The Return of the Old Skool–Sweatin

You ready for Sweatin’ tonight. You best believe Scotty Niemet is bringing you Columbus’ finest for one night only down in Olde Town East at Carabar. Get at the Facebook event page HERE for more details. You know I will run down the line up and give you some essential listening to get you ready for the show, but first I have a special feature for you: an exclusive interview with DJ Push that explores his history as a DJ, how our scene has changed, and what sound he is going to bring tonight. I will then finish up with a round up on Pro Bono, a personal favorite of mine, and the mysterious Detox. But first Push’s exclusive interview:

DJ Push : Push Productions

LA: How did you get into EDM music and become a part of the scene?

Push: It was a progression of friends of mine being electronic djs, throwin parties, and just honestly feelin’ the music. Yet, it all goes back to around ‘95 with my group of friends.  We were all heavily hip hop oriented. I was a part of a Columbus famed Graffitti crew called the “All Star Fame Crew (ASF)”.  We were all going to underground hip hop shows at the time seeing notable acts like Dj Drastic, Prizm, Bombay, Walter Rocktight, Megaherts Crew and a guy that used to play my house parties all the time, RJD2.  I made friends with some individuals through throwing ridiculous parties, Steve Soulo, Mark Anthony, Sense, and a few others. My girlfriend of the time talked me into going to a party called Get Freaky 2, this was thrown by a guy named Wilhelm K, now part of the notorious Nightsneak out of Detroit.  I was Hooked. 

After that, I joined Sureal Productions in late 1998 and became a part of a lot of the large parties that happened in this town up till 2002.  I’ve hosted a dozen or more club nights, played countless parties, and thrown many raves. I must clarify what I mean by a rave. A rave is an underground party that is dark, dirty, loud, super fun and slightly dangerous.  Raves are not what the kids nowadays feel is rave. Most of these kids don’t have a damn clue what a rave is let alone what raving is, the vibe at a rave, or why they are all done.  I am not speaking of afterhours, house parties, or club nights.  I’ve been in this scene for about 15 years and my roots are deep.  I can understand when someone talks about the dead rave scene.  Only raves thrown in this town the last couple years have been by PUSH. RUN614. MBFP. SQUARED.    period.

LA: How long have you been DJing and how did you get your start? 

Push: I have been playin’ records for over 15 years since 97’.  Back then, a certain DJ friend of mine had a debt to me that he was unable to pay.  Instead of money, I accepted his tech 1200’s, Numark mixer, and a crate and a half of his vinyl.  The rest was history. I practiced no less than 2-3 hours a day and taught myself how to beat match, phrase, and read the grooves on vinyl records.  New skool kids nowadays read waveforms on computer screens. We used to read the grooves on the records. 

LA: How did you start Push Productions?
Push: I started a night at a club downtown called FM back in 98. I used to be called swerve back then.

After that I started to be a part of lots more events in Columbus, Cinci, and Cleveland.  Back then there was a rave every weekend somewhere close.

 LA: Who is Push Productions today?

Push: We are a collaboration of Djs, Designers, Promoters, Photograpers, and administrative support people that are dedicated to putting on shows and playing shows with the very best in music! The crew was developed to give my friends a homebase and a springboard to help catapult them into a higher plane.  As individuals we can only go so far and be noticed, but as a large group of support we can go farther, be stronger, and easily deflect the whack bullshit that gets thrown by haters.  And believe me….they are everywhere. Members of PUSH include but are not limited to:

DJ Push, sKewn, Mike Salamon, Dj Drastic, Xavier Mathias, Hawstyle, Gl!tch, Network EDM, Dj Nameless, Rocketnerd, Roman Seoul, Neal Fabyan, Jack Herrera, Ginsu Von Mixwell III, Joe Blunt

Admin and Support: Tiffany Hunter, Eric Parsley

Visuals and Design: Coreroc

LA: You are so active in pushing our community and scene forward. What drives you to do this despite a busy schedule outside of our community?

Push: I have a love for electronic music…. Its sound, production, people, and environment have been a part of me for so long.  I left for a few years and went to pursue my career.  Currently, I’m the Executive Chef of Hyde Park.  When I returned to Columbus in ’09, I was super sad to see the state of music.  Having just come from Annapolis that is dead in the middle between Baltimore and D.C. I was used to mad amounts of music and events, which was what cbus was about when I left.  I vowed to reassemble Push and make it extraordinarily versatile so that many genres of music were represented.  My drive comes from knowing that music is alive and moving forward.  We still have a LONG way to go.

LA: Is it hard to balance both? 

Push: Yes extraordinarily.  I work A LOT.  I do a better job of the balance now. There are many times I basically leave work, go home to change, and then straight to an event. Another important part of the balance is family. My kids and my girl Tiffany are very important to me. I tend to get very focused on music and have to make sure to step back and give them the time they deserve.

LA: Do you think the Columbus scene has changed since you became a part of it? What is it like to witness that change?

Push: I do believe the scene has changed. It is crazy to think about the changes that have occured since I’ve been apart of it, because I have been in this scene since a lot of these newcomer know it all kids were in 1st grade.  There is a general lack of respect now for the craft of being a DJ.  I and countless others have worked very hard to hone this craft.  Some of these “club kids” that think they are ravers have no clue as to what is going on or as to what the scene is.  These people are more concerned with their drug intake and their experience than they are about the music or showing respect to Breakdancers that have been coming to our shows and supporting for over a decade.  I don’t like that these people consider it their scene when in actuality it is everybody’s scene to enjoy and dance. Our scene has changed greatly singe the 90’s. The 90’s as we know it are gone, and our scene has evolved greatly . Unfortunately these changes have not been for the better sadly.

LA: Due to the popularity and increased attendance at many of our shows, I feel like our scene is really Blowing up right now. What are your feelings on the state of our scene today?

Push: Well to expand on what I said earlier, certain parts are blowin’ up.  My boys Nick and Chad of MBFP are super hot right now, but that is only a small part of our community; the Dubstep part.  I would agree that Dubstep is blowin’ up, while the House, Techno and D&B part of the scene are not as much.  I would like to focus a little more on the House aspect of our scene for a while. It is my favorite part and brings a lot more hygienic and friendly crowd.


LA: Speaking of the music, who are your biggest local and international musical influences both past and present?

Push: In the past, my biggest local influences were Bob Sfero, Xavier Mathias, Jason Lyman. My biggest International influence would be Paul Johnson, Terry Mullan and Terrance Parker. (All of whom played my rave “Proper” in may of 11) In the present, I would say local influences are all the djs on Push, because they are all GREAT! Nationally, I would say the entire Dirtybird crew and all my past influences.

LA: How would you describe your creative process when you are putting together a mix?

Push: I just feel it. I have tracks that I love, and I play what I feel will go well at that particular time.

LA: How does mixing in the studio compare to when you are live in front of a crowd? What kinda things do you do differently?

Push: Studio time is fun, but it doesn’t compare to playing in front of the crowd!  That is a feeling that compares to none. Being in front of a crowd is instant gratification real time to what you are doin!!  Smiles on faces, asses shakin, feets a movin!!! LOVE IT!

LA: What has been your favorite show you ever played?

Push: Its really hard to say, because I’ve enjoyed playin’ many great shows.  Playin’  Fresh Air rooftop parties, world peace afterhours parties, Aus 10’s Fleur Parties, and my rave Proper when my hero Terrance Parker was in the booth with me were all highlights I won’t forget.

LA: What has been your favorite moment(s) being a part of our local EDM community?

Push: Every time I hear good music and see carefree dancing and enjoyment!

LA: Do you have any upcoming events or releases you are excited for?
Push: Well obviously I’m excited about Sweatin’ Tonight.  I’m also super excited about the Push Christmas party on the 23rd. Myself, Network EDM, Ginsu, Rocketnerd, Carma from MBFP, Digiraatii are all playin’. Its gonna be off the hook. 

LA: What do you have in store for the people at Carabar on Friday during Sweatin’? Any special Surprises?

Push: I’m gonna play a super Housy set. It will be deep, funky jazzy, vocal and FUN!!  I will also be droppin’ a special track from 98 that hold a dear place in my heart. I will show that the old house moves floors.

LA: If you had to describe your distinctive sound to someone who has never heard you spin before how would you?

Push: I love to play house. I play modern bass house usually (i.e. dirtybird tech house) that is solid, groovy, bass heavy and infectious.  I also have a harder edge. The figit and electro side of me likes huge bass drops and crazy builds. 

This sound is on full display in his recent Mix for the Headz that I featured in the most recent Our Scene, Our City, Our Sound series on wednesday. You can read more about that feature HERE, but for your sonic pleasure I am glad to let you get at this mix right now. You best believe Push’s house set will be something to not be missed.

DJ Pro Bono

Man, I don’t know if you guys are hip to pro bono, but the dude is a web & DJ phenom in our scene. He runs two tumblr’s that are must view for anybody in our community. His Ohio Against the World tumblr features a great menagerie of pictures, fashion, dj stuff, celebs, and, videos. Its dope. Trust me. I also check his tumblr Bono Tunes daily, which features his selections from the genres of french house, chillwave, disco, and other up-beat EDM. Dude has a great ear and I cannot wait to see what he has in store for us tonight. According to information from the interwebz, Pro Bono will be featuring a set heavy on french house.COMON, french house is essential for anyone during any time of the year. This dude is must see DJ’in on fridays! If that doesn’t get you ready, then check out his Feel Good Mix below.

DJ Detox:

I know little about DJ Detox, and there is very little information about him out there, save what you can learn from word of mouth. I took to the streets (aka facebook) and found out that Detox is columbus rapper Envelope’s DJ. He comes with the full-fledged Scotty Niemet seal of approval, which is good enough for me. I do know he has DJ’ed Niemet’s Moral Tales night that features chill house, italian disco, and disco more generally. If this is any indication then Detox should throw down a super eclectic and fun set. I know I am really pumped that he is somewhat of a mystery. In this age, that is something that is more and more of a difficulty to do.

Get Ready. Olde Town East will be shaken to its core with infectious house & disco grooves.


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