There's plenty to learn in private about mixing tracks, especially with so many free or affordable resources for budding DJ talents. The scary thing is learning in front of an audience. You can show off your cool tastes from the comfort of your dining room table all you want, but seasoned pros know there's no way to fully learn the art of mixing unless you get out there and do it with other people. Luckily, there's a great resource for the growing audience of all things dance and electronic in Santa Fe and those who choose to get behind the decks and do it for themselves. That resource comes in the form of the new coffee shop on Marcy Street, REMIX Audio Bar, thanks to its proprietor Justin Ray, aka 13pieces, a longtime DJ himself.
Ray has been broadcasting his DJ mixes online for years now, but since opening the space on Marcy Street last December with his wife Julie Grace, he's found a way for anyone with the bug to mix and learn to find an audience. REMIX is known to its regular patrons as a permanent silent disco, but Ray also provides all the equipment for live DJ performance and recording. As far as finding talent and matching it to the decks, Ray says it's as easy as interested parties asking to play while they're at the shop. From there, he asks for permission to broadcast on the REMIX channel via Mixlr.com (searchable as RMXAB), a
popular site for streaming live audio.
"It'll be archived, and you'll have the chance to get the file from me later," says Ray, adding that artists can post their mixes however they wish from there.
Thus far, over 400 mixes are available on the shop's Mixlr showreel (the site's term for collection of songs), from Ray's 13pieces to local mainstays like Audio Buddha and Saggaliffik. Ray expects it to grow, too, and though it's great to see the old pros working with a new outlet and releasing off-the-cuff mixes, up-and-
comers are definitely on the menu.
Capturing new talent in the DJ scene is part of the excitement, and Ray is also excited to combine the performance aspect of DJing with an educational focus. Currently, he and local trance DJ Josh Apollo Garcia offer DJ instruction at REMIX. The first set of classes is wrapping up soon, Ray says, and enrollment should be open to new students in the coming weeks. Interested parties can shoot Ray a message through REMIX's website (rmxaudiobar.com) along with a phone number and reason for wanting to learn.
For Ray, a vet of the professional DJ scene, the ability to record a live mix is crucial to anyone interested in the art.
"It's the one way I get to capture what I do and remember and understand what I do," he says.
And the archive on REMIX's Mixlr channel is already a testament to talented DJs from almost any dance music genre imaginable. That anyone is making the effort to document the local electronic music scene like this is pretty unprecedented, and not something to be taken for granted.
Next, Ray plans to expand his broadcasting venture to include video elements, and he hopes artists might begin to create special mixes for the space that can be archived on the coffee shop's in-store iPads for listeners to explore anytime they swing by for a cup. These types of curated experiences can boost the signal of any scene via online connectivity, such as with London-based mega-popular live broadcast series Boiler Room, and the room for growth is there and ready to help REMIX become a new kind of platform for Santa Fe DJs.
If you're looking for even more of an excuse to catch the project in action—or just get a killer coffee—REMIX Audio Bar becomes a Food Depot donation station this Saturday, with help from local DJ
collective MBS Music. Just stop by with non-perishable foods and ask Ray how it works. He'll help you out.
Donation Station for The Food Depot
Noon-5 pm Saturday March 30. Free;
bring non-perishable food if you can.
REMIX Audio Bar,
101 West Marcy St.