Thursday, January 9, 2014

DS215 FEATURES: DJ BMA


  Formerly known as DJ Bagel, Philadelphia's Brian Aufdenberg currently divides his time between fatherhood, managing a clothing company, enjoying a nice glass of vino, and immersing himself in all styles and genres of music. After beginning a career DJing drum n bass music in 1997 that took him to countless cities and venues and resulted in his long running internet radio show Eclipse from 1998-2004, he took some time off to focus on life outside of the music. Fresh off of his new mix under his new name, DrumSkool215's Joey Breakdown sat down with DJ BMA for a chat in anticipation of his brand new radio show, The Vast Parlor, starting with a soft launch Thursday, January 9th @ 8pm EST, and every 2nd and 4th Thursday thereafter on drumandbasslounge.com.



Here is some text copied from their chat:


DS215:
So you've been known as DJ Bagel for all of your DJing career. What’s with the name change? 


BMA: A few reasons. As I have gotten a bit older, the name Bagel just sounded a bit... immature. I have had it as a nickname for so long I know it will always be a part of who I am, but with getting back into music, I wanted to have somewhat of a fresh start as well as something a bit more personable and intimate and reflective. I also want this to be a part of who I am now and almost have it be a fresh start in someways. BMA is just my full initials.

DS215: I did the same thing with my name, just cut it to "Breakdown" for a few years, but when I started playing dnb regularly again in 2009/2010 I just went back to what people knew me as way back when. Sounds a bit immature as well but oh well.   


BMA: I would be OK with breakdown. Its a music reference as well as a slang term. Bagel is just a breakfast food haha.

DS215: LOL. So as a DJ you've lived in and played in many different places. Tell us some of the locations and how you ended up in Philly. 


BMA: Columbus, OH / Atlanta, GA / Pittsburgh, PA / Philly, PA. In 2004, I was doing a lot of DJing and music as well as doing clothing and accessory sales for Breakbeat Science. I got divorced and was dating a woman here and it seemed like a logical, affordable alternative to NYC yet close enough. And actually once I got here, I took a break to focus on life outside of music and get away from so much time in clubs and parties and enjoyed other pursuits. Never left the music, just didn't really pursue it full time and then took a much needed break. But the music was always around and a part of my life. 
 
DS215: So with your experience moving around, what are some notable spots/nights you've played over the years and why? Any particular parties stand out?

BMA:
Without a doubt Fuze/Fuzz in Pittsburgh was the highlight. Respect in Los Angeles was awesome, Phuturo in SF, Eklektik in SF was top notch. A few parties in Miami at WMC. Some crazy ass event in Puerto Rico was unreal. Camoflauge in NYC. Headlining the Knowledge Magazine party in Montreal was pretty epic.


DS215: To get an idea of your influences, tell us a few of your favorite DJs and producers.
 

BMA: From what time period??? There are so many!

DS215: Lets say all time. Give us just your tops.
 

BMA: OK. In no order... producers: Doc Scott (named my last dog after him), Dom and Roland, Photek, Peshay, Digital and Spirit, 4HERO, Jubei, DLR, Big Bud, Seba, Tech Itch, Juju, Gasm Crew, Trace. DJ's: Randall, Bailey, Fierce, Nicky Blackmarket, Karl K, Joey Breakdown ;), Gridlock, Marcus Intalex. There are so many really. It's mind blowing when you think of the volume of good music and DJ's over the last 20 years. Marky is also up there for his diversity and legendary long sets.

DS215: Wow, thanks for the shout! How would you describe your style of DJing in terms of both style and selection?
 

BMA: From a style point, I prefer to let tracks play a bit and do more longer, subtle mixes as opposed to major drops and cuts. I am not one for the trend of trying to cram 45 to 70 songs in 90 minutes. I rarely play a track just for a snippet (outside of a fun tease in a mix). I tend to lean towards more musical songs that stand on their own start to finish as well as sit nice in a mix. The one thing I loved about my shows online over the years is the ability to play MUSIC with no regard to a dance floor. That's not to say I don't love a good smasher or anthem but to me its almost TOO easy to play all bangers. Its also to me shows a lack of vision. I will always have a love of dark and hard music. But I do seem to limit where and how they fit into sets and selections now.

DS215: Agreed on all points. Describe your first interaction with drum n bass/jungle music.
 

BMA: Out of my head on more than drinks, and we'll leave it at that. In Atlanta in 1994. DB on his History of Our World tour. He dropped Mr. Kirks Nightmare on a booming system and it was game over from that very moment. I can remember it to this day. I was 21....



DS215: Nice. I don't really have a specific moment, just an era when I started paying attention to this "different" stuff all these "techno" Djs were playing.
 

BMA: Yeah, that set changed the course of my life forever. I was familiar with techno, trance and house prior to that but THIS was something totally different.

DS215: So you mentioned earlier that you sort of took a break from the music for a few years to focus on yourself and life. With that in mind, what ultimately made you decide to get back involved and start up your show again?

BMA: I had played a few gigs here and there over the years for fun and just enjoyed it. Three years ago I started dating my fiancee and she was like "oh, you were a DJ huh? cool." She knew NOTHING about dnb minus a car commercial here and there. Mind you I was still going to events etc, but just from time to time. The music had been boring for a while and my job pretty much had me all over the western world for the last 7 years. Then she asked me to play for her, so from time to time I would do mini sets for her. It was always a place of escape, venting, rejoicing, peace of mind for me and I got back to why I have loved this music in the first place - away from the promoting, the politics, the nights with slow turn outs etc. Then last year I was heading back to Ohio and along the way, promoters heard I was coming back and said "Bringing records?" And I said "um no, should I?" They said yes. I did a handful of gigs and then did sets on your show and a few others in the area and it kind of reignited that flame. Add in that dnb has had the best music over the last 2 years that has appealed to me and it all just sort of snowballed. After a few discussions with my fiancee about what this could mean and what it could lead to, she looked me in the eye and said “What the fuck are you waiting for? This is who you are and this is what you have always loved, so do your thing B” With those simple words it was game on.

 

DS215: Since we're discussing more of your personal side, besides DJing, what else do you get into. Work, hobbies, life?
 

BMA: Ahhhhhh the "get to know the REAL me" section hahahahahaha

DS215:
Can you tell I've read a lot of DJ interviews over time? :)
 

BMA: Hahaha. I am a proud father before I am anything. As far as "real world job" goes I am the Brand Manager for Sailor Jerry Clothing. As far as "interests" I am into hockey, travel, food/cooking, wine, books, strange history, languages, art, design, good films.

DS215:
Alright and to wrap this up since you are a busy guy - Any upcoming projects/production work we should be on the look out for? What does 2014 have in store for you? Hopes goals, dreams, etc?
 

BMA: The launch of the new show, DJ Mixes, blog/history of dnb pieces. Production of new tunes. One release confirmed for now (even though I just told them I want to redo the track hahaha). I hope to have at least 4 EPs of production done this year or a few later down the line over a shorter period of time, but that is the big "I dunnnnnooo" one. I'd like to grow the show to a good level to highlight all the styles and eras of drum and bass. I mean in 20 years there are a shit ton of good tunes that can, should, and need to still be played. Sure I love having NEW unreleased material, exclusives blah blah... but I really think its disrespectful to the genre to only look one week or month or two of music and be limited to that. There is something to be said for playing tracks from 95, 97, 99, 00, 04, 07, 09, 2011, 2013 and unreleased tracks all in a set or two and having it be cohesive and tell a story or, to take that cliche, "journey".

DS215: Any last shouts before we finish?
 

BMA: Heather, Violet, Mom, Chris, you and the DS215 crew, everyone at drumandbasslounge.com, James Intrinsic, my SF crew, 412DNB massive, Breakbeat Science heads, and anyone who loves dnb and has supported it over the years.

DS215:
Thanks so much for your time and best of luck with your new show!
DJ BMA can be heard on his LIVE show, The Vast Parlor, 2nd and 4th Thursdays from 8pm-10pm EST on www.drumandbasslounge.com