If you've spent any time hitting shows around my hometown of Victoria, you've probably experienced the party-rocking power of the good homey, DJ Murge. One of the founding members of local legends the Stir-Fry Collective (RIP) and a Red Bull 3style Battle Champion, Murge has established chops as one of the best selectors and mixers around. I was supposed to hook up with him for a little Q&A a few weeks ago at the Tall Tree Music Festival, where he kicked ass (He even played Prince’s “Kiss.” Any DJ who gives me a chance to dance to Prince is a winner in my book.). But it was a festival and as is my usual outcome at such events, I missed him. But we live in the same city and he’s a rad dude, totally cool with my blowing it! I’m pumped we managed to do this, even late, because he’s a huge music-nerd, to the heart, just like me. UNITE!
For your listening pleasure whilst you read this delightful treasure, enjoy this ridiculously chill new stuff from Future Noir - Murge and Miami Nights 1984.
1. Do you remember the first album you bought with you own money?
This is awesome. I was with my dad when I bought it and I was pretty young, it was Michael Jackson Thriller on vinyl. I remember I played it and played it and played it. Well, actually my dad played it because he wouldn’t let me touch his stereo. <laughs>
I suppose it’s kind of redundant to ask if you still listen to it. I mean, it’s Thriller.
I still have it and still listen to it. I don’t know if I still have that original copy but I have a few copies kicking around the studio for sure. Lately my favourite track has been “Human Nature.” For some reason in the past few years that song has really rung true. I’ve had the opportunity to play it a few different chill sets and it’s working. Mos Def was at Montreaux Jazz Festival or something and he did a live version with his band that was super cool too. The other jams are still the jams – “Pretty Young Thing,” “Beat It,” “Billie Jean,” “Thriller” – but “Human Nature” as of late.
2. If you could spend one day with anyone living or dead, who would you spend it with?
That’s a big question, man. I’d be silly not to say my wife. <laughs> I’d have to say Jimi Hendri because he’s dead and I do get to spend days with my wife.
I think she’d understand skipping a date if you got to spend the day with Jimi Hendrix.
<laughs> She would. She would understand that.
Is there anything specific you’d want to know from Jimi or would you just take in his general aura?
I think I’d want to pick his brain about his recording techniques and how he managed to make Electric Ladyland. It’s another high-up-there album for me. I’d really want to know the process that went into making that album. For him to get to release that project, I know he had to fight with producers and managers to be as creative as he was on that. They were always trying to steer him a bit more of an accessible direction and that album was sort of like a middle ground. He definitely went out on some tangents but there’s still jams we all know and love on there too. I would like to know how that came together.
That’s the best Jimi album by far. So good.
Absolutely. It’s amazing. It’s just such a departure from the classic albums we all love and it just has some really, really cool moments on it.
Honestly, I wasn’t even a huge Jimi fan until I heard that record for the first time and just thought, “Oh my god. What is this?!”
Yeah, man. And that studio, as I’m sur you know, is still a thing. The Roots, Erykah Badu and D’Angelo all recorded in there. A lot of the jams I’m still listening to now are still being made in that space which is really cool.
I just saw the Roots last week in Vancouver.
Oh man, you went to that?! Awesome. They’re such an amazing act. I’ve seen them twice, once at Plaza of Nations, outside and the second time was at the Commodore Ballroom. Both times were equally insane. Their ability as a band to go from their own material into cover tunes is amazing. As a DJ that’s something I’m inspired by because that’s the sort of multi-faceted direction you want to be able to go as a DJ.
3. Can you think of a movie that had an effect on the way you saw the world?
American Beauty for sure, was one. I’m going to stick with that one for now. There are movies that impacted me but in terms of things that genuinely rattled me it was that. That’s not even that old, either. I saw lots of other movies growing up that made me think but that one really stuck with me. I also had lots of friends sampling bits and pieces of the music from it over the years, which is cool.
4. The world is about to end and you get to escape to safety. You get to save one piece of physical culture to save for future survivors, from anywhere in the world, what are you going to save?
Do you want a single drum or a set? I’ll give you a drum-set as one thing if you want.
Yeah, let’s say that. I drum-set. I’d say a turntable but then you need all the records to go with it. But the beat dates back forever, the foundation of the music. Well, that and the voice.
5. Do you think technology has the ability to set us free to a kind of techno-utopia?
I think we’re kind of living in one in some respects. I get a Heaven on Earth sense about things sometimes. They’re started to so many crazy things, things that I haven’t seen in person yet, like 3D printing and stuff like that, I’ve only read a bit about it. I can say already the technology has given us the ability to go up and create a utopia on the side of a mountain (Like Tall Tree)…I mean, I don’t know if that’s what you’re alluding to or if you mean the ability to fly away to another planet.
Nah, you got it. Here on Earth.
I feel technology has enabled me, certainly, to transport people to another place through sharing music, playing music, creating music in a studio. Those time-warps where you go in at noon and all of a sudden it’s 2 in the morning. The vortex occurred and you’re coming out 14 hours later like it’s only been a couple hours. So, yes, absolutely. It can and it is.
The guest question comes from Beat Fatigue, out of Amsterdam. He left an incredibly difficult question that I haven’t been able to answer myself, even with three days of staring at it. But you’re a DJ, so maybe you’re better equipped to answer this…What song best describes or sums up your personality, disregarding lyrical content?
Three come to mind right away and it’s a really tough call to get it down to one.
Well, let’s make it an EP. A little self-description EP.
Ruby My Dear by Thelonious Monk – This was with my wife. We had a moment on a New Years’ morning. It came on randomly. I remember laying in bed thinking, “Wow, I’ve never heard this song like this.” And it’s stuck with me.
Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd – It’s a family, sentimental track. My family all shared it because of recent family situation.
To round it out and keep it modernized but not too modernized, Midnight in a Perfect World by DJ Shadow – DJ Shadow’s Introducing was the reason I wanted to become a DJ in the first place. That song in particular, was the one I would listen to and listen to. Then I actually dug and found all the original songs he samples and listened to those. I went on to have a couple cool moments with Shadow. I met in Vancouver and got to open for him at Rifflandia. Dmitri (From Atomique Productions) went out of his way to get Shadow to sign poster for me. Things like that have helped keep that tune alive for me.
None of them are really dance-floor fillers by any means. <laughs> They’re definitely not going to make their way into…well, I guess they have made into sets, but usually in restaurant/loungey sort of settings.