Four Must-See Local DJs at This Weekend's Dirty Disco in Peoria
Clockwise from top left: Sam Groove, Louder, Josh Evans, and CIK.
Listen up, local party monsters and EDM fans. There are a few things you'll definitely need before going wild out at the massive outdoor dance fiesta and electronica rager known as Dirty Disco tomorrow evening. First, make sure to sport a colorful and eye-catching ensemble that you don't mind getting a bit sweaty or dusty, as the 12-hour-long event on Saturday at Canyon Speedway Park in Peoria will be recorded for posterity.
Oh, and don't forget to bring a mellow attitude and plentiful supply of glowing playthings or other illuminated flowtoys to help light up the night while moving to the beat buffet laid down by close to a dozen local DJs, including electro specialist Damien Helzcoming, dubstep freak Jay Spark, happy hardcore she-jay Maromi, and psytrance wizard Alpha1. There's plenty of others scheduled to perform tomorrow -- including several local DJs we've featured before as a part of DJ Dossier.
Hit the jump for more info on some of the talent at Dirty Disco on Saturday, such as headliner Josh Evans, co-promoter Sam Groove, and rave fave David "CIK" Sankey.
Preferred genres: I specialize in trance music, with hints of progressive and electro.
How did you get into the DJ game? After discovering EDM, I found myself grabbing any mix albums I could. This introduced me to many artists and genres, and I became fascinated with the way the songs were intertwined. I wanted to learn how to do the same. That was around 1998. Soon after, I picked up my first set of turntables.
How are you different from local rank-and-file DJs? I try to set myself apart by creating a set that will include sounds that people won't be able to hear from someone else: unique mash-ups and remixes, along with my own original productions.
How do you create energy in your mixes? I believe energy is created when the DJ plays for the room; when a unique "story" is shaped and built for the crowd and the room and that particular night.
Where have you performed locally? I've performed at a variety of venues, most notably at Axis-Radius and Wild Knight in Scottsdale, and the Phoenix Convention Center.
What's your best experience as a DJ? One of my best experiences was performing at the 2012 Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas for the Discovery Project. It was my first out-of-state booking, and such an amazing opportunity to share my music on a much larger scale.
Next: Rave DJ extraordinaire Dave "CIK" Sankey discusses getting dissed.
David "CIK" Sankey
Preferred genres: Hardcore techno, industrial techno, industrial hardcore, and gabber are what I'm most well known for. However I do sometimes play house under an alias (Inspector Mustache).
What separates you from other rank-and-file DJs? That's a tough one because a lot of the local DJs are okay with being a "superstar" in the state of Arizona. That was never my goal. Most people need to look a little further outside of the box, it's my opinion that most locals in the Phoenix scene are not appreciated for what they do on a global scale, if they're doing anything at all.
My focus was to expand my brand, and expose people to my performances to different audiences where it counts. DJs have the chance to go any place they want, it's all about how you go about setting and achieving your goals.
How do you create energy in your mixes? Mixes are generally my way of telling a story or taking someone on a auditory journey. Remixes you try to add your own flavor while still staying true to the original, and if possible, hopefully making it even better.
Why do prefer raves to club gigs? [It's] the only place where my style of music is played in clubs is over in Europe. The aggressive nature of my genre makes it very hard to break into the clubs in the US, yet it can be at the forefront of raves and festivals here so that's just how it tends to work out.
What misconceptions do people have about you? Amongst people that don't know me, word on the street is that I'm arrogant or cocky. But the thing is, I have always had internal battles with celebrating my successes publicly--the reason being is there is always someone who has something negative to say anytime someone accomplishes something significant. Others who want that success will run your name through the mud.
How come? Maybe out of spite, maybe because they're bitter, I really don't know. Due to the hard work and time I've invested to achieve my goals, I hold myself to a higher standard, and apparently that comes across as arrogance. The reality is, if you actually get to know me you might be surprised. If I had a nickel for every time I heard someone say, "You're really not a jerk, once I got to know you," I would be a millionaire. It's hard being a performer. The end.
Next: DJ Louder on getting down with both Skrillex and Stanton Warriors.
Preferred genres: Breaks, dubstep, drum 'n' bass, drumstep, glitch-hop, bassline.
What's the explanation behind your DJ name? I picked up the decks in '99 and decided I needed a DJ name. I told my brother and next thing you know I had a voicemail with about 30 different DJ names on it. So I chose the best sounding one and it stuck.
What's been your best experience as a DJ? Opening for the Stanton Warriors at Myst in Scottsdale and opening for Downlink and Skrillex at 910 Live. Both times the crowd was super electric and both gigs reminded me of how it feels at massives. It's awesome to play to such a hyped crowd.
And the worst? Those warehouse gigs where there is a single room and about three to four stages in that one room. That has to be one of the most ridiculous ideas any promoter could have. Sometimes you can't even hear your monitor, which pretty much renders a DJ useless.
What's the craziest shit you've seen at a gig? One time I was at a club in Tempe. Stayed till close, then next thing you know the bouncers closed the doors and the DJ got on the mic and said, "This is now a private party." Drinks were flowing, green was smoking, and the girls got pretty wild. That was a pretty cool after-hours.
What's your mantra? Stay fresh, stay excited.
What's the worst request you've ever gotten? Hip-hop. No, I don't play hip-hop. If you want hip-hop and I'm playing, you're probably in the wrong club.
Next: Sam Groove on why he digs raves over clubs.
Preferred genres: I'm a house-head, so pretty much anything funky and banging. I'm also a sucker for a dope breakbeats, so I'll mix it in to keep people on their toes.
What's your best experience as a DJ? By far the best experience I've ever had was Dirty Disco [in 2009]. It was a huge one-stage desert party, with over 1,000 people in attendance out in the middle of nowhere. The vibe was incredible all throughout the night, and when morning came, I played the sunrise set. When the sun was finally up, there was still over 300 people dancing in the desert and every single one of them had a smile on their face. "It's all about the nod."
What do you dig about raves? Most of the time these events have a theme, and it adds an extra fun factor to the party. For this year's Discotropolis event, we gave out disco ball necklaces to the ticket holders and I even dressed up in a shiny pimp suit with a matching hat and pimp cane. All night I was getting the strangest looks from people, but it was a total blast!
Do you prefer raves to club gigs? I have fun playing every show. A party is a party, it doesn't matter where.
What's the craziest shit you've seen at a gig? Cupids Revenge 6 at the Madison Event Center in 2008. I played the opening two hours with Luminous and I've never seen an event get packed so quickly. About halfway through the event I leave with some friends to get some alcohol.
When we get back to the party I'm hammered, and I see tons of cops on horses, flashing cop lights, and hundreds of ravers being hoarded out of the venue into the streets. "What the hell did we just miss?" "I don't know, but let's go inside and find out!" Mmm, there's nothing like the smell of sweaty ravers and pepper spray inside a warehouse.
Dirty Disco takes runs from 6 p.m. on Saturday until 6 a.m. on Sunday at Canyon Speedway Park in Peoria. Admission is $15.
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