DJ Sean Perry and his crew gigged a large party in a Gaslamp loft on Fifth Avenue the day before Halloween. The costumed crowd went into a transgressive frenzy as he did his thing. He was offering something a little different from most turntable jockeys: two musicians playing along with him. Steve is on percussion, and Clay wields various wind instruments. "Clay is going to Australia for three months," Sean says, "and Alex Vargas is jumping in. The idea is to get good and tight and then find a girl MC."
Aside from the occasional private party, DJ Sean Perry is often seen at the A/C Lounge in North Park, Ventana's downtown, and in December he'll begin playing weekly at a new venue: The Kava Lounge (formerly the Pirate's Den).
On the subject of music and dreams: "I have polled over 20 DJs, and there is a reoccurring nightmare we all have," Sean explains. "The record is ending and you go to your crate and it's the 'weird crate' you leave at home with the Frank Sinatra records and random shit that won't work and you can't find one good record.
"One of the best dreams I ever had," he goes on to say, "I was flying through Brooklyn really low between buildings and I spotted Biggy Smalls and his ghetto princess, who was so fly in white-on-white. I swooped down and scooped her up...she was startled at first but then she started taking off her hot-pants and halter top...we were flying higher in the air, over the bridge and above New York...."
TRICKIEST MUSICAL PROBLEM PLAYING LIVE?
Sean "The big problem when DJing with musicians has to do with the pitch of a song. They must tune their instrument to each individual song I play, but when you slow down or speed up a song, it lowers and raises the pitch [notes], which sends the musicians' tuning all askew. Since I usually speed up tracks in order to mix into new tracks, I engage a master pitch button [few record players have this function] so the pitch stays the same whether I speed up or slow down and the musician stays in tune. But I can't go very far in either direction without losing sound quality."
EQUIPMENT AND GEAR USED?
Sean "Denon DS5000 CD/DJ turntable that actually rotates like the real deal; Pioneer CMX3000 dual CD/DJ player; Roland SP-303 sampler; five mikes; Mackie 1602 Pro mixing board."
Clay "Two Yamaha saxophones (tenor and alto), a piccolo sax, a flute, and a Boss pitch stomp box."
Steve "Congas, a classic Latin timbale-style kit...sometimes a berimbau [Brazilian gourd-resonated, one-stringed musical bow]."
MOST MEMORABLE SHOW?
Sean "There are so many memorable moments to list. I DJ'd the after-party for a Portishead show in the American Legion Hall in Hollywood...it was a blast. DJing the main stage at the first Lollapalooza with 35,000 people was a rush, and scratching on the last Sugarcubes record was an honor. Björk's Halloween party (come as your favorite body part)...I have led a charmed lifestyle."
TOP FIVE DESERT-ISLAND DISCS?
Sean 1. Serge Gainsbourg, Histoire de Melody Nelson. ("Truly haunting and Serge does a very risqué French Barry White. Sampled by Massive Attack, Tricky, Perished, De La Soul, and others. Sometimes it sounds like a mellow Jimi Hendrix, and at other times it's Beatlesque -- backed up with this hip-hop beat so locked in a groove you won't believe it's from 1971.")
2. Zero 7, Simple Things. ("Heady lyrics and ethereal sunshine came from this record at a very necessary period to uplift and delight death-core metalheads everywhere.")
3. Jorge Ben, Greatest Hits. ("Brazil's Stevie Wonder -- everyone can sing these melodies.")
4. The Roots, The Tipping Point. ("If we were to play on the island, we would need this one...our set includes three remixed versions from this funk blaster.")
5. DJ Cut Chemist and DJ Shadow, Brainfreeze. ("The rarest of the rare funk 45s manipulated by two masters...at some point it becomes its own new music.")