CVIndependent

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Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

Alex Harrington

Hello, readers! My name is Alex Harrington, and I am a music producer and DJ based in the Coachella Valley. I have been playing music for more than 16 years, and I’ve been a DJ for the last six. I’ve been fortunate enough to play at venues across the valley, from downtown Palm Springs to Old Town La Quinta. This has helped me develop my sound—and inspired me to dive into the local scene to find the best spots to enjoy music.

I consider Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley to be an internationally influential location. What does that mean? It means people visit us from all over the world. There is no universal culture here; we’re truly a mixing pot. Still, while the valley has grown, it feels like the music scene has stagnated at times.

Is that because of a lack of talent in our scene? No, it’s not. I know many people out here, true artists, who offer something different—and I think that bodes well for the future of our scene. The valley is home to some artists who provide listeners with a truly unique experience—something people will fly home and talk about. The Flusters are a great example of a band who entertains and tells a story in an original way.

This stagnation has not just been limited to bands. The “producer” and “DJ” monikers have been thrown around a lot in recent years. It’s true that many people can get into DJing, but it’s not necessarily easy to translate this “passion” into something people can actually enjoy. It’s not just about playing the hits; that’s why some people choose to visit places off the beaten path. It’s about having options and variety. Look at Los Angeles, Miami, New York, London and Tokyo. What do all of these places have in common, music-wise? Nightlife and scenes with creative people bringing it to the masses.

I don’t see our valley—and Palm Springs specifically—as being too far removed from those locations. Why? Again, we have a valley full of people from all over the world, both visiting and living here. It’s also no secret that many people here enjoy nightlife, no matter their age or class. So shouldn’t there be more choices when it comes to hearing music? We have great places to hear reggae, hip hop, Top 40 and rock … but what about house, disco, funk, indie and dance? I’m not talking about a disco throwback playlist being played; I’m talking about DJs who dug for tracks and worked them into mixes everyone can enjoy.

Many other cities, and even towns, have numerous lounges and bars that provide DJ entertainment—and people love them. This inspires me to stay original and to strive to bring my listeners something fresh. It’s also why I wanted to start this column!

In this space every month, look forward to interviews, in-depth discussions, local artist features and more. In the meantime, you can hear me play at the Landmark Lounge in La Quinta every Friday and Sunday night, playing the best in funk, soul, house and more. Details can be found at alexharrington.co.

Monday, 31 August 2015 12:00

Alex Harrington's DuneCast: On Hiatus

I wish I could bring you a mix this month … but I can’t.

Circumstances have forced me to make a few hard decisions. Most notably: The website on which we’ve been hosting our mixes, SoundCloud, has suddenly made it very difficult to post anything related to a music mix. Here’s what happened: Some major record labels recently signed with Soundcloud, and in the aftermath, Soundcloud has rocked the DJ/mixing world by pulling all sorts of stuff offline, and issuing a lot of copyright notices.

Let me clear: The labels have the right to do this. But that doesn’t necessarily make it right. Artists like me are seeing our mixes being removed, even though we are giving all artists proper credit, and not selling any of this music.

There is not another viable service to use to host mixes at this point; many of my colleagues and I have been shocked to see this happen. As a result, I have to change a few projects around—including this monthly mix/column.

I’ll still contribute to the Independent when possible, and will always be working on new things. Who knows what the future will bring? Keep up and in touch at www.alexharrington.co, and thanks, as always, for all your support.

This month, I’m happy to welcome Hard Rock Palm Springs resident DJ Paparazzi, aka Cesar Rios.


Since you’re from L.A., what has it been like transitioning to being a Coachella Valley resident?

As far as living day to day, it’s actually been a great transition for me. It’s paradise everyday and night here. Plus, I’m extremely lucky to have my DJ residency at the Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs. … Nevertheless, being born and raised in L.A., I do miss a good local scene. In Palm Springs, I feel like it’s not here ... yet. I do see it changing. I’m betting it will come when Bardot, (the new nightclub) at the Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs, opens (tonight), where I will be curating events.

What would you say your style or favored genres are?

Dance music. Always dance music. Anything beyond that is a discussion I don’t get into.

What would you consider your "best" gig?

Coachella. Set-wise, it was a mess, though. I don’t normally plan my DJ sets in their entirety, but for some reason, I got obsessed with it just for that gig. I worked on it for about a month. … Thirty minutes before my set time, I was told instead of DJing for 45 minutes, I would be DJing for three hours in the Sahara Tent. … It wasn’t bad or anything; it just wasn’t great. At heart, I’m a club DJ, and I mean club DJ in the old-school sense of the word. I tend to play to what I think would make the best experience for my crowd.


Paparazzi has a lot in store for Palm Springs, make sure you follow him on his social media to keep up with it all!

  • Chris Lake, “Chest”
  • Vin Sol, “Off the Chain”
  • Marcelo Cura, “That Sh*t” (Pirupa and Leon Remix)
  • Billy Kenny, “I Eat Beats” (Ardalan Remix)
  • Stephane 1993, “Plaques”
  • Manik, “Silver”
  • Sophie, “Lemonade” (Durante Edit)
  • Tiga Vs. Boys Noize, “100”
  • Tinashe, “Hand on Deck” (Giraffage Remix) 
  • Fetty Wap, “Trap Queen” (Figgy Remix)
  • Autoerotique, “Woof”
  • Frankie Knuckles, “Baby Wants to Ride”
  • Zombie Disco Squad featuring DJ Funk, “Twerk”
  • Treasure Fingers and Anna Lunoe, “Bad MF”
  • Donna Summers, “Our Love” (Blake Baxter Remix)
  • Armando, “Don’t Take It” (Thomo’s Re-edit)
  • Stip Steve, “Ridin’”
  • Jamie XX featuring Young Thug and Popcaan, “I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times)”
Tuesday, 30 June 2015 15:30

Alex Harrington's DuneCast: July 2015

This month, we welcome guest mixer SynthEtiX, aka Alvaro Sandoval (right). I asked him several questions about him and his music. Check out his DuneCast below!

How long have you lived in the Coachella Valley?

I was born and raised in the Coachella Valley. Nothing beats the summer and winter seasons, and the surrounding mountains.

What would you say your “style” is with your music?

I take influence from techno and house. I focus on percussion grooves and a jazz-style call-and-response technique.

What got you into being a DJ and producing?

Thanks to my family influence, I’ve always been a musician and surrounded myself with creative individuals. I started writing classical music (for the challenge) when I was in high school, and I was no good at it. (Ha ha!) But I learned to push myself and funnel my stress, happiness and other feelings into motivation.

My steps for success: 1: Do what you love. 2: Pour your heart and soul into it. 3: Nourish your art and self. 4: Happiness.

  • SynthEtiX, “Intimate Settings”
  • SynthEtiX, “Heart Stop”
  • Huxley, “Cobourg” (Agnes Mix)
  • Patrick Topping, “Forget”
  • Jesse Slayter and Wuki, “That’s Right”
  • Sluggers, “Horizon”
  • NAPT and Roska, “Come Like This”
  • Justin Martin, “Buggin”
  • Chambray, “Ghetto Giants”
  • Champion, “Execution”
  • Victor Ruiz, “Message”
  • Booka Shade featuring Fritz Helder, “Love Drug” (Silversix Remix)
  • Above and Beyond, “Thing Called Love” (LUST for SynthEtiX Mix)
Friday, 29 May 2015 15:30

Alex Harrington's DuneCast: June 2015

I would like to start off by thanking all of the Coachella Valley Independent readers who have ever taken the time to check out my little column here. For almost two years, I’ve been allowed to fill this space with my mixes and minor rants.

I have recently been inspired by our music scene to the point where I truly want to develop something in it: I have started a record label and music collective called DuneDisco. The idea is to connect the Coachella Valley’s music fans, from listeners to DJs, with each other—and the broader music world. Our desert is unique and a perfect place to grow a wonderful music scene. Every month, we will feature a DuneCast mix and offer some insight into our local scene. This may include spotlights on local artists, musicians or writers—anyone with a connection to the growing scene. Musically, the idea is to bring you the best in house and dance music, with an emphasis on the unknown and upcoming.

Check out the first DuneCast below. Enjoy!

  • Billon, “Dive In”
  • Thee Cool Cats + Lika Morgan, “Thee Worst” (Club Mix)
  • Digitalism, “Second Chance” (David Vrong Remix)
  • Le Youth, “Touch” (jackLNDN Remix)
  • Phil Collins, “In the Air Tonight (’Panski and John Skyfield Remix)
  • Tommy Vercetti, “I Miss You”
  • Ne-Yo, “Coming With You” (Blonde Remix)
  • NVOY, “Girl”
  • Helsloot featuring Freya, “Rain”
  • Alex Harrington, “Don’t Stop”
  • Mogul, “Can’t Hold On”

I have curated a mix this month that should prime you for the upcoming summer season!

I wanted to turn up the heat and bring you tracks that can get anyone moving. I took some inspiration from the deeper side of dance, so this playlist can take you from the pool to the club—and back!

I recently decided to retire All Night Shoes and perform under my “real” name, and with that, my style has evolved as well. In any case, you may hear some familiar sounds here—maybe you can pick them out!

I hope you enjoy this exclusive mix. Enjoy these pre-hot season sounds!

  • Redlight, “Gold Teeth” (TRU Concept Remix)
  • Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars, “Uptown Funk” (Chris Lake Edit)
  • Breach, “Let’s Get Hot”
  • Anna Lunoe, “Breathe” (Cosmo’s Midnight Remix)
  • Galantis, “Runaway (U & I)” (East and Young Remix)
  • Tough Love, “So Freakin’ Tight”
  • Kolombo, “Ur the Finest”
  • SNBRN featuring Kaleena Zanders, “California” (Chris Lake and Matroda Remix)
  • Kaskade, “Never Sleep Alone”
  • Bee's Knees featuring Marty Rod, “Rumored to Be Real”
  • Breach, “Jack” (Alex Harrington Remix)

This month, I am bringing you my “New Palm Springs: Vol. 2” mix—part two of a four-part series.

The goal of each mix is to reflect the valley in which we live (or the place you love to visit, if you don’t live here). The Coachella Valley has a unique collection of different cultures that come together and commingle.

As a musician and DJ, I want to create experiences that evoke emotion. This second mix builds on that ideal—I want to give you soundtracks you can keep in your pocket, so to speak. In it, I’ve included my latest remix, “One in Three,” from Name One and Maxxi Soundsystem.

This mix features a deeper, sexier collection of tracks. I wanted this mix to reflect the nightlife in our valley—but from a different angle. Think of it as offering a poolside meets nightclub vibe.

Not everyone follows a crowd; some people want to experience the unfamiliar and expand their usual listening habits. The music I find is from all over the world—including a lot of music made right here in the Palm Springs area. I love finding a balance between local inspiration and international inspiration.

Enjoy this month’s mix below!

  • Moon Boots, “Bills to Pay”
  • Rose, “No Good” (Toniia and Santiago Remix)
  • Tove Lo, “Not on Drugs” (The Knocks Remix)
  • Name One and Maxxi Soundsystem, “One in Three” (All Night Shoes Remix)
  • Disciples, “They Don’t Know”
  • Joshua Heath, “Just Funk Me Already”
  • TRU Concept vs. Beverley Knight, “Keep the Fire Burning”
  • Fabienne, “Sunstroke” (Endor Remix)
  • Me and My Toothbrush, “Show Me”
  • Redlight x Tinashe, “Pretend”
  • T. Williams and MJ Cole, “Privilege”
  • Full Crate, “Hurt Your Back”

FRESH Sessions this month features a fantastic guest artist: Orange County-based tastemaker Death House of Love, aka Reid Horton.

Reid is not only a DJ; he also plays in a band called VIBES.

I had a chance to ask him a few questions about his own tastes in music, and what kind of sounds come to mind when he thinks of the Coachella Valley.

Learn more at www.facebook.com/deathhouseoflove and soundcloud.com/deathhouseoflove, and scroll down to play this month's mix!

How would you describe your sound? What resources do you use to obtain your tracks?

My “sound” is somewhere between disco, Chicago house and indie rock. I grew up listening to fusion jazz greats like Chick Corea, John McLoughlin and Jaco Pastorius. My sound has evolved from more of a rock/jazz/blues background, and I played in punk-rock bands growing up. I’m not a huge fan of labels, so if you like to groove, I think you’ll like my music.

As far as finding new music, I used to write a blog called “Reid’s Wild World,” and thankfully still have a lot of connections from that. I am also on SoundCloud every day, looking for new music. No sleep for the groovy.

How long have you been playing music?

I’ve been playing music since I was 12 years old. I was really into Bad Religion at the time. I asked my mom for a guitar and instantly fell in love with the creative process of music. I’ve played in bands since I was 15, and have always loved the idea of playing live music for people, which is why I think DJing came so quickly to me. I used to make mix tapes (on actual cassettes), ever since I was in middle school, and I saw DJing as natural extension of my own creativity. I am also a member of a band called VIBES. Being able to play “disco” music live is such an incredible feeling, and lets me get my “live music itch” scratched

What record/track is currently inspiring you?

I am really digging the new Cherokee EP (Teenage Fantasy) that was just released on Roche Musique. It’s really atmospheric and layered, with a strong sense of pop delivery—a nice divergence from the pack of straightforward indie/disco/dance. As far as songs I’m playing in my sets, “Number 1 Gurrrl” by Wax Motif is a dance-floor burner that I love throwing on, as well as my dude and fellow VIBES member Templeton’s new tune, “Better Represent.” On a personal note, our new VIBES material is coming really well, and I think it’s easily the best music we’ve written.

When you think of Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley, what kind of sound/genre of music would you select for a weekend drive?

I envision the long, burning orange sunsets and the way the temperature changes at that time of the day to create an energy shift that is hard to feel anywhere else in the world. I really enjoy the open, creative and slightly-off-center viewpoint that comes along with traveling (or living) in the valley, and I am always partial to a weekend out of Orange County. As far as a soundtrack, I think the new Cherokee EP I mentioned earlier would be perfect, or something along the lines of Classixx album, Hanging Gardens, which I think is easily one of the best records in the last 10 years.

The track list:

  • Casino Gold, “1981”
  • MNEK, “The Rhythm” (Tontario remix)
  • Matvey Emerson featuring Gosha, “All I Want Is You”
  • Years and Years, “Desire” (Rainer and Grimm Remix)
  • Jerry Folk featuring BB Diamond, “So Long”
  • Wax Motif, “Number 1 Gurrrl”
  • Tom Bull, “Not Like Me”
  • Mocki, “Weekend”
  • Wild Cub, “Thunder Clatter” (Bit Funk Remix)
  • Durante, “Full Moon”
  • Ariana Grande featuring Iggy Azalea, “Problem” (TKDJs Remix)
  • Mariah Carey, “Emotions” (Christofi remix)
  • Bakermat, “Teach Me” (MK Remix) 

On Friday, Feb. 13, the Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs will host an event featuring fashion and music—with a local twist.

The Seven|Six Trade Show is now in its fourth year; last year’s show was held at the Ace Hotel and Swim Club in Palm Springs. The Seven|Six is the brainchild of Coachella Valley local Omar Czar. Full disclosure: I am involved with the Seven|Six Trade Show—and I can assure you that Czar is a “jack of all trades” when it comes to throwing these types of events. He handles everything from booking the musical acts, to bringing in vendors for the show.

For the upcoming show, Omar is looking to bring in more than 50 fashion brands. The Seven|Six is open to any brand that has a seasonal line and a website. These loose rules make it easier for smaller and/or lesser-known brands to get their products exposed to a larger audience.

The first half of the show is open exclusively to scouts from larger retailers.

“We’re making brands available that (weren’t previously) available to locals,” Czar said.

He added that one of their main goals of the show is to encourage local companies to push for more exposure. While many of the participating vendors come from Los Angeles, he wants local designers to take advantage of the opportunity.

“I do it for the locals,” he said. “The local people are our main supporters.”

The Seven|Six also features musical acts at each event. This show will feature hip-hop artist Azizi Gibson, an artist on Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder label. Several DJs will be playing, including All Night Shoes (that’s me!) and Seven|Six collaborator Oscar Smith IV, aka Captain OSIV.

With a local focus and international state of mind, the Seven|Six has something for everyone at every event. Also: Keep an eye out for a Seven|Six retail location, coming soon to the valley.

The Seven|Six Trade Show will take place from noon to midnight, Friday, Feb. 13, at the Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs, located at 150 S. Indian Canyon Drive. Admission is $10. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/thesevensixx.

This month, I’m launching a new mix series, called “New Palm Springs.”

Each mix will include tracks that I feel reflect our valley. I have always been inspired by my environment. I like cooler, chilled-out tracks for (our rare) rainy days. I like upbeat ones for sunny days.

Living in the Coachella Valley inspires me on different levels. While we are definitely a Southern California community, we also reflect diversity. Here, you can find people from all over the world, and everyone has a story. This can especially be illustrated by the artists who are attracted to this area.

I hope that, with this mix series, I can share my view of the valley and how it inspires me to create. Enjoy the mix by scrolling down and pressing play!

  • Michael McLardy, “You Feel” (DJ Le Roi Remix)
  • Johnny Bravo and Polina Griffith, “Holding Us” (Chris Rockz Dub)
  • Boris Dlugosch featuring Roisin Murphy, “Never Enough” (Jesse Rose Remix)
  • Lovebirds, “This Feeling” (Original Mix)
  • Years and Years, “Desire” (Rainer + Grimm Remix)
  • Adam K and Soha, “Lost In Orbit”
  • Bloc Party, “Truth” (Digitalism Remix)
  • Lapsley, “Falling Short” (JackLNDN Remix)
  • Aaliyah, “Rock the Boat” (Invoker Remix)
  • Carl Cox, “Keepee Uppee”
  • Branded James, “Balboa”
  • All Night Shoes, “Breakaway”
  • Templeton, “Better Represent”
  • Tennishero featuring Chelonis R. Jones, “Alone”
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