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Go BackD:FUSE - Yeah him again... And if you ever wonder why we plug the dude so much, read (or hear!) below...

Posted: 16/10/05 15:44

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To enjoy this chat at its best, listen here while reading.

I play CDs in my set, but I’m not that happy about doing it.”

It’s an uncommon declaration from a DJ of D:Fuse ’s status, especially in an era when so many of his peers are leaving expensive, cumbersome vinyl behind for cheaply bought and burned CDs. Even CDs, with the advent of computer programs like Ableton Live, are being displaced by laptops for live performances.

While the “DJ” might actually show up with increasingly more compact gear, “live” and “lively,” as D:Fuse explains, can be mutually exclusive; “Eventually it will just be smarter for you to sequence a set on your home computer and then FTP (upload) it to the club and then put a little cardboard stand of yourself in the DJ booth,” D:Fuse muses...
“Where does it end? I don’t think a revolution in electronic music is going to be created by a guy staring into a laptop screen. I’m starting to see where more DJ booths are blocked off and you can’t see exactly what they’re doing. Maybe that’s because they don’t want the crowd to see that they’re using CDs or a computer program.“I don’t mean any offence to anyone doing that, but let’s face it – that is not the kind of interaction you want to go see when you go to a club. It’s not what I want to see.”

D:Fuse is, after all, a DJ for the people – his People series of CDs is really in honour of them, the crowds that have made him one of America’s most popular dance acts. So, not one to forget the people, D:Fuse says he’d been looking for more ways to connect with them.

Before he became DJ, D:Fuse’s alter ego of Dustin Fusilier had a background playing in bands and the energy and feel of live instruments were always things he wanted to incorporate into the context of a DJ experience. Because no matter how sophisticated the program or drum machine and no matter how accurately they can simulate the actual sound, D:Fuse says they’ll never be as good as the real thing.

With People_3, recorded live in San Francisco, D:Fuse is still playing records and CDs but with an added difference.
Between mixes, he’ll bang on electronic congas, tablas and tom toms. Complementing his show are the addition of MC Flint, from D:Fuse’s hometown of Austin, doing freestyle vocals over the beats, and D:Fuse’s partner in crime Mike Hiratzka on guitar, bass and keyboards; “Mike Hiratzka was absolutely key. Meeting him and working with him in the studio, and seeing how professional and together he was, I knew he was somebody I could do the project with.”

Given the size of the production, D:Fuse says planning for the tour in support of People_3 has been a much greater undertaking than the DJ gigs he’s used to. It’s also more of a risk, because he can’t play some of the markets that helped establish him;

“I have three or four crates of equipment and Mike has his guitars that he has to look after … it’s a lot more work. Sometimes a lot of clubs’ budgets just can’t handle it - places that only hold 250 people.”

But D:Fuse is thinking big, and bigger looking towards eventually incorporating as many as three drummers on stage. But who knows? While even he admits he’s not sure where the act will go for sure, it’s that kind of versatility and spontaneity that makes him all the more excited about its potential; “When I perform for a crowd, I really like the idea of taking tracks and dictating where it can go, not sitting there and preplanning a week or two before what you’re going to do. Every crowd is different, every night is different and you’re different every time. So, if you can pick and choose off the cuff it makes it a lot more exciting.” People_3 is out now on Moist Music.

People 3 review:

I’ve been a fan of D:Fuse’s since I first heard his Psychotrance mix on Moonshine from 2001. He’s an excellent DJ, no question; great programming, great mixing and great tracks. The guy plays solid party music - tough and pumping, and nice and euphoric when the moment’s right. These days, if I’m being completely honest, I don’t usually go in for most trance or progressive, but D:Fuse’s brand of it works for me. He’s also a must-see live DJ – he can really work the crowd.

People 3 holds up – both the People Clubbing and People Chilling mixes – and while the idea of live instruments alongside a DJ rig isn’t new, it’s nice to see him trying to broaden the DJ experience and really connect with a crowd. I have no doubt that the crowd in San Fran were treated to a great show, but the “live” aspect never really carries over. There are definite moments when D:Fuse’s congas are heard, Mike Hiratzka’s jams on bass guitar or MC Flint’s freestyle vocals, but hearing how good it is only makes you think, “I wish I could have been there.”

Solving that dilemma, and if you buy the CD set for People_3, you’re provided with a secret link to video from the night in question. The video ain’t great, but it does help put some of the performance into context. But for all the obscure camera angles, not to mention what look like stock shots of drinks being poured at the bar, the video could have ultimately been done a lot better. I hope D:Fuse’s tour in support of People 3 is successful enough that he does People 4 as a DVD project, a truly professional concert recording and video that better captures the experience. As big DJs go, only Tiësto has done big live performance DVD releases and frankly they’re pretty awful. I’ve no doubt that a D:Fuse DVD could be absolutely amazing. Here’s hoping, and make sure you don’t miss him live if you get the chance, anyways.

D:FUSE 'PEOPLE_3' Track listing

Disc 1 'People_Clubbing' (Live in San Francisco)

1. Intro, Music is About Life (D:Fuse & Horwood)  
2. Mercury (Darius Kohanim)  
3. I Still Believe (Mike Hiratzka)  
4. The Wave (Francis Rimbert)  
5. (D:Fuse & Horwood)  
6. At Peace (Mike Hiratzka - Requiem for JC)  
7. Red Blood (J-Punch - Mike Hiratzka's Chill Mix)  
8. Winsome (Pizmo - F. A. Preve Retouch)  
9. Everything With You (D:Fuse - Jay Sustain Chill Mix)  
10. Eye Contact (Sue McGuiness)  
11. For My Soul (Siavash Tehrani)  
12. External Waves (Mercurio)  
13. Rainwater (Astrid Suryanto)  
14. Island Breeze (Pashka)

Disc 2 'People_Chilling' (Live in Austin) 1. Stick Of Sin (DJ Merrit & Blake Porter)  
2.  Stop (Micali & Reavey)  
3.  Music is About You (D:Fuse & Scanners - D:Fuse & Hiratzka Mix)
4.  Days of Swine and Roses (Thrill Kill Kult - D:Fuse & Hiratzka Mix)
5.  Crying Shame (Scanners - Prawler Dub)  
6.  Ghetto Funk Deluxe (Audio Magnetics)  
7.  Left/Right Switch (Holderman)  
8.  Ban Rock (Sucker DJs - Paul Rodgers Remix)  
9.  Earthquake (Groovefire - Dan Sanders Remix)  
10.  Second Session (Oliver Mouldan)  
11.  Dry Run (Bart Van Wissen)  
12.  Eternity (Matt Darey)  
13.  Hear An Echo (Fred Numf vs. Etienne Overdijk feat B. Birnie)
14.  Living the Dream (D:Fuse - Matthew Deekay Mix)

Words by Yuri Wuensch