DJ Dan’s artist debut, Future Retro, out now on Nettwerk, re-works some of the West Coast underground jock’s seminal influences, like A Guy Called Gerald, Company B, Phuture, and Frankie Knuckles. We spoke to DJ Dan recently, after L.A. authorities had shut down a rave that DJ Tiësto had been booked to spin, for which the DJ was expected to earn $250,000.
With L.A. shutting down a Tiësto show well in advance of the gig and the promoter’s subsequent lawsuit against the city, does this seem like the old days when the scene experienced a series of crackdowns? It’s interesting, because to me, this is the third wave happening. The first [crackdown] was in ’93, then it happened again in the late-’90s when the police stepped in. The crazy thing is, every time there’s a big wave and the police crack down, the scene and shows get bigger and there’s more interest. It’s very difficult for the police and the government, because in a lot of ways, they don’t know how to make their money on the scene. They don’t understand it, especially when they have something so huge. I think the good thing for all of us, as producers and DJs, is to see that, once again, the wave has gotten bigger once they crack down, it’ll calm down. I think all of this is a good and positive thing, because you can’t keep this music down.
You think all of the police attention is a good thing? If it threatens people in positions of authority, that’s a good thing. It’s because they’re perplexed by it. People should just keep doing what they’re doing. You can’t just go in and shut something down just because you feel it’s ethically immoral. This time feels different, because all of the promoters are businesses and people are saying, “No, we’re not going to be bullied by you!” It’s like stepping up to the bully.