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By GT Angelo

14 | jumponmarkslist.com


In the world of dance music, there are followers, and there are leaders. There are imitators, and there are innovators. There are DJs, and there is DJ Escape. “I don’t just play records—I play with the crowd. I’m always teasing people with samples and cuts of classics, new tracks and FX,” Escape declares. “I’m all about keeping things fresh. I’m always doing mash-ups of old things and making them new, and I’m always on the lookout for the newest, hottest records. Even when I play the hits, I play them in a way I guarantee you haven’t experienced them before.” You can hear for yourself on September 17th when DJ Escape launches his new residency at Discotekka. In his fifteen years in dance music, DJ Escape has racked up more accomplishments than most spinners aspire to in a lifetime: global residencies at some of the world’s largest nightclubs, original productions for legendary superstars such as Beyoncé, Donna Summer, Kristine W and Gwen Stefani— and he’s just getting started. The down-to-earth disc jock still recalls his first exposure to clubland—a legendary night at the famed Palladium nightclub in New York City where the music of Junior Vasquez inspired Escape not just to be a part of the house music phenomenon, but to be a driving force behind it. “Up until that point, I had been a hip-hop DJ,” Escape says. “But Junior’s music just blew me away. It opened up an entirely new world to me. For the first time, I saw that music wasn’t just one element of a party—it was the party, and the people who understood that best were the gay crowds who appreciated sets filled with music you couldn’t hear anywhere else.” Escape carried that inspiration into the studio, where he created the blistering original hard house production “Wer*Ship” that had DJs from coast to coast singing his praises as an upand-coming force in the dance music movement. Suddenly the fresh-faced spinner found himself in the same spotlight as time-tested industry

veterans—and in the DJ booth at the helm of Liquid, Miami’s most popular gay club at the time. “That gig was a dream come true,” Escape remembers. “The crowd, the venue, the sound—I was able to give the crowd exactly what they wanted each time I got in that DJ booth. I didn’t plan my sets—everything just flowed through the night, and the boys in the crowd just couldn’t get enough of it.” He was awarded his first residency at Miami’s Pump Nightclub. A year later he moved to Miami’s legendary Salvation. It wasn’t long before word of Escape’s prowess in the booth traveled beyond the savvy ears of the South Beach set and back to New York where Escape was offered an A&R job at New York’s famed Groovilicious/Strictly Rhythm record label. “My time at the label exposed me to so much music,” Escape says. “I was signing the hottest new tracks during the day and then playing them at night in the clubs.” In the past few years, however, Escape’s attention has shifted from signing new dance tracks to creating them. “I’ve really focused on the studio,” he says. “It’s like my second home now.” Teaming with soundboard dynamos Razor & Guido, Eddie Baez, Gomi, Dom Capello, Johnny Vicious & Tony Coluccio and his role model Junior Vasquez has elevated Escape’s career to the next level. “I bring what I do in the DJ booth into the studio,” Escape explains. “The same high-energy beat that you find on my dance floor is right there in my remixes and productions.” Wherever he is, if you’re on Escape’s dance floor, you’ll know it. There are dance floors, and then there is DJ Escape’s dance floor—and as anyone who’s spent a night moving to his highenergy sound can tell you, it’s not a place you’ll ever want to leave.

DJ Escape spins Discotekka (950 NE 2nd Ave) on September 17th. Visit DJEscape.com. jumponmarkslist.com

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r Do you feel Elton John and Ricky Martin waited too long to come out? No, it was a different time then. I commend their courage. The more closets that get cleaned out, the easier it becomes for us to be fearless. What gave you the courage to stand up to the music industry suits? I did it pre-Glee, way before it was popular to be out and proud. I used to feel lost and unsure about what I should write about. Once I figured out who I was, my musical mission became clear. Instead of worrying about what people thought, I began to write about everything I was feeling. Instead of keeping those private thoughts locked away in a journal, I brought them forth. They have been some of my best works yet. “Beautiful” seems to suggest that beauty comes with maturity. Beauty comes with honesty, most importantly honesty with yourself; the ability to be comfortable in your own skin. In a way, maturity plays a role in this discovery because it is ultimately life’s hurdles that point our internal compasses in the right direction. What do you hope fans take away from your music?

NEW YORK CITY’S TOP DJS By Jimmy Newsum

Euro DJs reign supreme but when clubsters want to get down to some American beats, its NYC spinners they turn to. We have long known the power New York City DJs yield in breaking and making a record.

A new pack of spinners have emerged as today’s leaders in NYC and like their predecessors, these DJs are tearing up floors and redefining the meaning of club music.

“NYC is still the world’s dance mecca because the best of the best are here!”

EDDIE ELIAS Hear him live in NYC at: Club 57, Alegria and Verve @ Touch. “New York used to be the world’s dance mecca. Brazil and Ibiza have taken over. I am trying to bring it back.”

TRACY YOUNG Spinning style: House, Tribal, Progressive. Hear her live in NYC at: Splash.

www.facebook.com/dalexandermusic

Hear him live in NYC at: Best Buy Theatre (formerly Nokia), Pacha and special holiday events at New York’s Matinee.

Spinning style: Underground cutting edge beats with high energy vocals.

What should fans know about the next generation of emerging musicians?

Beautiful happens to be the name of D Alexander’s first single, on i-Tunes now.

Spinning style: NYC Tribal House with an international Flavor.

From the days when Madonna stepped to the DJ booth at Danceteria to hand Jellybean Benitez her “Holiday” track to the nights Junior Vasquez spun Whitney’s “Step By Step” into an internationally beloved club anthem, NYC’s DJs have long shaped what the rest of the world grooves to.

Art is indefinable. I hope my music will allow fans to take whatever they need to from it.

We represent the future of freedom. We are the freak buried deep within the most conservative mind. That wild animal that erupts only when the lights are off and we are alone. We have to stop giving a shit about what people think. We are a generation of beautifully insane youth. Get ready for the takeover.

HECTOR FONSECA

“NYC is still the world’s dance mecca because it’s an urban metropolitan setting loaded with culture, fashion, the arts, music and film. Where else can you see a ballet, buy a two dollar hot dog, and pick up a pair of Loubitans after listening to a live quartet in the subway? All in a fifteen block radius. This is greatest city on the planet!”

ESCAPE Spinning style: High energy tribal and vocals. Hear him live in NYC at: Club 57 @ Providence and Verve @ Touch “NYC is still the world’s dance mecca because we are always ahead of the curve and everyone comes through this city to play.”


DJ

GRAB A DJ Escape to Hydrate By GT Angelo

In the world of dance music, there are followers, and there are leaders. There are imitators, and there are innovators. There are DJs, and there is DJ Escape. “I don’t just play records—I play with the crowd. I’m always teasing people with samples and cuts of classics, new tracks and FX,” Escape declares. “I’m all about keeping things fresh. I’m always doing mash-ups of old things and making them new, and I’m always on the lookout for the newest, hottest records. Even when I play the hits, I play them in a way I guarantee you haven’t experienced them before.” You can hear for yourself on September 3rd when DJ Escape makes his triumphant return to Hydrate. In his fifteen years in dance music, DJ Escape has racked up more accomplishments than most spinners aspire to in a lifetime: global residencies at some of the world’s largest nightclubs, original productions for legendary superstars such as Beyoncé, Donna Summer, Kristine W and Gwen Stefani— and he’s just getting started.

but to be a driving force behind it. “Up until that point, I had been a hip-hop DJ,” Escape recalls. “But Junior’s music just blew me away. It opened up an entirely new world to me. For the first time, I saw that music wasn’t just one element of a party—it was the party, and the people who understood that best were the gay crowds who appreciated sets filled with music you couldn’t hear anywhere else.”

Escape carried that inspiration into the studio, where he created the blistering original hard house production “Wer*Ship” that had DJs from coast to coast singing his praises as an up-andcoming force in the dance music movement. Suddenly the freshfaced spinner found in the same The down-to-earth disc jock spotlight as time-tested industry veterans—and in the DJ booth still recalls his first exposure to at the helm of Liquid, Miami’s clubland—a legendary night at the famed Palladium nightclub in most popular gay club at the time. New York City where the music of Junior Vasquez inspired “That gig was a dream come Escape not just to be a part of true,” Escape remembers. “The the house music phenomenon, 12

GRAB Magazine

August 30, 2011

crowd, the venue, the sound—I was able to give the crowd exactly what they wanted each time I got in that DJ booth. I didn’t plan my sets—everything just flowed through the night, and the boys in the crowd just couldn’t get enough of it.” He was awarded his first residency at Miami’s Pump Nightclub. A year later he moved to Miami’s legendary Salvation. It wasn’t long before word of Escape’s prowess in the booth


DJ

Wherever he is, if you’re on Escape’s dance floor, you’ll know it. There are dance floors, and then there is DJ Escape’s dance floor and as anyone who’s spent a night moving to his high-energy sound can tell you, it’s not a place you’ll ever want to leave. DJ Escape returns to Hydrate Nightclub (HydrateChicago.com) on September 3rd. For more information on Escape Visit his website www.DJEscape.com.

traveled beyond the savvy ears of the South Beach set and back to New York where Escape was offered an A&R job at New York’s famed Groovilicious/Strictly Rhythm record label. “My time at the label exposed me to so much music,” Escape says. “I was signing the hottest new tracks during the day and then playing them at night in the clubs.” In 2003, Escape’s attention shifted from signing new dance tracks to creating them. “For the last eight years I’ve really focused on the studio,” he says. “It’s like my second home now.” Teaming with soundboard dynamos Razor & Guido, Eddie Baez, Gomi, Dom Capello, Johnny Vicious & Tony Coluccio and his role model Junior Vasquez has elevated Escape’s career to the next level. “I bring what I do in the DJ booth into the studio,” Escape explains. “The same high-energy beat that you find on my dance floor is right there in my remixes and productions.” 14

GRAB Magazine

August 30, 2011


HEAVY ROTATION

[ S H OT S

WEDNESDAY CALIENTE — Latin night with cheap Corona and Tecate. MJ’s

IN THE DARK

]

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CRAFT NIGHT — Feeling crafty? A different project every week. Akbar FUEGO — The place to come for the best Latin music and club hits. Rage GLITTER POP — Remixes of Top 40 music and cheap well drinks. Gold Coast HOT ROD — The sleaziest party in WeHo, 2-for-1 til midnight. Micky’s INFERNO — Cheap Absolut drinks and hot dance beats. Club Cobra

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KARAOKE WITH KENNY — WeHo’s longestrunning karaoke show. Fiesta Cantina LEGENDARY BINGO — Games start at 7 and 9. Hamburger Mary’s WeHo

1 . ST U D ‘ 7 9 FAULTLINE

PEACH FUZZ — DJ Eric Adams and guest hosts. Eagle L.A.

PHOTOS: ROLLING BLACKOUTS

STRIPPER CIRCUS — Hot go-gos, cheap booze and carnival games! Here Lounge

THURSDAY BIG FAT DICK — Trashy music, sexy guys and the infamous photo competition. Fubar

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CLUB HEAT — Josh Peace spins hip-hop, reggaeton and Latin dance music. Arena CLUB NUR — The Middle East and some of its fans find their way to Silver Lake. MJ’s COCKTAILS WITH THE STARS — WeHo’s longest-running porn show. Micky’s DIRTY DIRTY HOUSE CLUB — DJ Tony Powell earns his night’s name. Akbar HO KARAOKE — Sing along with Wendy Ho. Hamburger Mary’s WeHo PAN DULCE — Boys, booze, food and musica. Two levels of entertainment. Micky’s

SANCTUARY — Tom Whitman and his gays take back a WeHo mainstay. The Abbey SENSUAL HARASSMENT — Start the gay weekend with disco ecstasy. The Office TIGERHEAT — Where the young boys go to dance the night away. Avalon THROBBING THURDAYS — $100 wet shorts contest. Eagle L.A. UNDY NITE — Pants check, specials on Absolut and quarter pool. Faultline 60

FRONTIERS IN L.A.

DJ ESCAPE

[ MIXOLOGY ]

RADIOTRON — Pop, hip-hop and dance beats with cheap domestic beer. Club Chico

BY GT ANGELO

In the world of dance music, there are followers and there are leaders. There are imitators and there are innovators. There are DJs and there is DJ Escape. “I don’t just play records—I play with the crowd. I’m always teasing people with samples and cuts of classics, new tracks and FX,” says Escape, who returns to L.A. on July 9 to spin at Freedom Fest. He counts working with Junior Vasquez as a turning point in his career. “Up until that point, I had been a hip-hop DJ, but Junior’s music just blew me away. It opened up an entirely new world to me.” He enjoys spinning for gay crowds, because they appreciate that he plays music you couldn’t hear anywhere else. Today, Escape doesn’t only spin new dance tracks, he creates them. His original productions include remixes for legendary superstars such as Beyoncé, Donna Summer, Solange, Kristine W and Gwen Stefani. As anyone who has spent a night moving to his high-energy sound can tell you, it’s not a place you’ll ever want to leave. Facebook ‘DJ Escape’ for more info.

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ESCAPE Press Clippings