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Austin, Texas-based artist, Brett Johnson, composes a brilliant set of tunes for our 181st Lovecast episode.
Brett is no slouch on his productions. Having released tracks on a stable of great labels; including Get Physical, Crosstown Rebels, No.19, Gruuv, Visionquest, Leftroom, Freerange, Om, Cadenza, My Favorite Robot, and his home label, Classic Music Company. Geez!
It’s been a lot of back and forth over the years to lock Brett down for a mix but the time has come. Enjoy!
Tracklist and interview below…
1. Brett Johnson – The Mission (Acapella) – Legwork
2. Mark Barrott – Cascades – International Feel
3. Ron Basejam – Shit Wizard – Delusions Of Grandeur
4. Federico Grazzini – Amethyst – Tenax Recordings
5. Dan Mela & Lady Blacktronika – Drive Me Crazy (Vocal Mix) – What Ever Not
6. Ben Sun – Full Moon – Delusions Of Grandeur
7. Nachtbraker – Catch Up – Dirt Crew
8. Crookers – The Return – ?????
9. Rachel Row – Follow The Step (KiNK Beat Mix) – Pets Recordings
10. Adam Marshall – Heavy Metals – New Kanada
11. German Brigante – The PacMan – Expolited
12. John Tejada – Staple?????
13. Sterling void & Paris Brightledge- It’s all right (Acapella) – DJ International
14. Moullinex – Love Love Love – Disco Texas
15. Huerta – Mandala – Amadeus
16. Aroop Roy – We Together – House Of Disco
17. Black Joy – Untitled – Freerange
18. Tiefschwarz & Dave Aju – I Can’t Resist (Original Mix) – Souvenir Music
19. NU – Man O To (Pepe Bradock Remix) – Crosstown Rebels
Interview with Brett Johnson
How did you first get introduced to underground dance music?
Growing up in Dallas there were lots of really great teen clubs that employed many talented DJs, some of whom are now my good friends and still working today. Although I credit my mother for being the first to turn me on to dance music, it was in these clubs that I was exposed to DJ culture. Now that I’m older and with kids I can look back at the the teen clubs and underground parties that came shortly after and see how lucky we were. Today’s kids don’t have nearly as much access to these types of things, that will shape their lives in one way or another. That being said, my friend Alicia throws an all ages monthly in Dallas at one of the best (if not the best) clubs called It’ll Do. I’m proud to say my daughter, Kamille, is one of the residents and excellent. Hearing one of my tracks being played at a party used to be my proudest moment, hearing her tear it up and seeing the people feeling it, even better.
What is the most challenging part of becoming a full-time producer and touring artist?
For myself, the hardest part of being a full-time producer is staying organized enough that I can manage the dozens of different rolls I have to play. I got into this purely because I liked to play and create music. Like many of my peers I’ve struggled to understand things like branding, marketing and promotion. I don’t apologize for this though, I’ve been focused on the music. However, now I’m playing catch up and it’s been a bumpy ride.
Hardest part of touring is surviving my friends. LOL. Playing is easy. I’m not saying it’s not a challenge or that at every show I don’t get nervous. It’s just that i’m confident in my skills and heart.
What has been the most exciting turning point of your career so far?
I started to DJ in 89/90 but in 2001 things really took off and I spent the next 16 years traveling the world, sharing my vibe with some wonderful people and places. Of course, there have been many milestones throughout but as far as “most exciting turning point”, yeah, 2001.
Where is your home base? If someone were visiting there for the first time, what clubs and/or parties and/or restaurants would they want to check out?
We recently moved to Austin after living in Germany for a few years. Since we’ve only lived here for a few months (December) I’m still wondering this myself. There are a few clubs here doing nice parties. Plush, Kingdom and Ethics seem to be favorites. I’ve had it with moving so I’m putting roots down and going to be starting a few parties soon.
What advice would you give to an aspiring producer?
Eat, breathe, live the music. Learn what you can through books and youtube and really push yourself and your art. However, be patient and enjoy the ride, it’s your growth that is the real story and substance of your life. Keep your purpose pure and focused on the good things. There are many traps and hang ups, and even the best of us can get sucked in. Love, friendship, growth, music, light is what’s important.
What’s on the horizon for Brett Johnson in 2017?
More music on Classic and hopefully I will finally complete and release my record for Cuttin Headz. We had the release sorted then the Bros changed their minds on some of the songs. I made more, then I changed my mind and now I need to wrap it up. Ha ha ha.. I’m trying to pay more attention to quality control these days. I haven’t been crazy about everything I’ve released in the last several years, I’m about to flip that. As far as gigs, I’m blessed that people dig my vibe so I get to stay fairly busy and on the road.
Do you have any hobbies outside of music?
Sure, loads. Camping, kite flying, disc golf, lots of outdoor activities. Also anything creative, I’ve really had a itch to do something visual lately, painting or sculpture. My father is great artists and always inspires me in this way. Like everyone else, problem is I don’t have enough time.
What are some touristy things you do while playing in a foreign city?
I’ve always valued seeing natural beauty over buildings but I do like to go to museums. Typically if I have a little time off I try to use it to recharge in some way, life is constantly subtracting from you.
My friends behind the Jacob London guise (Now called Pezzner and Hanssen) once played a party on top of the Sugar Loaf mountain in Rio, that sounds pretty damn fresh. I’m happy to say many of my “dream gig” boxes have been ticked already but I’m always hungry for the next experience.
Name one of your go-to tracks…
Hmmm…. This kind of changes over time but I’ve been playing my edit of Chez Damier’s KMS #049 for ages now.
Tell us about your mix…
I made this mix on Monday after a hectic weekend. I guess I was needing a bit of decompression so it’s fairly deep.
Drink of choice…
Tequila and I don’t care.