DJ Mech to Spin at Revue


Thursday January 24th
A 60s and 70s Dance Party
Featuring DJ Mech, Grouchy Greg, DJ GJ
East End Café
Newark Delaware
8pm – 1am

Words and Photo by GJ

DJ Mech has been a Delaware fixture for years. Well known for his local “Basement Edition” radio show, patrons of the Wilmington Art Loop may also recall his monthly RE: Fresh parties which are consistently well attended. In an effort to cultivate a broader audience Mech will be a featured DJ on the Revue, a new live event series and website dedicated to r&b and soul music pioneers. The 60s and 70s Dance Party will be at the East End Café Thursday, Jan 24th where DJs will be mixing obscure yet electrifying soul records from the 1960s and 70s which haven’t been played live in years, if at all. With a nod to the eclectic, DJ Mech continues to enrich Delaware culture and keep the party shaking with rare, unearthed gems etched in vinyl discs to make your backbone twist.

Where have you been spinning records lately?

Right now I spin every Wednesday night at The Exchange restaurant & bar (902 N market street. Wilmington, DE) from 6pm - 9pm as part of the "Wilmington After Work" series. I usually play Lounge, 80s, old school Hip-Hop, and Funk music. I also spin every 3rd Friday of the month (next one is 2/18) at Presto Café (12th and Washington street Wilmington, DE) with DJ Zip for happy hour from 7pm - 11pm. I have the RE: Fresh parties about to start back up, which is the ”Art on the Town" (Wilmington Art Loop) official after party. This is a monthly party that is on the first Friday of every month during the Art Loop. The next one is Friday 2/1 at Opera Delaware Studios (4 S Poplar street on the Riverfront) with DJ Zip from 8 to midnight. Also, I'm looking forward to spinning the Dance Party at East End cafe on Main Street in Newark next Thursday 1/24.

What inspired you to become a DJ?

My brother used to DJ somewhere back in the mid to late 80s a little bit, and I was always fascinated with it. When he was away at college I remember making mixtapes on his turntables, and taking them to middle school. I bought my own first turntables in 1995.

What are the five best records you've bought recently?

"The Best of The Gerald Wilson Orchestra" by The Gerald Wilson Orchestra (WPJ records)

"Fancy Dancer” by Bobbi Humphrey (original sealed copy) 1975 (Blue Note Records)

"Don't Play Us Cheap" Melvin Van Peebles musical soundtrack album (original sealed copy) 1972 (Stax Records)

"Slaughter's Big Rip Off" James Brown and Fred Wesley Musical Score album 1973 (Polydor Inc).

"The Foreign Exchange Connected EP" 2004 (Barely Breaking Even Records)

Are you using Serrato yet?

I am still using records. I think Serrato is good for some things, but spinning vinyl records is better. Carrying vinyl records also provides me with much needed exercise!

Tell us about your radio show.

I recently re-started my radio show ”The Basement Edition" which airs on 91.3FM for on Wednesday night from 12-2am. The show is mainly an old school Hip-Hop and underground Hip-Hop show, but I also mix it up and play some 70's soul, some lounge, or some 80s R and B. This is the second run of the previous "Basement Edition" show which aired from 2001 to 2004. I will also be launching a podcast of the radio show in the upcoming weeks with the help of Marchitect from Wonderland Studios. I have been getting good response.

Are you working on any recording projects?

Yes, I have projects in the works with Hip-Hop group Square One and J Scroll (formerly of the group Diatribe). I am also working on recording some mixes of different genres of music, and an instrumental solo album.

What is your personal favorite decade of records?

I really like the 80's because that's when Hip-Hop first started to take off and you could hear it on the radio, but my favorite decade I would have to say is the 70s because I feel that the Funk, Jazz, Rock, and Soul music being made during that time was very innovative, and actually laid out the blueprint for much of the early Hip Hop music

What is special about records from the 1960s and 1970s?

I think records from the 60s and 70s just have such a great, distinctive sound because vinyl was the medium of choice back then for listening to music. There was a heavy focus on sound quality in records from that time period. Not to mention, there was great music being made around that time as well.

Didn't DJ's in the 80s used to play all types of records at the parties and not just one genre?

Yes, I think DJs in the late 70s and 80s mixed it up more. The focus used to be on having the best sound, or the best records to set yourself apart as a DJ, but nowadays, you can make a good living playing the exact same songs as the radio, or any other DJ. I wouldn't like to go to a party or club and only hear one type of music.

How can local clubs be better?

Delaware has clubs?? (laughs) No, just kidding. What I try to do is present people with an alternative to the mainstream music they normally hear at clubs and on the radio. I think the clubs need to focus on getting more variety musically. There are very talented, original musicians and DJs in Delaware that I think should be playing out more, but don't really get a chance at the Delaware clubs.

What do you watch for in the crowd when you are spinning?

I watch to see if anybody is dancing, or if they know the words to a song I may be playing. Sometimes, if it's a more relaxed event, I just look to see that people are having a good time enjoying the music in the background over their dinner, or cocktail or something like that.

What is important about the craft of the DJ that you hope to carry on the tradition of?

I think the most important thing is being original. Whether you buy records like me, or download music, or whatever, I like to see DJs abandon the repetitive mainstream music.

What are you hoping happens in Delaware in 2008?

I'd like to see more local venues that provide DJs and musicians a chance to showcase their talents. Delaware has a lot of people who aren't only into mainstream music, but don’t realize there are things going on in Delaware that focus more on original music and music that is alternative to the mainstream. I'd like to see more venues help support some of the great musical talent being displayed by some of these local artists.


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