DJ Spotlight: Alix Perez And Teklife Takeover Bass Mecca Of LA Smog
Set upon a foggy, moody, rainy evening, Smog bass stronghold gathered a lineup of hypnotic talent from Alix Perez, special guest DJ Spinn, Eprom, Nevermind and Taurus Scott at the luxe 613 warehouse in Downtown LA last weekend.
With a banging sound system, electrifying graphics, and a dope, mature crowd, Smog’s very own Taurus Scott set the vibe right opening the night followed by Trouble & Bass’s Nevermind, then Eprom who hails from Portland repping Warp Records. Eprom played spine tingling trap, and dropped '90s inspired D&B/jungle before Alix took to the decks at 1:30.
Many party goers assumed Alix to deliver mainly a D&B oriented set, but he reached further than what most people had expected. His set was laced with jukework, trap, jungle, and mixing that entailed unexpected twists and turns. His track selection repeatedly showcased the crisp, engaging sounds that he often uses in his own production.
Teklife founder and footwork pioneer DJ Spinn arrived in the building at 2:30 and made his way towards the stage, accompanied with Taso, while a bevy of excited fans clamored to meet Spinn. Immediately upon seeing Alix, DJ Spinn gave him an embrace, and then took the reigns and played absolutely, mind bending footwork dripping with Chicago soul, and passion till the end of the night.
DJ Spinn & Rashad created a massive, sonic movement that influenced thousands. With the sound labeled as footwork/juke, it’s message reached artists throughout the world specifically Belgian born, UK Based Alix Perez. And after making his Low End Theory debut this past Wednesday, Perez played the sold out Hard Summer Festival on Saturday and then finished his LA whirlwind of a week making his Smog Debut. Vibe had the opportunity to speak with Perez prior to his Smog set to find out more about the grandiose success that he’s had, and the privilege of working with the late DJ Rashad.
What are your upcoming production plans?
I’m working on a bunch of stuff like my solo stuff, finalizing an EP at the moment. Doing a bunch a bunch of remixes, I’m working with Foreign Beggars and doing various production for MC’s and rappers, all kinds of stuff, it’s really interesting at the moment.
Would you ever to move LA?
I wouldn’t say move indefinitely, but I’d like to spend close to a year here. In the last few days, I played Low End Theory which was super dope and I’ve been a fan of Low End Theory for years, and I was actually mad nervous. To me all those guys are a big inspiration, in the last few days I’ve made so many links, cool opportunities out here to work with people you can’t really reach easily if you’re in London. I find that everyone’s really friendly here, just willing to know what you’re about and see what you can do together, people are interested in collaborating, it’s cool.
What’s the ultimate thing you dream of happening in your career?
I want to write as a main thing, and just writing for people. Get in the studio and mold a sound for someone and create what they’re after. I think it’s cool and challenging because you have to bend and adjust, but with my own sound. I’m into that idea.
Top three favorite rappers & top 3 favorite producers?
Big L is probably my favorite ever, old school school Rakim from Eric B and Rakim, and in terms of new shit, Kendrick Lamar to be honest, the last album he killed it for me. Producers: Dilla, massive influence, Amon Tobin for technical creativity, and Jeff Mills.
Do you prefer live sets or DJ sets?
It’s different, it's a different thing you get out of it. It’s equally as good and it’s the same thing like do you prefer producing or DJ’ing. I started DJ’ing and it’s where my heart is at first, producing is just as rewarding. I think the best thing is producing then playing your track out, and if it works and if it sounds good that’s the ultimate satisfaction.
I was reading about your background and your mother is why you got into D&B and I was like wait is his mom Storm?
Yeah my mom is a fucking g! It’s funny that you say that because 3 months ago I played at Fabric and she came to the show and Storm was playing. My mom used to go to Metalheadz nights and I introduced her to Storm and she was the biggest fan girl, it was so funny. My mother’s the reason why I moved to the UK, and also being in the UK is where I discovered this music through her. She’s responsible for a lot, she’s been really supportive, not even just for music but in general she’s taught me well, so I big her up a lot.
Advice for producers:
Keep going, it’s good to be influenced but really try to curate your own sound, that’s what's gonna set you apart. Developing your own style which is a natural thing.
Dead or alive if you could do a collaboration with any artist in history or even living now who would it be?
Prince. I’ve met a lot of people in music and I like to think I’m a humble guy and I don’t take myself seriously. I met some people who take themselves very seriously but I’ve always said if you’re Prince you can be a dick. He’s so talented. For me, Prince is the guy.
Let’s say the world is ending and you could only grab one piece of equipment to produce with
The Virus, it’s a synth, I have a bunch of hardware stuff but that’s the most well rounded thing that I use. if I was in the studio and I could only have one synth I’d want the virus.
Do you know how to footwork/juke?
No I don’t. I’ve worked with Rashad and Spinn and on tour they had 2 dancers with them who were amazing but my dance moves are pretty rusty.
I know it must be difficult to speak about the passing of DJ Rashad, but can you talk about his influence on you?
All I can say is he was the happiest, most vibe producer ever. We were in the studio and he just was so into it, lifting everyone's spirits. He was a very friendly guy, very approachable, humble guy, charismatic, a lot of vibes around him. It felt good to be around him for the small amount of time that I spent with him. It’s a bit of a shock, but with what happened you saw that so many people were touched by it, it goes to show he had a legacy and he was the head honcho. For me it was great not even just making tunes but just spending time with him.