I’ve been a musician since youth, a keyboard player for most of my adult life, and spent much of my life being a fan of both classical music, and straight-ahead jazz from greats like Brubeck, Coltrane, Davis, and others. But after hearing emergent deep house music coming from Ben Watt and Tracey Thorne on Everything But The Girlâ€™s Walking Wounded album in the mid 1990â€™s, I fell in love with the fusion of beats and jazz that represents the heart of Deep House.
I bought a pair of Technics 1200â€™s in the late 90â€™s and began spinning tunes in various venues from a fast-growing collection of vinyl. I didnâ€™t set out to create a style, but – like most DJs – my record / track selection does so by default. I love it when a crowd wants to dance; to me as a DJ, thereâ€™s nothing better than having people out in front of me dancing and smiling to the music theyâ€™re hearing. Frankie Knuckles formed the center of my early tastes, which put me squarely in the Deep House camp.
So I unconsciously select music based on whether it makes me tap my foot, nod my head, or get up and dance. Iâ€™m attracted to tunes that pay respect to great artists by hijacking samples or making full-on remixes of old greats, which means youâ€™ll hear me play a lot of music with disco, jazz, R&B, or soul music influences. Iâ€™ll tend towards tracks with vocals, whether full vocal tunes or ones that liberally use samples. Above all, though, the tunes I play must feel “musical”. Youâ€™ll rarely hear my sets full of tunes that have long, repetitive beat stretches with little differentiation – though sometimes a beat just grabs my ear, and Iâ€™ll make an exception. (E.g. Pezzner can sometimes really grab me.) But give me four-on-the-floor, a snare or clap on 2 and 4, and a closed hat inter-beat, and Rhodes keys somewhere in the mix, and Iâ€™ll play this signature sound of Deep House all night.
I love Dogglounge because we can count on it to hear this type of music. Iâ€™ve spent many hours as a listener, sitting on the patio in the summer having a salad nicoise and rose wine with my wife, or making steak frites on Sunday night and being happy listening to live sets from the excellent Dogglounge DJs. Iâ€™m honored to be counted as one.
Because of my dance-centric preference, I must admit that I spin tunes well outside of Deep House when Iâ€™m not playing for Dogglounge. Iâ€™m also active in the Burning Man community, as both a camper and DJ on the Playa. Burning Man is awesome, because it really lets me express total freedom to play music from amazing producers of the moment, regardless of genre. So my sets there have spanned everything from Gospel House to Dubstep to Trap. (Thereâ€™s been some amazing Trap coming out in 2015 – but even more *bad* Trap; it takes time to hunt for the good stuff. and, no Top-40 or “mainstream EDM” from me.) You can hear my non-Deep-House sets at http://mixcloud.com/catalyst_burn . But, I always come home to Deep, and Dogglounge.
By the way – catalyst is a new-ish DJ name for me. I used to go by the name â€œDJ Shuzeâ€, a name by which many know me at Dogglounge. The origin of that name is â€œTwo Shoesâ€, an affectionate nickname my wife uses for me (donâ€™t ask whyâ€¦). I adopted â€œShuzeâ€ as a more DJ-oriented version of that affectionate name. But over the last couple of burns, I acquired the name â€œcatalyst” on the (Burning Man) Playa, since I turn out to be a guy who adds the chemistry to get things going that need to get done. That became my Playa DJ name, and I like the idea that my DJing can be provide the chemistry to get people dancing, too. So, thus the DJ name change.
I hope you enjoy my sets; making listeners happy is what motivates me to DJ.