Friday, February 4, 2011

In one word: FUNKY. Q&A with Daryle Maciocha a.k.a. DJ DMAC!

DC SETLIST recently caught up with local DJ, Daryle Maciocha.  DJ DMAC managed to cover ghetto funk, the art of being a "music-obsessive", digital cumbia, the Smithsonian all while "keeping the soul largely intact"!  Read on...

Q:  Hey DJ DMac, for those who have yet to catch one of your gigs, how would you describe your DJ Style?

A:  In one word: funky. In many more words, its an eclectic blend of nufunk, old-school hip-hop, funky breaks, electronica, vintage funk and soul, breakbeats, Latin, heavy disco, house, electro and a touch of indie. I have wide-ranging tastes and that's reflected in what I play.

Q:  Tell us your story. How did you get started DJ-ing?

A:  Always a music-obsessive, I was offered a gig at a local bar in college in upstate NY. It was an 'alternative' night (when that term actually meant something) and I was hired to play alternative rock and indie dance. Despite learning basic DJ skills on the job every week, my residency there was really popular and as the night grew so did my hunger for new sounds. Soon my sets encompassed hip-hop and techno and whatever else I thought would work. It was a crazy Thursday night party where a crowd of college kids and locals of all different stripes danced to music we all really loved. I had taste and talent in inverse proportion, but it didn't matter much at the time! Eventually I got some deep exposure to the underground rave scene, which was a real education. I heard some incredibly talented DJs and some really amazing music.

After I finished school and moved to DC, I got away from Djing for a number of years (I was a Smithsonian employee and believed I had to start acting like an adult--it didn't last...) but continued to collect vinyl like a fiend (indie, old funk & soul 45s, dusty soundtracks, hip-hop, whatever I was into at any given moment). I got an opportunity to DJ at Ian Spiv's [now-legendary] Spilt Milk night at [the even-more legendary] Red. Hearing friends with serious collections play deep funk and rare disco from original vinyl on that incredible sound system was a truly singular experience. Soon after Spilt Milk, I met DJ Eurok and really got inspired to step up my game and take the craft of DJing seriously.

Q:  What's your twitter handle?

A:  @therealdjdmac

[Some other dude registered 'djdmac' before I did, tweeted once almost 2 years ago, and has done nothing since. Luckily I've owned http://www.djdmac.com for years!] 

Q:  You've been on the DC scene for 10 years now. In your view, how has the scene morphed/changed?

A:  Like everywhere else DJ culture finally hit the mainstream, which has changed the scale of everything. DJs can now sell out mid-sized rock clubs. If you'd have told me in 2001 that local DJs would be selling out the 9:30 Club in less than 10 years, I never would have believed you! But here we are.

Technology has had the biggest impact. Laptops have largely replaced traditional vinyl and social media has completely reinvented promotion. Digital production tools are readily available--as are nearly instantaneous means of distribution--and we're seeing serious DC talent make waves globally without record label backing. That's amazing and inspirational.

Despite all that hugeness, though, you can still hear great underground DJs spinning in intimate spots all over town. There's room for everybody. And an eager audience for it, as long as you let them know you're there.

Q:  You've got a gig at Dodge City FEB 4th called VAQUEROS ELECTRICOS! Who's hitting the decks with you?   

A:  The always awesome Rusty B. of All Good Funk Alliance. We spin funk, boogie, funk, hip-hop and digital cumbia. DODGE CITY is a great little spot and the dance floor has been really heating up as of late. Come show us some love.

Q: You also have a show at Marvin's every 3rd Friday of the month, what can folks expect?

A:  Well, I'll be in Paris with my lovely wife this month so I won't be at Marvin in February, but come March I'll probably have a healthy stack of French house along with the funk, soul, breaks, disco and hip-hop I usually play.

Q:  What's your preferred source for finding new music these days?

A:  These days I rely on new release notices from folks like Groove Distribution, Turntable Lab, Rough Trade, and Soulseduction. I regularly read Pitchfork and Stereogum. And Ghetto Funk has been *killing* it lately!
I can always count on finding something new--whether its a brand new release or a dusty vintage gem--at Som Records. The internet's fast, convenient and seemingly limitless but nothing's more satisfying than digging through real crates in a real record store. [This is not a paid endorsement, honest.]

Q:  Finally, what are the 5 songs & artists that have been looping on your iPod this week?

1.) Escort – Cocaine Blues (Escort Records)
Slinky but chugging disco rework of Dillinger's dancehall classic 'Cocaine In My Brain.' One of my favorite singles of 2010.
2.) Mooqee and Pimpsoul – Keep Poundin' (Bombstrikes)
Largely based on a sample of Buddy Rich's cover of 'The Beat Goes On,' this is a swinging mid-tempo breaks monster.
3.) Quantic Presenta Flowering Inferno - Dog With a Rope (Tru Thoughts)
Will Holland further explores his fusion of cumbia and dub. Simultaneously ground-breaking and authentic. Cold weather blues antidote #1.
4.) Incarnations - Make You Mine (Love Monk)
Members of Brooklyn-based Phenomenal Handclap Band head to the south of Spain to create a breezy slice of Latin-grooved pop. Cold weather blues antidote #2.
5.) Adele – Rolling in the Deep (Jamie XX Shuffle) (XL Recordings)
The warm, thumping acoustic soul groove of   Adele's pre-album single gets an electronic reworking by Jamie from The XX, adding martial snare drums, handclaps and synths, but keeping the soul largely intact.

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