With something like 50 records released this year alone, including original cuts and remixes on top labels like Defected, Poker Flat, and his own Maya Records, Joeski's certainly as prolific as dance music producers get.
And the real kicker? This NYC underground legend has been doing it for close to three decades. Time doesn't seem to slow Joeski down, but invigorate him.
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Crossfade: How did growing up in New York City shape you musically? Do you think your sound and artistic ethos are strict products of an NYC upbringing?
Joeski: [Yes], by being influenced by the freestyle and hip hop culture which was a big part of NYC music culture in the late '80s and early '90s. The characteristics of my sound are shaped by my latin background and upbringing.
You cut your teeth as a DJ at seminal NYC clubs like Limelight, Tunnel, Palladium, and NASA. What are your fondest impressions of that era of dance music? How has the NYC scene changed since then, for better or worse?
Well, the crowds were bigger back then in the club scene, and there was always good energy on the dance floors. It took a turn for the worse when the whole bottle service started in NYC clubs -- building better bottle service booths took priority over the sound systems. But now I feel like it's turned around for the better.
As a DJ veteran of three decades, what are your thoughts on the evolution of dance music trends in America and the mainstream commercial "EDM" explosion of the last few years? Any pros and cons for you?
Well, I feel like music has always been built on trends, and the whole EDM thing is just one of them. I feel like house and techno music have been there from the beginning and will always thrive. Pros: EDM made electronic music more popular here in America -- cons: with obvious formulas.
What turns you on most about music, as both a DJ and listener? Which sonic ingredients do you look for in records when you go digging?
I love everything about music, period. A solid groove that doesn't lose my interest is what I look for when digging.
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Your pace of production since the '90s has been quite prolific. Have your tools and creative process evolved much since you first began making music? How do you typically approach producing a record in the studio?
Absolutely -- with the evolution of technology. Back when I started producing, it was a lot harder and expensive to produce a record, as apposed to today, when all you need is a laptop for a studio. I always start with my foundation, which is my drums, and build a groove from there.
Maya Records is still going strong after 15 years. What was your concept for the label when you first launched it in 2000? Where do you plan to take the label in the future?
The concept with the label was to showcase myself and my friends' music. The label has evolved musically and has been consistently dropping good music. My plan is to keep the catalog growing with good underground music.
What can we expect from you next on the production front? Any upcoming projects or releases we can look forward to?
You can expect consistent quality underground house and tech-house music. I am doing some interesting collaborations -- one with Harry Romero, under HR & Ski. Look out for HR & Ski coming to a city near you.
We're excited to see you play on Saturday. What do you have in store for us?
Quality underground music! See you all on the dance floor!
Crossfade's Top Blogs
Joeski. With Sean Levisman and Cales & Mr. Hyde. Saturday, December 20. Do Not Sit on the Furniture, 423 16th St., Miami Beach. The show starts at 10 p.m. Call 305-450-3809 or visit facebook.com/DoNotSit.
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