DJ Dossier

DJ Circle Talks Chronic Future, Sugar Hill Gang, Swedish House Mafia, Sharam, and More

Name: Freddy Krems

AKA: DJ Circle

Current club nights: I do Toxic Mondays at Zuma, Airia at Wild Horse Pass on Thursdays with D-JR, Fridays at Dirty Pretty all by myself, and then Cream on Saturdays. I'm also in a rotation on Sundays at Martini Ranch for Retox Sundays.

Genres spun: Pretty much hip-hop, house, and electro. Kind of a mixture of things, like clubby, up-tempo stuff. Some '80s, but not much, although I've got a pretty decent library of '80s music on my computer. I kind of just play anything, I'm a pretty good judge of a crowd and can tell what they want to hear.

Explanation behind your DJ name: I was DJing at a party for the first time at like 13 and I was looking at records and the name Circle just came into my mind. I know it's not too crazy but that's kinda how it happened.

How did you I got started as a DJ: I was really good friends with Chronic Future, and they had a practice studio with turntables set up there. And it really interested me because there were people messing around 'em. I think I was about 12 at the time. Since that happened, I saved up enough money to buy some tables and then just kinda started. What really got my attention was scratching and everytime I saw someone do that. I'd be like, "Damn, I'd really love to do that. It looks real fun."

Which members of Chronic Future were DJing? It was usually Brandon Lee, the bassist. Ben Collins also was messing around with the turntables too.

So you were tight with them? I haven't talked to them in at a few years, but we used to be really good friends. I just used to always hang out when they practiced and go to all their shows; they were kinda like brothers to me. I went to high school with Brandon at Chaparral, and he's always been really insane at scratching.

Preferred poison while DJing: I usually drink Don Julio Blanco on the rocks.

What's the most you've ever been paid for a gig: I would say probably somewhere around $2,000

What do you like about the Scottsdale DJ scene? I really like the ability to play open format, because it sucks having to be confined to only playing hip-hop or house. Being able to just kinda read a crowd and play what you think they want to hear and have a reaction to that, that's like the best feeling as a DJ ultimately. Being in Scottsdale gives me the ability to do that, while in a place like PHX Nightclub, you're confined to only playing hip-hop.

What would you change? I would probably change the politics. There's a lot of people that do a lot of shady things, especially to get gigs, lying or whatever.

Craziest shit you've seen at a club: When I used to DJ at the Buzz, this was probably like in 2002 or 2003, I saw a fight break out in the raised area next to the DJ booth. And there were guys keeping the security guards out so they could jump this guy.

Best experience as a DJ: I did a performance with Sugar Hill Gang for Suede's anniversary. I DJ'd with them onstage and it was amazing.

Worst request: Probably Aqua's "Barbie Girl." It was a couple years ago. That's like one of the tracks you could possibly throw in, but you just don't.

What sites do you use for music: I like going to Dancing Astronaut, that's a good blog. And then DMS and DJ City, and all the regular record pools. I don't ever use Crooklyn Clan though. I know a lot of DJs do, but I don't ever buy my remixes, I make my own.

Last album you purchased: Meteora by Linkin Park.

Last song you downloaded: "One (Your Name)" by Swedish House Mafia.

Song currently stuck in your head: "The One" by Sharam

Which acts are you currently championing in your sets? Artists I've really been pushing are like Axwell, because a lot of the tracks he makes are really good, and Laidback Luke. A lot of people don't know him but the remixes he makes are amazing. There's like a certain energy that they give off on their tracks that really work well in nightclubs.

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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.