In this interview I talk to DJ Strobe all about DJ’ing, music and vinyl.
How long have you been a DJ and how did you get started?
I got started in 1986 totally by mistake. A friend was DJ’ing and got drunk and passed out so I took over. There was a lot of silence in between tracks and screwups until I figured out how to use the mixer. I got my first set of Technic 1200mk2s in 1986 as well.
Where’s your favourite place to DJ and why?
The Goldmark in Pittsburgh,Pa. it’s a smaller venue owned by one of my favourite DJ’s (Nugget) and the entire premise of the spot is vinyl. I’ve had a residency there playing classic house vinyl since it opened.
Why did you decide to start a vinyl themed Instagram?
It’s actually a mix of the music I produce and my vinyl but Instagram isn’t the best platform to promote music so it needs up being a lot of vinyl and record store digging.
A lot of people collect vinyl but DJs also collect to play out so the way they curate is a bit different and wanted to show that. For example, out of the 4000 or so records I currently have, 70% are 12” records. The majority of my collection is classic house and dance and 80s new wave. So while I see a lot of classic rock and soul, I post a lot of classic dance. I’ve made my collection pretty slim-lined to only what I love. I don’t own any records by artists I don’t love.
You have a good following, how are you finding it all?
Being a DJ and record producer helps a lot. I’m able to direct people to my Instagram when I send out promo emails and Facebook blasts. Proper hash-tagging is important as well. Consistency is also really important. I try to keep things interesting and fun.
How long have you been been collecting records and how many do you have in your collection?
I’ve been collecting since the 80s, but once I started DJ’ing in the mid 80s it became an obsession. I’ve owned a small record store, worked at record stores and in the 90s I lived in NYC where we had dozens of the greatest record stores. That plus getting promos from the labels made my collection grow really quickly. I’ve moved a dozen times and each time I try and streamline the collection.
Currently I have about 4000 records but I can say that there is no filler in the there. Other then my Keith Haring and peacock wicker chair cover collection every record has earned it place in the DJ booth. From Todd Terry, Frankie Knuckles, to Prince and Madonna every record I own has at one point or another been in my gig bags.
What’s your favourite vinyl you own and what is your holy grail?
This is hard. I have a solid collection of rare classic house and dance that I love but my favourite records I own is a tie between Frankie Knuckles “Tears” and Adonis “No Way Back” which are both House classic and haven’t left my gig crates in 30 years.
As far as my holy grail, this is an amazing story. I collect covers that feature Keith Haring Art. While there are a bunch that used his art without his permission there are a few dozen that are actual commissioned or collaborative covers he designed. The one I didn’t have was the Bipo “Crack Is Wack” from 1987. It’s pretty rare and averages from $100 to $400 depending on condition. I had vowed the next time I saw one for under $300 I would pull the trigger but while I was at a friends new record store he opened, I got to shop before anyone else and there was a near mint 12” in the hip hop bins for $5. FIVE DOLLARS!
The only other record I really want is “10 Ragas To A Disco Beat” by Charanjit Singh in 1982. It was acid house before acid house was a thing. There are reissues but the original can be several thousand dollars.
Who’s in your top five of favourite bands?
Prince and The Revolution, Journey, Chromeo, Depeche Mode, The Smiths.
If you could have dinner with any musician from any time who would it be and why?
Oof. This is a tough one. I would say Quincy Jones to talk about production, and musician would have 100% been Prince.
Any recommendations on movies, tv shows or music?
Music I’m living now: FKA Twigs, Drab Majesty, the new Pet Shop Boys.
TV: Mandalorian, Prodigal Son, Picard.
Twitter: http://smarturl.it/djstrobetwitter Mixcloud: http://www.mixcloud.com/djstrobe