Dave Aju: The Ransom Note Mix


Born and raised in San Francisco, Dave Aju grew up inspired by the likes of KRS One, The Pharcyde, Moodyman and Cajmere. Such influences have led him on a pursuit through sound and exploration: this has been reflected in his musical output over the past thirteen years. In this time he has formed a close relationship with French record label Circus Company and has since released three full length LP's under their blessing. His early roots lie in jazz and his musical background features drums and piano, such knowledge has led him to a sound which aligns with the more soulful edges of deep house which finds itself more relevant as a genre than ever before. Listen to his mix and read the interview below; 

Please introduce yourself…Who are you, where are you and what are you?

Marc David Aju Barrite I, the Multiverse, excessively human.

What does your music sound like? Can you draw what you think it sounds like for us (an image from the old internet is acceptable)? 

Like a B-boy cypher happening on stage with the Bitches Brew-era Miles Davis septet live at the Isle of Wight, rendered in paint and collage by Salvador Dali and Romare Bearden.

How would you describe the San Francisco club scene? 

Filled with talent and immortal – It's not big enough to ever really blow up, so it will never die either.

How did you form a relationship with Circus?

Through a rare moment of perfect timing and mutual love. Sety and I technically met during a visit he made to SF as he was once an exchange student there, we hit it off in every way possible, I came to Paris a year later with my first EP for them in hand, met the rest of the family, and adoption papers were signed immediately.

Where was the mix recorded?

Live at a Circus Company Showcase in Berlin.

What would be the ideal setting to listen to the mix?

Well technically it's a warmup set, so any time or place where a three-hour rise is needed.

What should we be wearing?

Something between your Friday best and your Monday worst?

What would be your dream setting to record a mix: Location, system, format?

Beach party on the Island of Bohol in the Philippines where my family is from, two techs, a DJR 400 or A&H V6 with isolators, L-Acoustics X series system all around with KS28 subs, and shiny lovely wax.

Which track in the mix is your current favourite?

Gonna have to risk douchery and say my unreleased track 'Next To You' coming out in the fall on Thema recordings.. it sounds absolutely mental on a system and dancers lose their shit, can't wait.

What’s your favourite recorded mix of all time?

Hmm, tough one.. though if I had to go by strictly play counts it would probably either be J-Rocc's Dilla tribute mix, or Claude Young's Dexit tape – man, we used bump those bolting up and down the 101.

If you could go back to back with any DJ from throughout history, who would it be and why?

Well, let's say either one of those two for starters, because I'd be scared shitless. 

What was your first DJ set up at home and what is it now?

Ha, good god it's the same literally 20 years later! Just 1210s instead of 1200s, m44Gs instead of 447s, and a Rane Empath rather than the MP22.

What’s more important, the track you start on or the track you end on?

Really depends on the context, but in this case live at a club building up for my fellow Circus freaks, the ending track was more crucial I'd say – which here is a brand new collab electro cut I did with my boy Kenneth Scott called Straylight, title cut of a whole album he's got ready to detonate, and it led into the live set by dOP perfectly.

What were the first and last records you bought?

Michael Jackson – Off the Wall 7" and KAMM – Kick Drunk Love.

If this mix was an edible thing, what would it taste like?

Like a buffet aboard a cruise ship en route the aforementioned island beach party, where I would record a more ideal mix. On the upside, there would be sisig, xiao long bao, and prawn cocktails with real California avocados.

If it was an animal what would it be?

A hungry horned Owl with Stan Smiths and a "kick me" sign on its back made of tiled drink tickets.

One record in your collection that is impossible to mix into anything?

My original pressing of Jeff Phelps – Magnetic Eyes, as it got a nice long gash at a bar in SF a few years back along the entire B-side where my jams are.

Upcoming in the world of… 

Geo-economics and politics… "brace, brace" as a wise man on Easy Jet once said.

Anything else we need to discuss?

Perhaps the broad variation in definition and use of the word nachos? The good news is, they're always good. Yup, always. From famous gourmet creations to the shitty movie theater and gas station ones. Bless!

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