#101 - Jay Langa
Jay brings a proper Party to the show as he digs in for some stone cold classics and anthems amongst lesser known diamonds in the rough. What we get served up is a smoking hot smorgasbord of UR, Robert Hood, Los Hermanos, Octave One, Mark Broom, DJ Bone, Slam, Ben Sims, Gerald Mitchell, Adonis, A Made Up Sound and then some. And all put together with energy and punch in a vinyl only mix.
As a new era in music was formed hip hop was born, DJs on the radio such as ‘The Wizard’ Jeff Mills and the Electrifying Mojo playing whatever they wanted, with absolute freedom opened Jay Langa’s eyes to a new light. As he started following the Detroit underground party scene and made friends at events he grew fond of crowd acceptance of the DJ. As his record collection grew, with Detroit classics, so did his confidence in playing (he was taught by DJ Bone and Paris the Black Fu hands on, as they would have BBQ’s at Jay’s place and spin all day on the decks).
He met Brian Gillespie and Dat Doung and the POorbOy crew and got his first gig with them at the legendary Packard building in Detroit. “I can remember how nervous with excitement I was,” he recalls. “There must have been 3000 kids in that building that night. There were many Detroit heroes playing that night: Claude Young, D-Wynn, Carl Craig, Derek Plaslaiko, I remember I had to wait until almost 5am to get started because of all the talent in the joint...”
Many more parties would follow as the Poorboy crew booked him for their next few years whilst Motor Lounge also became a melting pot for him. “I just couldn’t see being just a house DJ or a Techno guy, so I played both.”
As his close friend DJ 3000 set up Motech, Jay become ever more involved and connected with the UR/Submerge crew from where he takes much inspiration. That’s where you can feel the energy and style in this mix. It’s a classic Detroit party throw down all the way. House and Techno delivered with a razor sharp edge. “As I go forward into 2018 I look to the strength of the past to find the future in the sound to make my transition into a new time...”
Q&A with Jay Langa
1. How did you approach the mix? Was it a different process to how you would DJ in a club?
I wanted to play with the understanding that there would be a mass variety of people experiencing it, so therefore I tried to play what could appeal to more than just one audience. As far as style, that’s just how I was learned to play. As for being any different than how I would DJ in a club, I don’t think it would change too much, I mean maybe more EFX and stuff cause it’s live, but nothing more than that.
2. Before techno, what parties were you going to in Detroit?
I wasn’t lucky enough to be a part of the 1515 Broadway days and honestly before the Detroit House /Techno scene parties started jumpin’ there really wasn’t anything other than City Club where we would go, and you would be lucky to catch some good music there. Then one night a few close friends took me to an event at 2030 Grand River, I’m not too certain who was playing that night at Submerge, but I did know it was the coolest thing I had ever been to. After that it was pretty much an every weekend thing.
3. Who musically at that time was your biggest inspiration?
Some of my first real inspirations at that time were Claude Young, Dan Bell, Terry Mullen, Mystic Bill, Johnny Saco and Alan Bogl. I do recall seeing a certain Drum & Bass legend named DJ Rotator and that sparked a great deal of interest as well.
4. At what point did you make the transition from an avid party-goer and record collector to wanting to be a DJ?
Pretty much the first time I saw a pair of 1200s.
5. One reason I can tell you were a clubber before you were a DJ is that you play lots of classic underground tracks. As a clubber do you find DJs often steer clear of a lot of classics as being ‘obvious’ when in fact, surely we are there to party and have fun?
I mean hey, you can play whatever, there is tons upon tons of classic trax but you gotta know limits of what you can/can’t get away with in the mix. I’m sure there are a lot of older/dated trax that are avoided, only because a lot of times the quantizing/edits of the trax could be off and nobody wants to take that chance during a mix.... Some of THEE best music is from the past, If it’s a banger, play that shit!!
6. People talk about Detroit having a re-birth of late. What’s your take on that?
I’m not so sure about re-birth but maybe a resurgence, there’s great talent that has birthed from this city and went worldwide, DJ 3000, Mike Servito and Kevin Reynolds just to name a few. Each of them is enjoying success on a world scale. Proof that things are still alive here in Detroit.
7. Do you have any plans for music production?
I haven’t really applied myself to the production level yet, but I’m sure the day is coming.
8. Describe a perfect ‘non-music’ day?
That just doesn’t happen.
9. What’s next for 2018?
I do have a few smaller gigs in lined up here in the city in March, then hopefully I could get a slot at this years Movement festival and or an after party or two.... Obviously getting over where you guys are would be a huge plus as well.
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EPM Podcast 101 Tracklist – Jay Langa
UR ‘Journey of the Dragons’ (Underground Resistance)
Robert Hood ‘Still Hear’ Los Hermanos Remix (Music Man)
Octave One ‘Fifteenthirteen’ (430 West)
South Union ‘Our Rhythm & Sound’ (Motech)
Slam ‘Bang the Box’ (Soma)
DJ Bone ‘Black Patterns’ Len Faki Hardspace (LF Remix 001)
Mark Broom ‘One Sound’ DJ Hyperactive Remix (EPM Music)
DJ 3000 & Esteban Adame ‘Midnight Express’ (Ben Sims Remix) (Motech)
Gerald Mitchell ‘Resurrection’ 2011 Remix (Underground Gallery)
A Made Up Sound ‘Hang Up’ (Clone Basement Series)
Los Hermanos ’Germanium’ (One Records)
The Advent & Spiriakos ‘Point of No Return’ (Kombination Research)
UR ‘Final Frontier’ (Underground Resistance)
Hell & Jonzon ‘Bazetoya’ (Disko B)
Dark Energy ’Midnight Sunshine’ (Underground Resistance)
Unit2 ‘Sunshine’ Tiger & Woods Remix (Happy Records)
Blue Minds ‘Troubleshooter’ (Aquablue Recordings)