Thursday, May 29, 2008


I really don't like doing Q & A's very much. I think for the most part an artists music or mixes really speak a lot more than what they actually have to say. But when I had a chance to pick JARNOLD DUDD's brain, I jumped at the opportunity. A super nice guy who spins some really cool and different tunes than people are used to. This is a long interview, but worth the read. And be sure to check out his two mixes at the end.

DONESKI: Whats the origin of your unusual dj name

JARNOLD DUDD: I work with two other djs and we go by the moniker Jonald, Jarnold, and Jarnell. The Dudd Bros. It’s a play on the name of Donald Judd, the minimal artist and philosopher. His work has had a tremendous influence on me. In a way, the name is really silly. Seems like a cheesy 80s R&B trio or something. So in a way it is a code, a bit high art, a bit low brow. Sure it is silly, but there is something substantial underlying it. My feeling is that a jock is like the curator of a museum. Every track I select is an art object. The work selected, the reason, the fashion, as well as the context are of the utmost importance.
The records I play are artifacts, literally records, of great art moments. Often they represent the work of really astounding and highly influential artists, like Arthur Russell, Bobby Orlando, or Patrick Cowley. Other times they are evidence of a single moment of genius, like producers, especially Nu-Beat and Italo producers, who make one absolutely stunning 12" and are never heard of again. I want to expose the listener to these really amazing songs, which sadly are hardly ever played out.

D:How do you feel about the laptop’s infiltration into the world of djing, and software like serato?

JD: There is no question that the future of djing is with the computer. The software is well designed and extremely powerful (not to mention wonderfully portable). It opens up new realms. You see waveforms. You can manipulate the tracks in ways impossible before. And now the continual criticism of electronic music from Pink Floyd to Bjork has reached djs. When you see a dj using a laptop, consciously or unconsciously your brain recognizes the power of the machine. You know it is doing something, but you don’t know what. Or how. It is literally an interface between the performer and the audience that is in many ways indecipherable. You don’t have this with musical instruments where all sound producing parts are visible, like an acoustic guitar or a flute or something. You see how the person manipulating the device makes the sound. The same can be said I guess about djs who actually use discs. The audience cannot interact with a performer behind a computer in the same way. And this is the burden of all digital artists, to demonstrate mastery over and not dependence on their tools. Incidentally, it's also the goal of the manufacturers to improve these products, minimizing by design the interface between performer and audience.

D:And the future of vinyl?

JD:Well it’s pretty obvious that computers and the Internet have totally changed a lot of things, and often times not for the better. As long as there are crates to dig through, I will exhume gems. My future is magnetic. I think most new djs are choosing the digital route, but there will always be an interest in vinyl. Records are real; tangible. When I hear someone playing a track I own off a computer I wonder if they actually own it. And I don’t mean the file on their hard drive. The object has an inherent value. There is no feeling like finding a track you've been hunting down for years. I can’t think of a comparison with mp3s. But to be fair, my interest is in older music. Maybe ill be super stoked to find a certain mp3 in like twenty years.

D:You just returned from Moscow, Russia. Tell me everything about this basement gig you did?

JD:Moscow was simply incredible. So exciting. So fun. It’s a total urban jungle with no rules. My attention to the breathtaking architecture was rivaled only by the staggering quantity of drop dead gorgeous women. Not kidding. Lucky for me, my hostess was one of the most beautiful.
There are not too many nightlife resources in English for Muscovites. All the ones I did find pointed to one source, Labelfucker. These guys really know how to party. Killer music, awesome people, held in really secretive and unusual locations. I contacted them just a few days before I headed over. They responded and said they liked my mixes a lot and would put the word out to see if anyone wanted to book me. I ended up only taking like twenty records because I wasn't sure if anything would go down. I got there on Friday and on Sunday I got a call saying these guys wanted me for a party that night.
We met up with Chris Helmbrecht, the guy behind Labelfucker and some other really awesome parties (who just hosted the rub actually). We met at midnight in the subway, and then took an especially adventurous cab around central Moscow trying to find the party. When we finally arrived at the address there was no one to be seen, just a line of old buildings on an empty street. And somewhere, a faint untz untz untz. A few minutes went by when a guy with a flashlight popped open a door and hurried us in, telling us something which translated to I hope the cops didn’t see you.
We were led through a completely dark room down a very dangerous staircase. We got to the bottom and there was no floor, it was dirt. The room was cool, damp, and pitch black except for candles situated everywhere. They were stealing electricity to power the system from the neighboring building! It was insane. When your eyes adjusted, the space was really beautiful, ancient brick vaulted ceilings, dirt floors, good sound, and flickering candle light. 50 or so artsy looking kids lounged on cushions on the floor, dressed sveltely. The dj was playing Visage as we walked in and then played crazy Eastern European prog stuff that just flipped me. The next dj played a lot of dubstep and more crazy prog. I was so stoked to be there! Hardly anyone spoke English, but everyone was really nice. They showed us to the bar and it was hilarious because all the bottles were so covered in soot from all the candles you had to wipe off the label to tell the difference between whisky and vodka. The place packed up a bit more and there was good vibes. I went on at 3:15. I played a lot of groove heavy jazz and krautrock at first, and then gave them a taste of whats cosmic. It was so rad, bodies dancing in the dark, in the dirt. I couldn’t stop laughing because it was so surreal. I played almost every record I brought.
The whole rest of the time I was there we went clubbing, and man it was so fun. Amazing people, great nightclubs, great music. Saw digital one from Detroit. The best night of all was the Labelfucker Yum Yum party at Solyanka, easily the coolest club I’ve ever been too. It’s in this Urban Mansion with the best interior design and furniture. Imogen Cunningham photos on the wall, and the sweetest ever Pink Floyd live at popmei-esque sound system. Each night I would see somebody from that first party; if communication was impossible we would hug or shake hands. Moscow is definitely one of the world’s great cities. I can’t wait to go back and play Solyanka.
Go to Moscow. Party with the Labelfuckers. You will be glad you did.


JD:I’m moving to Honduras in July. Before that we have a roller disco party at Playland Skate Center, and a late night bash at 501 studio. Both events are to raise money for local charities. I also hope to guest with some local vinyl guys I admire before I head out. Ill definitely keep you posted.

D:Shout Outs

JD:I need to give my love to my boys from El Paso/Juarez, King Louie and his brethren are killin it good. We play different stuff, but I love what he does and I love his energy. Majora y Minora, the guys behind Radio On and Hump at Plush. They keep it real. Plush on Fridays and Elysium's goth industrial night on Saturdays offer two of the funnest dance parties with great music, and no pretenses. Great for those who wanna do and hear something different and occasionally feel stifled at beauty bar.
I am excited to see where Austin will go. I feel like its going in good direction. The parties are getting better. Some strong talent is emerging. I hope there will be more integration between all of the awesome scenes here. At times it seems really segregated. But its people like you Doneski that build bridges to make fun parties accessible to all. Austin needs more of this.

Pay Attention To:
DJ Jacob Sanders. Bulbs. Lovefingers. Backspin Records. Scott Jawson. Elvis (the band).

Celestial Mechanics is a two-part space rock, space disco safari. Part one is mostly Kosmiche Music (literally cosmic music). Part two has some of the best spaced out sounds of the 70s disco scene. There are some new mixes I have to post so please visit the website periodically if you are interested.



1 comment:

Tiffany Diane said...

were you the one making the video at milk or was that just mitchell?