- Old-school house from Los Angeles.
- If you've spent any time going to parties (or livestreams) in Los Angeles over the past few years, you've probably seen the name Mez on a couple flyers. The up-and-coming DJ has quickly become a regular at some of the city's best-known parties, bringing a fresh but decidedly old-school vibe. He's a young selector who plays '90s house in a way that feels new and exciting and classic all at once—you can hear influences from the old guard in the smooth way he mixes and how long he lets the songs play out, but you can also imagine his excitement at hearing these old records for the first time and wanting to share them with everyone else. In the right hands, even the most obvious record can become new.
Mez's RA Podcast is full of vintage gold, classics and obscurities from the likes of Octave One, Green Velvet, Danny Tenaglia and Spencer Kincy, with some new stuff thrown in. The mix is groovy and effortless, the perfect pick-me-up. And it's loaded with great tunes—who doesn't get excited when you hear the strains of Green Velvet's classic, creepy "Stalker?" Sometimes it takes new ears to remind you of old greats, and Mez does just that.
What have you been up to recently?
Trying to readjust to having live gigs again after a year and a half making mixes alone in my bedroom .
How and where was the mix recorded?
In that same bedroom on 2 CDJs and a DJM.
Can you tell us about the idea behind the mix?
I knew I wanted it to feel like 3 AM in a warehouse as an overall theme, but I feel I traversed many different sonic environments in this one. Some moodier, some trippier, campy, ghetto.
You have a habit of playing mostly older dance music. Where does this preference come from, why, and how do you find new records to keep things fresh?
I do really love some early '90s house, but I can't say it's necessarily something I'm doing on purpose. I just go with the flow of digging, and what I find often is mostly older stuff. Maybe because I spend most of time looking for new music on Discogs, and then once I find what I'm looking for I'll cross reference mp3 sites after the fact. But that has just been how I've gone about things up to this point. My strongest points of reference are also usually more than double my age. I've only been DJing live for a little over two years, a large part of which was in a pandemic—so I think as I discover new ways of going about my workflow, I'll continue to evolve sonically too. There's also a seemingly endless (at least I haven't hit my end yet) amount of inspiration from that time period. Club music at its peak, its rawest—the sounds were fresh and a lot of territory was being charted for the first time —and it's palpable.
You're part of an LA scene that feels resurgent and full of promising young DJs. What do you like most about LA, playing in LA, and do you think the scene is in good shape post-Covid-19?
LA is my home base. It's where I feel most comfortable and supported, and my music taste is largely informed by the years I've spent sharing dance floors here with my peers, even before I was playing them myself. I'm excited for fall because there are still a few of my favorite parties that haven't returned yet since we've reopened. I’ve noticed a lot of people whom have never thrown or even thought to throw parties before the pandemic that are throwing them now and there's not always as much intention put into spaces where people just wanna party, with little regard to what exactly they're celebrating. I'm seeing a lot of that recently, in tandem with some bigger promoters having been in a pandemic for over a year and throwing party after party after party. The scene feels a bit over-saturated at the moment to me, but I'm also easily over-stimulated.
What are you up to next?
I’ll be in New York for LadyLand on September 11th, Atlanta with the Deep South Crew the next night, will be launching my party No Signal officially on October 2nd, then finally opening for miss Honey Dijon herself October 9th. It'll be a busy next couple of months!