DC9er Mixtape, Vol. 22: DJ INDO
When he first got started, nearly four years ago, DJ INDO explored a wide variety of sounds: "I would try spinning all types of house, then breakbeat, then some drum and bass, then techno and so on. I spun with Genova during our weekly at the Cavern, where I was really influenced by his interest in B-more, Electro, and Nu disco."
And while INDO claims to "love it all," it wasn't until this year that he finally found a sound that suited him. And that sound? It's a mixture of funk, jackin, Chicago, and deep house--a sound, he says, has been "definitely influenced by soul, funk, R&B, jazz and hip-hop."
Curious to hear his unique style? You can check DJ INO out at "Groove Suite 2" at Fallout Lounge In Expo Park on Saturday, August 28. And, in the meantime, make sure to check out his exclusive DC9er mix and Q&A after the jump.
About three and a half years.
How did you get your start DJing?
I remember my brother playing recorded cassette tapes of DJ Merritt's "Edge Club" in the late '90s in his car and just being blown away. After growing such a huge love for music since childhood, learning multiple instruments and attending many shows, I naturally became curious as to how or what DJing is. I did a little research, bought some gear, and began to practice. I started by playing to a whopping audience of one: Myself. All and all, my dad, my brother, and DJ Merritt got me into DJing though. Props to them!
What was your first gig like?
Very intimidating. I started playing at home as just a hobby, and probably annoyed the hell out of the neighbors. That was until my friend in Denton was having a house party for her birthday and invited me out to play. I hadn't even been playing a year and I was going to be playing with some other DJ who walked in with a huge crate of vinyl and had been at it for 10 years! I was so anxious, my hands were soaked with sweat and shaking franticly. It took about 5 or 6 tries to drop the needle right on the lead in of the record. But after about 2 or 3 shots of Jack Daniels, I got in the zone and people were dancing to the music. That moment, where I had the ability to get everyone dancing and alter their moods from bored drunks to happy entertained drunks through music, was so gratifying to me that I decided to keep at it. Keep learning. Keep improving.
Who/what are some of your biggest influences musical or otherwise?
The most credit, I give to my father. We had a tradition every Sunday morning where we would eat pancakes and my dad would pull a random record from this huge custom-built wooden cabinet that housed his record player, vinyl collection and other various collectables he liked to keep. I became very interested in everything I heard, so I always looked forward to Sunday. My friends used to give me a hard time because they would be listening to music that was less than a year old, and here I am listening to songs that were written before I was born. My brother, Ronny, was also huge influence on the development of my musical tastes. He'd hook me up with the latest and greatest. When I wanted a new musical fix, it seemed like my brother always picked gold. There is not one thing my brother listens to that I dislike one bit. I'm a huge old school/underground hip-hop fan, A Tribe Called Quest being my favorite. Q-Tip is always on point. Mos Def, Talib, Pharcyde, Pete Rock, Beastie Boys, Blackalicious, Del, J5, People Under the Stairs, Colossus, etc. As far as dance music goes, Armand Van Helden's 2 Future 4 U album introduced me to house. "U Don't Know Me" is still one of my favorite tracks of all time. The Chemical Brothers' Surrender blew my mind in 1999. Their sound pre- and post- that album was breakthrough. Keoki's Disco Death Race ("Go Speed Go" makes me laugh every time) and All Mixed Up mixtapes opened me up to the deep moody side of techno. Daft Punk, Fatboy Slim, the Crystal Method are all excellent, too.
Which DJ's do you follow? Do you have a favorite?
Oh, let's see. Mark Farina has got to be one of my all-time favorites. Sonny Fodera, Soydan, Giano, Fabio Bacchini, DJ Sneak, Paul Johnson, Stacy Kidd, Armand Van Helden to name a few. A-Trak, Craze, Mix Master Mike and Q-Bert have to be some of my favorite turntablists.
What's your favorite genre of music, both to play and to listen to?
To play: Funk/jackin/deep house, downtempo, trip-hop and hip-hop. To listen: Ditto the above. Plus, I love me some Reggae. And whatever else I'm in the mood for. I'm really easy to please.
How do you decide what songs you're going to play?
I kind of have an idea of what to play by knowing the venue I am playing at and reading responses from people. I am also super organized with all of my tracks. I tag the tracks on my computer with descriptive keywords so I can access them on the fly. This allows me to be versatile, which is a DJ's best weapon.
How much preparation goes into putting a set together?
If I am playing for an hour, I'll spend about two hours sorting tracks and cutting down to a list of about 30 to 40 tracks that I think will work for my set. Then it's all mostly improvised from there. I'm all about the peaks and troughs, too. Constant high or low energy is dull.
What are your main objectives when it comes to playing music? (Are you looking to entertain the crowd, educate them, or something different altogether?)
Entertain and educate. Many people don't understand house music around here, and it's not their fault. It's obviously different from the Top 40 you hear on the radio, and it's unfortunate people expect to hear that anywhere they go. I go out to clubs/bars to not hear the radio. My goal is to get everyone intrigued by at least one track and hopefully hang on to them the entire night by means of on point mixing.
What can someone expect when they come to see/hear you play?
Always expect to have a good time! If I see you smiling, I smile back and the better I play. Also, expect familiar a cappellas thrown on top of tracks. I love surprising people with vocals they didn't expect to hear on a house track.
What kind of equipment do you use?
Two Stanton turntables, a Behringer mixer and a MacBook w/ Traktor vinyl emulation.
Requests. Love em or hate em?
Only if it's relevant and I'm within earshot, then I definitely love 'em. Your crowd loves you even more because you listen to them.
If you could play a gig anywhere, with any other DJ/music act, whom would you play with and where would it be?
I'd play on the moon! Actually, I would love to play on a beach during and after sunset with any one of those DJs I listed above. Insanely dope.
What sets you apart from other DJs in Dallas/Denton/Fort Worth?
I'm extremely modest. Believe it or not, but I don't really care for the spotlight. I'm not an attention whore. I really enjoy the more intimate settings where I am spinning at the same level as the crowd. I also really want people to focus on the music rather than me. I'm just an afterthought, but I am truly flattered and appreciative when I do get the attention. At my last gig, everybody started chanting "INDO! INDO! INDO!," which was really amusing and put a smile on my face. I'm also after music I feel has a long shelf-life. Nothing worse than buying up tracks and getting bored of them the following week.
When/where will you be playing next?
Add me on Facebook or check out my SoundCloud to keep updated. But I do have to plug our Groove Suite party. We will be having "Groove Suite 2" at Fallout on Saturday, August 28. Last month, we had Dallas house legend, Brett Johnson. This month, we have another Dallas great, DJ Preach. I think we are starting out the night again with some superb BBQ and excellent drinks specials. I will be supporting along with my good friend James Preston.
What can Dallas expect to see from you in 2010?
More Groove Suite parties, good vibes, and good times! Also, James Preston and I are collaborating on releases we hope to have before the end of the year.
1. Bad Boy - Mousse T.
2. Job Satisfaction (Phil Weeks Remix) - Blakkat
3. Winners - Soydan
4. Chicago Theme - DJ Sneak
5. To Do (Derrick Carter's Farina Experiment) - Mark Farina
6. Ya Body Do (Tommy Largo Remix) -Luis Ramirez and J.A.M.O.N.
7. Funk Counter - Soydan
8. Jet Lag - Mr Patron
9. Face Reality - Jeff Dougler & Balu
10. Got to Get Down - Jackin' Box
11. My First Love - Joey Youngman
12. Don't Want You - Dimitri Max
13. Sing It Back (Boris Musical Mix) - Moloko
14. Pepper funk - Popoviciu Bliss And Toygun
15. Freaky - Steve Dare
16. Love Foolosophy (Knee Deep's Re-edit) - Jamiroquai