Seattle seemingly boasts as many DJs as it does Starbucks outlets. In an attempt to keep tabs on the most interesting of them (DJs, not corporate coffee shops), we offer this new Slog feature, Spun Out. Here, we'll find out what tracks spun by Seattle's top selectors are currently tearing up dance floors and stimulating minds, and learn about these DJs' philosophies behind the decks. Think of it as trainspotting, with a bonus thesis statement.
REVEREND DOLLARS (aka Renee Jarreau Greene)
Current Top 5 Tracks
1. Reverend Dollars, "GGD"
"My own track, it combines some of my influences from Baltimore and Jersey club, vogue beats, hiphop, and old-school house. I created it because I want trans women to feel good about our bodies and know that we have sexual agency."
2. Sarz feat. Wizkid, "Beat of Life" (Samba)
"This is a Nigerian Afrobeat track from a few years back. The tension and release in this is incredible. People lose it when that beat comes back in."
3. Mighty Mark & TT The Artist, "F Trump" (Zoo on Mars Entertainment)
"People always seem to react to this and whoop and cheer for some reason."
4. DJ Duke, "Blow Your Whistle" (FFRR)
"I love these kind of '90s NYC house tracks that are hard and percussive, with almost a raw, hiphop feel in the sampling. Tracks like this get the voguers out on the floor."
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5. RDX, "Jump"
"A really energetic dancehall cut. Anything that tells people to shake their ass is always a hit."
DJing Philosophy: "First and foremost for me, DJing is about placemaking. If you aren't creating the right atmosphere to draw people and make them feel safe and comfortable, you aren't doing your job right. That includes so many factors beyond what music you play or how you play it. If you're bringing people into a place where they don't feel like they belong, it doesn't matter how good the music is.
"I love to bring the energy, high BPMs, a lot of tension and release. If I'm really feeling a great connection with a dance floor, I'll start bringing in a new track every minute, minute and a half, cutting between tracks really quickly or letting them clash and rub against each other in chaotic ways, pitching stuff up as far as +20. Whatever it takes to build the energy level. I want to make people dance and sweat.
"My main turf is femme-centric queer parties. People come there usually feel the need to be able to express their sexuality in a place where it feels safe to do so, so anything sexy, nasty, or dirty is in. Also, because all the dance music that gets played in clubs originates in some form from Black people, it feels very important to me to demonstrate the Blackness of electronic music. I think that's something that a lot of people lost sight of for a long time, and I didn't understand myself until I got older, but young Black DJs and electronic musicians are making sure to emphasize it. This music that we created in the first place got associated with white people at raves, but we as Black people should have ownership of it, it belongs to us. I raised this point a while back to a Black lesbian couple I know and one of them responded, 'We know. We learned that from you!'"
Styles played: I like to play in different musical formats because I get bored if I'm playing the same kind of music all the time. I love to play Black American dance music genres like ballroom, club, juke, and Miami bass, along with other Afro-diasporic styles such as dancehall, UK garage, batida, and funk carioca, but I also do more laid-back, old-school funk, soul, and disco sets like when I play Soul-Fi, or just straight-up hiphop sets."
Format: "I mostly use a Hercules RMX2 controller and laptop. I like to play vinyl sets occasionally when I have the chance, but I'm not a very good vinyl DJ. I'm teaching myself how to play on CDJs."
Worst request: "Once I was playing a bunch of ballroom and club beats and this young woman of pallor came up to me with her face all balled up and asked if I could play some 'mainstream dance music.' Sadly, I didn't have the Chainsmokers or any of their peers at hand."