Welcome to “Shop.Talk.,” a new monthly column in which Remix takes a DJ shopping for records, and the DJ talks about his or her purchases. Each month we'll visit different cities and different stores and expose you to a ton of cool records that the world's top DJs are spinning.
Don't let the cowboy hat or Texas accent fool you — D:Fuse isn't a country-music DJ. One of the fastest-rising stars on the progressive-house scene in the United States and Europe, the Austin, Texas-based DJ, whose real name is Dustin Fuselier, has already caught the attention of the United Kingdom's leading DJs, including Paul Oakenfold, who offered D:Fuse the opening slot on his recent Perfecto world tour. D:Fuse has released three best-selling mix compilations on Moonshine: Psychotrance 2000, Psychotrance 2001, and his most recent effort, Progressive Mix Session 1.0. As a remixer and producer, D:Fuse has worked under the moniker Expansion with Shane Howard on the tracks “Feel,” “Listen,” and “Submerge” (all on Funked Up Records); collaborated with Joy on the tracks “You Got It” (Funked Up) and “She Rides” (Perfecto); and released the Moonshine single “Bodyshock.”
D:Fuse's favorite record shop is Underground Sound in San Antonio. “They have a really good back stock,” he says. “Their walls are always filled with a lot of good stuff. If I go to the store, I'll blow $100 immediately. I find a lot of great records there.” Other favorites include Alien Records in Austin (“It's a good all-around store”), Oak Lawn Records in Dallas, and Massive Records in Oxford, England. “Joanna from Massive is amazing,” he raves. “She picks records like no one's business. I'll ask her to choose some records for me, and they'll all be amazing. You just send her a couple of mixes in the style that you spin, and she knows what you want.”
D:Fuse's primary source of vinyl is the Balance Record Pool, run by Chris Fortier. “It's probably the best progressive-based record pool around,” he says. “That pool has helped a lot of DJs build the progressive movement in the United States. Their waiting list is really long, but it's worth it if you want to find records before anybody else has them.”
Although D:Fuse is best known for his hard-hitting progressive house and trance mixes, for “Shop.Talk.” he decided to seek out some deep and funky house tracks. In Los Angeles to perform a headline gig at Spundae/Circus, D:Fuse picked Wax Records, owned by veteran DJ Doc Martin, for his shopping excursion. “One thing I like about Wax is that, even though it's a house store, it's stocked with a lot of records with a progressive flavor,” D:Fuse says. “The store focuses on the house angle, which I really dig right now. House with a progressive edge is nice. All of the styles are blending into each other. I don't buy a lot of trance and progressive music because I get a lot of those records for free in the mail. A lot of times I get more than I can handle. When I go out shopping, I like to buy house records.”
Entering Wax, D:Fuse walks up to the clerk and asks him to pull some house tracks with a progressive edge. “I don't recognize a lot of the labels stocked here,” he explains. “Usually, I'll walk into a store and go straight up to the clerk, tell the person what I play, and ask what's good. No one knows the records better than the people who work in the store.”
Here are D:Fuse's comments about the records from Wax that he decided to add to his box:
Departure Lounge featuring Sor
Dep Lounge 2 EP
Produced by Jason Moore, this 1999 release was featured on Deep Dish's Yoshiesque.
Later in my set, when I want to get away from the progressive sound, I'll put on something funky like this. It still has a progressive edge, but it's almost like a lounge record. It has really nice pads; a fat, funky bass line; and some great, jazzy electric piano at the end.
This deep tech house effort is from a New York DJ who works at the Sonic Grooves record shop. Hogan previously released tracks for the Plastic City, Immigrant, and Ritual labels.
This is really cocktail loungey. I can imagine making a great mix CD to chill with using this song. It's also great for an after-hours set at some party, winding the night down playing something cool. This is really spacey and groovy.
New York house and drum 'n' bass DJ Jason “Jinx” Zambito delivers his fourth Yoshitoshi effort.
I always buy a lot of records on the Yoshitoshi label because they're so good, even if I don't know where I'd play it. This is really tight. It has a house flavor, but everything on the Yoshitoshi label is well produced and has a progressive edge. The production is really slick. There's a lot of built-in energy in this track, but it's not really obvious. It's loopy and has a lot of stuff going on, but it still has a groove to it. I'm probably going to play this tonight. I like starting my sets much more house based and then moving up the progressive ladder from there. It's a fine, light way to get into the set. It also catches people off guard sometimes, because most people think of me as a trance DJ.
Laid featuring Derek Conyer
“No More Games”
Stockholm artists John Andersson and Johan Emmoth present a deep, nasty floor filler for the esteemed Brighton label.
This has a funky old-school vocal that isn't over the top. It really fits in with the music instead of dominating it. This song is sort of like “Around the World” but with a harder edge. Listen to the filtering going on in that! This is one of those songs that you'll put on, and when you look at the dance floor, it looks like someone farted out there — everybody is making this face like something is stinking. A good house track can make you go, “Damn! Wooo!” which is a reaction you don't get from a trance record.
“No More Games” is a standout track. If you were to play this record, everyone would go, “What was that one track you played?” I listen for anything with a good groove. Music is so good now. I used to go to a record store, sift through 50 records, and maybe buy five. Now I go to a record store, and I have to stop myself before I buy too much. There are great producers and people who feel something deeper writing great tracks, and it's obvious when you hear records like this.
Steve Loria featuring Eliana
“Amor Latino” (mixes by Hipp-E, Dave Alvarado, and Steve Loria)
Renowned L.A. DJ and producer Steve Loria serves up a sexy vocal track with a lively Latin groove.
This has a jazzy flavor. We throw a night in Austin called Orbit Lounge, which I play at every now and then, that is based on the West Coast, soulful, organic, jazzy house sound. Even though I don't play there that much, I still like buying the records. I love West Coast house, and the scene here is really happening. The artists in San Francisco and Los Angeles are innovative and are writing some of the best domestic music. A lot of times I'll make mix CDs full of this kind of stuff, because it's a nice departure from what I normally do. I enjoy listening to music like this. It's great with a martini or a nice glass of cabernet and a sunset. [Laughs.] All of the remixes are really good, and it's a fresh sound. On a nice, sweaty, fun night you could have a good time with this record. You could throw the crowd off guard.
Finnish producer Salmela's fifth release for the 20/20 Vision label is a deep, jazzy house track in peak-of-night and chill-out versions.
This is a deep house groover. I certainly can't imagine this one on the dance floor, at least for what I play. This is a great song to sit back and listen to and another great track for the mix CD.
A high-spirited deep house effort spiced up with Latin and jazz influences from brothers Javi and Luis from Madrid, Spain.
This one is really groovy too. It has a lot of good live percussion and a deep bass line. It's another one that offers something you can really sink into if you sit back and listen to it. I don't play records with Latin rhythms, but I really like the way this record sounds.
“Treaty” (Peace Division vocal and dub remixes)
Peace Division remixes Australian aboriginal band Yothu Yindi's breakthrough 1992 single. This remix was originally released in fall 2000.
“Treaty” is a big song. I should have bought this record months ago, but it's cool that Wax has it here now. Peace Division are really great remixers who have a deep, tribal sound, but they have a progressive sound at the same time. The production is really slick without being too overdone. I'm going to play this tonight as well.
Check out www.djdfuse.com for more info on D:Fuse.