Interview: DJ Icey

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DJ Icey, also known as Eddie Pappa, played a huge role in the 1990’s with the initial wave of modern electronic music. He was one of the first prominent DJs that Florida produced. As a driving force in the world of breakbeat, he knows good music when he hears it. For example, he was the person who got The Chemical Brothers to play their first show in the U.S. He also owns his own indie record label, Zone Records, based out of Orlando.

Tonight, held as a Electric Sun Festival pre-party, DJ Icey will be performing at Spannk and it is sure to be one rowdy night. He was nice enough to answer some questions for us via email. Take a look at what he had to say about the future of EDM and more.

Where in Florida are you from? Rock ‘n’ Roll seems to be a big part of your childhood. What did you listen to growing up ?

 

I was born in St Augustine, Fla., and lived in various cities in north and South Florida. Currently, I live in Orlando. I listened to all sorts of music. Any piece of vinyl I found, I played. My mom was into classic rock and 70’s R’n’B and pop. She was always singing, off key as well. I play guitar and that is how I work my way around the keyboard in the studio making music. I played in bands in high school and college, playing punk, metal, southern rock, etc.

Rolling Stone calls you “one of the original Florida DJs responsible for kick-starting the American progressive house and trance scene.” What doe this mean to you since you are known for playing breaks and bass music? 

 

Glad you asked! That quote was kind of taken out of context and put on Wikipedia. Rolling Stone did an EDM issue during the first dance explosion in the late 90’s and had mentioned the huge rave parties I threw at The Edge Nightclub in Orlando and Ft. Lauderdale. They were four times a year during the 90’s. We would do these 6,000 people shows and have international acts of different genres, who weren’t playing anywhere else in the U.S., flown over to play. It was a passionate underground scene at the time and 100% PLUR! That’s where that blurb came from; they were referencing the events I was throwing, the artists playing them and getting the U.S. exposure to bigger crowds.

In my opinion, vinyl is harder to master than CD turntables. What was the deciding factor in your switch to using only CD’s and what would you say was the hardest and easiest thing about the switch? What, in your opinion, are the pros and cons about artists who still practice and use vinyl today?

 

Well, I run my own indie label, Zone Records. We sold shitloads of vinyl. As long as I was selling vinyl, I played all vinyl and dub plates. The last distributor I had called me up and said they were going out of business. That day I switched to CDs. I now spin CDs and use a USB stick too. I don’t know any traveling DJs personally that play vinyl. Everything is CDs, Serato, Traktor and USB.

 

Coming from a DJ, producer and record label owner’s perspective, would you say that EDM going mainstream has helped or hurt the genre? You have obviously been in the game through big changes in electronic music. Where do you see the future of electronic, specifically breaks, in 10-20 years from now?

 

Yeah, it’s a bit odd for me sometimes. For example, seeing an ad for Avicii’s new clothing line at Macy’s when I was online yesterday. It’s just strange. Shit from the underground going to the overground, but it is what it is. EDM blew up, but music goes through it’s periods. No one knows where it will end up. The stuff I do is still more on the underground tip anyways. The blow up in commercial EDM really affects the ultra high-end 2% of the industry. Where is it all going? Don’t know and don’t care.

What new up and comers have you been keeping your eye on recently? Anyone with potential you care to share with us?

 

I don’t really keep an eye on anyone, per se. I do go on Soundcloud and find a lot of great tunes from producers and remixers of various genres and fame levels. I am always banging out shit in the studio any time I get to. Some peeps turning out some bottom-heavy-shit I am diggin right now: $uperGeniu$ outta Miami longside Hydralix, Meaux Green, YeahiLikeThat, Bassgator, Cobra Krames, Mafia Kiss to name a few.

 

DJ Icey will be playing in Gainesville, tonight, at Spannk alongside Raiu, Illterror and The Gingerbread Boys. The music will start at 9:30 p.m. and it’s an 18+ event, so everybody can party! This is the perfect way to kick-off your fall semester, so it would be in your best interest to not miss this show. Icey hasn’t been to Gainesville since 2010, but has been coming to our lovely town for about a decade. Get your asses out to downtown tonight and drink away your worries and stress from the first week of school.

 

via Bionic Beatlab

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