So for those who don’t know, who is DF Tram?
I’m a dj/producer based in San Francisco. Toiling away in the audio underground. I also love film, poetry, and other media. I’m a collector,crate digger, and owner of a little weiner dog.
I’ve had the pleasure of working with some really cool people over the years, those people, along with my life experiences, have helped shape the DF Tram sound.
When I work, I like to think of a theme, then go searching for audio that will work with that theme. I’m very much into creating “pictures” with audio. Mood and atmosphere are very important to me. I’m basically a receiver, an antennae, picking up and filtering audio , then putting it back out. Field recordings, video, film, spoken word, urban landscapes , nostalgia, and other themes, all find their way into my work. But when it comes down to it, i’m a chillout dj.
Tell us about the new album?
The new album is a 20 year musical journey. 12 little stories based on events, people, dreams, and experiences, from my life. I wanted to make an album incorporating these stories, and also using different styles of music that have influenced me over the years. Music I found myself listening to at home, in the car, on headphones around town, or at a club. I think a lot of the tracks on the album work in different situations. A dj could play them at a club, or one could listen to them driving down a lonesome highway. The album kind of took on a life of it’s own as it was coming together. Each track is different, but somehow they connect, and feel cohesive, at least to me. I think because the themes are universal. Like time, life/death, relationships, solitude, humor, the environment, people can relate to them. Steve Miller did an amazing job too with producing the album. He is like a wizard sprinkling his magic dust over my tracks. I think working with him gave the album a unique sound. A wild combination, my psychedelia, and dj sensibility , mixed with his unique, rich, lounge sound. To me, the album feels kind of like a psychedelic lounge album from the 60’s, but updated for today.
You have a unique DJ style which is a rare thing these days, what makes you so different?
I think I have always followed my own path musically. Yes, I have been largely influenced by others, but I have taken those ideas, and expanded on them. Sound design,and collage, have a firm place in my repertoire. I’m not too concerned about being “hip” or playing the “in” music or genre. I think good music speaks for itself. I play all different types of music. The music I play out, is the same music I listen to at home. My sets are sprinkled with humor, and sometimes a kind of paranoia. The mixes I do, often have a beginning, a middle, and an end. This makes it seem almost like a movie. I think film has influenced me a lot in that way
I like to bring old familiar ideas, and put them together with the new. This creates a new perspective, a fresh way of hearing something you thought you may have heard before.
Your based near San Fransisco, tell us about the scene over there and explain where you DJ?
San Francisco is a funny place, it’s always changing, so sometimes it can feel hard to keep up, or know what the current “scene” is. I know that it’s a place that is always looking ahead, new ideas, and new people, are always attracted to this city. I think that is why I have been here so long. It stills seems fresh to me in that way. I’ve played lots of great clubs and shows here over the years. But for my taste, the best parties here are the underground ones, or ones put on by small collectives. I think it’s always been that way, like going back to the old acid test parties in the 60’s .
I think people let loose a little more at these parties, and the music and “recreational activities” are always better. I just played a party at a church in Oakland. Loads of people lying on pillows and rugs listening to music, and making out. You can’t do that at a club, this environment allows me to experiment more. In the summer ,there are lots of great music campouts in the bay area. Like ”Chillits”,which is a long running chillout campout that takes place at Wavy Gravy’s farm “Camp Winnarainbow.” It’s a one of a kind event , with great people, music, and quality chilling. I’ve had the pleasure to perform at this event quite a bit over the years. This is where the heart of San Francisco is for me. In the underground.
What are you main creative inspirations that have shaped the DF Tram sound?
I think people will hear a lot of direct influences, especially on the new album. Artists like Mixmaster Morris, The KLF, The Orb, Future Sound of London, Afterlife, Jim Morrison, Arthur Russell, Charles Bukowski, DJ Shadow, Ken Nordine, Peter Gabriel, The Millennium, Bruce Haack, and even hints at Tangerine Dream’s soundtrack work, amongst others. Comedy and spoken word albums have been huge for me too. When I was just learning to dj, I would trainspot my fav dj’s,and then go crate digging for those records. I soon found out how much amazingness was still out there left to sample.
Current Top 10
Another fine day – A Good Place To Be
Flako – Natureboy
Johnny Nash – Exit Strategies
Bersarin Quartett – Bersarin Quartet
Jefferson Shulgin – Jefferson Shulgin
Sven Weisemann – Falling Leaves
Gaussian Curve – Clouds
The Orb – Moonbuilding 2703 AD
Ariel Pink – Pom Pom
Yosi Horikawa – Vapor Remixed 1