Head Spins: Ray Milian

The Vagabond resident's ear is off the radar.

Whoever said nice guys finish last has obviously never had the pleasure of meeting Ray Milian, who's definitely one of the nicest guys in DJdom. But don't let the soft-speak fool you. For beneath that mild-mannered exterior lies the heart and the soul and the chops of a monster, a man who knows how to kick a mean beat and kick a floor full of asses while he's doing so.

Which is undoubtedly why the white-hot nightspot known as The Vagabond has made the head spinner its resident DJ. Like many a murderous booth jockey, the Miami-born Cubano started in on the spin at a formative age. In Milian's case, he was 15, and trucked his mobile DJ rig from house party to house party all over the county. Eventually, of course, even the largest pads couldn't contain the spin in him and Milian broke free and large, most notably as a cofounder of the veritable institution known as Poplife.

Try Ray Milian on for size.
Courtesy of Ray Milian
Try Ray Milian on for size.

Later, Milian would create something that would combine all he learned with a whole new swing in sound: Off the Radar. You might have caught one of OtR's occasional parties at Buck15, PS14, or the Marlin before it got run to ground. But if you didn't, fear not, because Milian and company have vowed to reignite the night any minute. In the meantime, though, there's the blog of the same name, which tips hipsters to the latest tracks.

Furthermore, Milian is an FIU psych grad who's hip to the balance of nature versus nurture. This means he pits an innate classicism against an overwhelming desire to break new tracks, resulting in a brand of indie/electro/Eighties well beyond any catch-phrase-laden playlist picked up at Radio U. Got doubts? Hit The Vagabond any given weekend evening. Or if you happen to be Beached on a Thursday, get APT at Love Hate. Yes, I know, Milian is also on the Chocolate Sundays roster at Purdy Lounge, but you already knew that too, so I don't need to tell you twice. But I will say this: For such a nice guy, Milian is a mean motherfucking DJ.

Ray Milian's current top five:

1. "Lights and Music," Cut/Copy

2. "I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance (Twelves Remix)," Black Kids

3. "Kids," MGMT

4. "This Boy's in Love (Lifelike Remix)," the Presets

5. "Bamboo Banger," M.I.A.

 
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