This Thursday, Exchange LA is thrilled to announce the return of SCI + TEC label boss Dubfire to the decks, and he’s bringing his friend and collaborator Miss Kitty, whose massive release together, “Exit“, is a Dark Tech House masterpiece. If his set is anything like the scorching performance he delivered to a packed crowd at EDC Las Vegas, then the former trading floor-turned-dance-floor will be on fire by the end of the night.
Not that Dubfire’s set will be anything less than transformative. The former half of Dip Dish has clocked over thirty years in Dance Music, and, so, he possesses a few tools only a handful of international DJ’s can claim: History and experience. You can’t see them. You can’t touch them. You can’ spray them down a nubile female’s throat or throw them in face of a pleading audience member. But, when all is said and done, these are the most important tools a DJ uses, and, if, like Dubfire, a DJ uses them well, what starts as a slow deliberate burn will turn into an inferno, and the set will act as an audio peel, removing each and every layer of your terrible workweek, your money problems, your self-conciousnesses, your fears, your ego.
To a certain extent, Dance Music audiences know this at an intuitive level. But it seems many have forgone this DJ-as-Spiritual-Guide philosophy in favor of the instant gratifications current musical trends cater to. That Dubfire, and many more of his ilk, like Carlo Lio and John Digweed, are perpetually headlining clubs and festivals around the world is obviously proof that large swaths of the Dance Music community find value and significance in the co-mingling of dance and its historical foundations.
I’ll always remember the words Ali said to me during an interview a few years back in the green room of Exchange LA.
“A DJ can go into any great club around the world and will know how to open a room and close a room and everything in between,” He said. “They will know how to program a set depending on when the crowd is filtering in, how busy it is at a certain time, when the peak hours are, and then taking it down, giving them dessert, a second dessert, and then calling it a day. That’s a DJ.”
This is the art of DJing–the historical definition of a DJ. Definitions, of course, change over time. But these foundations were not established arbitrarily. The body and mind crave dance music. There seems to be a biological urge towards dance, and the standards set decades ago in the dark sub-basements and warehouses in Detroit and Berlin were developed as a result of these urges. In the beginning, there was House, after all.
Ali continued: “Those were the foundations that were instilled in me when I was 16 years old DJing in clubs. I learned that way… Carlo Lio doesn’t have to open a room, but he knows how to open a room. He knows how to close rooms. He’s played before me, after me, he does after hour parties. I mean, he’s a DJ.”
Dubfire’s return to Exchange LA is always cleansing, and he’ll make you believe again in what, exactly, dance music can do to you.