Saturday, January 01, 2005

drc mixes it up

an interview by michael bradshaw ~ photos courtesy of undefined musik & Blue Moon Productions ~ DRC's influence is widespread throughout the United States in which ever form you happen to catch her. Whether she's playing Trance, Jungle or Electro House, DRC's name has been permanently affixed to quality raving since the early nineties. Her latest record, " Seeker" is quickly gaining her recognition not only as a superstar DJ, but a producer as well.

Seeker is a two track beater with dual personalities. Although the pitch speed of both tracks is geared toward Trance, slow it down to 130bpm and you've got yourself a fine Electro House groove for all the kids sporting Converse. Engineered with DRC's longtime production partner, DJ Demetras Seeker works both as filler and floor rush. Demetras' side works more on subtlety and floor manipulation (which is the hallmark of any great filler track) where as DRC's original mix winds up the floor with a dank, electro bass line that releases at the break down like depth charge.

It's obvious DRC has taken a lot of stock from her recent stay in New York. Her latest mix CD is a fascinating recombination of Trance, Electro and No Wave. Each time you think you've got DRC pegged, she flips the script. DRC talked to Phocas.net about this phenomenon.

What's going on with you these days? I hear you're in NYC now? What made you decide to move?

Well, I actually just moved back to San Francisco a few weeks ago after two amazing years in NYC. I moved there at a time of major transition for me personally and in the music industry. It was time to get out of my comfort zone in SF where I lived for 13 years and seek out some new stimulation, a new challenge. What better place to go for that than NYC. I do love and miss NYC, but I know I will be back to play. In my time away though, I realized what I have right here at home in the Bay Area; lots of friends, family, my studio partner (Chris Demetras) and a huge amount of support from the music industry. San Francisco is home. :)

How has Seeker been received? What made you want to cut a record in the first place?

SEEKER was actually released the same month I was moving to NYC two years ago. It did pretty good considering the lack of attention I was able to give it in the middle of my huge move cross country. My new booking agent and I are planning for a re-release of SEEKER in 2005. It is timeless music and needs to be heard. This by no means was the first release I've done myself. I enjoy the challenge of doing my own releases. Now however, I'd rather spend time on making new music and letting someone else release it. This economy is no fun to work with, being a little Indie label.

Where have you been playing lately? Have things changed for you since your record came out?

I played at the big San Francisco Castro Street Halloween party. It was the most fun I've had playing in a while. What a great way to be welcomed back to this beautiful city by the bay. On the news later that night they said there was 300,000. People there throughout the night. It was quite the party with out a doubt. Other than that I'm playing at Medusa in Seattle and at REVERB (formerly Frequency -8) here in SF. Coming up the next few months though I am playing at Sound Bar in Chicago and various other locations coast to coast that I won't list until they are completely confirmed. Yes allot has changed since the release of SEEKER as well as my two years in NYC. The whole industry has changed. Record stores, labels and distributors have closed down due to the bad economy and mass MP3 downloader's. I have changed too, but for the better, I'm much more assertive now and ready to ROCK more than ever before. I'm also back in the studio making new music with Chris Demetras and that feels great!

You're known best for playing Trance but your latest live CD in NYC is pretty housey... You're always switching things up. What's up with that?

I'm not sure what's up with it. It is a phenomenon that I haven't quite figured out myself. You could ask various people and they'd each say I'm known for something else wither it be hard trance, techno, breaks & even drum-n-bass for a good six years in there. WHY? Well, I guess maybe I get board and my ear changes as I change and grow in my life. Way back in the beginning of my djing I played house. Mostly tribal house. So... maybe I'm really just going back to my dance music roots.

What's up with your record label, Undefined Musik? How did it get started and what kind of projects are you guys pushing?

Undefined Musik evolved out of a need to break away from labels and stereotypes musically. I play many styles of dance music & have produced a wide genre' of styles as well. I had only one release with Undefined Musik and that was "SEEKER" featuring a Demetras remix. My new Agent & manager are planning the Re-Release of SEEKER. It is timeless music and deserves a proper release. So sometime in 2005 be on the look out for it. After that, I'm ready to let other labels take my stuff and release it. As of right now, my long time studio partner Chris Demetras and I are back in the studio working on some new projects under the name Arse Nova (New Art). You can expect a whole new sound with a lot more of my vocals. We recently did a cover of METRO by Berlin. It was such a fun project. Also, a new original favorite in the works is "Petite Cheval". It is more like a dance ballad with lots of emotion. I sing in French on that one. You can expect many new releases from Arse Nova in 2005... but on other labels. Not necessarily Undefined Musik. I need to focus more on making the music than spending time releasing it myself and all that that involves.

What's the sound coming out of NYC right now? What other artists/movements should Phocas.net readers look out for?

IN NYC the sound is real tek house, hard house and tribal house. However, you can find a scene for just about any genre' of music there. An up and coming dj friend of mine out there is DJ FAME. He represents Top Dj Gear out there. He actually just played here in SF last week. It was great to see him... a piece of the big apple. :) Above all.... it doesn't matter what you play it is how you play it.

Most phocas.net readers are also from the Midwest. Is the Midwest relevant to people on the coasts in terms of underground dance music?

Absolutely! A lot of good music comes from all over the Midwest. You've got Chicago & Detroit in the upper Midwest. We all know allot of music comes out of those places. Not to forget Wisconsin and Minnesota etc... Lots of great music comes out of the mid west PERIOD.

Earlier I asked why you decided to move from SF to NYC. What are some of the big differences in nightlife culture between the coasts? Which do you prefer? I didn't go out much when I lived in SF the last five or so years. When I was in town I was exhausted from traveling so much and/ or in the studio producing. So, going out I didn't do to much of. I'm sort of a recluse anyway. I like being at home. I prefer to have friends over to my place and cook them a nice gourmet meal with some red wine and good conversation. In NYC though, I went out a lot more. It was newer to me and a lot of clubs were starting to re-open that I wanted to check out. The old Lime Light is now " AVALON" then a year or so after that SPIRIT (formerly Twilo ) and the bran new CRO BAR... which is really beautiful & great sound, m-m- and Ceilo, one of my favorites. A cozy yet super hip medium sized club that was only a few blocks from my apartment in the West Village. Mostly though, NYC seems to be full of lounges rather than big clubs. San Francisco has more medium sized clubs over all. But, I'm ready to re experience SF. Lots has changed since I've been gone.

You've played a lot of international gigs. Where's your favorite place to play out of the states? How have you been received over-seas?

My favorite place over seas....m-m-m, I think I'd have to say Slovenjia or Hungary...maybe Poland. The people over there are so unbelievably kind. They are also super receptive and way more into dance music than America. The dance music culture over seas (Europe) is just way bigger and more main stream than here. I have great responses traveling in America too though, for I've had people name their [children] after me (yes, little Darcey Davis..now 6 years old, whom is very close in my life & lives here in the bay area). People have also named there dogs after me and have sent me the photo's, and have tattooed my logo or name on there bodies. So I cannot say I don't have a solid fan base here in America. I'm grateful to say the least. :)

What's next for DRC?

What's next for me is to get the re-release of SEEKER out then the full length mixed album with all original music "UNDEFINED" . While all that is happening Chris and I (Arse Nova) are already working on several new tracks with a new more solid and groovier sound and more of my vocals. So you can expect many releases for 2005.

For more about DRC check her out at undefined musik and Blue Moon Productions!

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