DJ Dynamix is one of the coldest DJs in the entire U.S., if not the world. He's an upper echelon, battle-tested, "king of LA"-type DJ. I say all that because you DAD readers need to know. In the short time I got to talk to and meet Dynamix on a recent trip to LA, I also found out this dude was also giving back to the next generation of DJs by working with the newly opened DubSpot electronic music and DJ school location in his neck of the woods. During this brief meeting, I also found out dude hadn't dropped a new mixtape in awhile. The brainstorm juices started flowing and low-and-behold, we've got a behind the scenes look at his curriculum at DubSpot along with an absolutely insane new mix for our DAD Mix series. This is THE mixtape you need to set off your weekend. And if you're in San Diego next Wednesday, the homie is part of a huge lineup at barleymash kicking off the week long 10 year anniversary festivities for Sleeping Giant Music.
DubSpot looks like such a great program for folks looking to get serious about djing and being in the studio. How did you get involved with the new center that recently opened up in Hollywood?
My boy and world-renown turntablist extraordinaire, DJ Excess, from NYC told me they were opening up a DubSpot in LA and asked if I would be down to teach. Of course with the caliber of professors they had, I was super stoked just to be considered. After a few emails back and forth and a conference call with Dan Giove, owner of DubSpot, we made it happen. I'm honored to be part of the team.
Can you give us a little insight about what you'll be covering in the course and how it will progress?
Yeah, in the DJ Extensive program, we teach you everything you need to become a working DJ. First, we start with basic equipment overview, then move into the fundamentals of mixing including baby scratching, beat matching, and different transitions. Once you get the basics down, then we teach you how to use DVS systems, Serato & Traktor, efficiently so that you can take advantage of everything those programs have to offer including cue points and effects. We also help you develop your own identity as a DJ and teach you the business side of DJing.
Do you think it's important for folks to get a proper foundation when diving into DJing and producing? How come?
Absolutely! You can be a self-taught DJ and producer, but without proper foundation and training, there can be basic key fundamentals missing from your work flow that will make it more difficult for you to work. Proper education will not only teach you everything you need to know, but will also shorten your learning curve and allow you to be the DJ or producer you want to be in a much shorter time.
Who were some of your mentors as you were coming up in the DJ game and what did you learn from them that you remember the most?
My boy DJ Abel mentored me early in the game. We met when I was about 16 at a b-boy practice called Hope in Hollywood where the West Coast Rockers, LA Breakers, Battle Monkeys, Killafornia, B-Boy Ivan… pretty much the majority of West Coast legendary b-boys would come to practice. Abel taught me a lot about music and how to use word-play in my mixes. He also brought me out of the house-party scene and into the b-boy scene DJing for battles like Freestyle Session and Out for Fame. He also helped get me my first traveling gigs. Dude really helped me out and got me paid before I was even legal. Super grateful to him for that to this day. Afterwards, DJ Hideo (RIP), Mr. Choc, and DJ Hapa were all major supporters and offered so much advice and guidance. I look at them like big brothers and can’t thank them enough for helping make me the DJ I am today.
Technology has obviously changed the face of DJing in a drastic fashion over the last decade. What are some of the constant, tried and true things about DJing you pass along to all upcoming generations of DJs?
Aside from being able to mix, you always have to have the right selection for the occasion and your delivery has to be on point if you want to be a dope DJ. Preparation is everything. The more you prepare for and practice your sets, the better you’ll be at the gig. If you have a reputation for being amazing at every gig, people will notice and the word will spread. Reputation goes a long way and keeps work coming your way. Also, creativity is key to standing out from the crowd. Anyone can take the hottest songs from the radio and play them, but it takes a real skillful and creative DJ to take the crowd on a memorable journey. That’s something that can’t be taught.
Do you feel any type of way about DJ's using the sync button when they play?
Not really. At the end of the day, a sync button is just a sync button. It may make the tempos match but you can still be a shitty DJ even with the sync button (believe me, I’ve seen it). When it all comes down to it, if you don’t have the proper foundation and you don’t know basic music theory then your mixes just aren’t gonna sound good no matter how many times you hit that button.
1. MAKJ - Let's Get F#cked Up (Dynamix Intro Edit)
2. Lonely Island - When Will the Bass Drop (Koyote Edit)
3. Yellow Claw - DJ Turn It Up (TightTraxx & ETC!ETC! Remix)
4. Ummet Ozcan - SMASH!
5. Mercer & Mystique vs. Autoerotique - Here Comes That Hype (Dynamix Personal Edit)
6. Diplo & GTA - Boy Oh Boy (Obscene & Julian B Remix)
7. Tujamo - Hey Mister (Willy William Bootleg)
8. Gregor Salto & Wiwek - On Your Mark
9. Gregor Salto ft. Saxsymbol & Todorov - Samba Do Mundo
10. Major Lazer ft Busy Signal & The Flexican - Watch Out For This (Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike Tomorrowland Remix)
11. Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Diplo, & Fatboy Slim ft. Bonde Do Role & Pin - Eparrei
12. A-Trak & Milo & Otis - Out the Speakers (feat. Rich Kidz)
13. Diplo - Biggie Bounce (Kid Kamillion Remix)
14. Diplo & Swick ft. TT & Lewis Cancut - Dat A Freak
15. Jodeci - Freekin U (Hedspin & Fourcolorzack Remix)
16. Steve Aoki, Diplo, & Deorro ft. Steve Bays - Freak
17. Showtek & Ookay - Bouncer
18. Dimitri Vegas, Like Mike, & Martin Garrix ft. Fatman Scoop - Tremor
19. Ummet Ozcan - Raise Your Hands
20. Showtek - We Like To Party
21. Hard Rock Sofa x Eva Shaw - Get Down
22. Bro Safari x UFO! x Beauty Brain - No Control
23. Daft Punk - Aerodynamic (Huglife Edit)
24. Flosstradamus - Mosh Pit (Spaveech Edit)
25. Shop Boyz - Party Like A Rockstar
26. Y2KOALA - STAYYY FLYYY
27. Deorro & J-Trick - Rambo - (Dynamix Hype Edit)
28. Calvin Harris - Summer - R3hab & Ummet Ozcan Remix
29. Cash Cash - Take Me Home (The Chainsmokers Nomad Bootleg)
30. Kid Cudi - Pursuit Of Happiness (Dynamix vs Steve Aoki Stutter Edit)
31. Zedd ft. Matthew Koma & Miriam Bryant - Find You (Dynamix vs Syn Cole Bootleg)
32. Seven Lions with Myon & Shane 54 ft. Tove Lo - Strangers - Paris Blohm Remix