Friday, May 13, 2011

A Conversation with Jeff Dubois

Tonight, I'm honored and excited to be DJing with my friend Jeff Dubois. A member of Attitude City, Jeff and I started the Street Sounds Swirlin' Through My Mind night at First Avenue's Record Room several years ago. We'll be returning to the Record Room to bring back some of the good time disco vibes with a haunted, cosmic twist. Here's what Jeff had to say for himself...

How did Attitude City come to be? Wait, what is Attitude City? 

Attitude city formed in 2005 and is a collective of like-minded record collectors whose mandate is to mix old classics with some modern bangers, get them good and drunk, and let them knock boots in your ears.   We are basically a group of friends that span Minneapolis and Montreal, and we've built a reputation for playing fun disco, soul, house, italo, and 80s jams.
I notice you have yet to switch over to Serato and you DJ pretty much only with records. How long have you been collecting and how often are you out there getting new records?
I've been collecting since 1998 or so and would probably consider myself a collector first and a DJ second... no wait... maybe a DJ first and a collector second... err... i don't know. All I know is that I love vinyl and I love the tradition of DJing with two turntables and a mixer.   I can't quite put my finger on it, but I feel that something gets lost in translation when DJ's switch over to digital music and start playing on their laptops.   I can definitely see the benefits, but I also am still in love with the idea of putting time into selecting specific tracks, carrying them to the club, and playing them out.  Plus... that beautiful analog warmth and crackle!  Yum!

Jeff flexin' his cowbell skills while I spin some rackords.

Favorite record producers from the '70s and '80s?
Oh man - these are tough questions to answer.  So many good ones!!  Gwen McCrae, Gino Soccio, Patrick Adams, Gamble and Huff, Geraldine Hunt, Rinder and Lewis, Tom Moulton, Vincent Montana, Roy Ayers, Dexter Wansel, Larry Levan, Change, The Whispers, BB&Q Band, Kano, Patrick Cowley... 

If you could teleport back to sit in on the recording of any song, what would it be and why?
I think it would be "Keep the Fire Burning" by Gwen McCrae... I think its the perfect dance song.  It's a great example of what dance music should strive to be.  It's got a great beat, amazing vocals, stellar arrangement, and packs enough funky bass to knock over a race horse.  The recording itself is so incredibly warm and organic.  I wish I could have sat in on the sessions and geek'ed out on how it was all put together.  What type of mixing console was used?  What mics and pre-amps?  What effects were put on the tracks?  What compressors did they use? Reverbs?   How was it arranged?

Jeff, what are the things you miss the most about life in your home country of Canada?
The level of social awareness shared by the collective consciousness.   That... and poutine.

So, you being Canadian, it also turns out you are an avid curler. Can you please explain curling to those of us living in the lower half of North America?
Well - its basically bocce ball on ice... Add in a little more strategy, sweeping, and beer consumption and it will start to make sense :).  It really is a great sport full of tradition and hospitality.  The community at the Saint Paul Curling Club here in Minnesota really is truly remarkable.  I've met some amazing people there. 

Are you excited to take people to space on Friday? What are some of your favorite songs about space?
Heck yeah!  It's always inspiring to play with you, Mike... and any opportunity I have to play some of my fav jams always fires me up!

...and a few haunted favorites:

Download "Keepin' It Warm," a disco and house mix from Jeff Dubois by clicking HERE.

And don't miss EXTRA LARGE: The Haunted Space Disco tonight at First Avenue's Record Room!

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