The Rocks Off 100: DJ Remix, Genre-Hopping Mix Maniac
Welcome to the Rocks Off 100, our portrait gallery of the most compelling profiles and personalities in the far-flung Houston music community -- a lot more than just musicians, but of course they're in there too. See the entire Rocks Off 100 at this link.
Last year, at the Houston Press Music Awards Afterparty at Jet Lounge, I had the pleasure to meet DJ Remix and see him in action for the first time. In the recap of the night, I wrote the following:
Mister Remix is a maniac. [His] style is Girl Talk-ish, mixing at warp speed, but smooth enough to grind to. He can drop Bone Thugz's "Thuggish Ruggish Bone" after "I Want You Back" by the Jackson Five, and you will just nod your head in approval. He keeps it street, except when he's keeping it reggae or soul. He earned major points for the Z-Ro and Slim Thug tribute, inciting some girl-on-girl action in front of the stage.
We catch up with Remix for this edition of the Rocks Off 100.
Who? "My name is Remix" says the 29-year-old music junkie. "I started DJing around 1996 when I was in high school, but I was really just into the whole DMC / battle djing / turntablism thing back then. Eventually I got into doing house parties, then moved on to doing local HipHop shows, joined a rap group or two, and eventually just struck out on my own and did parties, events, exhibitions, and clubs."
"I started djing because my older sister Judith got me into music. Growing up, she'd have me listening to Erasure, New Order, Pet Shop Boys, The Cure, and Depeche Mode. Then she got me into bands like Ministry, Primus, then she'd turn around and let me listen to NWA, Beastie Boys, De La Soul, then turned into me listening to Electronica like Future Sound Of London, 808 State, Orbital. When she started getting me hooked into House and Trance, I figured it was about time I started looking at where she was getting all this music.
"When I was like 11, she'd take me out like every weekend to Soundwaves, Cactus Records, Record Rack (rest in peace!) and a few other spots. Then she'd bring home tapes from guys like Michael DeGrace from Some, and I needed to figure out what the hell they were doing. In high school, I found another dude who was into music, and we started hanging out and talking about more Hip-Hop, and both talked about wanting to learn how to DJ, so we'd go to Guitar Center every weekend and just stay there all day long and learn how to scratch and DJ. Then our school gave us access to the internet, and we discovered DMC battles and turntablism, and that's what we went after, to be like guys like Q-Bert and Shortkut and Craze. I'm proud to say I'm a part of the generation of kids who were the first to get access to the internet. And I used it to look up DJs. Is that weird?"
Home Base: "Houston, TX born and raised, but I get out of town as much as I possibly can. I do a lot of private events and random guest spots, but for now, I'm at Winston's on Washington (5111 Washington Ave) every Saturday night. The rest of the week I'm bouncing around either playing parties with friends, covering gigs for cats, or crashing a party. I guess you can say I mostly exist on the internet. So catch me there."
Why do you stay in Houston? "The weather. No, the freeway systems. No no, the very progressive political scene. Oh who am I kidding, all of the above! No, my mom and dad are here. I'm a Houstonian all day. I love Houston. I get tired of it here and there, but Houston is home. One day though, I'll have to leave. But not today. Maybe next year when I'm 30, I'll be "that guy from Texas" in L.A., but not today."
War Story: "I'm a peaceful dude. I don't have any war stories... Ok, I got a lot, I admit. I just thought about three different stories and thought "Oooh, noooooo, I can't say that! No no no..." I will say this, I was once called a "motherf*cker" by Ice T. How cool is that?!?!"