DJ SH1T-R (aka JASON TAYLOR; Medical Rx)
Current top 5 tracks:
Sylvester, "Take Me to Heaven" (Megatone)
"I've been really excited about this Sylvester track lately. It really got me when it came on the radio the other day. It appears on the same album as "Rock the Box," which is an amazing track (yes, Sylvester does electro). It's very heavy, gospel, and cosmic in parts. The album version is almost seven minutes (linked here), and the single version is almost 11!"
Light Cycles, "Love Mutations" (Bordello A Parigi)
"Bordello A Parigi is a label out of Amsterdam, and it really gives Italo lovers a lot to swoon over, repressing super-rare singles and giving Italo-inspired artists a platform to get tracks pressed. "Love Mutations" came out this spring, and the whole EP is really great; it's just one example of the modern Italo sound. There are so many great artists in this vein to talk about—Kid Machine, Tobias Bernstrup, Palermo Disco Squad, Alessandro Parisi, Italo Connection, Peet Need, on and on..."
Pelada, "Ten Cuidado" (New)
"Katred of False Prophet played this last week and I've probably listened to it 20 times since. It's got a whole lot going on: acid, EBM, a little bit of piano. The vocals are so rough, I want to stomp to "Ten Cuidado" all night."
Credit00, "Hammers Jack Voices Wail" (Rat Life)
"Rat Life Records has been this WTF label for me over the last couple years. This record has been played a bunch recently by Dr. Troy (friend, fellow DJ, and label boss for Medical Records), and every time I hear it I'm reminded how weird and awesome Rat Life is. There is an original, raw sound to their releases that is really fun!"
Love Kills, "I Want to Become" (GDM)
"I've had this song on repeat for the last couple of years, just dreaming that someone would re-press this. It finally happened earlier this year on I.D. Limited, a sub-label of Iventi d'azzurro. "I Want to Become" has an Hi-NRG feel to it, but I think most folks would call this Italo disco. Italo has a really wide stylistic range, which often bleeds into Hi-NRG, and I think this track does that. The synth choir gives it a sort of gothy vibe, too, and when that lady vocal hits... oh, goodness..."
Crew/label affiliation: "Medical Records."
Styles played: "I play a lot of classics and modern derivatives: Italo disco, wave, New Beat, EBM, Hi-NRG, acid, electro, and early house. I also have a soft spot for classic freestyle. My techno friends have been impressing on me more lately, too."
DJing philosophy: "I like DJs who love what they play and have a clear emotional vision. A DJ's set is a representation of that vision, and I think the really great sets I've heard happen when that vision is interesting to me and comes through clearly. A great of example of this from my world is Flemming Dalum's Commander of the Beat, which featured a really interesting cross-section of New Beat and Italo.
"On a much more basic level, I just want to dance. For me and my aesthetics, sometimes I want to just sweat it out and play classic Italo sing-alongs, and other times I want to ride an emotional roller coaster of modern EBM and campy disco. The DJs I play with also have similar eclectic, weirdo tastes, so we go to some fun places together.
"I also value archival, genre-specific sets. I'm interested in the words we use to describe music and people's interpretations of those terms, and I think those kinds of sets are a great way of exploring music lineage and where influences come from. Optimo's Bass and Bleep mix from years ago really made an impact on me and is a great example of this idea. Also, Sling Dion's night, Delightful Isolation - A History of Underground New Zealand Music at Pony, is a journey!"
Format: "All vinyl. Mixing vinyl is really challenging at times, but it's all I know. I could get used to digi decks, but I really like working with records and the push and drag of direct drive turntables. It's more physical."
Worst request: "How about the best requests I've ever received? Yes, requests are annoying, but I've spent many years DJing disco all alone, and I know good company when I find it. Back around 2010 or 2011, I was playing a lot of disco in Bellingham at KUGS while in college (see 'College' by Claudio Simonetti). While I was playing a bunch of Italo on air, someone called to request Laban's 'Love in Siberia.' I didn't have it with me, but what an awesome request!
"Another great request... at the Medical Rx night, we have an Italo fan that comes every month and expects the best. He's been listening to Italo disco for decades—he even gave me copies of some of his old Radio Stad Den Haag recordings from the '90s. That's a super-rare treat! He said, 'You need to know this song,' and dropped off the record at the booth: Creative Connection's 'Don't You Go Away.' I mixed it in that night. It's great!"