Here in the postmodern metropolis there are so many great places to hear music. LA's underground is a multi-layered texture of flavor. With so many people and places you need a DJ who reflects the cultural mosaic of Los Angeles. DJ Jun is such a man. His rich musical sets offer something for every audience whether it's underground scenesters or the glamorous set. He can be found spinning everywhere from Bossanova in Santa Monica to Firecracker in Chinatown to the Standard on the Sunset Strip. The music he plays depends on where he is. His styles are as diverse as Los Angeles.
It could be hardcore drum n' bass or a soulful house set. Some nights he'll play more funk & hip-hop. At a rave he'll play some wicked jungle. Jun isn't flashy or demonstrative. He picks hot records.
His sets jump around makin the people dance. At Sound Lessons in late March Jun had people dancin on the bar when he mixed hip-hop into house. His days back at Science w/ Raymond Roker at the Pink in Santa Monica turned my partners Dru and Phil into drum n' bass heads.
As Golden Voices opening DJ hes played before some of electronic musics biggest names including Daft Punk, Jamiroquai, Roni Size, Morcheeba, Thievery Corporation, Kruder & Dorfmeister and many others. Whether its the Westside glam scene or the Sunset Strip or the pure music aficionados of Sound Lessons, Jun always puts the wax down to take the dance floor into euphoria. He lets the music do the talking. Some club kids at Nova Express call him the man who speaks with his hands.
After hearing him play so long, I had the pleasure of him givin me his thoughts on his role as a sound selector in the wild, wild world that is Los Angeles club culture. This is what he had to say:
How long have you been spinnin'?
I have been spinning since I was 13, but consistently for the past 5 years.
What was your first big break as a DJ?
Working at a record store and becoming a part of UMOJA HiFi.
Which clubs do you like spinning at the most these days?
Clubs where they take CARE of you and not trip out on the MUSIC your playing.
Your style is very eclectic & ethereal, what inspires you when you step to the tables? Getting to play the records that I'm into and sharing that with other people who listen.
How would you characterize the spirit of LA's underground club culture?
Diverse and spread out.
What are 5 of your favorite records right now?
Most of the records I like are on labels such as
VISIONS, PEOPLE, MAINSQUEEZE, ARCHIVE, UBIQUITY.
There is to many for me to just put 5, but check these labels out.
Who are some of your favorite DJ's? Why?
Mir-Media DJs and most Detroit DJs. Any one that plays with JAZZ and SOUL.
Music has been merging genres recently more then ever, your record selection when you spin always reflects this, what do you think of the emerging fusion of electronic music & hip-hop?
I think it's great to see the fusion. Maybe heads will understand that everything is connected. It's all in the programs.
What emerging trends do you see developing in electronic music & club culture?
Getting back to soul and jazz and more live elements.
What's next for DJ Jun?
Finally, Making beats.
What's the comprehensive list of all the clubs you spin at?
Currently I have residencies spinning:
Tues. Knitting Factory...
Wed. In the Lobby @ Standard Hotel (Sunset/Sweetzer) Sunset Strip
Thurs. BossaNova @ Club Sugar (Broadway/Lincoln) Santa Monica
Sat. In the Lobby @ Standard Hotel.
I also do a Monthly called SOUNDLESSONS (6th/Central) downtown LA
And whenever BOSSANOVA does a special Event.
and during the day Wed-Sun I'm usually @Amoeba spinning.
Los Angeles club culture is burnin like a firecracker. DJ Jun is one of the people makin it happen. Jun knows --like my homey Lady Copper from Nappy @ Da Roots says-- that with 30 years of slammin music, a DJ should never play a bad record.
A recent set of Jun's included Jill Scott, Yaz, Vikter Duplaix, Erykah Badu, Kool and the Gang, Roni Size, Michael Jackson, Al Green, Chaka Khan, Prince and the love Brothers from Miami. He was mixin' in house beats with old Motown, loungey trance with R & B, all the while dancers on the floor never missed a beat. Jun mixes tracks many DJ's would never attempt to match, all the while keeping the beats syncopated. He weaves a mosaic of music rich with flavor.
DJ Jun is only now starting to get recognition. He's done almost everything a DJ could around the club scene since the mid 90's. He was nominated by LA WEEKLY for Best DJ - Mixmeister in 2000. Nonetheless he remains relatively unknown to those outside of the musical cognoscenti. Garth Trinidad recently had him on the KCRW radio show Chocolate City. Garth knows Jun is a walking encyclopedia of music.
Jun is now starting to produce beats. Based on the array of flavor presented in his musical sets one can only imagine the multi-layered, genre-bending compositions Jun has in store for us. The fusing of his collective influences makes him the quintessential DJ for the multicultural musical landscape of Los Angeles. His progressive style is ahead of its time. Catch Jun out sometime to hear the future.