With more than 100 releases to his name, Brennan Green’s contribution to the New York dance scene has been an important one. Green has released on acclaimed labels like Daniel Wang’s proto disco-house Balihu Records, collaborated with the surviving members of Arthur Russell’s Loose Joints band for the self-titled “Arthur’s Landing” LP and produced an acid-house-idiom cover of Hot Chocolate’s “Don’t Turn It Off” by 40 Thieves.
In 2001, he started monthly party Pop Your Funk at legendary NYC venue APT, where he played alongside such guests as Andrew Weatherall, Joakim, Lindstrom, Liquid Liquid’s Sal P, and Maurice Fulton, creating a unique mix of raw disco, postpunk, and cosmic house. While in 2005, he started eclectic independent label Chinatown Records, which allowed him to find an outlet for his own creative endeavors, while signing records by Arthur’s Landing, Studio, Runaway and a slew of others.
He’s playing at Good Room on July 8 with Facets at the GlitterballNYC party in the Bad Room (the party is free, RSVP here). Facets comes to Brooklyn by way of Belgrade and London, with a passion for all things electro, acid, balearic, house, and beyond. His DJ sets are often characterized by an eclectic mix of chuggier low-tempo sounds, leftfield techno, and classic italo. In addition to his duties as curator and resident of glitterballnyc.com‘s parties, he will launch of his new label, Samo Records this year, which will celebrate the darker side of dance music.
We asked the Canadian and the Serbian to interview each other ahead of the party to discuss the Manhattan vs Brooklyn scene, production DJ vs party DJ and more party politics to stir the pot.
Brennan Green: Did you know you replaced my other only Serbian DJ friend who wasn’t pulling his weight? What do you think of Canadian DJs, have you heard any?
Facets: There are a lot of Serbian DJs out there — I shall be replaced soon enough, I imagine, you’ve been warned. Yes, of course I’ve heard of other Canadian DJs! Most recently, I’ve been really into the Multi Culti label run by Thomas Von Party, who is also associated with another great Canadian label, Turbo Recordings. In terms of DJs/ producers, I really like Jokers of the Scene, The Mole, Jex Opolis, and, of course, Dan Bell, who you told me you thought babysat you because the person had the same name.
There are so many venues in Brooklyn these days. Good Room is near to where we live, as we’re neighbors. Do you go into Manhattan anymore?
To tell you the truth, very rarely. I went out recently in the East Village, and I can tell you I didn’t like what I saw — not in terms of the party, just people living there. It’s jock/bros/NYU central. I mean, there are some venues that keep it going, which is great, but since I work in the city, venturing back out to Manhattan again is not very tempting.
Do you think it’s important to produce music if you want to be a DJ? It seems to matter to everyone except the actual DJ.
Very deep question here. I don’t think so. I think it can help the DJ reach a bigger audience. I think if you’re passionate about making music, it’s more of an artistic need than a need for a DJ to have music out there for career purposes.
Facets: What do we expect to hear at Good Room? Any favorite new artist or labels?
Brennan Green: A bunch of new favorite old artists! I don’t care much for new dance music, for better or for worse. And If I do hear something ‘new’ that’s interesting, it’s usually just some old rehashed Chicago or Detroit shit, which doesn’t really count, does it?
Do you go out in the city anymore? Can you describe what it was like when you were doing APT or other parties around that time? Do you see the club scene making a permanent move to Brooklyn?
At the time of Pop Your Funk, DJs seemed to be opening up to playing stuff other than house in their sets. Electro clash was fading back into techno and DFA was starting their whole take on post punk. There were tons of fresh sounds. Balihu, Modal, Chinatown, Environ were setting the stage of the new disco house sound and everyone was keen!
As for moving to Brooklyn, I can’t really make that observation as I don’t really go out into the city either, clubs in Williamsburg just seems weird to me. Bushwick is still doing warehouse parties which are cool. Brooklyn doesn’t seem to have that chic edge yet, like the city has, like we had at APT 😎
As someone who was been in the game for a while, do you have any advice for up-and-coming DJ/producers out there?
Yes, sure. DJs PRACTICE in your bedrooms before subjecting us to your egos; “producers” learn a little music theory or pick up an egg shaker. I don’t have enough fingers on my hands to count the producers I know who if you put a gun to their head and said shake this to this rhythm would be able to do it in time. Yet they don’t hesitate to call themselves musicians. And if your gonna make house music, listen to something other than house music!
Brennan Green and Facets are playing in the Bad Room at the GlitterballNYC party on July 8. The party is free with RSVP here.