DJ Herb and Alien Records

As important to the clubkids scene as the clubs they frequent are the deejays, and the records they spin, fold, and manipulate. And while many among the populace might argue that Austin needs another music store about as much as it needs more road construction, the availability of club-oriented dance music has been a sorely neglected area for as long as can be remembered. With only the tiny and limited Clubland Records in the Fourth Street arts district to appease the market, both fans of indie dance music and the deejays themselves have been forced to travel to Dallas to get their hands on the music they need. That is, until now. With the recent opening of DJ Herb Agapetus' Alien Records at 501 W. 15th Street, the scene finally, thankfully, has a music store it can call its own.

Formerly the dance music buyer for Waterloo Records, Herb, who is also DJ-in-residence at dance club Proteus, established the store as a place that caters not only to ravenous clubgoers hungry for the tracks they can't locate anywhere else, but also to the rapidly growing group of local deejays desperate for the new releases. In addition to the racks of various club music - jungle, house, hard house, techno, ambient, and trance - Alien also stocks a supply of deejay-related necessities from new styluses to turntable mats and even a smattering of clubwear (the official Alien Records T-shirts are the thing to wear at the moment).

"Basically, I just wasn't getting a whole lot of support over at Waterloo," says Herb. "They're a big operation, and they just didn't really care about how many 12-inchers they sold or the people who shopped for them there. So it was simply out of necessity, basically, that I opened Alien.

"Besides us, there's really only Clubland, and he tends to cater to the gay crowd, which is over in that area. Roger [Wilson, the former dance buyer for Sound Exchange] is fixing to open up a store on Lamar where CD Warehouse was. Other than that, we're it."

Despite the fact that Alien is barely eight weeks old, Herb, who's been deejaying professionally going on eight years, already has plans for expansion of the budding Alien Records operation. "There's plans for a label that's going to be starting out of the back [of the store]. I don't know if it's going to be called Alien Records, The Label, or what, but we're going to have a studio back there, with samplers, drum machines, a new Yamaha digital mixer, a new Ensonic EPS-16 and ASR-2 - all that kind of stuff. These are projects that I'd been working on anyway, and we're just going to move them down there, get some more people involved, have more equipment, bigger computers, that sort of thing.

"That should be happening in about a month and a half. We just laid carpet in the back room, and as soon as I get to know and master the equipment well enough to feel I can do what someone might want, we'll be opening it up to the public."

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