Filed under: Interview
Interview by Eri Nishikami (Restir Magazine)
HigherFrequency (HRFQ) : How was your impression on Japan this time?
Frankie Feliciano : It’s always the same. It seems the people in the clubs in Japan always seem to have really a good time and they’re very passionate about the music. They show a lot of reaction when they hear the favorite music so it’s always fun. As a DJ, it’s important to have that energy so I can have the good time and get them back the energy. So I’m going home happy.
HRFQ : How many times have you visited Japan?
Frankie : It’s my third time in Tokyo. I went to Sapporo last time and went to Osaka this time.
HRFQ : You played the whole set with CDs. Have you used DVD-J or Final Scratch?
Frankie : No, so far I don’t use MP3s., but only CDs. It’s only CDs because technology now is a little bit better so it sounds better. I’ve been DJing with vinyls since 1983, so it’s important for me to have that feel. I didn’t use Final Scratch because it depends too much on the computer. If you have a problem with the computer then the party’s finished. I have a small section of my collections on CDs. May be some of the most important songs that people always want to hear and of course all the new songs are included. It’s not just comfortable but equivalent amount of the CDs that I take with me is almost like 10 boxes of records. So when you’re playing and you can see what the crowds want to listen to, you have more of a selection. That’s the real reason for that.
HRFQ : Do you think in the future the vinyl would be eventually vanished?
Frankie : I don’t know. They’ve been saying that for so long now. Maybe it’s possible but I don’t think it’s necessary to finish completely, but maybe in ten years, maybe possible. Either way, if they still make good music on CDs, the music’s going to be still good, you know.
HRFQ : Have you used the new CDJ called DV1200?
Frankie : Yeah, I have them in my house.
HRFQ : How did you like it?
Frankie : I like them a lot. For me, the Techniques are most similar to vinyls. It’s a new machine and when it’s first released, I wasn’t going to spend so much money on a CD player. But when I did a club in California, instead of paying me money, they paid me with the two CD players from Techniques. It feels like a turntable, and really beautiful.
HRFQ : I heard in NY there’s a new regulation that banns excessive bass vibrations. Do you think it affects the club scene in NY?
Frankie : I don’t know about the new regulation but there’s a regulation on too much noise, any noise. I don’t think it affects too much because normally the bigger clubs are in the factory district where not too many people live. So the people who get affected by the law are the small bars and lounges that are in the residential areas, you know. There’s a possible law coming soon if you have a bar in a residential area, you have to close at 1am. They’re going to vote soon, but it’s for bars. If you go to big clubs like Shelter, it closes at 7am so it’s no problem.
HRFQ : Do you think the club scene in NY isn’t as lively as it used to be like how it’s been said?
Frankie : I don’t think that’s true. The difference is that there were a lot of big clubs about 10 years ago. And now, you have only three big clubs and everything else is small lounges and bars. But you know, people in NY always have something to do. I also think the people in NY don’t want to spend 30 dollars to go to big clubs, so it’s better for them to go to small bars free and they spend the money on drinks. It is different but it changed most dramatically after 9/11. I think it’s just the mentality that people want to be a little more intimate. They want to be around in a situation where they feel that they know the people.
HRFQ : But it is happening somewhere all the time?
Frankie : Absolutely. There’s an area called the Meet District in NY on the west side. You have so many small clubs like Cielo with Louie Vega, APT apartmentc So many different parties in that small area alone. You can go from one club to another club to another club to another club and spend the whole night. And it always happens when one club closes, another one opens. You know Vinyl? Famous for Body & Soul is closed now but you have clubs like Deep, so many clubs opened now., and big clubs too.
HRFQ : You go to Europe too. What’s your impression on Europe and on the revival of early house scene?
Frankie : I don’t know if it’s coming back but overall, there’s a retro feel to the music. Everyone wants to listen to the music that was available in the late 80s to the 90S. In Europe the scene really depends on the promoter of the club. I think Europe was on of the first places internationally to accept American house music. The style of music we play isn’t so commercial but they have clubs, parties and right promotions for this music.
HRFQ : Where have you been in Europe?
Frankie : Many of the places I’ve played are in France, London, and all the parts of England and Italy. I loved Naples. When they
have parties, they have 3000 to 4000 people and that’s incredible.
HRFQ : I heard that Louie Vega has affected your musical style a lot. What have you learned from him?
Frankie : Before I met Louie, I was really young and listening to him DJing in the clubs in NY. He was always playing the style of music that I was playing in my neighborhood. It’s really rare because not too many people in NY are really playing the same style. So I thought we had something in the common. I always admire him professionally. I like his direction that went from one style of music and expanded into making it more jazzy or latin jazz you know, as well as the fact that that he has no boundaries. He’s a really god friend of mine and just like my big brother. It’s good to have someone to speak to, and it’s not always about the business, DJing and the records but we can talk about anything.
HRFQ : Do you do parties with him?
Frankie : I have. It’s been a few years now but we did his birthday party in Naples where they had almost 5000 people on the beach.
HRFQ : What’s the most impressive experience you’ve had in your career?
Frankie : Most impressive? There are many but for me is what I’ve just mentioned; on the beach on his birthday in Italy. Because there were so many people and from the beginning and till the 12 o’clock the next day, it was just cool. They just loved every song that you played and as soon as they recognized the song changing, they screamed. That was the last time I went to Italy.
HRFQ : What’s going on your sound production recently?
Frankie : I have my own label now, Ricanstruction label. What I do is I make sure that every release that’s on my label is available as a MP3 downloads because sometimes there are DJs who can’t go to the record store and buy music. So it’s easy for them to download the song and they can have it directly immediately.
HRFQ : For free?
Frankie : No, but it’s really affordable, $1.49 a song. It’s pretty cheap. They can first listen to the song and if they like it, they can buy it. It’s high quality, so it doesn’t sound like a bad MP3.
HRFQ : What kind of equipment do you use for your sound production?
Frankie : It’s a really simple setup in my house. I use pro tools, MPC2000 and Yamaha Motive keyboard. That’s it. Sometimes I use live instruments.
HRFQ : Do you have any future release from your label?
Frankie : Yes. I have a release coming out next week, which called “Quiero Amar.” There’s also a remix that I did for one song from Louie’s “Elements of Life” album, which is called The Journey’s Prelude. He also did a remix album of “Elements of Life” that’s going to be out in September with remixes from Dj Spinna, Joe Claussel, Blaze all the big guys. It’s beautiful. I also try to release a song every six weeks for my label.
HRFQ : Do you get demo tapes from Japanese artists?
Frankie : Nothing from Japanese artists yet, but I get offers to do remixes for Japanese artists. I did for Hisa(King Street) a remix for Double.
HRFQ : Any message for the Japanese fans?
Frankie : Year, check out the website and make sure they are informed. I also have mix tapes on my website. If you are working and you want to listen to some music, just go to the website. And, I have to be back here soon. I like the atmosphere here, and it’s really nice to be here. So much nicer than where I live in Brooklyn with to much bad vibes.
End of the interview
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