Brillstein Interview

brillsteinWhat are you earliest memories of music?

Thriller, Billy Joel, and Billy Idol

Why do you think it captivated you so much?

I guess I didn’t think about it too hard. I just dove in.

What were you listening to back then?

Anything I could get my hands on.

How did you get into DJing?

I decided I wanted to be a DJ the first time I saw a DJ at a birthday party when I was 11. The DJ had all of the best records and got paid to play them for people, It seemed like a cool job.

What type of music did you used to mix with back then? Does any of it still creep into your sets these days?

Hip Hop and yes, very much.

What do you look for on the dance floor to know you’ve made that connection with the crowd?

Titty, ass, hands in the air!

What tracks are rocking your sets of late?

Everything on Play It Down and Fools Gold. KiNK, A fair amount of Dirtybird, Relief, Cajual… Tons of stuff really.

As well as DJing, you produce your own music. How did you get into that?

I started making beats in 1998 on an ASR10. Mostly hip hop stuff. I always collected Dance Music but it wasn’t until 2007 that I started making it full time. Nearly all my work to date has been collaborations, but I’d say the confidence is still growing.

How did you feel after you’d made your first track?


What type of stuff were you making during your first forays into music production?

Hip Hop, edits, etc.

How has your production style evolved over the years?

I feel like it ’s evolving very slowly.

What technology out there has had the greatest influence / helped with this evolution in style?


What bit of technology would you like to be invented that would help you to get the ideas out of your head and into people’s ears?


You said that to “draw a line in the sand between Thee Mike B and Brillstein was something that allowed a sense of artistic freedom from both sides.” Why was it important for you to separate your work as a DJ and a producer? Do you view each project as completely separate entities?

Hmm, I said that? where did you get that quote? Who said I said that? hahaha, I dunno. I don’t think so. Brillstein is just very specific to this vibe.

You’ve got your debut album, ‘Back To Bed’, out now on Play It Down Records. Can you tell us more? Is this something you’ve always wanted to do?

Definitely. It feels amazing to have it done and out and that people like it.

You’ve been around on the LA club scene since the 90s. Why did it take you so long to launch your solo production career?

Lots of DJing

Was it important to you to find a label like Play It Down on which to release your own material? What’s the experience been like so far?

I’m very excited to be working with Play It Down. Everyone at the label is a friend! Since I started working with Jesse Rose, the whole Play It Down crew has been amazing. I’ve got stuff in the works with Oliver $ and Dansson just turned in an awesome remix for Ode 2 Da Nude! They just put out good house music regardless of sub-genre. It just all has the right funk and feel to it. I’ve always been a fan of the label and take great pride in this release.

You had the album’s release party a short while back. How did that go?


You got Todd James to do the artwork for your album. Was this something you always had in mind for it?

Yes. I know Todd from my New York days. I’ve always been a fan. His work for The Source Magazine and the Beastie Boys is iconic to me. He’s just an incredible artist with a unique style as well being a really good dude. Todd was my first choice and I was honored he said yes.

Who are the major influences on both you as a DJ and a producer?

Doc Martin, DJ Sneak, Norman Cook, Armand Van Helden, Stretch Armstrong, Funkmaster Flex, Goldfinger, R.A.W.,Jason Blakemore and DJ AM. The Mongoloid Crew (Daft Punk, DJ Sneak, Armand Van Helden, Roger S, Junior Sanchez, etc.) circa 1996, as well as early UK Jungle that really drew me in. I suppose it was because that stuff was not meant for fashion shows and hair salons.

You’ve also built a solid reputation as a remixer. How different is that to producing your own tracks? Do you take a different approach to each?

Yes, definitely.

What constitutes a good remix to you?

It should have a different vibe from the original without doing anything offensive to the vibe of the original.

Who out there is floating your boat remix-wise these days?

Tessela, Justin Martin, French Fries, Bambounou, Doorly, Salva, Classixx, Jesse Rose and Oliver $ of course… too many to mention.

You’ve worked alongside some pretty big names out on the electronic music scene, including Jesse Rose, Switch, Diplo, and Oliver $. Did those experiences help shape your own approach to your debut album?

Yes, very much.

Have you any advice on how to get noticed for the aspiring producers out there?

Make TITE shit!

What about yourself, what’s upcoming on your horizons?

More music for Play It Down, collaborations with Jesse, Oliver $ and more. I was just in the studio with Oliver $ and Tom Trago. I just put the finishing touches on remixes for Mighty Mi, TrinidadSenolia and Ranacat.

OK, a few fantasy questions now. If you could remix any artist out there, who would you go for?


If you could team up with any other producer to make a track, who would that be? Or they be, for that matter?

Daft Punk or Norman Cook.

Who makes it onto your fantasy line-up for a club night?

Daft Punk