BORN: USA, Midwest, Indianapolis, Indiana YEARS OF INVOLVEMENT IN THE SCENE: 15 yrs YEARS OF DJ'ING: 6 yrs FAVOURITE GEAR TO USE: pioneer 1000's and a pio 600 mixer but all new pio and denon equipment is ok. if vinyl, it's the technics 1200 turntable, of course!
THE DOSE: What was the best party you DJ'd at?
COPPERTOP: That is very hard to say.. geez! I will tell you a few of the best! One favorite was Infest in the UK in 2003. My set followed VNV Nation on the last night of this festival in the University town of Bradford. There were hundreds of dancers screaming. I also had an amazing response in Moscow, Russia at a huge synthpop party featuring T.O.Y., Steffen from De/Vision, and DJ Ram in February 2004. Another great event was Dark Rave in Toronto in October 2005..
I played for about 500 for almost 2 hours, and it was unbelievable. But, sometimes the small parties can be just as fun.. because it is how you see them dance to songs they do not know; the power to get people to respond to the unfamiliar. I had a great time just recently in Cleveland at The Chamber and Minneapolis at Hard Monday, and both are just regular dark club nights here in the States. Now I go to Chicago in just a few hours to play the Tiesto afterparty where I will spin dark beats, and we will see how that goes!
THE DOSE: Which EP/LPs would you point out as your current favourites?
COPPERTOP: There is so much great music out there I am really just overwhelmed. The later part of 2005 and now the first part of 2006 brought us so many great releases! I will mention four of them (there are so many more!). First is Wideband Network: Ten Thousand Seconds on the A Different Drum label here in the States, breathtaking synthpop.. gorgeous vocals.
The second is Mesh: We Collide, I guess officially on Koenigskinder label in the UK, it is confusing, since it is licensed to many labels, but still an amazing album, and I love it. Next is Orange Sector: Bassprodukt on the Infacted label in Germany.. old skool EBM with a hard and fresh twist. Finally, I will say Headscan: Pattern Recognition on the Artoffact label in Canada.
Headscan is just intelligent EBM and kicking dark dancefloor stuff, they put "the smart" back in the music..
THE DOSE: And what's the genre you spin?
COPPERTOP: I hate to say this but I will say it: TRANCE (hard and progressive). Mostly I specialize in mixing. Most DJ's in the dark and synth genres do not mix, but it is hard without the beat intro's, and the professionally mixed tracks.
I search (HARD) for the remixes of my favorite dark and synthpop acts to bring them to the floor and build a strong energy through seamless beat matching, key, and EQ style mixing. Lately it has been easier to find this music, because EBM is getting a stronger techno sound and synthpop is being remixed by great artists like Negative Format, Delobbo, XP8, DJ Ram (I could go on and on) to trance and even house too.
THE DOSE: How about your favourite music softwares, what do you work with?
COPPERTOP: Currently I am not remixing. My focus is on live performance. In the past I have used Logic. I do all minimal editing and mastering.. tracking of my live mixes in the latest version of Soundforge. I really do not like to mess with the recordings too much after I do them.. if I am good, it should be clean and ready to track, but on my live mix in Detroit, I had a sound technician record my set, and he did an amazing job, which was awesome.
THE DOSE: Aaand as a final question, tell us a secret - what's your specialty DJ skill?
COPPERTOP: I suppose live performance is my specialty and with that comes great track selection, seamless beat matching, key, and EQ mixing live. That is why, all but one mix, I recorded, I have done live. I really feel that DJing live and making a set or track in a program are two different skills. I have heard some of the best remixing and producing DJ's in the world play the worst sets live, and then it goes the other way, I have heard crappy producers make a crowd go wild.
To be able to do both, well, that is what makes a really great DJ. My goal is to to get more into mastering and sound editing however, and not so much production. There are almost too many producers, but the end quality of what I hear is very bad many times.