Before his recent show at Mezzanine in San Francisco, Chicago house superstar Felix Da Housecat (who now splits his time between London and Atlanta) stopped in to the DJ TechTools studios. Throughout our chat, the man born Felix Stallings Jr. waxed philosophical on his musical upbringing, making classic tracks for future generations (despite the disposable nature of today's singles-based dance-music industry), and how he finally came around to digital DJing.
If you're even a passing fan of electronic music, it's likely that you know that one of its icons, DJ and producer Frankie Knuckles, died earlier this week at the age of 59 from complications related to type 2 diabetes. The "godfather of house music" was a true legend, the kind of artist to whom one could point as a real cultural lynchpin; without his influence, dance music in 2014 would likely be an entirely different beast. Having given birth to house music in Chicago in the late '70s and early '80s via his clubs the Warehouse and later the Power Plant, Knuckles (born Francis Nicholls in New York City) was a dedicated craftsman and inventor, honing his skills as a DJ by playing marathon sets to open-minded audiences and helping to make the remix its own art form by constructing extended versions of classic soul and disco tunes with a pair of reel-to-reel tape decks and a 909.
For a lot of DJs who are relatively young, it’s easy to forget that the culture and media that surrounds DJing today comes from a long history of publications and communities that have come and gone throughout the years. Even DJ Techtools was largely born out of Ean’s Digital DJ column from the now-defunct Remix […]