Q&A and Global Vibe Radio 097 feat. User 87 Live in Los Angeles

Author : Marco Sgalbazzini
January 24, 2018

Q&A and Global Vibe Radio 097 feat. User 87 Live in Los Angeles

This week’s Global Vibe Radio comes from User 87, an enigmatic and relatively new figure in our home city of Los Angeles. This mix was recorded live at a private gig in the city.

Listen to it via the SoundCloud player below, download it for FREE here and read on for our exclusive interview with the semi-anonymous User 87.


Thanks for the mix brother, can you tell us a little about how you put it together?

I put it together like all of my mixes; surround myself with people that inspire me and we hang out and listen to what I’m feeling. The first version of this mix was recorded at this amazing live music venue Krue House in Venice Beach with the help of my friends DSD and BIG WAVE, the version you are hearing now was recorded in Beverly Hills at my very good friend Chris Ho’s place who is also very inspiring to me. With the combination of some weed, drinks, and rad people something great will always happen. Thanks for letting me record this mix, I had a blast!

Any highlight tracks we can find in the mix?

Before recording I had somewhat of an idea of a few highlighting tracks, but in the moment these were the songs I chose to express myself with and each of them are essential in creating the vibe which I’m pretty proud of. I really can’t pick just one track to highlight, all of them are special to me and together they create something that I think is extraordinary.

You’re somewhat of an enigmatic rising name in the LA techno scene. Are you originally from LA or where do you come from?

I’m from Uptown in Chicago (Northside). But LA is my home now, everyday I’m here I feel more and more like myself.

What brought you over here?

I came to California to find something else to do with my life because all I ever did was DJ constantly. Im sure like many other before me, I was so burnt out and I didn’t like the person I had become. Something I once loved had become taxing rather than rewarding, it sucked. I’ve had a very deep passion for skateboarding since I was a little boy and had always dreamt of skating every day at Venice Beach and not having to worry about snow or rain or any of the other shitty weather situations that go down in the midwest. But I couldn’t keep running from the music so here we are, and it feels wonderful to be able to express myself this way again.

What made you launch the User 87 project and what does the name mean?

About 6 years ago I decided I was going to teach myself how to make music, no matter how hard it was because DJing had become so dull to me. For a long time I was messing around teaching myself basic things and getting tips from friends. It wasn’t until 2 years ago I started to dial it in and get closer to the sound I was searching for. People were digging my stuff, so I needed a name for the project. I was born in 87 and the term USER came to me while watching TRON, and Daft Punk scored version of course.

Let’s backtrack a bit… how long have you been involved with techno? How did you discover the genre?

Honestly, I’ve been involved with techno my entire life and it’s all thanks to my Tia who, with the help of my grandmother, raised me. My mother was 15 when I was born so by the time I was old enough to notice things, the women in my family were still very young and brimming with creativity. They were always finding a reason to party, and instead of keeping me home, my Tia would take me with her. From the age of 6/7, I remember hearing Green Velvet, Adonis, and Mr. Fingers banging from the speakers; she would always have a DJ mix on in the car. Even till this day you can catch her chillin at the bar she made at home with the help of my sisters, listening to ’90s mixtapes from Chicago artists I have grown to revere. Thank you Tia!

What are some of the artists and labels that inspire you?

The most important artist that impacted my life first was Prince, I know it may seem weird but although I do worship his music, it was his attitude towards his art, and his amazing personality that truly inspired me the most. Another one is Curtis Alan Jones whose projects Green Velvet and Cajmere inspired me to become a DJ. I once snuck into a club in Chicago when iIwas 16 by pretending to be a bar back just to hear him DJ.

Ben Klock and Adam Beyer were my first introductions into european techno after falling in love with Green Velvet, and I’ve been digging as deep as I can ever since. But these days I am much more inspired by what my friends are doing. Tevo Howard and Moon Boots always inspire me with their music, it’s so beautiful to me. The noise Brian Labycz makes is heavy! I also get inspired by what my friend 乔乔YANG is playing, she’s the coolest forsure. As far as record labels go I’d have to say Sector 4 Audio – thank you for believing in my music, Beautiful Granville records, and Lobster Theremin.

Do you produce and play any other music with other aliases?

Mood Ring, check it out on Instagram!

What other projects are you involved with in the world of electronic music?

I teamed up with a truly amazing visual artist, Lalah Brooks to create coldhands.life. Our blog features art we enjoy and DJ mixes from producers I like. Every once in a while we collaborate with another great visual artist Brea Peck, photographer Chloe Jones and my homie DSD to bring the blog to life by creating a private dance party for our community, and very soon we will be producing events everyone can enjoy.

Is music a full time thing for you?

Yes.

What do you do in your spare time?

My spare time is spent in Venice. The skatepark there is truly paradise to me, I skate until the sun goes down, lurk around the beach for a while and head to Hinano to play pool till around 11pm and head back home to the music.

Which area of the city do you live in?

I recently moved from Venice Beach to Koreatown. I really miss living in Venice, but I am finding that I get much more music done in Koreatown so I love it for that.

What’s your favorite food spot there?

I haven’t tried a lot of different places yet, but right now it would have to be DGM for sure, that place rules.

Do you think you will ever leave LA? Why?

Well, when I first moved here I told myself I would only stay for two years and then move to Berlin to make my music… cliché I know, right? (laughs) But seriously everyday I wake up in California I find a new reason to stay. I think I have truly found a place to be myself and I don’t think I could ever leave. But, I still tend to be pretty spontaneous so who knows.

Where can we catch you play next?

Haven’t nailed a date down with for User 87 yet, but I’ll be playing as Mood Ring on Sunday March 11th, head to @coldhands.life on Insta for the info.

 

Photos by Chloe Jones, Edited by @spaaced