Dex Stakker

Dex brings stomping electrotech and an amazing use of vocabulary to the party

Your music style in a few words:

Riff driven (even when just beats), anthematic and pushy, often with
basslines that establish a rhythm that contrasts the percussion

Because I feel there is compulsive dance music out there, and not enough
of it reaches the floor collected together. Finding those tracks,
digging out cuts with those themes that are unifying, galvanizing a
dance floor without being unforgivably cloying (forgivably manipulative,
with a wink might be OK), and watching their effect on the floor (and on
me dancing behind the decks, for that matter) is addictive.

Obligatory DJ questions: How long have you been DJ’ing?
I went to a smaller state college that was largely a commuter school.
You basically had to join one of the five Greek fraternities in order to
have a night-life. Our “frat house” was a recently-purchased historic
apartment building facing the main school administration building.
Throughout the final three years of schooling, I was known for running
“Rocker Room,” which basically consisted of me in my apartment, using a
single full-sized CD player, swapping out songs as fast as I could to
counter whatever music played by the theme party we were throwing at the
time. Don’t like the disco music in the main room? You could always
wander in and dance in my room. I would throw on Violent Femmes’
“Blister in the Sun” and draw every girl (and therefore many guys)
within a 2-mile radius into my room (what is it with that song?), and
then see how long I could keep the room packed with the pop and rock and
I had on hand at the time. When it got late, and it got down to a few
friends, the metal-head in me emerged and I’d tear through a hair,
speed, thrash, and progressive metal regimen. The dance music side of me
would later merge these two influences.

Ironically, when I bought my turntables in the fall of 2005, someone had
to remind me that I had done this before in Rocker Room, and that I
tended to take over the CD players in the waning hours of most parties
that I had attended in the years since.

What got you into the scene?
My friend Michael had been immersed in the San Francisco scene in the
mid-90s, when his roommate had been an emerging producer achieving some
success. It was a magical time for dance music, and for San Francisco in
particular, and he imparted a large part of his appreciation of
electronic and dance music to me when I was his roommate in 2002-2003.
Coincidentally, we both started to attend Opel parties and at a Love
Parade after-party, spent a night in a tiny room at Kelly’s Mission Rock
listening to Fred Funk and Smoove. I had never liked dancing all that
much, but I sure liked dancing to that, and I was hungry for more. I had
been hung up on Uberzone’s “The Freaks”, but was unsure of where to find
more, when Michael bought and I “borrowed” (for three years), Hyper’s
“Wired” mix. I realized there was a whole genre of dance music that
revolved around this sound, and I LOVED it.

What made you decide to come off the dance floor & get behind the decks?

My favorite local DJ, who had been batting 1000 percent in my book for
quite a while, started to evolve his sound in a different direction that
wasn’t conducive to my tastes and while there are scores of great
locals, I felt I couldn’t count on complete satisfaction in any one
direction. I was sitting on a bench at The Mighty, having exhausted
myself dancing to an extraordinary set from Simply Jeff, and I mentioned
to a new friend, Marcine, that I was thinking about getting a pair of
decks, and she said “Don’t think about it. You want to do it. Just do
it.” and I went home that night and started scouting around Ebay, and by
the end of the week, I had my tables.

Day job? What is it?
Software Engineer.

What keeps you motivated to keep going out there, getting new music,
and DJ’ing?

I think this question has the cause and effect reversed. New music and
savory old music is constant thread of what keeps life worth living.
Love, hate, all these other emotions, wax and wane, taking you to the
highest highs and the lowest lows, but music brings a satisfaction that
is unflappable, often playing off of the volatility of those other
aspects of your life..

Music influences, electronic and otherwise:
The Cult – They used simple, impossible-to-forget riffs and beats, to
create music that still came off as artistic. It’s straight-up rock that
you can actually dance to.
Megadeth – I’ve been a fan since I heard “So Far, So Good, So What” on a
school bus in 1989. I raced to catch up on their albums and found that
1988’s “Rust in Peace” was my favorite (and still is). Now, with the
context of dance music, I consider them the breakbeat of metal with that
album. Constant rhythm changes with dynamic riffs that made me want to
sing along with the guitar.

Favorite 12″ of all time?
Young American Primitve – The Reality of Nature – It’s epic, anthematic,
and yet completely unique. I’ve never heard another song like it.

What DJ’s still make you want to go dance?
Locals: Syd Gris (when he puts his evil electro hat, mustache and
sunglasses on, putting away his progressive halo and wings), Smoove,
Melyss, Icon, Raydeus, Mozaic, Evinrude, Aaron Jae.
SF-Frequent Headliners: Uberzone, Krafty Kuts, Meat Katie, Dylan Rhymes,
Bassbin Twins

Favorite vice you’re willing to share:
Blue movies.

Tell us your top DJ moment to date:
Burning Man 2007. I went on following Bassnectar and Lee Coombs, both of
whom had helped to whip the crowd into a frenzy. I knew I had strong,
fresh material and I knew that all I had to do was bring what I had to
the table, and everyone would eat. I had one song that dives almost into
a progressive-style breakdown, haunting and beautiful, and I took a
moment to breathe and really soak up how large and happy the crowd was.
I still tear up when I play that song, remembering that moment.

Sweet or savory?

Abbey Road or Sgt. Peppers?

Sgt. Peppers

Tell us something most people don’t know about you.

I’m a singer. Boys choir, quit for puberty, garage band, and then
national anthems (because hockey needs Canadian too) for football games
and hockey games.

What are you waiting for?

Burning Man next year.

Interests outside the scene:

I don’t understand the question.