Slater Hogan heats up Flask Friday, November 22nd.
You started DJing in 1998. How has becoming a father impacted your career as a DJ today?
It’s almost the other way around. It is DJing, as my career that allows for a flexible work schedule. I was able to be around Jack (my son) all the time during the day. Most parents who work 9 to 5 don’t get that opportunity. Jack’s mom always says, “It takes a village to raise a child.” We have a great support system helping out when I’m working the late-night hours.
You’ve performed all around the world. You’ve released 100’s of tracks on various labels. What brings you to Flask Lounge?
My friend Zebo told me how great the vibe was at Flask the night he played, and he put me in touch with Mikey (DJ Phaded), and we were able to work it out. I’ve never been to Maine. So I am excited to see Portland and get down with everyone!
I’m ashamed to admit I had no idea just how prominent he was in the midwest house music scene, so being able to host him as my guest DJ at Flask is extremely exciting.
-Mike Dear (DJ PHADED)
How can small venues, like Flask, help keep the EDM scene growing and vibrant without having access to piles of cash and charging high priced covers?
I am co-owner of the Patron Saint in Indianapolis, and our capacity is only 185. We understand the small club mentality. I think the intimate venues allow DJ’s to go deeper into their crates and play stuff they may not play on bigger stages. When the rave culture started, it was more about the music than it was about LED walls and EFX. The EDM scene has taken electronic music and turned it into a rock concert with all the confetti, CO2, fire, etc. I’d much prefer to play a dark, intimate room with people that appreciate House music.
What lights you up as a DJ, and what makes you roll your eyes and shake your head?
I love it when the crowd recognizes the blend. When I first started playing overseas, I noticed the crowd would whistle when two records were blending together and creating a better groove then the records playing individually. They were so knowledgeable about DJ culture. You don’t get that a lot in the States. I guess my biggest pet peeve would be people who request a song by pulling it up on their phone and shoving it in your face lol.
What’s your favorite track you have produced?
Probably my remix of Truman Industries “Love Plus” It’s a fun, jazzy, disco vibe but also shared remixing credits on that release with Derrick Carter, and he’s always been a significant influence in my style.
It’s a Friday night, and you have no plans. What are you doing?
Finding a dive bar with a great jukebox and deep tequila selection.
Do you have any hidden talents?
A lot of people don’t know that I played tennis at Butler University and have been teaching tennis for 30 years.
What kind of tequila should I buy for your upcoming show at Flask on November 22nd?
Uh oh! Haha. Maestro Dobel Diamante is one of my fav’s. But I also love Fernet.
What are your upcoming shows? Anything I can help promote?
SWEAT @ Flask Lounge in Portland, ME! Let’s blow it up!
The best way for people to connect with you and listen to your music?
I often forget Dereloid’s name. Is it Darryl or Darrell Tapley? 🤷🏼♀️ To most, we know MR. DERELOID as a skilled veteran DJ, loyal friend, and talented graphic artist. Portland, Maine, is damn lucky to have him. If Dereloid is not making you dance your ass off, he’s presumably making you laugh your ass off. Dereloid hosts Foundation Friday (8 years and counting) at Flask Lounge. What makes the Portland EDM scene so unique? What chaps his ass? Is substance, in fact, greater than hype? Advice to upcoming DJs, these answers, and more to some “massive questions!”
Mr. Dereloid No Hype, Just Substance
How do you describe Foundation Friday to a stranger?
When I describe my night to people, it usually sounds like this: I say I play underground dance music. No radio stuff. House, techno, and all tasty sub-genres within. If they don’t know what I mean, I say it feels like a disco for robots. I do play actual disco and nu-disco, electro, breakbeat, afrobeat, synth wave, acid house, acid techno, and on and on. I also tell them the crowd is a nice mix of young, older, open-minded people of all genders and orientations. It is a safe space. Dance culture has always had roots in a welcoming and safe community.
In your opinion, how does the Portland, Maine electronic dance music (EDM) scene compare to cities like New York, Chicago, LA?
Having a long history with this subculture and being involved in it here in Maine since the ’90s, many answers come to mind. I will try to keep this brief to avoid writing a novella. The culture/scene has mutated into a strange tainted animal in large markets, and even here on some levels.
Up until recently, DJ’s were not viewed as rock stars on bright stages like they are now. One had to look around to find the DJ booth. People would get down on the dancefloor and experience the DJ’s sermon on their terms, dancing with other people and alone. Since the internet and social media have infiltrated everything in our society, changes have occurred. People are gazing at the DJ booth and dancing way less or not at all.
Also, It is VERY hard to find success in terms of touring and earning a living from having worthy DJ skills. If one doesn’t get attention from making music, being a producer, and releasing it on labels that get national/international hype, it is EXTREMELY rare to be able to live off being a great DJ.
The most special aspect of Portland’s underground scene to me is people come out and truly get down without being influenced by razzle-dazzle big-name hyped-up headliner events. We haven’t had large budgets or large venues, enabling us to be able to do large scale pricey events. Our loyal followers and community are the real deal Grassroot UNDERGROUND. There are people influenced by the hype over substance approach. But, for the most part, Substance > Hype is the way of the walk here. In large markets, you see locals struggling to fill rooms. You see people coming to events late for the big-name guest and missing the hard-working locals that play early sets. Our followers and community trust that we care about curating quality for them. I value that IMMENSELY. So, if you’re reading this and attend my events. xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxxo
All our lives are continually changing and evolving. Over the past few years, what are some significant changes you have experienced as a human and longtime DJ?
Geeeeez. This is a massive question. I won’t attempt to tackle the part of the changes I have experienced as a human outside of how that relates to djing. YIKES. I can say I no longer take gigs of which I am not fully interested. I realized the fest/rave hybrid scene isn’t for me. I stick to places with walls where I can control the vibe with people who genuinely want my product. A late bloomer, but I no longer get drunk when I DJ. Ha. I don’t book guest DJs out of pressure. I am strict on curating musical experiences through the guests I select.
Tell us what burns your tail feathers?
One thing quickly comes to mind. The 1 am end time here in Maine chaps my ass for sure. It is almost 2020 for crap’s sake. We can handle 2 am, at least. People want it. I am confident businesses wish to have the extra hour of sales too. Many people (who are working!) don’t make it out till 11-11:30 and even midnight. Poof, it’s done. LAME. After hour spots pop up here and there and vanish. I would love to join forces with a group of people to start a petition. Maybe the city would listen.
Yes. I have periodically focused on studio productions over the last decade or more. I am always collaborating with long-time friend, Highkoo. New original works are part of my winter plan. Overdue. We have had music releases on different labels over the years without really trying to develop our sound. This needs to change.
What’s one track guaranteed to light up any dance floor?
Again, a massive question. The overwhelming amount of music I have and continue to get makes it hard to give an easy answer. Here are a few sure shots for me lately.
States Of Mind – Elements of Tone (Richie’s Dream Mix) this is from 1990. Ha
Frits Wentink – Space Babe from this year
Jensen Interceptor – The Fontainebleau – Original_Mix from 4 yrs ago?
And this slow, playful sugary thing – Look Like – B.A.B.E.
Who is your dream B2B partner? What dream venue?
Hmmmmmm. Dream B2B partner(s) Derrick Carter out of Chicago. He dwells in the housier side of the styles I love — any venue but preferably in his town of CHI-TOWN. Then I would say UK og, Paul Woolford, aka Special Request. Again, any venue. He plays Detroit electro style music I love. Both DJ’s are TRUE SCHOOL badasses in the booth. No hype. No laziness. Raw energy. This style is my approach.
What’s one piece of advice you would give to the next generation of DJs?
NO half-assing it when it comes to the art of djing with emphasis on beatmatching, creative mixing, and use of the eq knobs. Create something new as opposed to lazy transitions to the next songs. And DIG for music. There is so much meh music easily found online. So, AT LEAST DIG DEEP THRU THE CRAP to find the hidden magic out there. Trust me. It is worth it. And lose the hype machine aspect. Let your product and aesthetic and talent do the talking. Also. Don’t be a jerk.
I make sure to be approachable while out at events, and at my own. I am just a person. I care about relationships. Community is a crucial part of this scene and life in general. Say HI if you see me. xoxox
What are your upcoming gigs?
My Foundation Party is every second Friday at the underground temple, Flask. The next one is on November 8th.
I am djing an all-night, old school styled warehouse event in Providence, R.I., on Friday, November 29th.
Saturday, November 30th, in Boston, MA. An all-night event featuring old school DJ veteran Jason Hodges out of Toronto with other New England vets.
Let’s do this thing y’all. Thanks for the continued love and support. It takes a village.
Blogs are curated by Flask’s Owner, Jessica Lea Nolette. She is also the Founder of My Mindful Motivation, a source for inspirational storytelling, community, and the creator of Mindbosa — a free goal tracking and savings tool.
Love is about to celebrate nine years at Flask Lounge. What does this milestone mean to you?
It means that Time Flies!! It also means it’s about to embark on its tenth year, and that makes me feel proud. Proud that the thing I started is still here, growing, and as much fun as ever.
How do you describe LOVE to a stranger?
It depends on if they’re an Enthusiast (a head) or not, but in general, I say it’s a dance party focused on underground electronic music with a very eclectic crowd. All ages, sexual orientations, gender identities, races, and socioeconomic statuses.
How does the Portland dance scene compare to other cities?
Portland has a rich history in the dance club and gay bar culture since the ’70s. Punk, rock, and dance club culture were prominent in the ’80s, and then rave hit Portland in the early ’90s. That’s considerably early in American rave history. It’s real here and has a unique personality that differs even from other New England states. It’s a wicked tiny community due to the population and popularity of underground dance culture.
Do you envision retiring or passing Love’s torch?
No. Not at the moment. My original goal was to try at least and make it ten years, which is coming right up. If there’s still a crowd and I’m still able, I’ll be here doing my thing.
Voted #65 of TOP 100 DJs in America – National Sun Times 2015 & Chicago Nightlife Awards – “BEST DJ” 2014
“I play good music.”
What are you most grateful for, today?
To be able to share good music with the people and support myself while doing so. Being a DJ holds serious responsibility, whether the DJ wants to admit it or not. Music has the power to unite, the power to change, and the power to reach people on a personal level. At a club or party, you will find people from all walks of life getting down together. The same people that may not speak to each other in everyday life. I thank the universe for helping me find myself through DJing and using it to connect with others.
How has DJing and electronic music changed in recent years?
For the past decade, it has been the same with the rise and fall of “EDM” and the culture associated with it. When I first started DJing in 98′, I came from the underground rave scene in Chicago and the midwest. Then it was all about the DJ and not so much about the producer. Many producers did DJ also, but there was more opportunity for DJs as you had to have a record collection to play out. CD players weren’t great at the time, so vinyl was the primary format. A DJ spent time, and money to build their collection, and that was a big part of their name and draw.
With the rise of EDM culture in the US, it made events more like concerts as opposed to “rave” style parties. The visual became a significant part of it with better technology in lasers, lights, and now LED walls. With the rise of EDM, it seemed dance music became all about the “build-up & drop.” I’m not knocking it as I do like a good drop, but every style of dance music became all about it, and I feel that took a bit of soul out of dance music. People danced differently as they would get hyped during the build-up, “go ham” when the drop hit and then waited for the next one, whereas electronic music of the 90s and early 2000s had more of a groove and soul to connect with and converse with through dance. I feel like the dancing in the 90s, and early 2000s was something everyone did, whereas, with the EDM culture, it was more like a fist pump, some headbanging and even moshing.
I’m not saying there is NO dancing now as I see a lot of good shuffling, but people do not dance as much. I think the fact that everyone has a recording device and social media can be used to make fun of people for letting go and dancing, may play a small part of it as well. Keep in mind this is all from my experience, my observation.
As a DJ, are you concerned with patrons safety at events?
Yes, and every DJ should be. Nobody wants to see anyone get hurt, OD, or something terrible like that. A party is about togetherness and connection.
One piece of advice for aspiring DJ’s?
Practice, practice, practice! There is a lot of technology taking the skill out of DJing and relies on algorithms to take on the work that should be part of the “skill” of DJing. Be yourself and be nice to people. Never burn bridges. Use DJing as a way to express yourself honestly. DJs should be different and should play different styles and genres. Make your style about what you like. That personal touch allows patrons to connect with your DJ style.
How has mentorship challenged you, and what’s your most rewarding experience to speak of?
I am able to help students progress farther and faster by teaching them from the mistakes I made and lessons learned. I hope to see my students push DJing farther than me and take the art to a whole new level.
I recently had an Autistic student who found himself through DJing. At the end of the semester, I received a letter from the student’s father thanking me as the student found something that he is good at and can connect with other people through. He had never felt that before, and now he practices every day and uses his craft to make new friends and communicate in ways he cannot do with just words. I’m also able to use my connections to help these students get their foot in the door. The scene here is massive, and there are more and more DJs coming out every day, so it can be tough for people to break into the scene and get gigs.
What’s something not many people know about you, not even your family or friends?
My middle name is actually “Zebo.” Most people don’t know where I got my DJ name from, or they don’t believe me. When I was younger, I was called J Z, as my first name is Jonathon. I tell people now my name is J Z and they think I’m trying to bite off the Rapper, Sean Carter aka Jay-Z. I’m taking my name back from him. I had it first!