As a lead-in to his upcoming party this Saturday alongside local legend Willie Burns, we asked eclectic Brooklyn DJ, hardcore (as in “serious,” not the genre) music aficionado, and all-around good dude Scallywag to answer a few questions and shed some light on where his head is at musically.
To be honest, it’s a little tough to get a good read on Scallywag, as he tends to keep somewhat of a low profile. What we know for sure is that he’s got a very good working knowledge of a number of different scenes, which he’s been involved in in various capacities for a number of years. He has penned features and reviews for a couple of well-known electronic music publications, and he seems to have applied that bird’s-eye view of the dance music landscape to the wide variety of parties he throws (everything from upstate raves to major Brooklyn one-offs, all while knowing that he often has to disappear to go cater to weekend warriors in more “mainstream” spots around the City). Top that off with an extensive back catalog of mixes covering an even wider soundscope, and it’s plain to see that the guy thrives on variety.
Currently, Scallywag’s found a proper place to make use of his range over at our favorite spot, Bossa Nova Civic Club. There, alongside his good friend Blacklauren, he can be found playing host to some of dance music’s truest believers. Catch him in action this Saturday and read on to learn more…
The best thing that happened: Mitt Romney wasn’t elected!
The weirdest thing that happened:
Well, the Internet tends to set the bar on this one for me. As far as that goes, the most musically relevant thing i can think of was when Lil B recorded a verse over the Dilbert 3 theme song (which itself was a cover of the Robocop theme on Gameboy: http://kotaku.com/5885431/what-do-robocop-washing-machines-dilbert–lil-b-have-in-common). I figure you gotta be pretty familiar with Internet humor to contextualize all that properly, but for those of us who spend a little too much on the computer, this was kind of the perfect storm…
The thing that bummed me out the most:
Nothing even remotely trippy happening on Dec. 21. Not that I was actually expecting much leading up to it, but still… feel like I’ve been trying to trainspot this paradigm shift for a while here, ya know? Still, it’s all great food for thought, and if something BIG were to ever happen — not some cataclysm, but something that really blows the doors off of traditional logic and redefines our worldview overnight — I feel like that would be an amazingly exciting collective experience.
The thing I was most proud of:
Probably the first Winter’s Warmth mix I did at the beginning of the year, although I’ve been pretty happy with the radio show I’ve been doing on Sub.FM with Blacklauren (2nd Mondays of the month, 8pm Eastern).
The best track to play out was:
Geeeman’s “Bang’t” always went off.
The best track to play outside of a club:
In the winter time, I usually listen to stuff like Leyland James Kirby, Shackleton, Grouper, Black Swan… stuff that suits the weather, basically. Haxan Cloak’s “…The Men Parted The Sea To Devour The Water” was technically one track, so I’ll go with that.
My favorite NYC DJs:
Hmm… I’ve been a working DJ at regular spots for a good while, so I look up to guys who come from that background — guys like Eli Escobar or Cosmo Baker who have carved a path through it while still maintaining their passion for music. And I’m always stoked to see people like DJ Fulltime Fun, DJ ARQ, Beto Cravioto, DJ AK, Soul 2 Seoul, K!O, DJ Far East, Blacklauren, Rok One, etc. (to name just a few) doing their thing.
My favorite DJs outside NYC:
Optimo has been my go-to answer for the majority of my adult life, but I’ve been listening to a lot of techno over the past few years. In that respect, Donato Dozzy pretty much rewired my brain this summer at The Bunker. Not sure where he beamed that set in from, but to me, that felt like the edge as it stands…
My favorite NYC producers/musicians:
Of all time? I’d have to go with the Wu-Tang Clan.
The best live set I saw:
Jeff Mills closing out Movement festival. He did an entire “history of Detroit dance music” routine on four turntables, tearing through pretty much every seminal record in disco, hip-hop, and house for the first half before the saucers began circling. I guess, technically, it wouldn’t be considered a live set by today’s standards, but I’m sure he was doing a whole lot more than what some other producers do when they slap a “LIVE!” tag on their set just for busting out their Midi controller.
My favorite NYC party:
The Bunker, although i’ve had some amazing times at Turrbotax, Rinsed, Blkmarket, Lit City, Mutual Dreaming, etc.
The best trend:
The continued Detroit resurgence
The worst trend:
Guess this is best place to mention that I’ll take trap music over fist-pumpy radio pop any day
My favorite NYC record store:
Dope Jams, for fighting the good fight. Feel like I know all about shooting yourself in the foot over your own dumb set of principles…
My favorite NYC radio station:
Hot 97, Newton Radio, EVR
My favorite NYC-based label:
Rvng Intl. has been putting out quality records for as long as I’ve followed them. I also owe a lot to Minimal Wave for schooling me on ’80s DIY synth stuff over the years.
In 2013 …
My New Year’s resolution:
I’m most looking forward to:
Helping facilitate some of the things i believe in
The up-and-coming DJs or producers I have highest hopes for:
There’s a 15-year-old kid named Happa who’s kind of like the boy wonder of the post-dubstep UK scene right now. His tracks are really solid, so I can only imagine what he’ll be capable of in a couple of years. Plus, he’s already been co-signed by Four Tet and Mary Anne Hobbs, so I’m sure he’s already surrounded by people who are willing to nurture his talent. Another one would be Darling Farah — a 20-year-old producer from the United Arab Emirates who’s already got a really strong handle on textural nuance. His tracks tend to be rooted in proper techno, but they jump out at you because they still have this youthful inventiveness in terms of their programming/sequencing. Rhythmically, it’s the younger guard who have really been breaking ground over the past few years, so it’s cool to see someone that age bring a surprising amount of depth to the table as well.
My wish for NYC’s nightlife/dance music scene:
For sound to always be a huge priority
Spectacle and immediacy on one end of the spectrum, another coil in the nostalgia loop on the other. But lots of people doing good things regardless…
Musically, I plan to:
Keep exploring, I suppose. I’ve had this vision in my head for a long time that I think I can finally execute properly. Stay tuned…