Djentrification Phx

Djentrification Phx

Chris Arnold and Blaz Gallegos

    Djentrification’s technical ability is on a whole other level. He’s a dj for dj’s and what he can do with 45’s most can’t do with computers. He’s immensely creative and can change bpm’s of a track live and it sounds like how it’s supposed to be as the crowd hears it (130 down to 100). The music he plays is extremely diverse, playing taiwanese to cumbia’s to Blondie disco and it seems to fit. He uses samplers or echo machines but it’s the way he makes use of those things and is able to come up with his own tracks off the fly with one sampler. Technically, his skill is equal to Cut Chemist. He’s an avant garde artist and all around cool guy and sweet human being.

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What made you want to start Dj’ing in the first place?

I thought you might ask that and I was trying to think about it because I’m still not really entirely sure, but I didn’t really have a moment when I decided I was going to Dj or that I wanted to be a Dj. For me it sort of started in a weird accidental way. At that time in the late 90’s, probably around ‘99, my house was kinda like a graffiti writer’s clubhouse here in Phoenix. So I had broken up with my girlfriend and she had left behind a turntable because she couldn’t take it and I still had records left over from when I was younger and stuff that I had bought in the 90’s. Like hip-hop and different beats and stuff on vinyl. So I ended up having a turntable and some wax and my house was in this weird apartment building and every day in the afternoon or evening a ton of graffiti writers or people from the neighborhood would show up and it would just be our club-shack or something. People would practice drawing and they would be sitting around the edges smoking weed, talking shit, or hanging out The middle of the room we had cleared out because a couple of us would mess around with dancing and stuff. So you would see spontaneous things happening. We would freestyle rap, clowning on each other and none of us were trying to come up with some sort of career.

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It was just really kinda the circle we were in and it was just what we did, you know? And records and music go along with all that and so we’d play tapes and mix tapes and records and at that time I was basically trying to record a tape for myself of just instrumentals just to decompress from painting all night with these dudes. So I was basically trying to calm myself down after going out all night, walking around the city and getting all types of adrenaline. I was trying to make this recording and I realized I could not put beats together because I never learned how to beatmatch and I never tried to and I didn’t think I’d be able to. I grew up around dj’s and I knew there was a whole art to it, of putting music together and I never thought I’d be able to do that. I wasn’t even trying to put in the work to do that but I realized that if I wanted to make this tape, I was going to have to learn how to put the beats together so it sorta tricked me. I was trying to figure it out and I couldn’t hear it. All of a sudden one day I was able to hear it in my head. Something switched in my brain and I was able to hear these two songs at the same time so I ran to the turntables and I tried it out and, sure enough, it worked the way that I was hearing it in my head. It just progressed from there just like on a neighborhood party level. A few months later we did a kickback party in the alley where we were making food and everyone was hanging out. We plugged in a bunch of broken home stereos in order to make ourselves a little sound system. It wasn’t anything official like with a flyer. I really wasn’t trying to be that guy, in a way. I wasn’t too interested in the public face persona thing of being a dj. But it just kept going at a neighborhood level. So that’s how I got into it if that makes any sense.

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