#52 - Alter Ego & Underground Resistance presents: D3
To help celebrate the new year EPM deliver you something a bit special as we team up once again with Detroit’s Alter Ego Management. Bringing you three of Detroit’s finest, D3 drop an almighty party bomb with this exclusive live set recorded at the MD/A launch party in Sao Paulo at Teatro Mars earlier in 2013. D3 is a combination of UR’s Timeline & Mark Flash. The two Timeline members are Jon Dixon & DeSean Jones (also of Galaxy 2 Galaxy). Combining the DJ and percussion skills of Mark Flash while Jon jams over the top with keys and DeSean adding live with sax the trio give a raw funk edge to many classics from the ‘D’ and beyond. This is unadulterated party music, the perfect kick start to your new year’s celebrations and also EPM’s big party blow out that will see in 2014 @ Ipanema in Maastricht, NL. See you on the other side!
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Q&A with D3 (Jon Dixon & DeSean Jones)
1. Please give us a quick run through the music in the live set. What was the thinking behind your style?
Jon: One of the fun things about playing with this group is the element of surprise. Since all 3 of us have instrumental backgrounds in music we're able to hear what can be done live with a song. The tricky part however is to make each song unique while playing live in that moment.
DeSean: With D3 all of the music is improvised and blindly selected by Mark Flash. The music selection is usually very eclectic and it typically has a different rhythmic flavor. But I would have to say that the music selection is dictated by the vibe of the crowd and the energy we're getting from them. And of course nobody knows what's going to be played so it's literally a surprise for us and the crowd from start to finish.
2. Having all connected through the UR boot camp, what inspired you to set up D3?
Jon: D3 is more of a live experiment, everything we do is not rehearsed; where as with the other groups, we train for the attack. But with D3, I think it's fitting to quote Mike Banks, we are all trained to be assassins and not guns for hire. Therefore, given any musical situation or circumstance, we can adapt to it while still focusing on giving a great show.
DeSean: From what I remember D3 was an experiment within UR to see what would happen if you had a completely improvised set with live musicians and in this case featuring Mark Flash, Jon & myself.
3. DeSean, do you approach the sax differently in a club as opposed to full live gig situation?
I would definitely say that there's a different approach and a different mentality going to a club to play dance music as opposed to playing in a live set, you know whether it's jazz or gospel or something more instrumental. For me the idea is to play complimentary ideas, but also to keep it creative because this is a part of the hi tech jazz movement and I don't want to sacrifice musical or artistic integrity while also not wanting to sacrifice the vibe and energy on the dance floor.
4. How do you stop a live jam from becoming self-indulgent? Or is that the point?
Jon: The point is not to have a live jam session, but to keep the people moving and dancing by adding live elements that are not pre-programmed. There are times where less is more. There are also times where the crowd enjoys the music and want more of it. We read our audiences well so we always keep in mind that the dance element is most important.
DeSean: I think the only thing that matters is whether or not people are dancing when you're performing and the only indicator that I would have as a performer of "selfindulgence" is when people stop dancing. The wonderful thing about our show in Sao Paulo is that the crowd was hyped up and so energized from the time we played our first note to the very last. And as an artist you put yourself out there for better or for worse but it's a great feeling to put out that kind of energy and get it back tenfold!
5. Your live set from Sao Paulo has the crowd jumping for 2 hours. How do you maintain that level for so long?
Jon: São Paulo always have the energy to party all night so I always feed off of their energy. The time really flies when the people are into what we're doing. It makes it that much more enjoyable.
DeSean: A lot of credit has to go to Mark Flash for his song selection in the set, and after that is the level team work that we have between the three of us to try and maintain a certain level of performance and crowd energy.
6. With bonefide Detroit classics such as ‘Amazon’ and ‘Jaguar’ did you find an extra connection with the Brazilian crowd?
Jon: There's always a connection for me personally with the people in São Paulo. Detroit and SP have very similar living situations, corruption, culture and more. Regardless of anything negative the music always seems to overcome any negative situation and give people hope to continue pressing forward.
DeSean: There was definitely a connection with our Brazilian audience and I feel that with any of the classics there's always going to be a deeper connection with a crowd who knows that song or that particular music. Shout to Brazil for all that vibrant energy, we love ya'll!
7. Are there plans for D3 to release material?
Jon: Not at the moment.
DeSean: As of right now I can't really say that there are plans to do an official D3 release. However I am sure that we will have some shows in 2014 that may potentially lead to something being released in the future.
8. How do you occupy your time outside of music?
Jon: I teach private and group piano classes. Music is such a big part of my life. When I'm not performing there's always something that includes music in some way or fashion.
DeSean: Outside of performing, my life is consumed with family business and education which coincidentally enough is all related to music and some way shape or form lol.
9. What are your New Year’s resolutions?
Jon: To continue to progress as a musician, producer and teacher. But that's something I work on daily.
DeSean: My goal for 2014 is to release Great music and continue on a pace both personally and professionally that signifies tremendous growth spiritually mentally and physically.
10. Please give us the D3 all time top ten:
Jon: That's a hard one. I can only give some of my favourites:
Return to Forever: The Sorcerer
Carl Craig: Science Fiction
Jeff Mills: Detached
Juan Atkins: Starlight
Kevin Saunderson: Bassline
Galaxy 2 Galaxy: Hi-Tech Jazz
Timeline: Next Step 4wrd