Dec 31 – DJ Dan – From Then to Now, Analog to Digital
It’s tough to say more about DJ Dan than what is most likely known by just about any dance music fan that has ever taken interest in the genre. Just take a look at what some other legends have said:
“Dan is a pivotal ingredient to live DJing and production, a real teacher to all.”-DJ Sneak
“The thing I love about Dan is that he’s always had a funky spirit and he always pushes the elements of music.”-Carl Cox
To those who still may not know all that much on Dan, we’ll help you out from under that rock. As you can tell from just a bit of the praise from musical icons DJ Dan has received, our West Coast bred friend has been around the block a few times (and turning heads all the while). Music has been forever entrenched in Dan’s life, having garnered a superior record collection at the age of 8 that would give Amoeba Records a run for its money. Starting his professional musical career with some smaller clubs in Seattle and then Los Angeles, DJ Dan had a rise to recognition in the dance music community that could be considered meteoric. Forming the Funky Techno Tribe in 1993, DJ Dan fused together breakbeat, house, dub, and techno to create a sound that later was fittingly crowned, “West Coast House”. And with renowned tracks like “Needle Damage”, and remixes for everyone from Depeche Mode to Duck Sauce, Dan’s production prowess is undeniable. The journey that Dan’s talents have taken him on could go on for pages and pages. He has played alongside the likes of fellow legends from Carl Cox to John Digweed with a mission of making club goers unable to fight the urge to dance the night away.
And it’s not just party goers and fellow DJ’s who bow down to Dan, the press have drooled over his music. DJ Mag named DJ Dan the #1 House DJ in 2006 while Urb Magazine named him “America’s Favorite DJ” and “America’s Hardest Working DJ” while he was also DJ Time’s ‘America’s Best DJ’ 2014 Top Ten Finalist. The media has never been more accurate. But one of the proudest moments could be said when THUMP warned partygoers to ‘never fuck with DJ Dan’ much like one unfateful attdendant did this year in Baltimore to which Dan had the most powerful of responses.
Dan’s widely renowned Los Angeles based label Instereo Recordings,has further etched his name into dance music’s core. With TJR, Phunk Investigation, Wolfgang Gartner, DJ PP, DJ Sneak, Hatiras, and DJ Dan being amongst the many artists featured on the Instereo Recordings, the label is hard to ignore in the industry. Dan also has releases on Toolroom, Pacha Recordings, Ultra, Guesthouse, Work, XL Recordings, Magnetic, Rising, and many others.
In 2014 Dan shows no signs of slowing down. His EDC set was rated as one of the best sets of the weekend by DJOYBEAT.com as well as Magnetic Mag. Similar buzz had Insomniac President/ CEO Pasquale Rotella chiming in:
“We go back since the early 90′s and he DJ’d some of my first warehouse parties. He’s an LA underground staple and music legend.”
And if that wasn’t enough, in the recent major dance music poll ‘America’s Best DJ’, DJ Dan clocked in at #9 in a extremely competitive field; beating out some of the largest names in electronic music.
As this dance music world continues to evolve, it is safe to say that DJ Dan will continue to be one of its strongest voices and most powerful influencers.
Bay-Area bred DJ Mes (Jason Sutton) rarely slows his groove. Since the 2004 inception of his Oakland-based label, Guesthouse Music, Mes has produced a prolific catalogue of bass-heavy tracks that have scorched dance floors amid the ebb and flow of electronic music. As a DJ, his sets have inspired; as a producer, his montage of disco-dredged beats meld bump with rhythm and bass to create hot buzz in front of and beyond the speakers. In 2011, Traxsource honored Mes with the top spot on a list of 100 best house tracks of 2011 following the release of the bumpy Chicago-sound behind “Fools Gold” (Cajual Recordings).
Mes’ career dates back to the mid-1990s, when the future producer took early influence from the likes DJ Dan (Funky Techno Tribe) and Tony Hewitt (Tango Recordings). Some two decades later, it would be DJ Dan who would join the talent ranks of Guesthouse Music, Mes’ genre-defying imprint that earned him notoriety beyond numerous festival appearances, club residencies, and as co-founder of Daddy’s Records (1996). Unlike previous endeavors, Guesthouse bloomed as a personal and creative project inspired by the underground house community that embraced the sound in the U.S. and overseas. While Mes continued releasing tracks on acclaimed labels such as Black Cherry, Magnetic, and Flapjack, it was his own Guesthouse Music that set the pace, releasing 150 EPs—including 40 vinyl releases—since its inception.
Mes’ ear for talent led to the unveiling of some of the most successful names in underground house, including breakout artists of 2011, J Paul Getto, who scaled the charts of Traxsource with “Need More Music” and “3000” Boundary-bending producers, such as Gramphonedzie, and classic acts, such as Cosy Creatures and The Sound Republic, exploded onto the scene under Mes’ own A&R moxie. Even while he introduced new DJs and producers to audiences, he continued creating his own body of boompty sounds.
While Mes looks ahead for talent, he creatively nods to sounds that inspired him to slide behind the decks more than 16 years ago. In 2011, Mes followed up his seminal “Fools Gold” release (Cajual Recordings) with a second EP, “Town Business.” “Love Affair,” a rework of First Choice’s classic “Love Thang,” climbed the underground charts alongside a remix of Two Ton’s of Fun classic, “I Got the Feeling.” Even while maintaining a regular touring schedule throughout the U.S. and Europe, Mes continues partnering with the some of the scene’s most lauded producers, such as DJ Sneak and his own greatest influence, DJ Dan.
In December 2011, Mes and Guesthouse created another piece of house music history by releasing their 100th track, “3000” (J Paul Getto). For Mes, it marks the beginning of another phase of underground house evolution.
Adds Mes: “I’m always working to sign new or undiscovered music and talent to the label, and maybe even throw a curve ball to startle people with a new, unexpected style or sound. It’s what it’s all about.”