Many of our team members are DJs with years of experience. In our new Staff Picks series, we’ll introduce you to key employees and give you insight into the music they’re feeling.
THE MOUSE & THE MASK – DangerDoom
This album came out on the heels of Danger Mouse’s ambitious mash-up album, The Grey Album, and also around the same time I was introduced to MF DOOM (R.I.P.) on his [in]famous Madvillainy release. DangerDoom felt like a culmination of everything I was into at the time, including Adult Swim, whose obvious fingerprints were all over this album in the form of clips from all of the shows I watched while staying up too late.
Things Fall Apart – The Roots
Things Fall Apart is quite honestly the album that made me fall in love with hip-hop. Growing up, I didn’t listen to much hip-hop, so it really spoke to me when this album eventually found me as a budding teenager trying to make sense of my emotions through bands like Burning Airlines, Sex Pistols, and Weezer. It wasn’t until this album that I realized that hip-hop could be so well-orchestrated and poignant. Black Thought remains my top three favorite rappers to this day.
Overgrown – James Blake
James Blake is one of my most cherished artists. Reading his earliest Fader article was a pivotal moment for me as a musician. It opened my eyes to bedroom producing, taking risks in music production, and being unabashedly emotional in my own music. Overgrown is actually not one of my favorite albums of his, but the CD got stuck in my ’87 Dodge pickup the year that it came out, so it played constantly. That year was actually one of the most difficult years of my life, and this album legitimately saved me from losing myself that year.
20+ years producing music
San Diego, California
“Raggamuffin” – Potential Badboy Remix – Shy FX, Mr. Williamz
This remix adds just the right amount of spice over the OG plate. It captures the vibe of the type of shows I miss going to in a dark basement with a big system, chest-vibrations, and gun fingers pointing up. Volume for this tune can never go high enough.
“Jah Warriors in Dub” – DJ Madd Remix – Congo Natty
This is what I think of when I think of dubstep, the dubwise-influenced sound, filled with skankin’ vibes, low frequencies, and an open step. Hungarian-born producer DJ Madd is a great source to get started with on this often mistaken genre, and his take on the 2013 classic by Congo Natty himself is proof of this.
“Righteous” – Ocean Wisdom, Rodney P, Roots Manuva
Bringing it down on vibes and tempo with a dope hook. I love Ocean Wisdom’s flow on this. It’s a great cruising tune, plus it has guest vocals by legends Rodney P and Roots Manuva. The tune is a few years old, but it still bumps.
Hatful of Hollow – The Smiths
One of my favorite albums of all time. It brings back memories of riding in the car with my older brother when I was a kid. “This Charming Man” is still one of my favorite songs to play in the club.
I’m Still in Love with You – Al Green
I still remember the way I felt when I heard “Love and Happiness” for the first time. A family friend was playing it, and I asked my mom to buy me whatever album that song was on. It’s one of my favorite songs of all time.
“Looking for Me” – Extended – Diplo, Kareen Lomax, Paul Woolford
Hands down my favorite song of 2020! I played this tune on my SiriusXM show almost every day! It’s just too good!
aka DJ Dazzler
Operations & Events Manager
10 years DJing
Los Angeles, California
“Lolita” – Prince
This is my favorite Prince song because it’s jam-packed with personality. The track carries a lot of sass and attitude, just like me. In my next life, I’d probably be a competitive ballroom dancer, and I would choose this track to perform (dance) the Cha Cha.
“Canned Heat” – Jamiroquai
Jamiroquai is an artist who can draw from rock, disco, electronic, and Latin music genres and still sound like he came up with his own funky style of music. “Canned Heat” stands the test of time. If it were released today, it would be a relevant and playable track and sound like it was for the now.
“The Seed (2.0)” – The Roots, Cody Chestnutt
I love this song because it demonstrates exactly what The Roots are all about: artists who perform with a jazzy and eclectic approach to hip-hop featuring live musical instruments. Without question, they can seamlessly play with any artist at any given moment in time on the planet. I love playing “The Seed 2.0” in my sets, especially at open-format parties between that small cusp of opening and headlining. The track allows me to steer the night in any direction musically.
aka Matthew Anthony
20 years DJing
Los Angeles, California
“Day ‘N’ Nite” – Crookers Remix – Kid Cudi
This Crookers remix pretty much defined my time as an open-format DJ from 2007 to 2010. I literally played it every Friday and Saturday for a year at my residency in Wisconsin. When I moved to Los Angeles, BOT from Crookers ended up at my apartment for a birthday party. We became good friends and went on to produce several collabs together on my label, Perfect Driver. He’s such a talented and down to earth guy!
“Handz Up (Stanton Warriors Remix)” – Ed Solo
I’m sticking with the 2007–2010 era theme here and cannot forget my breakbeat roots. As a drummer and lover of all things hip-hop, this style of music seemed like a natural progression for me and was my first real genre phase. “Handz Up” is funky, has catchy vocals, plenty of bass, and is just super fun to queue, loop, or mix into. It also has some basic scratching produced into the song, which you don’t hear too much these days, and for me, that’s great because I completely lack the patience, coordination, and sobriety to do it myself!
“Feel da Drugs” – O.T.M.
Rounding out my third pick from back in the day lands us on an underground, late-night, rave-tastic cut that works best on a giant floor filled with drunk as f*ck party animals. “Feel Da Drugs” seriously has one of the most epic breakdowns in dance music history and will never cease to surprise (and please) an audience. Pro-tip: mix in your favorite acapella or do some scratching when the beat drops during that long breakdown, then stop when the vocal comes in. Watch everyone’s mind melt. You’re welcome.
VP, Regional Strategy
15 years DJing
“The Sweetest Taboo” – Sade
The classics have been in rotation throughout 2020. Only good vibes over here.
“Move on Up” – Curtis Mayfield
Have you heard the breakdown halfway through the extended version of this track? Timeless.
“Fill Me In” – Craig David
One of the best to ever do it and still releasing great music to this day. Classic UK vibes right here.