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DJ Platurn

Last Night a DJ Saved My Life

DJ Platurn’s love of the DJ element of hip hop fueled his fascination with wanting to mix, and from there he has never looked back. Gearing up for his Australia tour next month, Platurn shares his wisdom with SF Station. Catch him at the Element Lounge for Area Codes, a new monthly starting on the 30th.

SF Station (SFS): What is the inspiration behind your name?

DJ Platurn (P): I'm from Iceland originally. DJ in Icelandic is plotusnudur, directly translated as plate turner. My DJ name is DJ basically. Deep right?

SFS: Very. How did you connect with the Oakland Faders?

P: Myself and DJ Spair (currently living in Vegas) started the Faders back in 2000. We were originally in a collective called the Unknown Motivators, which disbanded in the late 90s. It was time to begin something new so that's why we started the crew. We recently put down one of the OG members from the Motivators, long-time homie DJ Icewater and the crew is now eight deep. Lookout for the new website, T-shirt line and ad campaign coming this summer.

SFS: You’re known to play some obscurities and rarities. How do you manage to find such gems and play awesome tracks?

P: Well. first and foremost, thank you. It's something I’ve always taken pride in, seeking out new music and sticking to what I consider the best in solid DJ tracks. I've been collecting music all my life and it doesn't stop to this day.

I'm a bit of a completist to boot, so it's somewhat out of the question for me to not solidify the many parts of my music collection I feel are incomplete. I also have an amazing collective of DJ and music buddies in my network and we do a good job of sharing a lot of our hot shit.

SFS: What are you listening to lately?

P: The new Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings album is awesome — their best yet!

Mophono's new Synicism EP out now on Bastard Jazz is pure dopeness, and so is the new Sonnymoon album Golden Age. There's always a handful of fresh DJ edits that keep me motivated and inspired — I always dig listening to good DJ music more than anything.

I'm constantly listening to classic rap and funk and interesting soundtrack type music. I just got my hands on this amazing LP the other day called Le Monde Fabuleux Des Yamasuki and have been diggin' on a lot of rare Serge Gainsbourg joints too. Oh, and this weird Mike Hankison record called The Unusual Classic Synthesizer — trippy shit.

SFS: What do you think of hip-hop these days?

P: I’m not sure if I have enough space to answer that one completely! I have a love/hate relationship with both the music and the culture these days. Hip-hop is so drastically different from what I knew it to be growing up but it doesn't mean I don't dig a lot of aspects of it in its current state. I think it has morphed into something it didn't necessarily intend on turning into as a result of its massive popularity within mainstream pop culture. It’s a natural transformation when anything gets so immensely popular so I’m not mad much less surprised by the result.

One thing that bums me out a bit is the result of intense sampling laws within the music — I base my DJ style around old tracks quite a bit. I wish that aspect would come back, the appreciation and respect for older music. That's definitely one thing that I feel is practically non-existent with this new generation of hip-hop kids.

SFS: How has 2010 been for you? Planning on releasing any mixtapes?

P: 2010 has been a very solid year so far. Adapting to this new era of the music game has been an interesting one for sure — the advancements in DJ technology have come so far that it has made it possible to produce very intricate music with basic home studio equipment.

This year I've been stepping my game up quite a bit with more detailed remixes and DJ mixes, production-wise anyway. So This Is De La Heaven Volume 2 and Blendapella Volume 2 with fellow Fader DJ Enki will be coming out later this year along with many more DJ remixes including an EP with Kat O1O from Crown City Rockers that's slated for a summer release.

SFS: How do you manage to stay so on top of your game?

P: Well, I haven't had a day job for a few years now so it's really up to me to stay on top of my shit since I’m my own boss. You only get as much out of your own career according to how much work you put into it. I am constantly honing my style and working on making my production and DJ sets more interesting and intricate. I also manage myself and a good bulk of the Faders franchise so it's imperative that I stay focused in order to keep the movement positive and productive.

SFS: Any advice for younger DJs trying to come up?

P: Hone your style first and foremost. Don't be a biter — that's a rule that has never changed and never should. Be smart about your business and respectful to the game. Do not undermine what the DJs before you have built and take heed to the rules involved in this business. Don't be afraid to ask questions and study, not only your craft but the history of music. Oh, and don't stop scratching and rockin' doubles — we ain't jukeboxes nor mp3 players. believe that!

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