The Discos of Tron Release by Justin Johnson (Remixes by Wes Smith, discObeta, Fire-Beat and DJ Loryn)

"The Discos of Tron" is the new release by Justin Johnson (with remixes by Wes Smith, discObeta, Fire-Beat and DJ Loryn). I sat down with the owner of the distributor label Barely Legal Records, Justin Johnson, to see what the heck a Disco of Tron was anyway and what led him up to this release.

Tell me a little background on Barely Legal Records:

I started in late 1990’s working at Satellite Records in NYC.  I had always played all styles but I was known for breaks and needed an outlet to put my music out.  I had a good resell perspective, knew many contacts and had good info on how it all worked, so I brought my skills to the table and my Dad funded the 1st two releases on vinyl.

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How do you pick your label artists? 

The thought behind all of them is to put out my own music but also for friends of mine in a casual low-key way. We are not trying to be a big label, I enjoy doing my own thing by supporting the music of friends and family as well as some artists where we have built up good relationships. If I get a demo from someone I don’t know well then I might have someone I know do a remix and package the whole thing.

What is a Disco of Tron?

Part of it came from when the second Tron movie came out and Daft Punk was djing in the club reminded me of the old stand up game from the 80's... The Discs of Tron. It was a nod to something I loved as a kid growing up - contemporary but with an old school flavor. You can hear that crunchy hip hop inspired breaks on the discObeta version you can hear the East Coast similarities that you would hear back at Limelight back in the day. Wes Fire-Beat and DJ Loren provided completely different flavors and spins with their contributions to the release.

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How did you choose Wes Smith for his remix contribution?

Wes and I knew of each other being involved in breaks on the East Coast and both living in NYC. For me it was awesome to see someone from back in the day holding it down and becoming successful. It’s on a whole other amazing level, I couldn’t be happier for him. He played one of our Faultline parties (actually the same one you and I played with DJ 138) and we started to build a friendship at that point. He played another Faultline event recently and from there we started talking about a remix option for BLR. It’s hard to get the artists involved after they have been paid, Wes is adding additional value to his product, which is something artists should learn from. I was really excited when you contacted me because I knew that another dimension to the release would be coming in the future.

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Any advice to producers out there wanting to submit to labels? Yours or others?

Spend a lot of time making your track sound as good as you possibly can in your chosen DAW. Whatever your friends tell you - don’t listen to them unless they have at least a somewhat professional perspective. It's because no matter what you make they will be positive because they love you and want to give positive feedback. The reality is that there is SO much noise (literally thousands of releases every week) you really have to figure a way to stand out musically. Not just key changes, but also how good the whole package is and it has got to sound original - it’s not easy. Also, no one is really making money producing tracks so don’t put a down payment on the mansion on your first release. Add value to your production skills by realizing that as an artist you are in the public eye. Basic social media maintenance shows you are active and that you care. Unless you are insanely talented and you do none of that, no one will know about you. Find an artist you respect and admire, follow their model and adjust it with your own voice and have it come from your heart. What works for them?
Ask yourself: What is it you think you have done to make you deserve the attention out of the 1000’s of tracks that are put out each day/week/month? Justin_Johnson_washed_out

You are living a lifetime of passion for music, are there any other words you want to say to all the music lovers and breakers out there?

Yes! Be kind to animals and be funky as fuck people! Those who truly love breaks need to continue to get the word out and preach the breakbeat gospel. It's a genre that ebbs and flows in popularity but it is well back on the rise, which is great to see. I would like to see it maintain a certain plateau and it is  up to all of us involved whatever level to bring it to the masses. If you are a dancer tell your friends about it... share a link, drag a friend out, don't assume they won't like it. Same for DJs, producers, everyone whatever your level/involvement. Start a monthly - do something! Back when we started "Faultline" [breakbeat monthly with DJ 138 and Eric Riggsbee] we knew there were fans out there and we were right the fans do exist. You just have to hustle and find them!

Also we just finished up our 2nd installation of "Foundation", [drum & bass and breaks monthly we do with the Dystopia crew] with Submorphics. We are building a following in broken beats on all levels.  It's a small venue with good sound and an indoor/outdoor space with breakbeats under the stars. The food is actually really good and the staff is great...we couldn't ask for more.

This coming Saturday (Sept. 19, 2015) we're doing a special SF edition of Faultline at Underground SF (the old Top on lower Haight) with guests ShOOey and BENN BA$$. No cover. 21+. 9pm-2am.

Wes Smith's Cali Cuts EP Out Now on Punks Music | Interview with Label Manager Olly Gee

Another agent mission completed for the ItsWesSmithYo! interviews. This time I floated over to the UK for a chat with Olly Gee, label manager at Punks Music. Punks released Wes Smith's Cali Cuts EP August 3rd and trust -  they are all HEATERS.

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Tell me about your role at Punks:

I am the Punks label manager. I work with our artists, distributors, A&R people and designers to improve and promote our product. I also handle most of the day to day running of the label. Mark and Dom (Stanton Warriors) are very hands on with Punks so I essentially act as a filter between all of the contributors and them. Everything is signed off by the Stantons so I condense all the information into manageable portions for them to go through. We meet as often as possible to talk about how things are going and to make decisions on what is going to work for the label going forward.

Give us a little history on Punks and what direction you are heading:

The label has been around a long time, well over a decade. It has always been a slow burner though as the Stantons have released most of their music on bigger/major labels. Mark and Dom relaunched Punks early last year and it kinda blew up from the word go, they have built a great legacy musically and command a huge social media following with which helps us a lot. All the magazines and blogs have been really supportive of what we are doing and the Punks artists have really come through with great material for us. This has allowed Punks to grow quite quickly, everything is coming together as we hoped it would.

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Wes Smith/Punks, how did you choose Wes? Do you have a personal favorite on the EP?: 

Actually, Wes was picked up by Mark And Dom before I came on board. I know they are well sold on Wes musically. Wes carries himself well in the industry, he promotes himself very well as a brand and what he does really fits with Punks.

My personal favourite on the EP is "The Tribe”. I’ve been playing it out for a while now, those metallic sounding perc loops are on point. We’ve also been playing Techwerk and getting a good response on dance floors. People seem to enjoy the whole EP. The tunes are tried and tested so we know it's going to be a great release.

Wes Cali Cuts

Where have the tracks been featured?

Wes's tunes are a part of the Big Bass Party mix in Australia:

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As well as the Stanton Warriors podcast #38 they did for Triple J in Australia when touring for the Rebel Bass album:

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You mentioned that you had been playing Wes's tunes out. Tell us about you as a producer/dj - who are you as an artist?

I am one-third of the Freerange DJ's from Cornwall (UK). We’ve been DJing together for a lot of years and out 1st release came in 2009.

We all have our separate strengths within the group but we work together really well which is ace. We try not to put too much pressure on each other and things just always seem to work out well for us, its pretty cool like that actually.

We’ve been really lucky in that we have been able to accomplish the majority of our goals when ever we have set them. We try not to take ourselves too seriously but for some reason people keep on booking us. I think its because we like to party….  As long as we are having fun that all that matters to us really. So far so good!

We have some fresh new material finished which will be available in the next few months that we are really excited about. It's definitely the best material to come out of Ave’s studio to date.

Check out Freerange DJ's "Beat Goes On" remix here (free download). That BREAKDOWN WHOA! 

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What's next for Punks?

We’re constantly working on new ways to improve the way that the label runs and the extend the support that we offer to our artists.

We’ve had a great reception from DJs and fans alike from all over the world. Everyone's podcasts/mixes seem to be absolutely crammed with Punks tunes and some people are even having the Punks logo tattooed on themselves which is amazing.

The Stanton Warriors new Rebel Bass album drops soon. It's a fantastic record and the level of hype for it is huge, I think it will be a bit of a game changer. Although Rebel Bass is coming out on Central Station Records its going to bring a lot more eyes and lend a tone of credibility/exposure to what we are doing at Punks.

I think the next logical step will be for us to start throwing some Punks branded parties. Our artists and the Punks brand are definitely strong enough to make a good job of that and It would be great to be able to offer extra entertainment to our supporters whilst pushing the Punks sound out to new audiences.

We have a lot of ideas that we want to launch when the time is right. Right now Punks is enjoying a really nice period of organic growth, it's an exciting time all round really.

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Any final thoughts/words?

We are looking forward to the Wes Smith release, its been in the pipeline for a little while now so we’re happy to get it out there for everyone to enjoy. Early feedback suggests that its going to be a hit!

All of our artists have some awesome new music on its way. Mafia Kiss, Marten Horger, Sly-One, Nixon and Left/Right all have wicked releases coming up in the next few months that we’re all super hyped on.

Punks has a lot of plans that I won’t go into now, but we have really big goals set for the label and artists. Everyone will see a huge push in the next 12 months to get as much progressive new music as possible out there for everyone to enjoy. We are really enthusiastic about the next phase, the wheels are in motion so keep an eye on our media pages for updates!

We here at Juice Recordings appreciate your time and thank you and Punks for keeping the beat go on and on.... 

Juice Drops | The Legendary Breakers of Boom Presents: Breaker Series Vol. 004 - Fonik

Review
Hot mix here.  One look at the track list and you know the funked out vocal crew is in for a must hear session.  From the start, there’s no delay with the energy, rolling out some current bangers and and armory of deliberate classic nods.


JuiceDrop_DJFonik, #JuiceRecordings, #StickyBumps,  #ItsWesSmithYo, #WesSmith, #TheJuiceSquad, #WhiteBoyAwesome, #DirtyKicks, #BumpRStickR, #LowEndHustler, #ShortStack, #MaxBet, #TableDanceAnthony, #DubleTime, #SuperSoulFighter, #DiscoNinja,  #MCLickey, #ShanaRockit, #ConnieFlair,  #BringBackThatFunk, #Califunkya, #CampCharlie,  #EDM, #UDM, #Bass, #Funk, #Breaks, #Breakbeat, #Garage, #2step, #UK, #FutureGarage  #USA, #California, #SanDiego, #DJFonik, #LegendaryBreakersOfBoom, #LBOB, #JuiceDrops

With absolutely no stress on the promo situation, DJ Fonik delivers a really fun mix, with great flow that reminds me of what DJ’s do when they aren’t freaking out about their Stock Price or branding a new genre.

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If you dance, to breaks anyway...which I imagine most anyone reading this at least gives it a go… or you just like that hands in the air business...this mix is on that vibe from start to finish and alas for you.

The second half gets a bit darker, but only in an electro way, and even here there’s plenty of hype and old school feel to it all with no shortage of Quad.  Turn up the center knob in that low rider and roll out to a classic Rob Bass edit courtesy of The Juice Squad and yours truly!

All in all, this is the kind of set you’d really love to hear follow up a headliner, or for that matter from a headliner, perhaps an old school night, at a club where chin stroking is not your main interest.  For all these wonderful reasons, Juice Drop Meter = 9/10.

Juice Drops

03 - Mike B - Feel My Energy (DJ Fixx Remix) 07:13

04 - Wes Smith & Dirty Kicks vs. Kiesza - Breakaway 11:30

07 - The Juice Squad vs. Destruction Production - What A Rush (TJS What A Break Remix) 20:18

15 - The Juice Squad vs. JJ Fad, Rob Base & DJ E Z Rock, Sir Mix-A-Lot, L'Trimm, House of Pain - Super Sonic House Of Big Butt Rockin Boom 55:42

Feel My Energy (Evan Gamble Lewis Remix) by DJ Mike B coming soon on The Pooty Club Records

We're happy to be working with Evan Gamble Lewis and The Pooty Club Records to release an official remix of the classic Feel My Energy from DJ Mike B which was originally released on Juice back in 1997.   Check em all out at the details below.

Pooty 146D, Pooty Club, Feel My Energy, Evan Gamble Lewis Remix, original by DJ Mike B

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