Hey DJ! Friday Q&A: DJ Oro11 (Tormenta Tropical)
DJ Oro11 moved from the Bay down to Buenos Aires, and when he came back here, he had a hard time letting go of Argentina. So he hooked up with another local ex-pat he'd met down south, DJ Disco Shawn, and together they started a label (Bersa Discos) and a club night (Tormenta Tropical) that grab beats from around the globe--with the Buenos Aires cumbia style of music woven into the tracks. That was two years ago (we profiled their second Tormenta night in Jan '08). In that time, the DJs have attracted international talent as guests and eclectic local crowds to dance. You're guaranteed both a good time and plenty of music and mixes you've never heard before at Oro11's nights. (So get your Gaga elsewhere).
This Saturday Tormenta should heat this chilly city with a big ol' 2-year birthday bash at Elbo Room. We had an email chat with Oro11 before the gig, where he admitted he left the Bay Area this time to live amongst the lobsters in L.A.
Name: Oro11 (Gavin)
Club night(s): Tormenta Tropical
Style(s) of music you spin: Tropical, cumbia, baile, dancehall, slow jams, rap, house
What are you planning for Tormenta Tropical's big two year anniversary? Super excited for the two year celebration this weekend. We're bringing together artists from the Bersa family, DJ Panik from Dallas will be dropping his insanely good cumbia-crunk blends, and globe trotting Uproot Andy will be coming in from NYC. Guaranteed dance party.
So what's your story, in 100 words or less? Started off spinning early dancehall, dub, electro music in SF then moved down to Buenos Aires in 2001 and got hooked on all the tropical/cumbia music you hear out there. Just fell in with the basic heavy bass, shakers, and keyboard rhythm section, plus the whole vibe of the cumbia villera guys is crazy, like mashing The Ramones look with NWA vibe. Started experimenting and mixing it up with dancehall, hiphop, electro, ect- meeting other producers down there, throwing events, then met my Bersa partner Shawn Reynaldo and decided to give everything a proper release on vinyl.
What are the biggest differences between the club scenes in Buenos Aires and in San Francisco? The most glaring difference is that SF closes down promptly at 2 a.m. in BA they open not so promptly at that hour. Somewhere in the middle is quite nice.
What do you mist most about Buenos Aires when you're not there? That's tough, it was home for a good 5+ years, so of coarse most of all I miss all the close friends, as well as the neighborhood cafes, fresh food, Saints, and close proximity to other South American hubs like Sao Paulo.
What's been the best thing about running a club night that fuses together international beats/artists? I love the fact that we have the opportunity to bring together our favorite artists form around the globe and create such a super unique experience. We've had Buraka Som Sistema (Angola/Portugal), DJ/Rupture (NY), Toy Selectah(MX), South Rakkas Crew, Paul Devro (LA), ZZK ( Buenos Aires), Ghislain Poirier (Canada), Lvis 1990/BokBok (LDN). All really exciting artists pushing interesting world music for the club.
Name of a track you can't get out of your head: "Tu No Ta Pa Mi (Mad Bass Remix)" by Toby Love
Name of an artist you're currently championing in your DJ sets: Omega... mambo de calle artist with such and amazing delivery.
Name of a current favorite track for the peak of your set: DJ Paul - Acordeon y Arpa Huajuapeos
Musical mantra: More slow dance.
Favorite DJ experience: Playing the ICA modern art museum in Boston with Uproot Andy and ZZK was really really fun. The whole facility is amazing, built around different views of the waterfront--plus the Barking Crab is a min walk away for great shellfish on the dock.
Worst request: Recently, Lady Gaga.
Worst club faux pas you've committed: This new MC/Hypeman habit is..errr..interesting.
Most treasured vinyl score: Shinehead's Rough and Rugged is an all time favorite. Perfect blend of emerging hiphop and dancehall, plus the back cover photos with him on a 10-speed is amazing.
What's happening with Bersa Discos now? We just put out Bersa Discos #6 with DJ Sabo which is nearly sold out already, Bersa #7 from BananaClips is wrapping up, plus a new mix tape from DJ Panik slated over the next month.
What other music-related projects are you currently working on? Finishing up the BananaClips EP with fellow Bay Area DJ -Chief Boima
What's something happening in the local music scene that should be getting more attention? Los Rakkas should be all over the place by now. Serious talent.
What elements would your fantasy club night entail? BIG BASS, plenty of indoor palm trees, geckos climbing on the walls, aquarium glassed dance floor, fountains with lime water, green lasers beaming, taco/ceviche stands, hologram sharks, LED track listings- and if all floated.
Question we didn't ask you but you often ask yourself: Why not get off the grid 2010.
Next time we can see you spin: This Sat! at the Tormenta Tropical 2-year celebration! @ Elbo Room.