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Opel Productions: Syd Gris

Syd Gris
link: www.opelproductions.com

The Dr. is in. It's his party, so he gets to play whatever he feels like.

Your music style in a few words: I'm lucky enough to move in 2 worlds. In terms of Opel parties and the extended underground / Burner scene, you could say I'm getting dirtier in my old age. Or maybe it's just the music.... Like many, I've veered in the last 2 years towards grittier electro and dirty house with my tech funk break flavors. In my other world, opening up for the big names in trance, I like to call my style beauty laced progressive with muscle. My favorite sets are the ones I can range from one to the other, which is generally only possible on the playa. Overall, most importantly it has to have emotion, power, intensity and undeniably get your attention.

Why? Music is one of the most powerful forms of expression out there, it speaks to and awakens different parts of the body, mind, and soul. I want intensity and groove and emotion in life, with a touch of dirty, stony, heady shit thrown in, so that's how I like the music.

Obligatory DJ questions: How long have you been DJ'ing? Besides DJ'ing high school dances, which I started doing in 8th grade, not long. First proper DJ moment since high school was at Burning Man 2001. Though I couldn't really dedicate myself to knowing what the hell I was doing until a very generous woman I was seeing at the time bought me my first set of turntables for Christmas one year.

What got you into the scene? I got into the scene pretty late in its evolution. My first real dance floor experience was in November '98, when some friends took me to Nikita. At that point Nikita was the Friday night party Spundae was doing at 1015 back in the day. The party blew doors, and I was hooked. Of later major influence was the Radiance parties and of course Burning Man.

What made you decide to come off the dance floor & get behind the decks? I think being a DJ requires a certain passion for music, an interest in the craft itself, and the confidence that you can pick better tracks than the person you're listening to. All are present for me. Plus, I'm the type of person that likes to create a moment, engineer a certain kind of experience, which obviously had a big part in getting involved in throwing parties, but it's essentially a desire to share that which moves you in the hopes it will move others as well and you can have that moment of shared emotion on the dance floor. That's golden.

Day job? What is it? I'm a licensed Clinical Psychologist, working with kids and families in the foster care system here in San Francisco.

What keeps you motivated to keep going out there, getting new music, and DJ'ing? Things one are passionate about are seldom much effort.

Music influences, electronic and otherwise: Pink Floyd, Syd Barret, Spiritualized, Brian Jonestown Masacre, etc. I was a Heavy Metal dude. Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Scorpions, then of course it's evolutoin with Janes' Addiction, NIN, Soundgarden, Smashing Pumpkins, Alice in Chains. But also U2, Radiohead, world music, Miles Davis, the Beatles.

Favorite 12" of all time? I still haven't gotten sick of Amber: Natious, nor the Dylan Rhymes remix of Meat Katie "All I Need"

What DJ's still make you want to go dance? Meat Katie, Lee Coombs, Tiesto, Sandra Collins, Sasha, DJ Vibe, Jerry Bonham, Spesh, Stanton Warriors, Armin Van Burren, Dylan Rhymes, etc.

Tell us your top DJ moment to date: That's tough. NYE 2008 at Sea of Dreams, Burning Man 2007 on Friday night at Opulent Temple, opening and closing for Tiesto at the Ruby 6 year, sunrise at OT in 2006, and many, many more...

Sweet or savory? Savory..

Abbey Road or Sgt. Peppers? Abbey Road, Side 2.

Favorite vice you're willing to share: Tekken Tag Tournament.

Tell us something most people don't know about you. I did my dissertation research for my Doctorate in psychology on spiritual development. I used to have a mullet.

What are you waiting for? Someone to beat me at Tekken, for people to wake the fuck up to how messed up the world is and the leading role the US is taking in the world's destruction and of course, for Godot.

Interests outside the scene: Reading a good, inspiring book, I still have a soft spot in my heart for a good live rock show, also am into the work of Ken Wilber, Noam Chomsky, and politics and social activism in general.

Anything else you want us to know? I fucking love DJ'ing.

syd gris
April 1, 2004 12:00 AM, by mark
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