The 312 is 5 Magazine’s Chicago House Music podcast, featuring 100% real Chicago DJs playing real House Music around the city.
One of my fondest memories of AJ Dubbz was the amazing afterparties he used to throw on Friday nights at an intimate coffeehouse in downtown Chicago. Ever since then we’ve been good friends and have shared a few DJ gigs together. He is talented, versatile and one of the funniest people I know, and this is his mix for The 312: The Chicago House Music Podcast from 5 Magazine.
The interview picks up below the mix, the tracklist is at the bottom:
The 312 Mix Vol 18 presents AJ Dubbz
The 312 Interview with AJ Dubbz
What part of Chicago are you from and where do you derive your musical influences from?
I currently am living on the northwwest side of Chicago, grew up in the suburbs of Chicago in Des Plaines, with it’s official nickname “City of Destiny”, apparently I was set-up for some good things to come!? Working with my dad growing up in Chicago exposed me to the mixed culture, food and of course… the heartbeat of the city – MUSIC! Growing up on radio stations like WNUR – 89.3fm, Z95 – 94.7fm and B96 – 96.3 gave me a good idea on what types of music that the city and area had to offer. Listening and making homemade cassette tape-to-tape mixes gave me love for House music. To name a few inspirational artists (all over the board): Artful Dodger, Basement Jaxx, Jocelyn Brown, The Cure, EBTG, Genesis, George Benson, Black Box, Donna Summer, Groove Theory, Ian Pooey, INXS, MJ Cole, M People, Mood II Swing, Nightcrawlers, NIN, Alexander O’Neil, Robin S, Sunship, The Talking Heads… too many to name.
Where can people come see you play? Do you have any residencies?
I’m currently holding down a bi-monthly residency in Milwaukee, WI at Hybrid Lounge. I’m usually behind the decks for an extended set of about 4 hours, giving me a chance to get into the mix and bring up some gems for people to move and groove to while grabbing a drink, and they’ve got a nice sized dancefloor in back too. Another place where I get to play for a crowd is at Carnivale Chicago and right now we are working together on a bi-yearly basis for their special events.
It’s great to meet a fellow UK Garage head like yourself! How did you first fall in love with it and who are some of your favorite artists from those genres?
Hi and Hello!? Yes indeed it is to share the same passion for it – Garage is in my soul Czarina, it is a part of my inner love for all music. I know you are pretty big on it as well, I like to think that we both fell for it, and fell for it HARD! Remembering to when I first heard a track called ‘Gabrielle’ by Roy Davis Jr. back in 1996, and them some other respective tracks surfacing off pirate radio from the UK which was big back in the late ’90s… they gave House a different feel that was a bit more obscure and broken, I loved what I was hearing. Getting my chance, I was at an afterparty probably sometime in ’97 and got the chance to mix live for the first time with another DJ’s Garage record collection. I was in heaven! My favorite Garage artists include: Burkie, Delinquent, Groove Chronicles, MJ Cole, Tuff Cluture, Craig David, Artful Dodger, Double99, Todd Edwards, Thomas Graham, Paul Sirrell, Low Steppa, SBTRKT, Submerse, Sunship, Sorrow, Armand Van Helden, The Wideboys, Wookie, Zinc – too many to name here!
Where do you like to find your music usually?
I’m always on the hunt and every chance I get I’m listening to some online feed somewhere of what is new and upcoming. For digital DLs and track research I use sites like: Beatport (rarely), bigtunes.mp3.co.uk, brainfartz.co.uk, hypem.com, iTunes (rarely), junodownload, ministryofsound.com/radio, Soundcloud, and many other music blogs. Reviews and track previews are the best as you don’t have to buy the track until you’ve gotten the chance to fully listen to and see if it will fit my needs. There are so many places to grab a digital copy. If all else fails, I go old school and pop into Gramaphone Records, HTFR.com and/or any of my other local record shops to grab some vinyl (which I am a collector of, the collection is always growing).
What was the last set you saw that really inspired you?
Getting into the Basement Jaxx at the Mid Chicago in Feb of 2015 was a great evening all around. Seeing Felix & Simon live again after not seeing them in over 10 years was pretty awesome. I’ve always been a huge fan since they dropped Fly Life in ’97, then Red Alert in ’99 and Romeo in ’01. They’re always experimenting live and make it sound so different, but familiar at the same time – vocal bits of something present and surprises from days gone by. They have pushed me to my creative limits and gave me inspiration to work with other artists on collaborations, give me more please Basement Jaxx – The love has been received!
The 312 Mix Vol 18 Tracklist
The Most – Jusitn Beiber
Dark & Grey – ENiGMA Dubz
Can’t Spend The Day Without You – ENiGMA Dubz
Back 2 You – Jason Burns
Dreamers – Kastle
Another Way – Volor Flex
Fools Love – Bad Habit ft. Leighanna
Paris Calling – Nuage
Rydia (Artful Remuddle) – Basecamp
Thinking Of You – ENiGMA Dubz
Strawberries – Silkie
Come & Play – Himalia
Go Home – Bimbotronic
Qualm – Sorrow
Now That I Am Nothing – Holly Walker
Serpent – Audialist
Rise – Aotoa
Where Did You Go – Himalia
A Little Bit of Luck (A Little Bit of Detz Remix) – Dj Luck & Mc Neat
She Said (Alvy Remix) – Nuage