Updated: Sep 29, 2020
It's been 4 years since one of L.A's finest exports graced our shores. DJ Dex is back for Arteq turns Five with a special 1 hour mix and interview to fit.
Skilled, passionate, established, real, raw, history, family.
Dex, you are a gentleman first, and an amazing artist second. We love your body of work and thank you for gifting us with such a delicate hour of music.
We'll see you soon in Melbourne when the dust settles <3
More from Arteq and DJ Dex below.
What direction did you take on the podcast?
It's a mix of new tracks with some unreleased edits/remixes and a few old faves.
Why did you decide to go this way?
That's my usual approach for podcasts unless I'm going for something very specific.
What did you use to record this mix?
I recorded it at home with my old Pioneer DJM 500 and two XDJ 700s.
When did you start DJing, but more importantly, why?
A long time ago, when most people thought of DJs as people who did weddings and birthdays. I grew up on L.A.'s East Side and back then mobile DJing was just a thing to do.
In my circle of friends we all had older brothers or cousins with a basic sound system, lights and crates of vinyl.
Describe DJ Dex in 5 words.
Loves everything about music and sound.
Are there any productions coming out soon?
I've shifted gears into releasing other's music on my label Yaxteq. The Ritmos EP is out on vinyl soon and my good friend Esteban Adame has an EP on deck for the next release. I'm always plugging away at music so that when the time is right I have something ready.
Describe your Yaxteq project. What is it, but more importantly, why does it exist?
It's an indie music label trying to find a place in a crowded market. It exists as a way for myself and anyone who is down to rep their own cultural heritage in via Techno music and all it's variations.
How have you been during the turbulent year of 2020?
Laying low for the most part and spending time with my family. I'm married with a 5 year old so it's not much of a dramatic change for me to be staying home. I'm also a studio rat by nature so there have been plenty of times in my life where "going out" seemed less appealing than just jamming at home.
Is there anything on your mind that you would like to say?
Happy Anniversary Arteq!! Hopefully when this is all over I can visit Melbourne once more!!
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Below is an interview between Arteq Productions and DJ Dex from November 2016, right before he played at our collaboration show with Australian festival Strawberry Fields at My Aeon, featuring DJ Dex & DJ Skurge from Underground Resistance, and Dutch legend SQL.
We thought it would be a good idea to add some depth to this blog. Enjoy! :-)
Dex Nomadico is one half of the now touring DJ Assault Squad of Underground Resistance. Blending a mixture of jazz, electro, funk and soul into his sets see’s this diverse and humble artist take punters on a journey. His productions are full of rhythmic chords, melodic leads, culturally inspired percussion and abstract basslines throughout. A true pioneer of the Detroit techno sound.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, USA saw Dex get inspired by KDAY, a radio station based in South of Los Angeles that airs a classic hip-hop format for listeners.
“It was on AM radio but they had DJ’s mixing records from hip-hop to house and electro. We’d tune into the station in our middle school classroom after lunch up until the teacher got annoyed. My older sister was also into the 80’s HI-NRG (High energy) disco scene and she collected mixtapes from her friends. So, I had a lot of early influenced years before I ever started DJ’ing or trying to produce music”.
What is the most memorable highlight in your career?
“I think the Interstellar Fugitive tour of Japan in 2006. It was Suburban Knight, Santiago Salazar and myself on DJ duties with Interstellar Fugitives live featuring Mad Mike, The Deacon, The Unknown Soldier, DJ Skurge and Atlantis in the band. So we were rolling deep!! In Tokyo, we played The Liquid Room for over 1000 UR fans. Nagoya was about 500 people but much tighter space so it was intense. During the Osaka show Kenny Dixon Jr. showed up and got on stage to hype the crowd. Kyoto was again a smaller venue but really intense and the gig went until 8 in the morning or so with the Interstellar Fugitive band just improvising and jamming out.”
How did you find your way into Underground Resistance?
“It was a very natural process of exploring music as a DJ. During my college years, I had done several internships at magazines and radio stations in L.A., so I had seen first-hand plenty of people comprising their passions for a job in the music industry. For myself growing up in L.A., especially the East side, I never spent my time or energy trying to go to the West side and be around super rich people. I hung with my crew and we did our small events while I was getting through college. At some point I started ordering records from Submerge (Detroit record label) and I asked “Submariner” for promos since I was doing college radio at the time. Then one day in the mail I get a white label promo copy of the first Interstellar Fugitives album. I felt honoured since I didn’t really expect to get anything. A couple of years after I was done with college and working at a record store, I got a call from Mad Mike asking if I was interested in leaving L.A. to come work at Submerge in Detroit. I really didn’t see a future for myself ever working in “Hollywood” so I said, fuck it, I’m going to Detroit.”
What do you see in the future of Techno?
“People talk about Techno like it's some giant living in the hillside coming down to visit the townspeople. We are Techno. The future of Techno is with us.”
What is Yaxteq and what are your goals with it?
“Yaxteq is derived from the Mayan word Yaxche which basically means "tree of life". In Mayan culture and a lot of other indigenous cultures there is the concept that a tree connects the living earth with the cosmos and the underworld through its roots, trunk and branches. Yaxteq is a creative framework for me to create music and visual art. If you look at our mascot Lil Yaxteq he's a Mayan figure with tattoos and headphones in various poses. On Yaxteq 001 he's sitting in a meditative pose and on Yaxteq 002 he's dancing. He's both ancient and contemporary simultaneously. I believe Techno music is primal and ancient in experience while being modern and technological in execution and production. Yaxteq's only goal is to continue expressing that fundamental idea.”
When producing a song, what sounds attract you the most; and what do you enjoy producing?
“That's hard to describe. I usually build up songs starting with chords, followed by drums that work with those chords. I tend to do darker moodier music, but if I had the time I would produce all kinds of music. For now Techno will do.”