DJ Dossier

DJ ill-legal? Talks Dubstep, Subversion, Rusko, Lazer Sword, Hyphy, Hovatron, and More

Name: Blake Ludera

AKA: DJ ill-legal?

Genres spun: Glitch, dubstep, breakbeats, and hip-hop mostly. I also like to scratch and get into some turntablism stuff, and on rare occassion I'll play house music or drum 'n' bass. I'm really all over the place when it comes to different genres.

Current gigs: My current residency is up at Subversion at Disco on Thursday nights, but I also play a lot of one-off bookings (parties, raves) on the weekends as well as some more "corporate" gigs here and there if the money is right.

How did you get started as a DJ? I grew up in the Chicago area during a pretty exciting period for house music and EDM in general. Then I started going to underage clubs, and found myself really intrigued by what the DJ was doing. When I got a little older, I eventually sold my electric guitar, began collecting vinyl, and saved up to buy my first pair of Technics. From there, just countless hours spent locked in my room, blasting music, and teaching myself until I eventually determined that I was ready to start playing out.

Explanation behind your nickname: I came up with it around the time that there was a lot of controversy surrounding raves and electronic music, with countless parties getting shut down. It was initially part of a concept, not unlike the whole "skateboarding is not a crime" thing, I had developed a logo with a DJ and underneath it said "illegal?," kind of questioning the mentality of why people would go so far to persecute music and those that were trying to share it.

So what's the most illegal thing you've ever done? I'm gonna have to pull a Dave Chapelle and plead the fifth. I will admit that I totally disregarded the warning and cut the tags off my mattress.

How ill do you get during your sets? I'm not the most animated guy up on stage as I'm usually really focused on perfecting the mix, I usually like to let the music do most of the talking. My thing is that I really go out of my way to play tracks that people haven't heard yet, because as a fan that was always my favorite part about going to shows [and] being exposed to new tracks.

Sample mix:
ill intentions by ill-legal?

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