A 74-minute guest mix from Philadelphia’s Dan Edwards featuring electro, house, techno, indie dance, & nu disco for your body.
For the long-awaited eighth Phreak Power Podcast, Philadelphia DJ Dan Edwards delivers an energetic 16-track Guest Mix. Dan Edwards is a dynamic force of the local underground with affiliations that include Philly’s Space Trash and The Soul Pickle, as well as NYC’s Boat Trippin’. Over the course of 74 minutes, Dan puts his taste and talent on full display spinning a variety of styles and sounds from across the dance music spectrum. So turn it up, link in, and space out to some phreaky jams by one of Philly’s best DJs!
- Syclops – Sarah’s E Is Back
- Que Sakamoto – Kamakura (Vyvyan Remix)
- Peace Division – Beatz in Peacez 03
- Mood II Swing – Do It Your Way
- Asquith – Somebody (Roller Rink)
- The Vision Ft. Andreya Triana – Heaven (Danny Krivit Edit)
- Vinny Troia – Expression (Abe Duque Dub)
- Alexis Raphael – Black
- Vyvyan – Wu Me Seh
- Bawrut – More Cowbell (Jimpster Remix)
- David Vunk – TR-Ago-99
- Bushwacka! – Get Up (Extended Mix)
- Anthony Rother – My Name Is Telekraft
- Paranoid London – The Music
- Josh Caffe – One Night In Paris (Dub)
- Moodymann – J.A.N.
Shantih Interviews Dan Edwards:
Thank you for the guest mix, Dan! Is there an idea behind it? Any specific inspirations?
You’re very welcome! Thank you for having me! I think the idea or fuel behind this mix is a culmination of what I’m currently into as far as genres and sounds, and some of the styles I feel you would hear out and about at Philly parties. I tried to mix a variety of styles so there would be a little something for everybody.
How did you go about curating songs for this mix?
I tried to pick tracks from a variety of genres. Then I laid them out in a way I thought would flow well and would take the listener on a nice ride, all while keeping the progression of intensity and subtlety in mind.
Yes, it flows quite nicely! What was the recording process like?
The recording process was a little tedious with this mix, but nevertheless a learning experience. [Laughs] I actually recorded this mix a few times because I was having a little difficulty honing in the right levels of the recording. I was using a handheld recorder that I’m still kinda new to, and eventually used the DJM-REC app to record, too.
Well I appreciate your dedication to fidelity! How long have you been DJing?
Off and on for about 17 years. I started turntablism/DJing pretty strong in my mid-to-late teens, then fell off of it for a few years, and have been back at consistently for the past nine or so years.
That’s quite a long time! Tell me a little about that and your relationship with music…
I grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia in a very musical and artistically-talented family. My parents were my first huge influences of music, especially my mother. She was always encouraging me to listen to different sounds. They had a very eclectic ear and were constantly buying new records, as well as having listening parties where friends would bring over records to listen to as they played cards games. They also had a small home-recording studio in our basement where they’d record their own songs or have band practice for the Led Zeppelin cover bands my dad was in. I remember they had a huge wall of vinyl, too, and I would peruse through it all the time admiring the artwork of the covers and the sounds that came off the turntable.
That’s incredible to have grown up in such a musicly rich environment. How did you get into DJing?
I picked up playing the bass from my dad at an early age and then discovered DJ culture and turntablism through skateboarding and graffiti art when I reached my early teens. I think it was my fifteenth birthday where my mom got me my first turntable setup, the Numark Blue Dog DJ package. It came with two belt drive turntables, a very basic two channel mixer, and some janky self-powered speakers. From then on I started doing hip-hop style DJing in my basement, which led to DJing high school house parties and competing in a few battle competitions. Eventually I had a little residency at a local bar.
How old were you when you snagged this first residency?
I think I was about 16 or 17. It didn’t last very long, maybe a year? Around that same time I started going to local punk and hardcore shows in the Philadelphia suburbs and in the city. This quickly segwayed into my discovery of Philadelphia’s underground dance scene, which was basically the end of prominent rave scene of the 90’s. I remember I was immediately hooked after going to my first party at club Space. I then changed my focus from DJing hip-hop to a more electronic sound.
Respect! I was too young to catch the rave wave of the 90’s. What kind of impact has your exposure to that scene had on the events you put together today?
It has had a huge impact! From the feeling of the party to the mindset of people. I try to keep those elements alive and also expand on what I’ve experienced.
Tell me about all of the events and parties you’re affiliated with…
Space Trash is a Philly-based party that I’ve been throwing with a good friend of mine for the past two years or so. We usually do one party a season. My main idea with Space Trash is to facilitate a platform for local Philly talent, and to give back/keep the party going, because Philly has given me so much over the years.
Boat Trippin’ is a New York-based boat/cruise party put on by RVDIOVCTIVE & SOUP NYC that happens once a month during the warmer months. I typically run the sound on the side stage, and also DJ from time to time. It’s a lot of fun! They have a great curation of local talent, as well as heavy hitters.
The Soul Pickle is my favorite summertime party in Philly! It’s a great vibe of house/disco/funk that goes down on a roof deck once a month in South Philly. They host great local DJs as well as amazing deep groove legends. I typically do the flyer design, lend a helping hand with setting up, and DJ occasionally.
I also run the sound and have done some design work for Spaced Out!, a Philly-based all-vinyl party, and have recently started designing flyers for the Philly-based house and techno party, [sic].
Keep up the great work man! You’re involved in quite a lot… I’ve had a good time at all the Philly parties you’ve listed, but I haven’t been to the Boat Trippin’ party in New York yet. Perhaps I’ll have to make it up there once it’s warm again! Given your involvement with these various events, I’m curious about your beliefs about music and the art of DJing. How would you describe your DJ philosophy?
Music is extremely important to me. I’m not sure where I’d be without it. Music is such a magnificent media of art, and I feel the art of DJing is truly a beautiful thing. There’s something for everyone out there. DJs are capable of breathing new life into old tunes that may have been forgotten, or take people on a visceral experience through tunes that could be very personal to the DJ.
Yes, I feel the same way. Ultimately I see DJs as a sort of historian of music. It is our job to sift through space and time, select the best stuff, and bring it into the light through our exposure.
Absolutely! I totally agree. For me, I think that’s one of the most attractive things about it. DJing is the opportunity to play music, old and new, that people on the dance floor may have never heard before.
Exactly! Some of my favorite memories on the dancefloor are from hearing something for the first time. Who are some of your biggest influences as a DJ?
Hmmm… That’s a tough question… More recently I feel I’ve gotten more influence from my friends and fellow DJs, but that’s not to say I don’t still have a lot of DJs/artists that I look up to and admire. Elvin Tibideaux, Billa, David Alexander, Devon James, Mona Black, Gateo, Max Sprauer, Leo, DJ MatPat, DJ Dashcam, Ant LaRock, Jeff Mills, Moby, Liam Howlett, The Hacker, DJ Koze, Dieselboy, Mike Simonetti, Nigel Richards, Danny Daze, Aphex Twin, Frankie Bones, Eddie C, Gerd Janson, Fort Romeau, Justin Strauss, Soulwax, Felix Da Housecat to name a few…
Great list! You’ve just listed some local DJs. Who are some of your favorite DJs in Philadelphia right now?
Wow! A lot! [Laughs] Philadelphia is so rich in music. It’s really hard to name favorites.
That it is. Well how about any favorites that you feel are currently underrated?
I think most Philly DJs are underrated… [Laughs] Billa, Jayo, Elvin Tibideaux, No Headphones, David Alexander, Sweater aka Lucas Lee, Frog Dog, Zdon, Slacks, Lady Problems, Shawn Ryan, Chris B, DJ MatPat, Zillas on Acid, Leo, DJ Anarres, Matthew Crouse, Shang, Alex Burkat, Mr. Falcon, Shantih, Niko, Maxine&Cleo, and Merloh are some of my current favorites.
I appreciate the inclusion! [Laughs] What is the best set you’ve played? Worst?
Ooh, that’s a tough one… I’m never 100% happy with my sets, and I feel I’m still very young as far as being a DJ, so it’s hard to say what my best set was. I don’t think I could point out a worst set either. I feel I try to do well with each of my mixes, regardless of the setting, but I feel there’s always points where I can improve. I really enjoy being a student and learning new things and keeping an open mind, so I feel there’s always room to grow and improve.
Agreed. That’s why I try to record every set I can. I don’t know about you but something about the process of DJing makes it difficult for me to remember many of the details of my sets. Perhaps it has to do with the dual focus on what is currently playing and what you’re preparing next, that constant alternation between now and later. I find it’s very helpful to listen back to my sets critically so I can identify the areas where I wish to improve.
Definitely, I need to get in the habit of recording more often. I think you can definitely learn a lot by listening to recordings of yourself, kind of like a ballet dancer using a mirror to help adjust their form.
Great metaphor. Do you have anything in the works currently? Any events or other mixes coming up?
There’s Ancient Puzzle Arts, Alex Burkat’s event at Silk City Diner in February.
Yep, I’m excited to be joining you and fellow Phreak Power alum Alex Burkat behind the decks on that one! Any others?
I’m currently working on the next edition of Space Trash. Also, my very good friends Gateo aka Matt Robinson and Mona Black aka Gabby Saltsman have been hosting a monthly party at The Grasshopper in Detroit, and they’ve invited me out to come play in late February or early March, so I’m really looking forward to that. I love Detroit.
Nice! I’ve never made it out to Detroit. One of these years I’ll complete my pilgrimage. What are you most excited about music-wise right now?
I’m always excited about music! [Laughs] I suppose with it being winter right now I’m looking forward to Movement in May.
I hear that. Are there any DJs in particular you are excited to see?
From what they’ve released so far, I’m looking forward to checking out DJ Stingray, Four Tet, and Boris Brejcha.
Four Tet is one of my all-time favorites! What are your hopes for the next decade?
I want to play out a bit more and to dive more into production, as well as stay progressive with becoming a better DJ, digging for more music, and throwing parties.
You and me both, brother. Thank you again for the mix contribution!
Thank you for the opportunity and for all of your hard work. You’ve put together a really great site!