Dave Lee

FileJerks are the DJ tandem of Marlon Lumba (Astronomar) and Scott MacKinnon (Shorthand). They are mix-making fiends who feast on low-ended party jams. They form and re-form four-on-the-floor, club-beat knockers. FileJerks' specialty is a Baltimore club music that merges the hiphop and a choppy, staccato house sound. Really, though, they'll drop anything and make it danceable, going old school, new school, or classical. There may be Grand Puba, there may be Gram Parsons, or there may be State of the Artist. Guaranteed, it will be banging. Big banging. Their live sets are seminars in big bang theory. They see the dance floor as a universe exploding from an extremely dense and hot state and continuing to expand. Note the moves you are busting. Note the asses shaking expansively. Note the subwoofers getting so low that impregnation is possible. FileJerks spoke about their theory. My ears wore condoms:

What is the FileJerks philosophy on remixes?

Astronomar: We aim to reinterpret the tune, usually, but not always, at a danceable pace. We also like to incorporate recognizable elements of the tune, more often than not because we love the original.

What is the FileJerks method of remixing?

Astronomar: I get an all-you-can-eat breakfast at Old Country Buffet, then recite Paul Mooney quotes to myself for a few hours, eventually opening a new project in ACID Pro 7. Then I kinda just make a song and send it off before Shorthand gives it a thumbs up. [Laughs.]

Shorthand: I'll usually find it in our e-mail "sent box" and listen to it secretly, then act like I've never heard it. If it's really good, I act like I don't like it, then say, "Yeah, that's really good, man." Really, though, we stick to a thumbs up policy. We're actually too stubborn to work together on something at the same time.

As a duo, how do y'all clash or argue? What do you argue about?

Astronomar: Yeah, we can't work on one thing simultaneously. Our alliance is fostered in the DJing aspects more than anything. When we argue, it's about dumb stuff like soy milk and why onions are delicious. Shorthand says he doesn't like onions.

Shorthand: I like what I like. I mean, shit. Can I live? As far as music, though, I would say it just works better for us to give constructive criticism rather than work on a track together. Our inspirations stem from so many different things that it just naturally works out that way. I concur that the DJing aspect is definitely our strong point.

You guys did a remix for MySpace's Tom? The MySpace founder guy?

Shorthand: Yes we did. For a "Tom." He contacted us because he'd heard our official remix of Mad Rad's "Crack the Blunt." What were we going to do, turn him down? His stuff was kind of lame, though. Like it was basically children's music, trying to be crunky, and hyphy, mixed with some Halo video-game sounds and Harry Potter lyrics. He was vibing off "Crack the Blunt" and wanted to call his thing "Crack the Goblet of Fire and Make It Game for Nine Hours Straight." Just because he says he founded MySpace doesn't mean he's a DJ, too.

What are the three best remixes y'all have ever heard?

Astronomar: How do I answer this question? Wow. I'd have to say discovering Switch's remix of Hot Chip's "Over and Over" was a big turning point for me. Then obviously R.Kelly's "Ignition" remix was a big one. I can't really answer this question, there's so many amazing remixes, past, present, and future.

Shorthand: That "Bed Intruder" track is hot right now. One track that always stuck out for me was the Crookers remix of AC/DC's "Thunderstruck." Paul Johnson's "La Bomba" (Price Is Right) remix is also one of my favorites.

Who are your three favorite DJ's?

Astronomar: Neoteric, Laidback Luke, and Mr. Dibbs.

Shorthand: Kid Koala, Colby B, Crookers.

If FileJerks opened an unabridged dictionary to a random page, what word would you land on?

Astronomar: Coltish.

Shorthand: Platinum.

Walk us through how you guys remixed the Mash Hall/THEESatisfaction track "Get Your Ass to Mars."

Astronomar: First off, we love the original song. The only thing is that its original tempo was a bit outside of what we would normally play at, so essentially, I wanted to make a version that could fit better into our sets. The first thing I got together was the drum pattern, which in this case became the pattern on the chorus. Since we love the original so much, I asked for the beat stems to mess with and incorporate into the remix. After some chopping and shuffling of Bles's arrangements, coupled with the application of other various percussive elements, I had a fecund garden to plant the vocal seeds in. For this project, I wanted the vocal delivery to remain the primary focus, so the drums come in much simpler during verses then gain intensity throughout leading up to the chorus sections. Maybe the last thing to go on was the DJ-friendly 4/4 intro. So, yeah, we deliberately didn't stray too far from the song's amended layout, just freaked it a bit.

Is it true that during one of your sets at HG Lodge's Say OK, a woman got pregnant on the dance floor without having sex? The bass was so low, so loud, yet so clean and gleaming, that she was impregnated? You guys are on the hook for paternity. How does that feel?

Astronomar: Actually, it was a dude who got pregnant. We think it was because he chugged two Red Bull and vodkas and stood too close to the speaker. We saw him run off to the bathroom. Next thing we know, he's telling us we fathered his baby. And that he wants $20 a week for it.

FileJerks play at at Moe Bar for The Red Eye and at HG Lodge for Say OK. recommended