December 8, 2010 by DJ Elroy
DJ Dan. The man with the plan. This holiday season he’ll be aiming his jet-fueled sleigh towards the Rockies and bringin’ something special for all those naughty boys and girls that old St Nick always seems to neglect… Come party with the us Saturday, December 11th at Beta Nightclub and get your fill of funky house music and bangin’ electro beats. Recently returned from OZ, a well-tanned Dan took a few minutes to talk about his Podcast, his newest mix, and retirement (?!)
I’ve been a fan since the Funky Techno Tribe days… Did you have a “big break” or has your success come from hard work and consistency? How much “luck” is involved in getting noticed and making it?
When I first came into the California scene, I was playing a different sound than most DJs were at that time. I really pushed boundaries by mixing up many different styles into one set. I have been collecting records my whole life so I’ve always had a great variety of funky shit to choose from. From there I was just very persistent about getting my mixes to the right promoters and most importantly, the fans. I think the key to making it is having your own sound and style that only you can bring to the table. There’s so much music out there, there’s no reason that any two DJs should sound alike these days… Pull from your roots and play from your heart.
You’ve got a strong online presence… Is social networking essential for artists nowadays? What gets somebody ‘de-friended’ from DJ Dan?
I think its important to keep your fans in the loop on what you have going on. Social networking is important but I think it’s a little out of control these days. There’s something a bit more intriguing about being mysterious so I’d actually like to see things chill out on that tip. The only thing that could get you de-friended is to say that you HATED Burning Man or really liked Twizzler House (check my twitter for the definition).
Whoa, some rivalry here? I’ve got to agree on that one… Your new “Stereo Damage” podcast is one of the first stops on my player; How does your approach to recording the sets differ on the web show vs a retail album?
I’m really excited about the podcast. For me, it’s a great opportunity to show people what I’m all about (on an underground tip) from the music that I play to the DJs I feature on the show. It’s all about fun and great dance music. An artist album is a very different approach since it is unmixed and is not just one continuous vibe the whole time. It’s nice to be able to break things up on an artist album because each and every song has it’s own story and unique vibe so it’s crucial to keep the tracks unmixed.
Tell me about your new “Sounds of InStereo” mix compilation… I’m so glad it’s available on Beatport as a mix AND individual tracks… You’d be surprised how many artists STILL sell them separately…
I am very proud of the quality and vibe of the label and wanted to celebrate it by picking out my favorite tracks and offer a continuous DJ mix. It was a great feeling to look back and realize how high quality the catalog is. I wanted to offer the tracks as singles as well in case there were some tracks that people missed out on.
Is music becoming disposable? What’s the average lifespan of a track in your “crate”? Are there any tunes that you’ve been bangin’ all summer?
I don’t really look at whether a track is new or old anymore. I have honestly been pulling from some of my older classics and mixing it up with the current stuff. There’s a lot of great music out there so mix it up!
Any predictions as to the flavor of WMC 2011? Any thoughts on the WMC vs Ultra split?
I think you are going to hear a lot more DJs playing more classics again. As far as WMC, I think people are gonna go for Ultra and just pass on the conference portion. Most people come out to party and be with their friends these days anyway…
Do you ever think about hanging up the headphones? What keeps you going?
The second I hear a great jam, I get excited. If that ever stops then I will hang it up. I honestly love this music and I know that my main purpose in life is to make people happy through my music and DJing. I am grateful every day that I have fans that support me and have allowed me to do what I love.