DJ Interview: Aztek

 

DJ name (and any previously used):

Well you already know ‘Aztek’, (you was with me when I first mentioned it), that I started to use in 1991, previously I went under ‘The Funkmaster’ and before that ’Mikee J’.

How did you get into DJ and where did you start playing out:

It all started around 1978, as I had bought a good powerful HiFi System, that ended up being used for parties at various friends houses. I used to mix the trax between the single record deck and the tape machine; though very basic it used to work well.

I enjoyed the response I got and started to research up on proper DJ consoles, so sometime in 1979, with money I had earn’t plus a small loan I bought my own rig; DJ Console, Speakers,Amps, Stands, Lighting and Effects, plus 9 record boxes to transport my record collection around.
I started DJing in Chelmsford and surrounding areas as ’Mikee J’ and The Funkmaster Road Show, which later became just ‘The Funkmaster Road Show’, due to specialising in mainly Soul and Jazz Funk.
My catchment area quickly expanded and I was DJing out as far as London to Hastings and everywhere in between.

How did you get involved with the Plymouth rave scene:

In 1986 the sound of acid house started to appear in the record shops and was being played in clubs. I think the first acid house trax I bought was Russ Brown – Gotta Find A Way, Adonis – No Way Back, Mr Fingers – Washing machine plus a few others.

During that year friends were telling me that this sound was big out in Tenerife when they was there, so later that year I sold all my equipment and flew out to Tenerife with all my trax for the holiday season; this happened on a number of occasions, the last occasion in 1990, where I stayed longer and had Xmas out there returning back to the UK in the newyear 1991.

During my time out in Tenerife I was in contact with my family who had told me they was moving from the Chelmsford area to Maxworthy in East Cornwall, so when I returned they had already moved, so that’s where I went to stay.
Maxworthy; if anyone knows is really out in the sticks, so for someone who was in the hustle  ‘n’ bustle of Tenerife clubland returning to somewhere this remote and quite was a serious buzz kill..!
I promptly set to work searching for a better place to stay and I can’t remember how it happened but I ended up living in the Royal box at the Plymouth Academy, Union St.

Which nights in Plymouth did you play at: 

I played a few nights in Plymouth with many after parties and private house parties. The major ones were at the Plymouth Academy where I played Positivity 1 & 2, Beyond Tomorrow 1 & 2, plus a few others that I can’t remember.
At the Warehouse I played COLLID”E”SCOPE and after a bit of digging around, posting a question on a Facebook page called ‘Plymouth’s Lost Tapes’, I believe the night we met at was Transformation where prior to getting on the decks, I introduced you to Joey Beltram, though once again I’m not featured on the flyer.
I think we need to take into consideration that I had only been in Plymouth a few months, though had already played at some top events, so a lot of local promoters were only starting to hear about me and were giving the breaks I need, hence the reason why I wasn’t featured on many of the flyers of the parties I DJ’d at..

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When did you leave Plymouth and what have you been up to since DJ wise:

Most weekends after the clubs shut around 2am, a bunch of us used to head down to a spot near or in Plymouth Hoe, with a lovely view looking out to the Atlantic ocean. Someone always had a loud car sound system, which allowed us to continue to party there. During the last couple of meetings there, the name Spiral Tribe kept popping up and the meeting at The Hoe on the 25th August 1991, ended my time in Plymouth. As a group of us headed out to Bodmin Moor where Spiral Tribe has set up, we all stayed there for a night or so, then I got, I think it was Pinky to drive me back to my family’s home, where I cleaned up, got a bag of clothes, all my trax and got him to drop me off at Bodmin Moor where I travelled around with Spiral Tribe and stayed at various location in London with them for the rest of that year and most of 1992.
Spiral DJs

What you up to in 2016:

My circumstances are changing now that’s allowing me to have more time for myself, so I have been getting busy and more active.
I have been DJing out a lot more at friends house parties, have DJ’s at a night called DeepDown and a guest appearance on an internet radio show at the end of last year called Static on Hoxton FM and again early this year on another show called Back2life Sessions, where I did a marathon 6.5 hour set. Also celebrated this year in with style where I played a few marathon sets sharing the time with mainly one other DJ at a friend’s NYE party that went on for 4 days. I said mainly because there’s always more DJ’s on the first night, though the die-hards continue on, in this case for another three days..!!

My aim is to get back into the position I was in a few years ago where I was DJing out most weekends with paid booking, it would be wicked to DJ again in Plymouth somewhere.

Three tunes that have been stales in your sets over the years:

Music styles have changed dramatically over the years, as have mine.. So during the Spiral years the three trax that come to mind would be:

F.U.S.E. / Substance Abuse
Public Energy / Three ‘O Three
Edge Of Motion / Set Up 707

Today’s three would be:

In2Deep & Fulltone / Absence,
Monotix / Wicked Plastic
Mind Against & Somme / Vertere

all very different from my early stuff, as over the years I have gotten into deeper material, which seems to go down well wherever I play.
Though I would say I have quite a broad music spectrum playing material from deep house, minimal house to tech-house, deep techno and twisted minimal tech.

Thanks to Aztek for the interview and introducing me to Joey Beltram back in the days!
Find Aztek’s mixes here: Aztek
And the Aztek DJ facebook page is here: Aztek DJ

 

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