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Music String

Fri., Feb. 6, 2004

Music String
Photo By Todd V. Wolfson

DJ Mel

The most eclectic of Austin's DJ elite, Mel reveals his several phases "DJ-wise."

"I played around with industrial, techno, acid house, and the progressive dance music that was popular in the late Eighties, but it was always approached with hip-hop sensibilities."

A flawless mixer, Mel always makes it a point to demonstrate the similarities between divergent styles of music, whether seguing A Tribe Called Quest into Black Sabbath, or a 50 Cent a cappella track over a Nine Inch Nails instrumental. Brazen enough to make such musical leaps, Mel is Austin's master of the mash-up.

A native of Killeen and the hip-hop buyer at Waterloo Records, Mel augments his weekly DJ duties at Nastys' Blow Pop event with his quarterly Rock the Casbah parties.

"There are so many factors involved when playing live," he posits, "reading the audience, timing, having the right records, and possessing the skill to combine all of those elements to make a connection with the crowd."

Never one to follow the herd, he predicts the current trend of local DJs spinning strictly commercial rap will soon meet a backlash.

"People are getting tired of it," nods Mel.

As avid a crate digger as there is within the city limits, Mel traverses the vinyl archives for anything apt to make people bug out – physically, mentally, emotionally. An admirer of like-minded national DJs such as Z-Trip and Danny Krevit, it's no wonder unpredictability has become an asset for Mel as he continues on his quest to "put Austin on the map."

Sure Shots

Keith Sweat, "I Want Her"

Color Me Badd, "I Wanna Sex You Up"

OutKast, "The Way You Move"

Personal Classics

David Bowie, "Let's Dance"

Michael Jackson, "Billie Jean"

Zhane, "Hey Mr. DJ"

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