A few weeks ago when Dim Mak launched their all new Dim Mak Sundays at Create Nightclub, I was lucky enough to steal a few minutes with the one and only Felix Cartal. We chatted, bantered, and he even took my picture with a disposable camera. In short, it was a successful night, so read on and get to the good stuff.
So what did you do today?
I flew in from San Francisco, got in about 4 o’clock, picked up my car, not my own car, my rental car, went to an interview and then went to Korean food for dinner and then came here.
Is Korean food your favorite?
Right now it might be.
It's getting’ up there?
Oh yeah, I’m into it right now. I’m an Asian cuisine lover. I was a big sushi dude.
And what made the shift?
Just eating it too much.
Favorite kind of sushi?
I love a good Negitoro roll, which is tuna belly and green onion.
See? That sounds legit, that sounds like I know what I’m talking about right?
Oh yeah, exactly. That’s awesome.
I’ll go to restaurants and I’ll be like “oh a Negatoro roll,” and they’ll be like “what’s that?” and I’ll be like, “this place is bullshit, this place is bullshit,” haha, like super elitist.
How was the show in San Francisco?
It was good, it was really good!
Is San Francisco one of your favorites to play in? Which is? Or do you even have a favorite?
I like that city because its very similar to where I’m from. Like Vancouver is a very liberal city and people are very easy going. It's always been good when I play there. El Paso is one of my favorite cities to DJ in . . . they just go crazy there! Whether or not I like city, how awesome it is to DJ in is very different.
Talk to me about your new EP, do you have a favorite on there that you enjoyed working on more than the others? Can you even pick a favorite?
I like all of the vocal tracks a lot. "New Scene" is my favorite probably, if I had to pick one. I just think it's this weird, melodramatic track. I think a lot about the music I’ve been into and saw growing up, like Radiohead- it’s the closest thing I’ve ever made that has some of those qualities. I would never compare it to a Radiohead track but it’s one of those songs when I listen to it where I’m not sure if its upbeat or sad. I like songs that are emotionally confusing; I feel like somebody could listen to it and tie it with a sad moment in their life, and then somebody else could tie it with a powerful one in their life. I think it could do the job of both of those things.
I can see that, actually. When I first played it, I definitely got the whole emotionally confusing feeling.
I like that! I like things that are emotionally androgynous. I [also] like "Young Love" a lot, because it’s a song that I never thought I would make. I tried to make something that was really happy essentially, like shamelessly happy. So it was more like an experiment of whether or not I could make a song that is fun? I just had this moment where I said "at the end of the day I’m making dance music, I’m playing in clubs and I just want to make a song that’s fucking fun. I’m going to make a video that’s fun too, and everything promoting it will be face value, its gonna be a summer anthem."
The video is fun, the song is fun, and that’s it. There’s no behind the scenes bullshit, no underlying message. It was kind of weird because when I put it up there were mad hater comments on YouTube for the video. I just had these moments where I was [thinking] "what’s gone wrong in your life where a video where people have a water fight at a pool offends you?"
I had fun with "Young Love". I just wanted to make something that was fun . . . literally just as simple as that. I mean, why does everything you make have to have a grand picture?
Nice, I like that.
Yeah, I’m completely shameless about that song.
Do you read the YouTube comments on your stuff often?
Yeah, I read everything for sure. It’s actually weird, like if I don’t get a lot of hate on something, I’ll consider it not a success...because I think that if people aren’t being weirded out by something you do, then you’re not being challenging.
Ha . . . that’s valid!
Yeah so, the first time that ever happened to me was when I made “Don’t Turn Off the Lights” which was on my second album. It was a very pop song and I’d never really done anything like that. I got a fuck-ton of hate like for days. It was weird and uncomfortable, but then I kinda liked it in a weird kind of way. Hate creates curiosity for why you’re doing it and it also makes people interested. I wasn’t doing it purely for that reaction, I was doing it because I wanted to, but if people are willing to discuss the things you’re doing then . . . fuck it.
Talk to me about your disposable camera project.
Haha well actually I was at Coachella one year and I was there with a few DJs. MSTRKRFT was playing and we all had a house together. I was just digging through the drawers because I’m a nosy person, and I found a disposable camera. I thought, "cool I’m going to document the weekend with this camera, I’m gunna take 27 photos of the entire weekend and I did it, and all the photos were really cool. All the dudes that were there that weekend were like, “these photos turned out really dope,” and I thought “yeah right? It’s kinda cool.” And then I though " that’s really cool that every shot was one shot, there was no “alright that was fucked up let’s do it again.” Everything was just done. I kinda tied that in with I hate club photos! I hate them, because I feel like they’re all the same. I liked them when they first started, I love Cobra Snake back in the day, so cool, but at this point I think "ok cool I don’t need any photos of me DJing ever again it [all] looks the same. It’s me. .. DJing. It’s not gonna look any different. So I wanted to just do the fan perspective of the show. So I try and sort of coach them I say "don’t take any photos of me DJing, I don’t want that shit. Don’t take photos of the crowd in general, just go around and take photos of people doing cool shit". It’s been hit or miss though . . . I’m trying to suss out the right kind of person, but yeah its up and down. But its got a good chat about it . . . people talk about it.
Yeah its definitely not something you see everyday.
Yeah, and I think its cool because people will talk about the photos after the show, so there’s this good 'after the show' buzz.
Have you played at Create before?
No I think I played at Vangaurd once, it was a long time ago, like 2009 or something crazy like that.
Are you stoked to play tonight?
Yeah, it should be cool. It’ll be fun, I’m excited because the DJ booth is in the middle of the dance floor, that’ll be weird; I’m worried if it will work or not.
Well, you’re about to find out!
Yeah we’ll see.
Awesome, thanks for taking some time with me.
No, thank you!
If you weren’t in attendance that night, I’m here to tell you that it did in fact, work; the DJ booth in the middle of the room gave the whole place a more accessible, loose feel; the place felt both small and large at the same time, which I personally was a huge fan of. All in all, it was the perfect kick-off to the new Dim Mak Sunday night celebrations. Peep Felix’s tumblr and find out all the details on his disposable camera project here. And be sure to stream and download his new electronic music EP “Past Present Felix” if you haven’t already!