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Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

After six years at the Ace Hotel and Swim Club in Palm Springs, DJ Day has decided it’s time for his popular weekly ¡Reunion! party to come to an end.

He recently announced that the sixth-anniversary edition of ¡Reunion! on Thursday, March 31, will be the final show.

“Honestly, after six years every week, which is something like 320 nights, it begins to take its toll,” DJ Day said during a recent interview in Palm Springs. “Long story short, I just got burnt out on the whole nightlife thing. It’s run its course, and I’d like to start doing something else. I want to get back into recording music, and I’m ready to move on as a person and just take a different path in my life. It’s been great, but it’s also a very trying thing.

“When I first started out, I talked to someone who had a weekly in Portland, and she said, ‘It’s not easy. You’re going to have stretches of good times and stretches of bad times.’ It’s been up and down lately, but it’s on an upswing right now, so I figured it was time for me to leave on a good note.”

For the past few months, DJ Day’s good friend and regular guest at ¡Reunion!, Aimlo, has not been present.

“(Aimlo) is moving away and hasn’t been coming since the end of last year. For the past three months, he’s been doing his own thing and gearing up for the move,” DJ Day said.

DJ Day, whose birth name is Damien Beebe, said the decision was completely his own, and that Ace Hotel management was surprised to learn about his decision, yet was supportive and understanding. He said he will continue his last-Saturday-of-the-month Highlife party at the Ace.

“The Ace Hotel didn’t even see this coming. I’ve been kicking around the idea for a year, and in my gut, something told me it was time to move on and do something different,” he said.

DJ Day said one of the things he enjoyed the most about ¡Reunion! was the vibe that could often be felt in the room—something I experienced myself many times.

“Trying to Rolodex through six years’ worth of shit is insane. There have been some crazy times, from people dancing on tables to trying to put money in my underwear,” he said. “The best times were (when the crowd was) willing to take a chance and trust me musically, and it creates this reciprocal feeling in the room where everyone is on the same vibe together. It’s a church-like vibe, and everyone has the same spirit going through them. It’s the best feeling I can get through music and playing other people’s music.”

¡Reunion! has featured many amazing guests. The first ¡Reunion! I attended was in 2013 during Coachella, when Flying Lotus showed up and performed a surprise set in the Amigo Room.

“There have been times when I didn’t even know who was in the room just hanging out,” DJ Day said. Lykke Li was in there chillin’ one night in a booth; Tom Morello from Rage Against the Machine was there one night, and just other random people. You never knew who would be at the Ace.

“During the first two years, we’d have special guests once a month. Jeremy Sole (of KCRW radio) put together this flier, and I was trying to remember all of the people who came through, but it’s a pretty big list of folks. I just wanted it to be a place where people could come and hang out … and be comfortable. That’s why it’s ‘¡Reunion!’—it’s a place for people to come together. I wanted to create a good vibe, and I’m proud to say we never had any fights or dumb shit happen in six years.”

Along with Aimlo, the aforementioned Jeremy Sole was a regular guest at Reunion, and other local DJs such as Pawn, Pedro Le Bass, JF//Discord and Independent resident Alex Harrington often joined the party. There has always been a spirit of collaboration and openness.

“I’m very happy to be part of anyone else’s success, or give people a platform to do their art of playing their music when they never had (a platform) before,” DJ Day said. “I love being part of the community here and being part of the future of young people. For me to give a hand to anybody, it’s a great thing.”

Despite DJ Day’s busy touring schedule—including various international trips—he always came back home to play at ¡Reunion!

“I was on tour in Europe, and I remember coming back one night (and) getting off the plane at LAX,” DJ Day said. “I went home and showered, and went right to ¡Reunion!, because DJ Nu-Mark was playing that night. I wanted to go and just make sure everything was cool. My wife was like, ‘What the fuck you doing?’ And I was like, ‘Hey, I gotta be there.’

“What has taken its toll, in an emotional sense, is going overseas and playing for like 4,000 people in Tokyo, and coming back home to no love. It’d be like, ‘Where the fuck is everyone?’ I felt like people were starting to take this shit for granted, and it was like old reliable: ‘Oh, I’ll go next week,’ and next week becomes next month and on and on. Then you’re relying on the hotel guests, and that can fluctuate.”

DJ Day said ¡Reunion! has been a true learning experience, because he never knows what kind of crowd and vibe each Thursday night will bring.

“I have to be on my toes for whoever is there,” he said. “Some nights, it’s been straight party shit; other nights, I’m playing Portishead at fucking midnight. It just depends.”

DJ Day has talked about how much effort he put into his record Land of 1000 Chances, which was released in 2013. He said he’s a much different artist now than he was back then.

“Whatever music I choose to make now is coming from a totally different perspective, life-wise and internally, than where I was at that time,” he said. “That was a culmination of events that were going on behind the scenes both within myself and other areas of my life. That record addressed some of them, and I put my heart and soul into that record. I’ll still do that with the next one, but it’ll be from a different place. … I think I’ll be more of an optimist, and my taste has evolved and changed.”

What does DJ Day see himself doing on Thursday nights after the final ¡Reunion! show?

“Watching Better Call Saul on the DVR,” he joked. “No, actually, I don’t know. It’s going to be weird, and it’s going to be an adjustment. I’d like to spend more time with my family. That’s what I really want.”

DJ Day said he’s not sure what the future will hold for Thursday nights at the Ace.

“I’ve been there since Day 1—I used to do sets by the pool, so I’ve actually been there seven years,” he said. “I offered to find a replacement for me, whether it was Aimlo or Pawn, to continue that night, given they know it, but they might go in a different direction and do something completely different.”

DJ Day said he feels very thankful as six years of ¡Reunion! come to a close.

“I couldn't have done this without my man Aimlo, who's been there from Day 1, and my Ace Hotel family who have been nothing short of awesome,” he said. “I also want to give a tremendous thanks to all of the artists who've played ¡Reunion! and everyone who's come out and supported us throughout the years. Much love to you all.”

The Reunion Six-Year-Anniversary Farewell will take place at 9 p.m., Thursday, March 31, at the Ace Hotel and Swim Club, 701 E. Palm Canyon Drive, in Palm Springs. Admission is free. For more information, call 760-325-9900, or visit www.acehotel.com/palmsprings. Below: DJ Day with Alex Callego.

Fans of Independent resident DJ All Night Shoes’ monthly FRESH Sessions mix were treated last July to a guest mix by JF//Discord.

The “De:Volve” mix showed just what makes JF//Discord (Jeremy Ferguson) unique: It featured some familiar dance music—tinged with a darker side.

Ferguson recently discussed his interest in becoming a DJ.

“I just wanted to move people with good underground electronic music,” Ferguson said. “I think I have a good ear for underground electronic music and hopefully translate the connection I have with people to where they can dance.”

Ferguson isn’t shy about his adoration for metal music. He often wears a hoodie jacket with the logo of the metal band Death. He’s also known for his saying, “Horns Up!” He said first discovered metal music when he was in the fourth-grade.

“I first started off with Def Leppard and Pyromania, and I got that on cassette,” Ferguson said. “It was my first actual music purchase. When Hysteria (Def Leppard’s follow-up to Pyromania) came out, I got that one. There was a store in Palm Desert at the time … called Music Plus. My brother and I would go in there, and we’d just start looking through their audio section in this thing they had with four pairs of headphones you could use to listen to music. I remember seeing the list of bands … Autopsy, Death, Testament, Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax, Megadeth. We started listening to all these bands, and it piqued my interest. From there on out, it was just all metal.”

Ferguson was even a member of a metal band in high school.

“I was in a death metal band called Discordance the whole I time I was in high school, as the lead vocalist,” he said. “Metal took a real bad turn when all the grunge stuff started popping up. Nobody wanted to be associated with metal whatsoever in any way, shape or form. I was still kind of young back then, so I was like, ‘Maybe metal is starting to die, and maybe it’s going to start fading away.’

“I got exposed to electronic music. It was super-underground at the time, and the masses didn’t really like it yet.”

Ferguson’s interest in metal led him toward a different side of electronic music.

“I was drawn more to the underground, darker styles,” he said. “The darker production style (features) a lot of minor chords. House is a lot more soulful; deep house is a little bit more deep; and trance … is atmospheric and euphoric. I like the darker, more subtle, disturbing undertones with bass music. Right now, I really like the underground techno coming from Greece. Guys like Christian Cambas, Axel Karakasis, Spiros Kaloumenos … are putting out some really good techno.”

Ferguson’s equipment includes two of his own Pioneer CDJs and a Pioneer mixer. He said that while he started out using turntables and likes vinyl, a lot of the music he selects isn’t available on vinyl.

Ferguson also said the local music scene is not always so embracing.

“It sucks getting no love from anybody in your hometown,” he said. “You don’t get any love from the locals here at all. No one really comes out to shows. No one cares, really, and it’s just tough. It’s not just DJs, but it’s universal to all artists here. We have no venues to play at, and the venue owners don’t really understand electronic music, or care about it. It’s tough to get something built and keep it going on a regular basis.”

Still, Ferguson said he enjoys what he does as a DJ.

“The upside for me is focusing on that musical side of me and getting it out,” he said. “Hopefully, somebody that you play for in the crowd will connect with it. That’s the cool thing—when you expose somebody to a different style of music, and they say, ‘Oh yeah! I’ve never heard that before. Who is it?’ That’s what’s cool for me.”

Ferguson explained what he wants to happen in the Coachella Valley’s DJ scene.

“I’d like to see all of us come together as a community and not be so fragmented,” he said. “We should support each other whether or not we like the musical style—and I’m saying that for me, too, because I have my own certain style. We all need to be more open-minded and come together to make an impact for the local community here. That’s what we need in order for it to grow and succeed, and to get exposure from out of the valley.”

For more information on JF//Ferguson, visit www.facebook.com/JFDiscord1.

JF//Discord, aka Jeremy Ferguson, is one of the most unique DJs in the Coachella Valley music scene. Influenced by music in various metal genres, he has a unique house sound that is dark and yet brilliantly put together. He’ll be performing at B.B. Ingle’s Annual Halloween Bash at the Hard Rock Palm Springs on Friday, Oct. 31. For more information, visit his Facebook page at www.facebook.com/JFDiscord1, or his SoundCloud page at soundcloud.com/jfdiscord.

What was the first concert you attended?

(Local band) Blaze in the Sun at the Palm Springs Angels Stadium in 1992.

What was the first album you owned? 

Def Leppard, Pyromania.

What bands are you listening to right now?

Oh man, all kinds of great metal and underground techno. I’m really liking the new Exodus album Blood In, Blood Out.

What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone love, but you don’t get?

Hipster indie-rock and trap!

What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live?

I would love to see Death perform if Chuck Schuldiner were still alive. R.I.P., Chuck!

What’s your favorite musical guilty pleasure?

None! I don’t have any that I am not proud to say I don’t listen to.

What’s your favorite music venue?

Locally, The Date Shed. Out of town, Sound Nightclub (in Los Angeles), as the sound system in there totally envelopes you with warm, quality bass frequencies.

What’s the one song lyric you can’t get out of your head?

Probably “The Parting” from Katatonia: “In the weak light, I saw you becoming the lie, taking it all for granted. Like freedom, it’s something you’ll never have.”

What band or artist changed your life? How?

Testament. I really connected with their lyrical messages about environmental issues, and social and political unrest. The music they created was some of the best thrash metal ever made—super-musical and heavy at the same time! Plus, no one sounds like Chuck Billy!

You have one question to ask one musician. What’s the question, and who are you asking?

James Hetfield from Metallica: “Why did you guys remove the ‘crunch’ from your guitar sound after The Black Album?”

What song would you like played at your funeral? 

Hmmmmmm, probably “Return to Serenity” from Testament.

Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?

Souls of Black, Testament.

What song should everyone listen to right now?

“Demanufacture” from Fear Factory. Great song about the downfall and erosion of society that was written back in (the early-mid 1990s) and still rings true to this day. (Scroll down to hear it; it’s the first song.)

Published in The Lucky 13

It’s time for August’s FRESH Sessions, the 11th installment in this series!

I’d like to again thank JF//Discord for his guest FRESH Sessions mix last month. While I love offering people some of the best known and unknown current dance music, I also love sharing the work of other DJs.

In the minds of some, there’s a stigma associated with modern DJing. Many see us as mere “party people” who like to play as loud and as fast as possible. This is not true. Yes, we all like to “get down”—but not in the same way.

For example, I appreciate some theatrics in a DJ set. Creating different sounds with someone else’s work is exciting. This month, I try to do just that, with the final installment in my “Poolside Sounds” mix series. I’ve captured a deeper, sexier sound with this mix. I hope you all enjoy.

Meanwhile, catch me at the follow shows this month:

  • Friday, Aug. 1: Toucans “Mischief/Jungle Jam" (Palm Springs Animal Shelter Benefit)
  • Friday, Aug. 15: Toucans “Mischief”
  • Saturday, Aug. 23: The Curve, “Burning BDay Bash III”

I’ll be adding more dates. Follow me on Facebook and on Twitter/Instagram at @allnightshoes!

  • Disclosure featuring Sam Smith, “Latch” (starRo Remix)
  • Gorgon City featuring MNEK, “Ready for Your Love”
  • Marvin Gaye, “Sexual Healing” (Nine Lives Rework)
  • Gero featuring Kullai Timi, “Turn Around” (Satin Jackets Remix)
  • Zedd featuring Foxes, “Find You” (Simo Remix)
  • EDX, “Breathin’” (Extended Vocal Mix)
  • Cyril Hahn featuring Shy Girls, “Perfect Form”
  • Endor and Midnight City featuring Romany, “Be With Me”
  • Usher, “Yeah” (Knightley Bootleg)
  • TrAmHed, “Circles in My Mind” (Joey Negro Club Mix)
  • Starsmith, “Now I Feel Good” (Club Edit)
  • Kiesza, “Hideaway” (Dom Dolla Remix)
Published in Subatomic

FRESH Sessions this month features a guest mix from JFDiscord, aka Jeremy Ferguson.

JFDiscord offers up a deeper, slightly darker side of dance, while managing to create a unique yet familiar sound. Jeremy works with an eclectic mix of music, ranging from metal to deep house: Thanks to his mixing skills and his keen ear, he can marry various styles effortlessly.

I have been following JFDiscord for quite some time. Our music scene in the valley has had its ups and downs, yet he has been a mainstay. We DJs can sometimes get stuck inside certain genres—but Jeremy has no boundaries and can play almost anything. If you have not had the pleasure of seeing him live, make sure you give him a follow on SoundCloud (soundcloud.com/jfdiscord) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/JFDiscord1) so you can catch one of his gigs. You won’t regret it.

Check out his Independent-exclusive mix below!

As for me: I have a quite a few shows coming up in July. In addition to my Friday-night “Mischief” residency at Toucans Tiki Lounge in Palm Springs, I will be playing at the Desert AIDS Project’s Seventh Annual Mid-Summer Dance Party at the Ace Hotel and Swim Club on Friday, July 25. The event will feature sets from myself and Femme A (aka Annie Flores), as well as a special performance by Cameron Neilson of X Factor fame.

Tickets are on sale now at desertaidsproject.thankyou4caring.org/danceparty.

  • Inphasia, “So Warm” (Christian Cambas Remix)
  • Alen Milivojevic, “Slut Machine” (Original Mix)
  • Mario Ranieri, “Freude am Leben” (Balthazar and Jackrock Remix)
  • Kostas Maskalides, “Sodom” (Kardinal and Lowkey Remix)
  • Justin Schumacher, “Resist” (Sutter Cane Remix)
  • Lluis Ribalta, “Belial” (Original Mix)
  • Andrea Roma vs. Balthazar and Jackrock, “Yamato” (Original Mix)
  • DK8, “Murder Was the Bass” (Chris Liebing Remix)
  • Spiros Kaloumenos, “Second Skin” (Original Mix)
  • Siva Six, “Intha Ren” (Christian Cambas Remix)
  • Christian Cambas, “Increase the Grease” (Original Mix)
  • Andre Walter and Stigmata, “Big Rip” (Original Mix)
  • Kardinal and Lowkey, “The Sentinel” (Original Mix)
Published in Subatomic