DJ Dub, DJJD and DJ sWiTcH
“Thump, thump, thump …” This is the only sound oozing out of the doors to Friday night’s party. Each step brings me closer to a pulsating field of energy. The energy comes from the sound, which comes from the DJs, who are producing electronic music called “house.”
These three Lake Tahoe-area resident DJs are composers with unfathomable talent. DJ Dub (Matt Johnson), DJJD (Justin Curtis) and DJ sWiTcH (Jason Hogue) are all house-music DJs that make you melt like butter on the dance floor. But if flipping records, twisting knobs, and adjusting headphones doesn’t impress you yet, just listen to their musical magic. These entertainers are digital mixers who control the dance floor. Enter a club when the triumvirate is playing, and you will always find the lights flashing and the people dancing.
DJ Dub, who has been spinning records since 1986, sends musical notes to the speakers and lures people to move, the way a charmer does his snake.
“I like to break up the style of music to please everyone, and then once they are hooked on the dance floor, I take them deep into my style,” Dub says.
Singing along, the crowd grooves to the beat that Dub drops. His catchy bass lines ensure that his fans will still hear his music lingering in their heads the next morning. Dub plays a remix of the Beastie Boys’ “Check It Out,” and everyone flocks to the floor.
Next, DJJD jumps in and takes over the vinyl power. JD mixes his own records into the Beastie Boys and carries the energy on. Just when he senses the crowd is aching for a funky and chunky sound, JD throws on a remix of Deee-Lite’s “Groove Is in the Heart,” and the whole club goes wild.
“A gateway to house music is to hear a familiar remix of a song,” JD says. “This catches people’s attention and gets them on the dance floor.” Mixing completely different sounds into one song makes your body rock. “Much of the house music audience are children of the ‘80s,” explains JD. “To hear a song that you know by heart, remixed with a strong beat, makes you want to dance and sing along. This opens your mind to house.”
Finally, DJ sWiTcH jumps in and takes over the turntables. Now the club is overflowing, and the dance floor looks like a sea of people waving up and down.
“My dad’s a Baptist pastor, and now I have my own congregation I preach to,” this minister of house says. He adds to the talent of the other two DJs, and the three make a perfect team, spinning out house-music masterpieces. “It is imperative to have a line-up of DJs that complement each other,” sWiTcH says.
Throughout the hours of rotation, the three DJs have been the heartbeat of the night. Without their cases of wax and quick DJ hands, the late-night hangouts they perform in would be nothing but pretty lights and comfortable couches. They all agree that the biggest rush is driving people to dance. Being a house-music entertainer provides a natural high unlike any other.
“It attracts the most vibrant people, who are drawn together by a shared love of music," JD says. Because house is not just about the music, but the people as well.