Pete and Eddie

House DJs reunite for Thanksgiving show at Red Monkey

S: Are you still producing as well as spinning?
PS: Sure. It's tougher than it used to be, though, with Ed not around. When we're together, Ed gives me a boost of confidence, whether we're producing or deejaying or whatever. Also, without him I'm low on equipment. All of our equipment got ripped off from a warehouse in 1996. Ed's family helped replace it with new gear so we could keep working, but when Ed moved to L.A., all the equipment went with him. As soon as I knew he was leaving, I just went crazy in the studio with the time I had left and cranked out 10 tracks, and I still know enough people with equipment and studios that I can get in somewhere whenever I have a burning idea, but, truthfully, it's just not the same without Ed.

S: How do you feel about his move to L.A.?
PS: Well, Ed felt that a Phoenix return address would always land our demo on the bottom of the stack. My philosophy was, a good track is a good track. Plus I wanted to keep working on my hometown scene a little while longer, so moving to L.A. wasn't personally what I wanted to do right then. It seems to be working for him, though. He wanted to go out there and network with people and put some music out, and that's just what he's done.

S: Do you plan to join him in L.A.?
PS: If I had to make a prediction, I'd say yes, there will be a time when I move out there. I still talk to Ed about every day on the phone. We both just turned 30, and the other day I was like, "Damn, Ed, it's crunch time." I know we have the same goals: to produce music and make enough money producing and playing music to take care of our parents. That's always number one for us. I don't think it's all over for Direct Force. Ed's been my best friend for 11 years, and he's my best friend now, and he and I work best as a team. At least, I feel that way.

Subterranea: When did you write "House Music," and when did it break?
Eddie Amador: I wrote "House Music" in late September, and I knew I had something right away, because I test my demos in the store where I work [soon after he moved to L.A., Amador got a job as a house-music buyer for the renowned Melrose record store Street Sounds]. I just play the tapes and see what moves people as they're shopping for records, and that one, "House Music," got a good response. So I pressed a test acetate, and this guy I'd gotten to know, DJ Orlando, played it during his mix show on Santa Monica's Groove Radio [103.1]--which, unlike any station in Phoenix, plays nothing but dance music--and while the record was still spinning, [influential L.A. house DJ] Tony Largo called and asked for a copy to spin at his club [Does Your Momma Know?]. It just spread from there. Then last month, it was showcased at the Global DJ Awards conference in San Francisco. Deep Dish heard the track and wanted it and . . . that was it.

S: The centerpiece sample on "House Music" is this really rich, wise male voice repeating that one phrase, over and over ["Not everyone understands house music. It's a spiritual thing. A body thing. A soul thing"]. The guy sounds like a wizard. Where's that from?

EA: The words are from a short poem I wrote, and the guy reading them is this homeless guy who hangs out on Melrose, near Street Sounds, where I work. I thought he had a really special voice, so I asked to record him. During Chupa, I met several homeless people with special qualities like that, and I learned to be aware of what homeless people have to offer and not just ignore them, and it really paid off in this case. He was perfect for the track.

S: Do you still DJ, or is it strictly producing now?
EA: I still spin parties, but I'm just more selective, simply because I can be. I'm spinning at Red Monkey--and I'll have five new, original tracks of my own there--on Thanksgiving, and I'm spinning a big party in Washington, D.C., on New Year's Eve. So I still spin, but producing is way more of a priority now. You get more respect as a producer, because DJs are a dime a dozen in L.A. I would say this to any DJ that's serious about music: You need to get behind a drum machine and a computer and try to promote your style by creating original tracks using the kind of rhythms and wave forms you like.

S: Was that your goal, specifically, to promote your kind of music?
EA: Absolutely.
S: And what music is that?

EA: Well, out here we call the good stuff "garage house" [yet another genre tag, named after the fabled New York City nightspot Paradise Garage]. That term means house music that stays true to those soulful, disco grooves that have been going for more than 10 years. Because I like to stay right at 120 bpm, some might call my music "deep house," but that term's way overexploited. There's a lot of garbage floating on the winds of house music right now. Which is another reason I wanted to come out here and produce music--house DJs need better wax to work with.

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