In Conversation: David Scuba & Dance Spirit
After releases on labels like Riff Raff, Desert Hearts and Veryverywrongindeed, as well as playing events like BPM Festival, Burning Man and the Winter Music Conference in Miami, US’ David Scuba finds himself in fine form at the present.
This month he linked up with countrymen Dance Spirit, known for forward looking minimal techno, as well as being residents for Audiofly‘s Flying Circus events. The duo’s past releases include n groundbreaking Supernature LP ‘The Sun Also Rises, and now, the two forces combine to bring a fantastically futuristic package to Los Angeles’ Superfreq imprint.
With the 3 track release now available, we got David and the Dance Spirit guys to go IN CONVERSATION, with a light hearted go around on all things music, travel, just chillin out, and more.
“Once I was exposed to the clubs in NYC in that early 2000’s, that was the tipping point for me.”
Christopher Mohn / Dance Spirit: Dave! We have been really good buddies for a long time now, gone to a lot of parties, had fun in remote locations around the world, and made some neat grooves together, We were wondering what your first experience to dance music was? A party? A record? A radio station?
David Scuba: Yeah man, it has been a wild ride! We have had some epic times over the last 8-10 years. Funny that you ask about my first experience – it was this old rave in DC called Buzz. Scott Henry was the resident DJ alongside a host of others that I can’t remember, but it was the first time I was exposed to the true ‘rave’ scene. The candy ravers, the masks, and the rhythmic music is what really took me for a ride. It might have had some chemical assistance getting in the groove, but all I can remember was I couldn’t stop moving. Then shortly after I was exposed the NYC club scene. I was a regular at both Twilo and Vinyl to see Danny Tenaglia. Once I was exposed to the clubs in NYC in that early 2000’s, that was the tipping point for me.
Chris DS: Dude! you got to go to Twilo?! Amazing. For me, I found the party through a little hippie shop in my hometown of Escondido called Bohemian Rhapsody. An old hippy lady owned it and she sold tickets out of it for the old school SoCal raves like Narnia and Nocturnal Wonderland. In ’95 I went to a rave at a roller rink with her called Crunch-E and the flyer was Cap’n Crunch eating “Crunch Berries”! (laughs) I was IMMEDIATELY addicted to the 808 kick, however I didn’t really adopt it as a cultural lifestyle until ’98 when I linked up with a phat raver family and from there it just grew. What about you, Reagan?
Reagan Denius / Dance Spirit: Since I can remember I’ve always been drawn to the sounds of synthesizers, drum machines and the world of electronics. Some of my earliest memories, probably around 4 years old, was taking apart electronics and then hiding them behind my door so my parents couldn’t find them. That didn’t work so they eventually bought me some things to build electronics. Eventually I discovered my dad’s music collection and somehow my earliest enjoyable musical listening experiences were to Depeche Mode, New Order, and Pet Shop Boys. Eventually that lead into electronic music as I discovered Sasha & Digweed’s Northern Exposure at a music store in ‘96 or ‘97. Then as I was already an underground internet piracy junkie idling in AOL Macwarez chatrooms and scripting macro palettes for the different AOL piracy groups for mass mailings and other fun AOL hacking stuff, I was able to find lots and lots of electronic music. I kind of digested anything I could at that point, without the realization there was a “scene” or party environment, or raves associated with the music. The music just always spoke to me on super deep levels. It was like the natural sound of the universe. But let’s not speak of the muffin I put on my dad’s B&O turn table when I was 3 to watch it spin around on the platter.
David: So Reagan, when did you get polluted by the scene because it took over my life for a while and still does.
Reagan/DS: Well I found my way into the scene around 2006 when I moved to San Diego. I noticed a place throwing parties with the likes of Sasha and Dubfire playing and something in me was like “go to the event and ask how to get involved.” I followed this intuition and became a flyer boy for the greater San Diego area, and a couple weeks later Chris joined up.
Chris / DS: Yup, we were flyer boys together (laughs)
David: That’s funny! I used to date a girl that worked the door at Limelight so I was the boyfriend of a club girl and got thrown into the mix. Backstage, DJ booth, and everything else you could imagine… Do you guys ever draw inspiration in the studio with your past experiences or try to tap into those feeling you had when you were first exposed?
Reagan / DS: I draw inspiration from everywhere. It could be a rhythm I hear in a song or the natural environments of the world. Sometimes things just pop in my head and I have to answer the call of the divine to let it out. Other times I hear a melody and it touches me deep in my heart and I need to express it in my own way. Sometimes I remember an old emotion and find a way to express it in music. Inspiration can strike at any moment!
Chris / DS: I have def. been going back to my dance music roots to do what we are doing now. Progressive House can be a very uncool word in the realm of today’s pretentious techno elite but that’s what I cut my teeth on. Techno gave me a more refined palette but the psychedelic energy of those early days of prog are really coming to me now and speaking. Musical trends are cyclical and I think those ideas are gonna come back in a new and better way and I’m having fun with these ideas.
David: Personally, I’ve been listening to a bunch of alternative music, feeling the melody and the layers, but I agree with you, Chris. I’m feeling the same thing with the more ‘in-your-face’ sound made for the dancefloor not the one-handed, ‘cool guy’ dance. That’s why I’m excited about our new release, Dose, and getting in the studio in the next couple months to work on another EP. I feel like our sounds are more aligned now than ever before. The last EP (Dust, released with the Desert Hearts crew’s imprint), I felt like we connected on a deeper, trippier level – a bit more intelligent stylistically.
Chris / DS: For sure, we have been dropping the tracks from Dose around the world for a while now and I definitely see some ears perking up when they get aired! We’re looking forward to our next session for sure.
David: I’m excited to see the reactions on the Dose tracks from heavy hitters like Laurent Garnier and several others.
Chris / DS: What are your plans for Superfreq in 2018?
David: I just got off a call with our label manager, Peter Wohelski, about our release schedule for the rest of this year and into 2018. Mr.C’s finishing up the campaign around his Incidents album with one last single and a compilation celebrating his 30th Anniversary as a DJ before the end of the year and already set for 2018 are some amazing releases from Saytek, Elon, Pattern Drama, and hopefully with remixers like Doc Martin and Kenny Glasgow.
For the events side, I’ve been working on more events next year in LA, the Superfreq Anniversary Tour in the US and some other dates around the world. It’s looking like we will have 2-3 events planned in Ibiza this coming summer, which is exciting as we haven’t had a presence there in a few years now.
I’m super stoked to see you guys have some big releases this month on Bedrock and Crosstown Rebels. Any other tasty releases planned for the beginning of 2018?
Chris / DS: Actually, nothing too crazy planned out yet. We definitely have a ton of demos to send out and we’re wrapping up an EP for Audiofly’s Flying Circus label. We just got done with 6 weeks of touring and these two big releases for Crosstown and Bedrock coming out, so the end of the year is closing nicely. Can’t wait to see what the universe offers up for 2018, gonna be a great year for us for sure.
David: Yeah man, I think 2018 will be a game changer year. I have a great feeling. Well fellas, I gotta run. It was great chatting and let set up a couple of consecutive studio days in December. Have a good weekend.
Chris & Reagan / DS: You too buddy. Love you and the rest of them Freqs!
“Dose” is NOW AVAILABLE on Superfreq