The legendary Zanzibar opened in August 1979. What was it like being a resident there and do you have a particular favourite memory of the club?
I was the opening jock of Zanzibar, so it was probably my most memorable night.
How did you first get into producing?Â And can you remember what the studio’s you used at the time were like?
I first got into remixing, before producing and the studios were some of NY’s finest.
Turntable Orchestra’s â€˜You’re Going To Miss Me’ is a favourite of many people to this day. What can you tell us about how the record was created?
In the summer of 1988 Joe Rodriguez of Music Village record shop, had just started up his new label Music Village records and asked me if I would do an original song for the label. I borrowed a keyboard and drum machine from my partner, Nelson “Butchie” Nieves, went to my house and started writing. First I did the drums, then the bass and finally the lyrics. That was the first song I wrote. I recorded it at Sensations Studios in Newark, NJ. My engineer and co-writer was Paul Scott.
Can you tell us about the idea behind your software development company Perfonix and how it’s progressing?
Perfonix grew out of my desire of making Crossover mixing (mixing with just the bass on the crossover up or the highs only) much cleaner. I created or discovered that style in NJ around 1976. It became my trademark. Later my students (David Camacho & Naeem Johnson) took it and spread it to other areas. I wanted to be able to cleanly mix with just the kick drum of a record or just the hi hats. I looked into doing it with vinyl and spent much time working it out. Realized it would take too much money to create new vinyl mastering machines and new turntable to read the format so I shelved the idea (that was 20 years ago). Then I started college about 3 years ago and realized I can do what I wanted much quicker with digital audio files. So I started experimenting and finally worked out a formula and player. Now we have a patent pending and working app.
How did you first people in touch with Radio: which DJ’s and shows first inspired you?
I did not listen to radio when I started DJing. My first experience was a club in Jersey City, NJ called El Central. It was my 8th grade graduation and they allowed us in for that special event. I heard continues music for the first time and it blew me away. I had to find how it was done. A friend of mine knew the Dj and told me I can take you to talk to him. So we went to the Dj booth and DJ Angel (RIP) showed me how it worked. I was hooked from that moment. After that my influences were Flamingo Joe, Richie Kazcor and Tom Savarese.
You currently do a weekly internet radio show on cyberjamz.com (Tuesday’s 10am till 1pm). What makes the show important for you, and why do you think Radio as a medium has lasted such a long time?
I do my show because it allows me to do two things. One, keep up with the new music I get and Two, it is a away of giving back to the club community.
What for you makes a great DJ? And how would you describe your style of playing music?
Great is a strong word. I think there are plenty of skilled and excellent Dj’s. What makes one standout to me is their skill and conscious awareness. By conscious awareness I mean that they influence younger people with their life style and words and choose to be a positive example to them.
Where can people get to hear you DJ next?
I usually put up where my next gig will be on my Facebook page. People can like my DJ Hippie Torrales page and keep up with all I do.
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