Stanton DJ Interview

Alien Tom and Stanton have worked together at many events over the years. NAMM, Remix Hotel, Club Nights and more. Stanton is continuously on the cutting edge of DJ technology.

Alien Tom Exclusive Stanton Interview October 2004.

“You are an L.A.-based DJ. Where do you play?
I play many different events-anything from a movie wrap party or agency holiday party to a 42,000 person all night festival. I also play for Insomniac and Go Ventures, which throw the bigger parties here in L.A. I have a long time residency at the Monday Night Social, a club that has been going on for more than eight years. California in general has a rich history of DJs and dance music and I am proud to play and active role in supporting the music I feel strongly about.

What kind of music do you spin? What producers influence you most?
I play down-tempo, breaks, house and drum and bass; it really depends on the gig. I won’t play banging house chunes at a dinner party, but I am not going to bust out the “whimp-hop” for the outdoor massive either. When I play in the club I play house unless directed to do otherwise.Some producers who have influenced me over the years have been Andrew Weatherhall, J. Saul Kane, Photek, Adrian Sherwood, Aphex Twin, Future Sound of London, Underworld, David Holmes and Richard Fearless. Listening to songs by these producers has set the foundation for how I judge a tune and whether or not I will use it in a set.

You’ve recently started using FinalScratch 2. What got you interested in FinalScratch?
I had read about FinalScratch in its early development; I read that DJ Craze and Richie Hawtin both were using it. Those guys are both DJs with different ideas of what it means to be the best, and hearing that they used FinalScratch sold me right there. I told myself that when it came out for Apple Mac OSX I would get it.

How has FinalScratch helped you be a better DJ?
I am better now that I can play music in more formats in the same set with DJ precision. FinalScratch allows me the freedom to choose what I want to play the way I want to play it. I use my turntables to control MP3, WAV, and AIFF files off my drive, I can play a CD from the internal drive and I can still play my records. The beauty of FinalScratch is its transparency. My files now interface with records as if they were pressed on wax. I can re-edit tracks and play them in the mix.

You also use it to record your sets for your radio show, right?
I have a monthly DJ spot on KROQ FM. I am a guest of Jason Bentley; his show is called “After Hours” and I have been doing guest spots on his show for two years. When I play, I try to bring the most up to date music that I can. FinalScratch allows me to do that. On KROQ right now I am concentrating on bringing drum and bass to a mass market. The station is an alternative rock station and the audience takes to the energy in the music very well. My guest set airs monthly between 12:00am and 3:00am on Saturday nights.

What are some of your favorite features of FS 2?
My favorite feature by far is the addition of the Recording function. I record my sets directly into the machine I am playing from. The Next Track feature is indispensable for “comping” mixes and practicing sets. I also really like the ability to play two copies of the same song at the same time”

You’re also a big fan of the SA-5 mixer. This mixer was designed more for hip-hop guys, so what attracted you to it and how are you using it now?
I really like the whole SA-Series line because it integrates seamlessly with FinalScratch. I have an SA-3 and SA-5, but the SA-8 is sweet too because it has separate outs for each channel. What I really like with these mixers is the simplicity of the layout, and the balanced outputs are crucial for pro use. The SA-5 is nice with the 3 band “Slide EQ” and “Session In,” which is great for collaborations. Although these mixers are more of the hip-hop style of layout I find their width and controls perfect for all styles of DJ mixing and a great compliment to the overall FinalScratch set up.

What do you think of the SA-5’s sound quality compared to other mixers you’ve used?
Right away, I noticed a difference in the recordings I was making for the show. The EQs are sweet and the Penny and Giles crossfaders are second to none.

You also work with Photek in his studio. Tell us more about your role and what you guys have been working on.
With Photek I am general manager of his studio and the three record labels he has. I engineer his recordings as well. The most recent thing we worked on here was we contributed to the new Nine Inch Nails Record. Photek wrote parts and I used FinalScratch 2 to experiment with the rhythm track. FS2 performed flawlessly. The session was 24-bit/96k and did not have to be converted, thanks to the new ScratchAmpâ„¢.

Currently we are gearing up for the release of the next Photek Album, which will be out on Photek Productions in April. There are also remixes and score work going on. Photek just finished a score for the movie Dreamland, and is currently working with various artists on rock-oriented material.

Any new tracks of yours we should look out for? What’s next for Alien Tom?
I have done a few remixes with Jason Bentley. We remixed Meat Beat Manifesto, Flaming Lips, Rob D, and The Ryukyu Underground, which came out on Japanese import. DJ Syrena and I are currently remixing an artist from Indian named Reggie Benjamin. My first solo record will be out in 2005. There maybe a few bootlegs that are floating around but I can’t name them here. SHH!”

Check out Alien Tom on Stanton DJ’s website.

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