This week we had one of our own LAMP family members, Jeff Devoe, cook up a BUUMMMMPIN mix for you all. Some choice booty shaking vibes on this one, plus the reveal of a forthcoming remix for Le Monkey’s LP Substance Matinale on PUZL Records.
MR PUZL: Jeff, Welcome back to the series! We kick off your mix with a super track by Melvin & Klein called ‘Cutting Shapes’ via Love&Other. What else have you cooked up this week for your mix?
Jeff Devoe: Over the past couple of months I’ve been collecting a lot of techno or techno influenced house tracks, so I wanted to put a lot of these on display. Cutting Shapes is one of my favorites of the bunch. It’s got a unique rhythm and the vocal is just killer. Some of my other favorites include Ciszak & Mihalis – Think (this one is on Cajual but Ciszak also has some great stuff out with Dirtybird too). Such a dirty, steppy tune. Green Velvet and Prok & Fitch’s Sheeple is big too. The vocal in Sheeple reminds me of Adam Freeland’s We Want Your Soul. Marco Lys and The Cut made a tune called The Boop and D. Ramirez (who is a legend btw) did a remix that I put in this mix. This track walks the line between techno and tech house so well. Some old skool hoover rips and a jacking house drum beat just melted my heart. I needed to include it in the mix.
MP: You’ve snuck a tasty track in the mix in here that happens to be a remix you’re working on correct?
JD: Why yes! Le Monkey put out an amazing LP in Substance Matinale with Puzl Records last year. Such a great collection of lush, synth forward electronic music. I really gravitated toward Pulsar which has this incredibly emotive chord progression in it. Puzl Records offered up a chance for a remix so I jumped on it. I wanted to include the chords in the track, but also wanted to inject a bit more of a dancefloor vibe. So what I did was take the chords in the track and layer them with a more spacey, arpeggiated synth to highlight the individual notes in the chords and also some thick, airy pads to fill in space. I used these as a jump off to the drop, which injects more of a techno-y dancefloor feel than the original. The main section came about when I was playing with the original bassline and looped a small section of it. It had this great rhythm that I loved and I ended up making it the cornerstone of the remix. In the process of mixing it down still, the version on the mix isn’t quite up to my standards, but I wanted to include it in the mix anyway just to show what I’ve been working on. Should be done very soon and I’m super pumped for it!
MP: You’ve been busy over that past year and have recently started working in a new industry. Tell us a bit about it.
JD: So, I was a high school math teacher for many moons and I wanted to get back into the computer programming I was doing with my graduate work. Last year I left teaching and worked about 8 part time jobs while I got my programming skills up to snuff (snuff-ish at least haha). I ended up getting into data analysis and machine learning with Python and was able to find a great gig doing data analysis for an awesome company. Kind of blown away I was able to make the leap, but I’m having an awesome time doing it. So much to learn still. I’m basically never, ever going to be bored at this job. I feel super lucky/blessed to be where I’m at now.
MP: Looking back on your first EP release with us Poisonous. How do you think your sound has evolved? What have your learned or gained in terms of techniques or best practices over the years?
JD: With Poisonous I was breaking out my tech house pants. I also included a lot of live elements in both of those tracks (my vocals on Poisonous, live stand up bass on Close Encounters also some live trash percussion too). I want to continue incorporating more of my own vocals and live elements in my original stuff this year, but I want to take more of a melodic techno turn with my 4/4 stuff. Have been really loving the stuff out of Bedrock, Pig & Dan, Secret Cinema, etc. So want to start working in that direction. This new remix of Pulsar has a bit of that with it’s techno feel and the lush synth work.
MP: Living in Downtown LA, you’ve seen the landscape and social environment of the city change quickly over a short time. How has the impacted music scene in the area?
JD: Living on and off in downtown since 2005, it’s been a trip to see the area change so much. It used to be that you would go out Wednesday night and it’d feel like you were in an episode of the Walking Dead. Now there are people in downtown, new businesses are thriving, there’s even more art and music happening. I think overall it’s changed for the better. There are more people to go to music events, which means the music events can happen again. More ideas, more creativity. Everything is so eclectic.
The one thing that we must remember, that while it’s great for one part of the population, the popularity of downtown has come at a cost to those who are homeless or low income. I’ve seen Skid Row double in size over the last 10 years and part of that is these new developments are rising rents and making low-income living in downtown impossible. Some of these people are what made downtown such an interesting place in the first place too! The Arts District is impossible to live in if you are a struggling artist. Isn’t that ironic!? So while it’s great for a lot of things, we all need to stay aware and work towards including everyone in our community, not just those that can afford it. Ok, rant over 🙂
MP: What are some of your favorite venues and bars that you would recommend for someone going out for a night in DTLA?
JD: Little Easy… hands down best bar. Amazing food, never too crowded or too empty, and they have Abita on tap. Done. Best punk rock dive bar: King Eddy. I could drink whisky there all night. Such a great spot. The Exchange has been one of my faves for house/techno/dnb for a looooong time. Their lineups are wicked. Anyone who likes afterhours parties knows about Ejagz Parallel Universe. I like it a lot 🙂 Also, Insomniac’s new warehouse Factory 93 in Chinatown…saw Nicole Moudaber there in January. The sound system is incredible and Insomniac just knows how to throw a party.
MP: Now for a serious question. When are you getting Contra VR and having us over to play?
JD: Truth be told I already got it and didn’t tell you. I’m practicing so I can kick all your asses when you come over to play. All I know is Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, Start had better work in the VR version 😉
1. Melvin & Klein – Cutting Shapes (Club Mix)
2. Jax D – Stone Face Groove (Odette Remix)
3. Ciszak, Mihalis Safras – Think
4. Dorade – Intensive
5. Green Velvet, Prok & Fitch – Sheeple
6. Loco Dice, Martin Buttrich – Damn U Made It
7. Marco Lys, The Cut – The Boop (D. Ramirez Remix)
8. Konstantin Yoodza – Coming Back
9. Cony – Art Of This!
10. Vozmediano – Inside
11. Harry Romero – Flowbee
12. D-Deck – Shift F5
13. Le Monkey – Pulsar (Jeff Devoe Remix)