Call & Response: DJ Medley
Local DJ/remixer Matt Medley is one of the hardest working DJ's in Toronto right now. His popular ReMc's of the Week blog posts include the hottest remixes he can find and he has started posting mash-ups of his own.
He's been running two successful weeklies (with more on the way) and has started playing more high profile gigs - the most impressive of which takes place this Friday at CiRCA when Medley will spin the main room ahead of Junior Sanchez from New York.
I spoke to Medley about his mash-ups, his increasingly busy DJ schedule, and preparing for his CiRCA set.
blogTO: I'm really enjoying your ReMc's of the Week posts. Why did you start those posts and how do you decide what remixes to list?
DJ Medley: Thanks for checking them out. I started these posts to promote my Wednesday night weekly at Andy Poolhall. Also, kinda, sorta, in a round about way to show off how much I stay on top of music and how deep I dig. I pick out the music based on my personal opinion. I have no real system but I try to include something for all flavours. A lot of producers send me tracks and the remainder I get from various sources.
I also like your mash-ups. Is that what you call them? How do you pick what samples to blend together?
Yeah, mash-ups, blends, remashupixes...I usually come up with my tracks live and on the fly while freestyling at clubs, when something really works and if I can remember what that was, I take it to the studio and bring it to the next level.
I know some people think mash-ups aren't cool. What's your take on that?
Totally, they're usually not very cool. Mostly because there's so many terrible ones out there, whether they're just not mixed together properly or out of key. As well, a lot of the time mash-ups are two corny songs together like AC/DC vs Eminem or Oasis vs Jay-Z or some crap. I mix up good shit instead. I also do more than your average mash-up of an a capella over an instrumental. I re-edit the shit out of my beats. I usually have samples, loops and other things going on, with several a capella sources and lots of chopping up of the lyrics. It's more of a remix than a mash-up usually.
Mashing things up is what DJs who primarily beat match are suppose do in their sets. So I think mash-ups/blends are very much a DJ's approach towards producing.
You've got 2 successful weeklies going right now. I've covered Remix This! already. How did Dance Like You Fuck start? Who came up with that name?
Dance Like You Fuck is the brainchild of my good friend David Urbonas. He's the one that started it all and is the mastermind behind name. When I heard it I knew it was too good of an idea to not do, so we started it up at Avalon (the old Mad Bar). I took care of the marketing and he brought in some hosts. From there it exploded. David has since left the night to focus on his restaurant (The Annex Hodgepodge). We've also moved the night to Strangelove on College Street and entrusted The Jons with the responsibility of soaking everyone that comes in Vodka. The Jons really are the best hosts in the universe and are responsible for bringing DLYF to the masses.
Are you also spinning every Monday now at Rockwood?
Yup, that's just been freshly announced, I am offically the resident on the Rockfloor, with Kap'N'Kirk (from the 4Korners) on the Woodfloor and Kleen Media hosting - it's a dope Monday. As well, I'm launching another new weekly December 9th @ The Augusta House. Mark it off in your calender and gather your peoples.
You're making your main room debut at CiRCA this Friday, opening for Junior Sanchez - a house music legend . Are you excited?
I couldn't be more excited as well as nervous. I've had my eye; more like ear, on the CiRCA soundsystem for sometime and I'm stoked to blast some songs really loudly on it. I've been a fan of Junior for sometime now and am honoured to share the decks with him.
For a big gig like this, are you preparing any differently for it? Do you prepare at all? Is it just like any other DJ set?
I've been preparing since CiRCA opened! Literally, I've been working on my playlist for over a year now. I'll be dropping a lot of fresh remixes, blends and re-edits. I definitely am focusing heavily on a routine, wherein a lot of the time at other gigs I freestyle a little bit more. I know what this crowd wants and I'm going to give it to them...hard! Show up early, I'm on between 10:30-12am.
What are your 5 favourite tracks right now?
Look For The Woman (Fake Blood Remix) - Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip
Midnight Madness - The Chemical Brothers
Half In Love (Foamo Remix) - Mystery Jets
I Love To Move In Here (Crookers Remix) - Moby
Feelings For You (Les Rythmes Digitales Remix) - Cassius
A.D/D. presents: Save By The Spell 2
Feat. Junior Sanchez, DJ Medley, Stab City, TASC, many others
Friday, November 28
126 John Street
Cover $15, for guestlist email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Call & Response is a series of Q&A's with artists from or playing in Toronto. Photo: Medley's Myspace page.
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