Doctor Jeep is Andre Lira from Boston, and is playing at Outpost1 this Friday. We hang out with him on Facebook or Ustream or TURRBOTAX or wherever else, and he’s a fun-loving young man with some murderous productions. I heard his track ‘Level II’ on XLR8R a few months ago and have played it in most of my DJ sets since then, cause it’s the bomb. Andre did us a tight lil partytime mix below, way to revive Missy Elliot ‘Lose Control’ from the vaults! KC‘s interview after the jump. Before the party on Friday, tune in 6-10pm on WCDB 90.9 fm for the usual OUTPOST1 Takeover. Cause you know there’s fun to be had.
photo © Dave Tschiegg
In the game since: 2008
How did you first get into the good business of DJing and making music? Do you identify more with being considered a producer or a DJ? I’ve written some form of music since like middle school, but started making dance music freshman year in college and DJing at parties we had in my apartment around the same time. I like both titles equally, but there’s something way more rewarding about producing a song that I think will only appeal to me and my weird tastes and hearing that other DJs are playing it out in France or Russia or pretty much anywhere other than my bedroom. Don’t get me wrong, hanging out and mixing with my friends is probably my favorite pastime, but in Boston I’d say I’m more well known for producing than DJing.
Hit the jump for the rest of the interview!
What was it like creating the now infamous (to the smart kids at least) “Level ii”? Did it come to you in a dream? Maybe rap about your production process? Haha, I don’t know really. Most of my favorite tunes were just made at like 3am on a whim (I almost never get anything done when it’s light out). Typically the entirety of the composition of a track is done in around 3-4 hours, and then I spend forever mixing it/adding all the little transitional elements or whatever to spice it up a little bit.
Production is all about learning by doing. You’re only going to get better at it the more you just grind through projects. I’d say that 75% of the ableton files on my computer will never see the light of day, but in experimenting with different sounds and ideas you get way quicker with synthesis and knowing exactly how to jot down an idea.
When did you decide to start Banana Peel? How did that come to creation? What’s up next for your label/collective? What’s your role within the crew? Who came up with the logo (it’s great)? Banana Peel basically arose last summer from the four of us (Elkid, Fens, Mzungu and I) wanting to be a part of a group where we set the rules and play what we want. We wanted to use it as an outlet for our own productions and to play out together since we all have varying individual styles but work pretty well DJing with each other. Up next we have releases coming out from the other 3 guys; it’s been taking a while because of having to balance music and school, but details about that will be coming soon. Of the four of us, I’m definitely the weird one who enjoys/makes the most… I don’t know… “out there” music?
My roommate Dave makes all the graphics and most of our show flyers. He is also an excellent chef.
What can we look forward to following the release of your Aztec EP? How did you link up with End Fence? I’m working on some more stuff for End Fence, including a remix for Archie Pelago who are a group of ridiculously talented musicians that incorporate live cello and sax alongside electronic beats. Really, I saw them at TURRBOTAX last month and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a live show like that. I met the End Fence dudes via a friend in Boston, and ever since then they’ve become my extended musical family of sorts – we always hang out when I’m back at my mom’s house in New York.
Otherwise, just more tracks. I’m trying to keep them under wraps because I always jinx it when I put my tunes up on soundcloud or whatever before they’re totally finished. I started experimenting with songs at 110BPM and 160BPM, so it’ll be interesting to see how that develops.
If you could DJ anywhere in the world, where would it be and with who? Anywhere in the UK, and probably with Ben UFO or Jackmaster solely to see how they work their magic up close. Alternatively, somewhere really far where I wouldn’t normally be able to travel to, like Tokyo or Singapore.
What was the first event you played like? How did it contrast with the most recent party you’ve spun at? What to you makes a party a success or stand out in your memory? Haha, well the first party I ever played was in my friend’s tiny apartment playing really bad electro house on Traktor using my 3″ computer speakers in winter of 2009. Last weekend I played at our monthly to a packed house with arguably one of the best systems in Boston, and I was opening for a true legend, so I’d say it’s an upgrade. If the crowd is having a good time and I’m enjoying myself, the party is a success in my eyes.
What’s it been like building a community within your home base in Boston? Are you from the area or just attending school there? What are you studying? Pretty awesome, actually. I only really got to see how how the scene was like after I turned 21 which was only a few months ago, but most of the DJs know each other and are super friendly. Meeting other producers whose works I genuinely enjoy really inspires me to write more; off the top of my head Prism and Wheez-ie are Boston friends of mine who consistently impress me with their tunes.
My home base is Manhattan, but I go to Northeastern and study Neuroscience. One day I’d like to understand what the cognitive basis for people liking certain types of music is. Until then I’ll just be trudging through my school days so that I can run home and try and get better at producing.
What are some artists you’ve brought to your monthly there, or who would you like to host next? We recently brought DJ Funk to our monthly which was a ruckus…that man knows how to party. We’ve also brought in DJ Assault, DJ Pierre, and Tittsworth, all really nice guys and great DJs.
As expected, I would love to get some UK talent to America but it’s often hard to coordinate since we need to catch them while they’re touring in the states. I’d love more than anything to host Boddika or Joy O, but they don’t play outside of Europe that often.
The first piece of music you’ve bought on vinyl? Or the most recent? I made the foolish decision of buying CDJs instead of turntables last summer, so I don’t really buy much vinyl (I own maybe 10 records), but the last thing I bought was Swindle – Mood Swings VIP b/w Royal T – Orangeade VIP (released by Butterz). The Swindle track is really nice, sort of on that G-Funk meets grime tip. Plus, the record was a limited edition white label so I figured I should snatch it up since it won’t come out on mp3.
What do you do when you’re not making or playing music? Honestly, when I’m not in class…probably on the Internet, playing Fifa 11 with Dave, or napping. I don’t really lead that exciting of a life.
What’s your favorite type of taco? I don’t know but it’s like 2am and I’m starving, I could probably eat a dozen tacos of any kind right now.