone.

Ideally, I want to get to a point where I can just plug my USB in somewhere and create an entire experience right there on the spot and take everyone who is there during that time on a musical journey.

This was my journey a couple nights ago. Hope you enjoy!

 

If you would like to do a guest mix for us, feel free to contact us for any inquiries or promos at ariesxsf@gmail.com.

Stay connected with Aries for our upcoming weekly mixes.

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Featured Artist: Love Tap

As I begin drafting my Dirtybird Campout recap, I find myself wanting to learn more about some of the cool interesting individuals I met during the festival. One of them being an artist that goes by the name Love Tap.

Love Tap and I actually had been in contact for quite some time, but it wasn’t until Dirtybird Campout that we spontaneously met. I had been walking back with Corey and his friend after the Family Set had ended and we happened upon the grassy renegade right next to the outdoor movie theatre section. I had heard from a friend of mine, Jacob Massey, that he had played the renegade a day or two prior so I decided to go towards the front to see if he was around.

Spoiler alert: he was there. To my surprise, I turn to my right and right there in front of me is the lad from down unda: Fisher. If I remember correctly, either Love Tap or someone he knew came up to Jacob and some others and asked if he could help him out with putting up the LED screen that was up behind the DJ booth. One thing led to another and we talked for a little bit and I mentioned I wanted to publish an interview with him.

And so, here we are with an in-depth interview with Love Tap. He’s been in the game for a while and he has some really incredibly motivating and endearing words.

Love Tap, thank you for being interested in doing this interview with me! Let’s start of with some basics, where are you from?

I’m originally from St. Louis, and Chicago and have lived in multiple spots in the continental U.S. I’m located i San Francisco specifically, Nob Hill.  I have decided to stay here for a while as I’m really liking the scene here.  Beyond the people, there’s always so many great artists booked at so many different events so regularly.

And what were you doing prior to music? 

Actually, I have been a musician for most of my life. It began when I started playing the guitar and bass in the concert choir at age 12. From there, I moved onto turntablism, beat juggling, cutting, scratching and finally mixing at around 15 years old on Technics 1200’s.  And the rest is interesting!

At one point, I even tried to get through Music Theory III, but I really didn’t know two hand music reading on both bass and treble clefs, so I moved on to Computer Science. Right now, I’m learning production, track mastering, and going in depth on vocal processing for my pieces, which is a lot of fun seeing the progress and magic pop off.

In general, what does music do for you?

Music makes me want to pass on a really happy, fun, free energy that are brought out by the rhythms, instruments, bass lines, and the particular sounds that make up any particular song. It generates love by taking what’s already been done sometimes and improving or changing it to make it unique and magical (i.e. remixes).

As an artist, I love to pleasantly surprise and engage your ears with something that you’ve never thought possible in combination whether it’s accentuating certain sounds or tweaking something that’s already on a killer beat such as the melody or lyrics.

Music is a way for us transcend and brighten our minds and our lives. So that’s my main drive, to shift the overall mood into a cool place, really rock your world with my sounds to the point of even changing your strict purist outlook if that’s what you had prior: i.e. a house purist, techno only please, turned simply lover of really good music.  Freedom is one of the most important aspects to music, so that liberal edge is my forte as an artist, and lover of music.

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How’d you decide on DJ/Mixing and/or Producing? Why?

I decided that I wanted to be able to mix quickly and montage pieces together like a Bad Boy Bill mix or Craze, and have those turntablist aspects in my skill set, yet have a smooth mixing capability as a DJ as well, so a lot of versatility so the mixes aren’t so predictable and can be seen from several angles of appreciation.  Usually it doesn’t work out like that since most people are very compartmentalized when it comes to mixing tastes, where a cut and scratch is banned from what they might consider a great set, or versa, where they don’t want a long, slow, smooth, extra blended mix.

How long have you been DJ/Mixing and/or Producing?

I’ve been DJ/mixing for 13 years and producing for 6 years.

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How did you come up with your artist name?

DJ Love Tap refers to music as it is a labor of love. My label is called Love Time Records (LTR – a long term relationship and love of music). More philosophically, someone may need to get tapped with some love to open their mind to different styles, ideas, genres, and that’s saying they need to get that needle out of one groove and into another to grow as a person: sometimes we all need a nudge or a Love Tap to get us to another level in refinement, discernment, or whatever it is the universe deems necessary to revolutionize our life and take us to a new outlook/perspective.

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Given that you’ve been in this scene for quite some time. How do you feel about the current status of DJ’s?

Most DJ’s I see are always “tapping” that Cue button, which I never do. What I like to do is place the board on the “Vinyl” setting and scratch the incoming track in on the first bass beat and then let the track begin, which is a carry over from being a hands on turntable technician, as well as an operator of the vinyl on the Technic 1200’s. This is something I take a lot of pride in: building the scratching and cutting smoothly put over a fast beat of 124 to 128 or so.. sometimes 160’s if it’s Drum & Bass.

Can you tell us one of your most memorable experiences that you’ve gone through throughout your career as an artist?

My most memorable experience in my life has got to be seeing Danny the Wildchild bring the house down, pause the show and then bring it back into a frenzy in a matter of seconds. He had the place on pins and needles… that was in Chicago, and to this day, he still has great chops. It was such a strong performance with such great technical prowess on both the mixing and the beat juggling/scratch front.  It was utterly life changing.

 Any clubs, venues, or festivals you have played that really stuck out to you? 

There are number of great clubs that I played that I liked a lot: Oz in St. Louis, Great Northern in SF (their sound system was notable), Halcyon in SF (sound and lights are amazing), and Audio in SF (awesome sound as well).  The Armory located in SF was a very impressive venue.  We had an armory in St. Louis, which was about the same massive size, but this venue here is so top knotch with all the bathroom stalls (I think there’s like 300 bathroom stalls and I’m like,” OMG this is like Death Star massive”).

I was also was impressed with the Dirtybird Campout on how well organized that was with so much going on.  They could have kept it simpler, but it’s better that it isn’t since it’s that much more interesting (that’s my idea of a good party or venue, going that extra step to make it much more fun, and it works the same with songwriting.

So, you were part of a renegade set up for this year’s DirtyBird Campout. How did it go?

I set up a disco ball that was hanging in the sky in the middle of a field in “Take a Seat”, where I took a seat, and then I became engulfed in a sea of tents and cars the next day. At that point I hardly knew where anything was because it was so filled in and jam packed but I love a crowd, and the neighbors were a lot of fun to kick it with and showed a lot of appreciation for my renegade. I decided not to bring my big 5000 Watt speakers and used my Tesla to power everything. My neighbors came over and invited me to play on their much louder system, and I got a lot of positive feedback on my mixing and cutting in scratching abilities. I had also been getting my original tracks down to a fine science in how I throw them together with all my other tracks and perfectly matching them so I can slam jack from side to side. So I got a lot of people approaching me and letting me know how gifted they thought I was, which is so awesome to hear.

All those years DJing have definitely paid off on in experience points, I feel fully confident that I could rock like a slick beast magician on the wheels with all the expertise gained over time. I’m thinking of putting a renegade together next year with an RV and my own lighting gear set up. I have a couple of really great DJs in mind for my new label who have also contributed to remixing some of the Love Powder LP.

I’ve also put a LGBT Dirtybird Campout East and West group together with Dirtybird Records’ official blessing. This will accompany my future unity parties in bringing in new diverse groups of people together as well as genres and artists under one big roof. I look forward to seeing everybody getting together and realizing their similarities rather than their differences, that we’re all brothers and sisters under the stars.

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Overall, how was your Dirtybird Campout experience?

I had an incredible time at this year‘s dirty bird camp out and met so many people and a lot of the dirty Bird artists in person, and made so many friends. It’s an amazing experience and I will forever be grateful that I am in this time and location with the financial means to be able to enjoy what I think of is the ultimate experience available on the planet when it comes to Electronic Dance Music. If you know me, I am super high energy and never slow down, so my legs are still hurting from dancing nonstop and walking from renegade to renegade to see what was all out there.

To boot, I feel like I got in touch with some of the best people to have ever met due to the fact that you just end up having great taste in getting exposed to the DirtyBird Records Label. I plan on putting several of their artists into my future events in next year’s Love Generator parties. I’m thinking break dance competitions, comedians, drag queens, hip-hop, DMC DJ scratch battles, and a hot ass contest, all rolled up into one big Unity Party that brings together a whole bunch of different groups and cultures that have so much to bring to the table. That will be a chapter of my life that I will be extremely proud and happy to have brought to the world – Love Generator, keep your eyes out. I am also thinking of giving a greater purpose by involving the human rights campaign and environmental groups to change and save our planet from ecological disaster and preserve things for future generations so we can keep on dancing.

In your opinion, is there a moment where an artist realizes they’ve “made it”? Or is it more of a lifelong quest?

I’ve never been someone to think that one thing is going to make me, since someone will have another perspective. I try to keep an even keel and try to stay level headed, but I think I have some really fire hits on my  LP “Love Powder” that are definite ear turners, like “Poppin Beats”, “She a Crazy Bit” and “Play Ball”, where I’m thinking, I really hit it out the park. If I pretended to not be so objective, I could tell you those are the dopest tracks written of 2018, but again I try to remain as level-headed as can be.

As a DJ, I’ve had many times playing where people just came up and told me I was the best mixing, selection, and then had all the turntable skills that shone out and really that made their night.  It’s always great when you have everyone flee the main big room to smash into the 2nd room that you’re playing, which has happened on several occasion, that’s my secret hidden talent (dance floor displacement).

But I don’t think I’ve made it yet especially since I still don’t get a lot of time to hustle up gigs in San Francisco, and I’m moving towards that, as well as hunting talent for the label I just started up, Love Time Records.  It’s a labor of love, and I’m sure it will grow and I’ll have a lot of appreciation, support, and love from friends and grow a family, that it what makes you as an artist.  I’m already getting a lot of positive feedback online, which is vindication when any single person hits me up telling me they really got into a mix or an original track. The San Francisco family is very welcoming, so that’s a “made it already” feeling when you know there’s already an open-minded, supportive an accepting group here that work with you.

Do you feel like nowadays you can’t experience the music the same as you did when you were just a listener? 

I always feel like my outlook is progressing and changing as a listener especially since I’ve started producing.  I can enjoy and accept anything from very minimal while also enjoy something vibrant and mildly commercially-friendly breaks like Deekline or Bassbin Twins. I consider myself to be well-versed in genres and try not to let myself get stuck in one mentality where I only like a certain kind of music. I listen to all kinds of music to constantly push myself.

Music is my life and I always wanna be able to say, “heyyy. I hope that made your day, night, worth going out for and totally worth living.  Aw shit, ‘Let me look that Love Tap character up.’ “ 

Favorite Artist or Favorite Track right now? 

I really like Walker & Royce’s “Why Tho” , Uberzone’s “Punk Bitch”, and Weiss’ “Feel My Needs”. Also just about anything by Bassbin Twins, Jeremy Joshua, Steve Darko, Justin Martin, and anything off of Christian Martin’s label Trippy Ass Technologies. Be sure to peep the “Speaker Freaker” remixes.  So many favorites right now.  I think Worthy and Ardalan have got to be my favorites local on the performances so far, as well as the Funky Teknomics and Wicked crew on DJ’ing locally.

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Any other upcoming Artists and/or new Tracks we should know?

I had an LP called Love Powder that dropped this past summer on July 27th, so check that out, and pass the love on with a repost or like.  I’m on there with Mir Wave and Adri is killer on vocals. I put in a lot of hard work into that.

Any mixes/tracks of your we should check out? 

For mixes, you can check out my Soundcloud or Mixcloud. One of my mixes titled “Spring Dream” is a really amazing vocal mix and if you’re in for a massive genre blend with turntablism, breaks, house, techno all rolled into one, then, check out the “I Feel Better” mix.

Do you have any cool shows or projects in the future?

As far as projects go, there’s an amazing DJ/Producer, Butthard Montroche, as well as more works with Mir Wave, Adri, and planning on throwing a quarterly sometime beginning next year with some great DJ’s in the lineup.  I’m working on getting my record label, Love Time Records some new artists, as A & R, and also gigs for this DJ Love Tap.  So I’ll be knocking down doors and working on getting out the studio and into the clubs and events in the next years here in the Bay Area.  Thanks for all the love and support from everyone up in the scene so far. 

Do you have any people in the scene you’d like to work with?

Actually, if you’re reading this and know any really great DJ/Producers that are interested after hearing the music on my LP and LTR label, feel free to connect with me!

Also, check out my YouTube page for event montage videos that are funny and sum up what I’ve been up to. Hit me up if you have a collaboration idea, and have the chops.

Any last words for all those out there?

Whether you believe in god or not, there’s a lot of beauty to show through music before you leave this place to the next realm.  Most importantly, love yourself and enjoy as much of much of it as you can while you have your senses and are living in this finite body. Don’t limit yourself  with limiting thoughts when it comes to music. The world already has too many barriers and dividing factors whereas, music unites people.  Let it be a uniting factor, a way to love life and jam out through all your circumstances.

Connect with DJ Love Tap via Facebook or Instagram 

Cheers everyone!

Stay tuned for my Dirtybird Campout recap writeup to come in the next week or so! I really want to let everything sink in and write the piece to the best of my ability.

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