By Jacob Katel
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For a cat who claims he'd play whatever it takes to get folks on the dance floor, DJ Damaged Goods has a rather rarefied playlist. A pairing of Soulja Boy's "Turn My Swag On" with La Roux's "In for the Kill"? MGMT's "Kids" with Ellie Goulding's "Starry Eyed"? That's just nuts. Add the fact that DG is likely to throw down Ginuwine's "Pony" and is also partial to tracks by dubstep producers such as Skream and Jakwob. Yes, Damaged Goods specializes in stretching the borders of musical sanity. But this kind of crazy works wonders — otherwise this DJ wouldn't be headlining both Louis and White Room.
Born Obi Tawil right here in the MIA, the Jordanian-Cuban has been in on all the fast head-spinning action since only '06. But in those few good years, he's made more than a few cool friends. And he's left more than a few bodies happily trashed on the dance floor. As Damaged Goods, he got his start at the party Spiderpussy, when he was given a Basel-week shot by Andrews Lorenzana (AKA previous Head Spins subject Al B. Rotten).
And that was just the beginning of an onslaught that would find him rocking Revolver when it was at PS14; the late, lamented Black Sundays at Bella Rose; and his own Misfit Fridays at the old Studio A. In fact, that Friday party was such a hit with the in crowd that Goods and company took it across the causeway and set it up at Louis in the Gansevoort this past March. The party's been packing 'em in there ever since.
In addition to the steady residencies, Damaged Goods has also spun one-offs all over the Big Bad Apple, from the Annex to Lotus. And his hot-spotting at Louis means he also receives the occasional call from the Opium Group when it needs someone to hold down the upstairs at Set. He also sometimes gets the odd corporate nod, like when Bacardi flew him up to Orlando's mammoth Shingle Creek Hotel so he could take the stage alongside Jazzy Jeff and Matt & Kim.
And when he isn't spinning it soundly, he's kicking it coolly over at the Vagabond, especially when the Thursday-night party Shake goes for some dubstep action. For those not yet hip to the new, now sound, dubstep is what drum 'n' bass has wrought: a cacophony of deep, dance mayhem. And downtown is pretty much the only place you can hear it played.
Hanging with the dubsteppers is all part and parcel of Damaged Goods' polyglot sensibilities. Remember, his goal is to get people on the dance floor, so he'll pretty much play whatever it takes to do just that. The different thing about him, though, is that this DJ isn't content to merely cull from some Top 40 lineup. He's all about pushing it harder, stronger, and faster than anybody else. Given the chance, many Miamians will dance to the most adventurous music. But it takes an adventuresome DJ to bring it to them. Damaged Goods is that DJ, and he's giving Miami the chance it deserves.
Damaged Goods' current top five:
1. "Kilometer (A-Trak Extended Dub Mix)," Sébastien Tellier
2. "Happy House," the Juan MacLean
3. "Starry Eyed (Jakwob Remix)," Ellie Goulding
4. "Science of Fear," Herve
5. "In for the Kill (Skream Remix)," La Roux