DJ Tennis is a man with an eclectic taste. Each time you witness him spin a DJ set he's bound to mix it up, you will rarely hear the same thing twice. This affinity for the unknown, the unfamiliar, and unconventional have made him one of the most highly acclaimed DJs in the industry. With his label, Life and Death, home to the likes of Thugfucker and Tale Of Us, he's able to showcase just how exceptional electronic music can be, pushing the boundaries with each new release.
Now with a gig coming up at Electric Island in Toronto on May 23rd, Canada will once again get to revel in his dynamic musical output. We jumped at the chance to get to know more about DJ Tennis as we discuss his early influences and his opinion on trends in dance music, plus he reveals three tracks that are on rotation when he's behind the decks.
What would you say is the importance for events and parties for a record label such as Life and Death?
One of the most important aspects of the growth of an electronic label are the parties and the events. I believe that the quality of the DJ and live performances is essential to involve, understand and communicate with our audience and influences a lot our vision of the future.
Tell us, what are your top 5 albums which have influenced your musical taste?
Jazz for sure is one of my biggest influences when I was a kid, and I remember my father often playing this incredible piece of art from Oscar Peterson "Night Train”.
When I was in High School during the 80’s, I was listening to a lot of New Wave and Goth Music. I was dressing in black, wearing dark leather boots and bleached my hair. Two of my favourite bands at the time were The Cure and The Smiths. Their album's Disintegration and The Queen is Dead, respectively, impacted me during this time.
My huge passion for Electronic music, Italo Disco and recently for Techno started when I first heard Kraftwerk - Trans Europe Express. I was probably 12 years old and I was literally shocked.
Radiohead's Kid A is one of those masterpieces that literally made me start making music. The revolutionary sounds and the intensity of the Voice of Thom York still impress me after many years.
Is there any specific motif you look for when releasing a track?
Absolutely not. I actually try to release, produce or listen to everything… I think that this is the key for the evolution of a sound.
What are your thoughts on the current trends found in dance music?
Music taste changes constantly, especially thanks to the presence of the social media, which accelerate the amount of music informations in our head. I think it's time to go back to the roots.
What are three tracks that are featured in your DJ sets lately?
I play a lot of unreleased music, stuff that maybe is coming out in the next few months, or edits of existing tracks. I also try to always play different music. But there are three evergreen tunes that I play often.
Depeche Mode - 'Sinner in Me (Ricardo Villalobos remix)'
DJ Tennis - 'Make it Good'
Mathew Jonson - 'Dump Track'
This will be your second year at Electric Island, what are you looking forward to in Toronto?
I have a lot of friends and I love the food in Toronto and one of my favourite clubs "Coda" I can't wait!