If your feet touched a relatively discerning dance floor even once in 2006, chances are you've shaken your ass to a Switch remix. Dave Taylor, the man behind the Switch DJ persona (and several other aliases, including Solid Groove, Modeler and Induceve), spent most of the last decade shattering the definitions of house music and hip-hop by fusing together elements of techno, breakbeat, wobble and a synthy, earth-vibrating bass.
He's remixed artists from across the musical spectrum (Chemical Brothers, Lily Allen, P. Diddy, Hot Chip, Futureheads, Spank Rock and Busta Rhymes), kicking out singles on his U.K.-based Dubsided record label. Most recently, he's produced tracks for ghetto-tech princess M.I.A.'s upcoming album.
In many circles, he's known as "the DJ's producer."
"I remember going to see DJs like Kenny Dope and Todd Terry when I was too young to get into clubs and really absorbing the whole house-music movement," he recalls. "I was completely consumed by the sounds and wanted to get involved."
Since his start as a producer, Taylor says he's created out of a sense of boredom. He wanted to shake things up a bit, taking traditional house beats and tweaking them till they felt "bold," or just right.
"I get as inspired by DJs and producers outside of house music as I do by people within it," he explains. "Like Erol Alkan--he's a one-man musical drama. Diplo--he's a feast of music. Every time I see the dude or hear the shit he's involved in, it blows me away. [Graeme] Sinden--he's probably the most exciting DJ around in the U.K. at the moment."
As a DJ, Taylor admits he's not above a little self-promotion.
"I play a lot of in-house [Dubsided] stuff, whether it be mine, Jesse Rose, Speaker Junk, Herve or other dudes in my camp. But outside of that, everything for me is French. From Oizo to Justice, the whole Ed Banger stable, really. That shit is so tight, I don't think there's a club DJ in the world that's not on it."
With new Switch and Solid Groove albums in the works and ongoing production work with up-and-coming artists--including Brooklyn-based, dub/new-wave diva Santogold--Taylor's music will be heard in 2007 everywhere from Indio to Ibiza.
Bring your water pistols.
Switch spins with NYC DJ Stretch Armstrong at Stingaree on Friday, Feb. 16. 619-544-0867.