Brett Johnson is a household name to those who were spinning vinyl before digital technology took over. The Dallas native has produced some of the best dance-floor-rocking tracks on Derrick Carter’s Classic label. His ability to transform turntablism, techno and house music into something totally original and fresh makes him one of the most notable American DJ’s on the global scene. In recent years, he’s been touring internationally and frequently guest deejaying at Fabric in London and Cocoon in Ibiza. The Vinyl Word caught up with him before his mini Asia tour this weekend.
Vinyl Word: What have you been busy with?
Brett Johnson: Working on various projects. Most noteworthy would be my release on the very popular Visionquest in October. That being said, what I’m most excited about these days is my label Bang The Box. Recent and upcoming releases include music by John Tejada, Dave Aju, PillowTalk, JT Donaldson, Convextion, Tone of Arc, The Mole, King Kooba, Lance DeSardi and myself. Look out for our next release by yours truly called The Mission featuring blinding remixes by techno/electro legend Convextion aka E.R.P. aka Gerard Hanson and Lance DeSardi.
VW: What’s your favorite gig?
BJ: I regularly play big clubs around the world but the best experience I’ve had recently was at a small place in Houston. Sometimes all the right ingredients come together in the right amounts and magic happens. I’ve always thought a party was like a magic potion, you have to get it all right to make it work.
VW: What’s the house music scene like in Dallas?
BJ: The scene here is decent but like many cities in the States it’s hurt by close-minded dance laws that keep the scene from really growing. That being said we still have lots of underground after-parties that go all night. The Sounds Like crew throw most of the best parties in Dallas. We also just had a new club open called It’ll Do and they are committed to bringing quality talent so that’s been fun.
VW: How do you approach an audience who expects to hear commercial stuff?
BJ: It’s a matter of give and take. I’ll never play a track I’m not into, but I’ll interpret what they want and play something that’ll hopefully satisfy them. Something that has a vocal or better yet a bootleg of something they actually might know. It always has to be on my terms or the sound/context of the night could be compromised. It’s a painting and the crowd is my subject but I get to choose the colors.
VW: What‘s next for you?
BJ: More releases, new album, lots of touring and some camping with my family.
■ Tomorrow night from 10pm to 4am with supporting DJ’s Mr Uppity, Nina, and Hooker at Luxy, 5F, 197, Zhongxiao E Rd Sec 4, Taipei City (台北市忠孝東路四段201號5樓). Admission is NT$300 before 11pm, and NT$600 after.