Article Archive

DJ Spen - Spenning Around

Author: Darryn King
Friday, 19 October 2007
Dj Spen has been a radio DJ, a member of the powerhouse production team Basement Boys, released a plethora of tracks under his own name and has now formed Muthafunkas. You can’t say he hasn’t made his mark in the industry. 3D had a word before he hits up she this week.

You started out in radio – this must have been a pretty good way of making contacts. Are there some solid professional relationships that came out of these shows you still maintain today-
I still maintain a relationship with the first person to ever put one of my mixes on the air, Mr. Randy Dennis, and Kevin Lyles, who is the vice president of Warner Music, was one of my partners in the ’80s. There are many others but these are the two that are still doing great things in the music industry.

Would you say the music scene in Baltimore is a lot more prominent today than it has been in the past- (It is in Australia, that’s for sure, thanks to the explosion here of Baltimore Club music.) How has the scene changed/evolved over the past 20 years-
In soooo many ways that I am unable to count. Baltimore’s music of choice in the early ’80s was a combination of NYC dance music and Chicago house. I was heavily influenced by this kinda sound. Then things changed… Baltimore Club music started with a few guys latching on to a sound that came out of Europe in the late ’80s early ’90s. I remember as a DJ playing just pieces of records – never ever the full song – and creating our own sound from them. All of a sudden these records were becoming less and less available, so we started producing our own records and putting them out. Now what we’ve created seems to be bigger everywhere else than it is at home.

Is there a certain style of music you consider your “comfort” music-
The only music that I consider comfort music is old school soulful love songs.

You’ve a new group called MuthaFunkas featuring some pretty established players. How did this group come about-
After I left Basement Boys, my partners Gary Hudgins, Irvin Madden, Gary Deane, and I decided that we were going to try and do something a little different than we had been doing. We wanted to integrate funk, gospel, and soul roots with the electro sound that is very popular these days. I believe with records like DJ Technic’s Gabryelle, and Thommy Davis’ Nightrain we’ve seen our dream come true. Also, we’re planning the release of our LP Mother’s Day in 2008 with a tour attached to really bring our ideas to life!

Are you working on any new material with MuthaFunkas, or some solo productions perhaps- What about remixes-
Out next on the code red release schedule is a solo track I did called Sexy Dancer, which will be followed but Master Kev and Scott Wozniak’s String Thing. Our last record of the year is by Lisa Millett, titled When I’m Dancin and I expect great things from that one. We are always remixing something these days. We’re really excited about out remix of Key To Life’s Find A Way (Break A Way) coming on Sub Urban, and a record for Claude Monet called Higher.

Finally, have you got your bag packed with plenty of ‘Soulful House’ for SHE-
Without a doubt! I am coming armed like an American soldier out for blood! I can’t wait!

WHO: DJ Spen
WHAT: SHE at Industrie
WHEN: Saturday 27 October