Over the past year there has been magic happening in the desert…
…an uprising of events, a night life reinventing itself, different scenes supporting other scenes/sounds/dance moves/promoters, all equipped with nothing but positive vibes thumping through the speakers and friends gathering on weekly basis to experience it / be it.
This the rebuilding of a young music and social scene right before our eyes. A community that, for years, was ignored in the Coachella Valley. However, today they are a force that can’t be reckoned with.
One of the strongest forces in the community is a love triangle between DJ Day + Aimlo + The Ace Hotel. Over a year ago they created a weekly night called, “Reunion,” at the Amigo Room inside the Ace Hotel to build upon. The foundation of Reunion was built by world famous, super star DJ, DJ Day and the up and coming, Aimlo. Together the two DJs would attract a heavy following of friends, family and music fans to this new project. In addition to the local talent pulling crowds, the night would also be laced with special guests appearances by some of DJ Day’s top notch talented industry peers and homies from Los Angeles and beyond. Bringing in outside talent to the desert not only forever inspired, but also educated, the young and willing. After a year’s passing, the compatibility of the love triangle between the three had developed in a solid gold pyramid that will forever be a landmark in time and culture here in the Coachella Valley.
In celebration of the One Year Anniversary of the weekly party at the Ace Hotel, I took some time out to interview the two men who hold it down every week on the wheels of steel (turntables). Below is the interview, equipped with YouTube videos to each DJ’s favorite tracks to drop, links to lives mixes, and pictures of all the people who make it happen.
So, without further ado… I present to you…. DJ Day and Aimlo of Reunion….
INTERVIEW: DJ Day & Aimlo
conducted by Sarah Scheideman of The C.V.A.S. BlogCVAS: DJ Day, congratulations on your One Year Anniversary for your weekly “Reunion” party at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs! This means a lot to the Hip Hop community of the Coachella Valley, to not only have a place to call home and connect with others, but to also have the opportunity to see top notch acts from out of town… for free. In addition to party people getting the opportunity to groove with you and Aimlo on a weekly basis, who are some of the Special Guests that have shared the decks with you this past year?
DJ Day: We’ve been really fortunate to have some great artists come through the last year. Everyone from The Gaslamp Killer, DJ Nu-Mark of Jurassic 5, the legendary Mr. Supreme, Thes One, Ohmega Watts, Exile, DJ Eleven of The Rub…I could go on for a minute. We’re just trying to give people an opportunity to see quality DJ’s in a comfortable setting, and for free. I’ve had to call in some favors, but it’s worth it to try and make the night memorable.
CVAS: I dig the name of the party, “Reunion.” Can you give us a little history on why you chose the name/theme ?
DJ Day: Connie (The Fix PDX/Ace Hotel) and I were brainstorming for a name but nothing really felt right. We wanted it to define what the night was about and eventually we came up with ¡Reunión! which by definition means “the act of coming together again” and that is exactly what it’s about. People coming together.
It’s been a great 1st year and we’re finally starting to find our footing. This all kind of fell in my lap and it’s the first time I’ve ever done a weekly so it’s been a learning experience to say the least. When we started out I had this idea of “now I get to play what I want”, but you can’t just play rare records or weird shit all night and expect people to come and party (at least not in Palm Springs). So we try to give a little something for everyone. Aimlo and I do our thing and play what we like early in the night and move onto more uptempo/danceable joints for prime time, then close it out with classics and soul joints. It’s a formula that’s been working and I’m sure we’ll tweak things over time.
Alright, let’s let them know…
Aimlo, can you describe the music that one could expect to hear at Reunion? And what are some jams one can look forward to hearing you spin?
Aimlo: You can expect to hear “good time” music from every genre. We play everything from hip-hop, house, disco, funk, soul, 80’s pop, post-punk, and everything in between. Some familiar and some not so familiar dance tracks.
Here are some examples:
DJ Day, are there any Reunion “staple songs’ that you play? Can you provide some YouTube links to songs that one could look forward to hearing/jamming out to at Reunion?
DJ Day: I’ve dropped everything from U Roy to Guns N Roses up in there, so you never know, but these always end up getting played.
Here are a couple Youtube cuts:
So, a question for both of you guys… Is it possible to pick a favorite night? A favorite guest? Who and why, please do tell more.
Aimlo: Listening to all those obscure 12” and 45’s when Thes One is in town is always a treat. Watching Day & Exile do their MPC set was amazing. DJ Numark played an amazing set. And of course the pre Coachella REUNION last year was off the hook. I’ve got to say DJ Eleven had the set of the year for REUNION that night.
DJ Day: There’s been a few great one’s. In fact most of those were on regular nights, but the craziest would have to be the Thursday before Coachella, just on the sheer number of people and the lineup we had. But if I had to pick a personal favorite, it would be the night we had Jeremy Sole (KCRW) as a guest. The vibe in there was just good, you know? I can’t describe it other than unity. It was definitely a special one.
Being that Reunion is all about “the act of coming together again”, who are the ‘usual suspects’ that you can always look forward to coming together again at Reunion? How do they play a part in the Reunion “familia”?
Aimlo: There are a number of faces that I look forward to seeing every Thursday. They play an important role by keeping the vibe of the night consistent every week. We want to create a sort of backyard bbq / friendly neighborhood bar vibe every Thursday. And seeing those familiar faces makes you feel at home. I don’t want to forget anyone so I’m going to leave out names, but those people know who they are.
For the big, one year anniversary party you are bringing in Rip 1 as your special guest, which is super dope! For the younger kids out there, can you explain your history with him? What you guys built together? What he means to the Coachella Valley’s Hip Hop scene of back in the day and today?
DJ Day: Back in the mid-90’s I bought a Rip One tape at Beat Non Stop in LA and when I got back home I called the number on the back. We ended up connecting and formed the Innernational Crew which was a collective of DJ’s, MC’s, b-boys and graffiti artists from the Coachella Valley, Los Angeles, Palmdale and San Diego. We put out a bunch of independent releases as a group and went on to do Laid In Full and the Return of the DJ series with people like Z-Trip, Cut Chemist, DJ Qbert, etc.. It was the first time we made some noise outside of the Coachella Valley and ended up being heard around the world. This was pre-internet hype machine days and in order to be heard you had to show and prove. I feel like we helped open the doors a bit for the next generation coming up out here, so in that respect, it’s kind of a reunion in a literal sense. Not to mention Rip One is a monster ass DJ.
Word. Not just for the One Year Anniversary party, but every week we look forward to seeing who you will bring out as your special guest… so, any chance that you can tell us some upcoming guests for 2011? Any secret leaks or hints?!
DJ Day: I have guests booked all the way through April, but I don’t wanna spill the beans just yet! There will be some known and some unknown folks, but all are top quality. I want people to trust that even if they’ve never heard a DJ we’ve booked, they know on the strength they’re good. Beyond guests, we’re working on a few other things to make Thursdays more dynamic and interesting for everyone (in fact we’re putting something together as we speak) plus we always have dope local DJ’s dropping in.
Okay, and last but certainly not least… Are there any shout outs to anyone you’d like to give who have shown love and supported your night?
I also wanna big up Eddie and everyone at Fresh Out The Box, the C.V.A.S. blog, Stronghold, The Ghost Channel, Space 120, Kill At Will, The Shop on 92.7, and all the crews and DJ’s who’ve been holding it down and making us proud.
DJ Odysey, Journee, DJ Sin, Alf Alpha, Sufukaters, Ivan Tha Terrible, Undiscovered Poets, Smoke 1, DJ Rawkwell, Doovie, Jay Curry and on and on and on. I know I’m forgetting some folks, but if you’re out here I got love for you.
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party pictures from this past year:
The official party invite to Reunion
Reunion’s family members
Special Guest, DJ Magneto
Special Guest, Jeremy Sole (of KCRW) and DJ Day
Reunion’s Familia takes a little break from the dance floor
Special Guest, Doc Delay, and DJ Day
Special Guest, DJ Nu-Mark
DJ Day and Aimlo on the 1’s and 2’s, 3’s and 4’s
Reunion is known for it’s break dance crew following.
Party people dance the night away…
( *all photos provided by Mila Gomez )
To download DJ Day LIVE at Reunion, please click the following links:
For more information on the Artists and Reunion, please click:
DJ Day linkage:
Ace Hotel / Reunion linkage: