I met James Murphy at Plant Bar in NY’s East Village around 2002. Tim Sweeny (Beats In Space) had spun at my birthday party a few months earlier, and he invited me by to his birthday celebration to hang out. I got there to find James Murphy DJing, and I was immediately blown away by his selection and mixing skills. I hadn’t heard any of the music before, but I was immediately sprung. I called it funk-punk, and I vowed to find some of it as soon as possible. I didn’t know if it was new music, old music, or future music. It all had a very late 70’s feel, but I really wasn’t sure.
That night, I had an interesting talk with James. I wasn’t familiar with him, but I was curious. He was happy to inform me, and explained that he had been a music studio professional in NYC, mic-ing drums for people like The Beastie Boys and others in the 80s and beyond. He basically told me that he just made a name for himself because he was such a nut. Basically, this is his m.o. to this day.
Fast-forward four years. James’ label DFA sparks a revolution in rock-oriented dance music, and James becomes the king of “The Hipsters”. Needless to say, I casually followed the progression of his movement, and always dabbled in the music. I still haven’t made a mix that reflects my interest in this, what I call, postpunk genre quite yet, but I have a lot of ammo for when I decide to.
I always loved much of the music that came out of this “scene”. The people, not so much. I see the world through music though, and DFA did more than just produce the music, they really spawned a movement in the culture of NYC and beyond. And through LCD Soundsystem, they really learned to have an at-will effect on media, which is rare.
Red Bull Music Academy just released this mini-documentary about DFA Records. 12 Years Of DFA: Too Old To Be New, Too New To Be Classic.
“NY77: The Coolest Year in Hell” - This film originally aired on VH-1. It’s one of the best NYC docs I’ve ever seen. Definitely watch this in it’s entirety when you get a chance. Big spanks to Ego Trip for hipping me to the fact that this whole movie is on-line now.
I’m pretty obsessed with this time period in New York’s history. The madness of this one year gave birth to some of the most amazing artistic output the world has ever seen, and laid the groundwork for influencers like Basquiat, Blondie, Madonna, The Talking Heads, Afrika Bambaataa, Keith Haring and more. If you’re not aware of what went down in 1977 in NYC, prepare have your wig go splodey.
The film features interviews with Afrika Bambaataa, Grandmaster Caz, Chris Stein (Blondie), KRS-One, Ed Koch, Mel Cheren, Frankie Knuckles and tons of other NY77 alumni.
This Fri. Play Hooky W/ @Jeremyasgari @banjbillions @djdanganyc and me.
Friday, September 2nd
Day Party 2pm- 8pm A Daytime Rooftop Party this Friday. It’s a “Hooky” party, meaning its during the day on a work day. Play hooky from work to come party with us in the sun. Location: Hotel Chantelle Rooftop 92 Ludlow street (bet. Delancey and Broome) DJ Synapse & DJ Danga Spinning Electro, indie pop, and Dance music. Limited food menu from 3PM. Then full menu starting at 6PM FREE FREE FREE - Say you’re with Jeremy Asgari, Socialight Ent and DJ Synapse At The Door
DJ Synapse has been a constant figure in the NYC music lexicon for the past 14 years. He uses his fluency of multiple musical genres (pop, dancefloor jazz, hip-hop, funk and reggae to rock, dubstep and electro) to put forth his Cut & Paste style, garnering him the respect of the DJ culture's founders, as well as the new guard. As a purveyor of "Verge Culture", Synapse uses the turntables as a platform to musically expand minds. DEFINITION: syn·apse [sin-aps, si-naps] : the place where thought happens.
He has provided music and inspiration for clients like Leo Burnette, Frank151 Magazine, Hotel Chantelle, Red Bull, STK Steakhouse, Jive/Sony Records, Ad Week, Beautiful/Decay Magazine The Box NYC, Elemental Magazine, Palm Pictures, Royal Caribbean, Samson Audio, Mass Appeal Magazine, Canal Room, Santos Party House, Le Poisson Rouge, Hanky Panky intimate apparel, Shine Nightclub (Vancouver), Adidas, LRG, Karmaloop, Miller High Life, Red Bull, C3 Agency, Mountain Dew and more.
He's played alongside:
KOOL HERC, CLINTON SPARKS, RED ALERT, VIKTER DUPLAIX, PETE ROCK, DE LA SOUL, PRINCE PAUL, MOS DEF, DJ PREMIER, ROB SWIFT, QUESTLOVE, JAZZY JAY, DISCO D, STRETCH ARMSTRONG, URSULA 1000, LORD SEAR, J PERIOD, AARON LACRATE, NEIL ARMSTRONG, EVIL DEE, SCOTTIE B & BOBBITO and more.
In addition to his musical journey, Synapse has also worked in branding, marketing, publishing and journalism for the past 10 years. Working with Beautiful/Decay art and lifestyle Magazine, he created multi-media events that were used to brand the company, as well as writing articles for the publication. Following that, he spent four years as the brand manager at Frank151 Media Group, a magazine, website, apparel brand and growing world-wide icon. There he wore various hats, including writer/blogger, distribution, marketing, promotions and international network builder.
DJ Synapse is a professional DJ of over 15 years, and makes culture happen while he moves the crowd. He has provided the soundtrack for everything from private events, bars, clubs, hotels, loft and house parties, as well as corporate events.
His musical selection is completely focused on the needs of his client. From rock, funk, r&b, hip-hop, edm, reggae, soul, electro and oldies, this DJ holds the values of the DJs that started DJ culture. He can do it all. Just name the sound!