Category: DJ A-Trak

DJ A-Trak: Blurring the lines and building a global picture

Atrak300 A few years ago, the majority of kids turning out for DJ A-Trak shows were what he called “uber DJ fans” who preferred to film him for YouTube clips, as opposed to doing what his mixing suggested: dance.

But more bodies have been moving in the last couple of years, according to A-Trak, the 27-year-old DJ born Alain Macklovitch in Montreal. The wunderkind turntablist began winning international DJ awards at age 15, making him one of the youngest, greatest masters of the decks. He will bring his ever-evolving mix of rap, breakbeat, techno and house to the HARD New Year’s Eve DJ party on Thursday.

The Brooklyn-based DJ has a new look (think maturing hipster: Beard and fedora have replaced baseball cap and sunglasses), and he's pushing his sound further into the realm of the international dance charts in an attempt to further blur genre classification.

“This time is reminiscent of the mid-'90s, where hip-hop guys were making house music," he said during a tour stop in Mexico City. "That’s what allows me to play this Jeezy record or this Gucci Mane record next to some weird German techno record,  because to me they make sense together.”

A-Trak started his indie imprint Fool’s Gold Records in 2007, toward the end of his 4-year run as Kanye West’s official tour DJ. He’s always kept busy with dance-worthy remixes, most recently of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ “Heads Will Roll," but his latest focus is on planning his next album.

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Summer party jam alert: Duck Sauce is in the house

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In the mid-‘90s, the already fertile house music underground was ignited by an emerging Chicago jock that called himself DJ Sneak. Sampling the best bits from classic disco tracks, DJ Sneak began releasing a long string of these disco-fied house hits, which set off a new trend of mining the bottomless catalog of long-lost dance tracks for the rave generation. It was a deceptively simple idea that only a few artists would be able to master. France’s Daft Punk was able to dominate (and market) the sound into a basis for stardom.

More than 10 years and an American dance underground revival later, and DJs Armand Van Helden (himself a '90s house pioneer familiar with old-school disco) and relative new jock A-Trak have teamed up to inject that euphoric '90s energy into today’s scene, and the results so far have been nothing less than spectacular.

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