Your Mix Fix: DJ Juan Data

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The word mixtape has plenty of different interpretations. It used to be that mixtapes were actually DJ sets recorded on cassette tapes, but with the coming of the digital music age, the name remained the same, but the definition expanded. Nowadays, people call mixtapes many different things, some of which are not necessarily mixed and most of which were never taped. Here we try to cover them all. In this column, Juan Data gives you a worthy one every week.

DJ: Juan Data

MIXTAPE: Gloryholes 2

This is totally a douchy move, I have to admit, but what the hell. I’ve been reviewing other people’s mixtapes for over two years on this weekly column and during that time I’ve also released my own mixtapes since, well, besides writing for Remezcla, I also happen to be a DJ. So yeah, I’m gonna go ahead and post one of my own this time. It’s called Gloryholes 2 and it just came out a couple of days ago.

The title makes reference to the wide holes in the old 7” vinyl records that pretty much resemble those holes in the walls of bathroom stalls and porn-viewing booths where you can insert your thingy and an anonymous person can play with it on the other side (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, google it). For many years, I used to work in one of those establishments where they had glory holes in the back room and I always found the idea of it ridiculously funny and yeah, a bit erotic too. No mom, I’ve never tried it.

My real fetish is collecting 7” records, also known as 45s. This is a very rare format to release music in, specially in the digital era where mp3 singles cost virtually nothing (we give them away here all the time!), but it’s sort of experiencing a comeback. In fact, I just released my own 45 single, with an exclusive remix of Bondi Blaster (yeah, self-promotion within self-promotion!). That’s what prompted me to put together this new mixtape where I exclusively use music pressed in this particular format.

There’re some oldies in there, from the times where 7” records were massively popular, but most of the selection consist of current releases. There’s definitely a good dose of ñu-cumbia, but there’s also some soul, funk, afrobeat and even salsa.

I’m not trying to convert you into a 7” collector, but if you do have a turntable laying there somewhere, I beg you to plug it in and get some real wax to spin on it from time to time; it’s definitely a better experience than having your mp3 player in shuffle mode. Listening to music on this tiny records implies a whole other level of commitment with your music. You have to be actively involved in the process. It’s like saying out loud that you really love music, and it’s not just random noise playing in the background. It also sounds a lot better.

OK, I promise next week I get all serious again and go back to properly reviewing other people’s stuff.