Friday, January 27, 2006

I've chosen the first tracks which will be available for free download on Mixx-It.com. They will be the entire issue of Mixx-It volume 1. It includes "In the Mixx '86", a power medley of all the dance hits of 1986. On the B side was "Twenty Four/Seven" by 911 and "Electric Cafe" by Kraftwerk, all mixed by yours truly.

In 1986 I was still producing Hot Tracks which was the most popular remix service at the time. I didn't own Hot Tracks but I was employed as their producer. I did one or two remixes for each issue and I compiled the other remixes from DJs around the world.

Some time during 1986 the owner of Hot Tracks, Steve Algozino, passed away and the company was taken over by a woman who I really didn't see eye to eye with. I'll just leave it at that.

So I did something that really pissed her off. I started Mixx-It. I had created a large fan base through Hot Tracks and I knew I had to kick off Mixx-It with a BANG! So I planned my first power mix and decided to call it "In the Mix '86".

I created the term "Powermix" to describe a way of mixing that you can't do live. It's a mix of songs, in a medley, that's done in a way so that you can barely count the number of songs in it. Sometimes I'd have three tracks overlayed at the same time and then they'd mix into a fourth. And I would only include a couple bars of the song so the mix would fly by.

But it had to work for the dance floor. That was the number one priority. Every song had to mix into every other song flawlessly and without any abrupt tempo or rhythm changes. It also had to include all the dance hits, or most of them at least, of 1986. And it couldn't be any longer than fifteen or sixteen minutes. The longer the tracks on a vinyl record the smaller the grooves get and the shitier the sound quality gets.

So I went through all my records and selected the tracks I would include in the medley and got to work. I think it took me a week or two to finalize "In the Mix '86".

At the time I was spinning at Studio West, the hottest club in San Francisco. In fact it was probably the hottest club that ever was in San Francisco. I tested "In the Mix '86" at Studio West, on a reel to reel tape deck, at about 2:00 in the morning. This was the peak hour at the West since it was open until 6 A.M.

If it held the floor until it was finished then I knew I was done with it. Not only did it hold the floor but it kept on building it! And as every new song came in, the screams grew louder and louder. Which is saying something since the West had the best sound system I've ever heard with bass so low you felt it from the inside out.

Mixx-It Issue #1 was released in 1985 about a month before new years eve and it was an immediate sellout. And soon you'll be able to download the entire issue free from Mixx-It.com.

Another track I'm including real soon for free download are a couple of fifteen minute segments of my KMEL radio mix shows. Any part of these shows is very very rare. Unfortunately 99.9% were lost. In fact if anybody has recordings of any of my shows I would really appreciate getting a copy.

This is just the beginning for Mixx-It.com. I plan on offering different downloads weekly or monthly depending on how much traffic we get. In the near future I'll be reviving Mixx-It, with the help of my great friends Douglas and Tina, with brand new remixes. And of course you'll get all the latest news right here and all the music at Mixx-It.com.

If there's anything in particular from Mixx-It that you would like to see made available for download please let me know by posting a comment to this entry or by sending me an email.

Right now I want to give a shout to an old friend of mine, Billy Vidal. He's doing some special things to help me get started on new stuff. I was deeply moved by his generous offers. More on Billy and myself later.

5 Comments:

Anonymous FunkyRob said...

Dude, you were an inspiration to me growing up.

I bought my first turntables when I was 16 years old. They were some cheap ass plastic JVC ones with pitch control. I wasn't able to go to the clubs and I didn't have any DJ friends so I would listen to your mixes and try to find all of them at Star Records in San Jose. I wish I still had them old tapes of your on-air mixing.

The first Mixx-it I owned said 01-02 on it I think. It had your classic remix of Brass Monkey on it. I played the hell out of that mix. I unfortunately wore it out and had to get rid of it.

Life has its ups, downs, and turns so I unfortunately am not able to make a living at DJing. (Kids, Wife, House....you know.) I do still have a full system, with real gear this time, and I make full use of today's technologies by using FinalScratch. I do a few mobile gigs a year for fun so it kinds of funds itself.

Anyhow, I'm so glad that your back from wherever the hell you were hiding. I made a brief re-appearance a few years ago, and then disappeared again.

11:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I started last year collecting all mixx it's I could find ( and that are in playable condition) and I'm up to 22. Since DJing and mixxing has evolved over the last 15 years, how about intros and outros on your new mixx it lps which are a litte more distinguished on the lp? Just a thought. Whichever way they come out...you are still the dj king. I Still think you are the man. You created this dj house we live in...all of us. I was reading funky rob's comments...I think it's reflective of us all who you have inspired. DJ Phil A Pino - Mixx So Slick - San Leandro

2:11 AM  
Anonymous Bobby said...

Being "landlocked" in the middle of the country(usa) we had to rely on each other to bring back REAL MIXTAPES from our summer vacations back in the 80's and 90's. I went to California and my other buddies went to the east coast. I can say you were ahead of you time, cuz the mixxes my friends brought back from NYC were dope but they were'nt putting it down like you did. Much Much Respect-
dj JussViciousCutz(dj jvc)
Omaha,Ne

11:15 AM  
Anonymous hip hop harold said...

My story is similar to funkyrob. I was about 16 and saved all my money to buy your hot tracks remixes at Star Records on Story. I started collecting all of your Mixx-Its and have the first 50 or so.

You are the reason why I got into DJing, mixing, and later scratching. I too now have a wife, kids, mortgage, etc. but I get the Mixx-Its out once in a while just to listen and bring back memories.

Hip Hop Harold - Originally From San Jo, and still in the Bay

11:04 PM  
Blogger supa dj xsitement said...

My staory also mirrors funkyrobs. I started spinning back in early 1987. I bought my first mixx-it at the slip mat in milwaukee in 90'. It was the issue with Hammer's U can't touch this, and a track by Linear on th flip side. I racked my brain trying ti figure out how you did it. and today I do my own powermixes, with everything from a MPC to acid or anything I can gt my hands on. as a matter a fact I am finishing apower mix today (New tracks alongside classic 80's and 90's) patterend after your style. Just wnat to say THANK YOU. Cause you are the man. If you ever have the chance/time hit me up. I would like to get your feed back on some of my material. Supa DJ Xsitement (

2:38 PM  

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