Live Music Friday performer Simply Jeff is a Cali DJ/producer extraordinaire who blends unique breakbeats into electronic dance music to create a sound all his own. Deemed a pioneer of the "Funky Breaks / West Coast Breakbeat House Sound" in Simon Reynold's novel Generation Ecstasy, he travels the world, bringing his west coast sensibility to clubs and raves, while maintaining his residency at Tsunami Breaks in Costa Mesa, California. This multi-talented multi-tasker also writes for BPM magazine, runs the U.S. breaks label Phonomental Music, founded the acclaimed dance music record shop DJ Culture, and has his own streaming radio show on www.djculture.com. Simply Jeff’s full-length debut album, a compilation of his Phonomental artists, is due out later this year.
Yet gamers may know him from a different world…the Playboy world! No, Jeff has not posed nude in the mag (not yet, anyway); he’s actually a character in Playboy: The Mansion and provided some of the sexy music for it. We’ll let him tell ya the rest…
You make all your own beats and tracks, right? How do you make the tracks you cut up on the turntable?
The tracks I’m playing are with records and CDs players, ‘cause they are made for clubs. It’s mostly all original, taking original vocals and putting them to dance tracks. I have singers or rappers come in and do vocals for me and then go ahead and make a track around it, just like regular pop music, but for clubs.
Who out there on the hip hop or dance scene would you like to work with?
I’d like to work with Dr. Dre, of course. I’d like to work with any of the Jurassic 5 crew, Black Eyed Peas. I like a little bit of everything. I work with regular singers, too. But basically it’s all just fun in the studio. Nowadays with technology, you don’t have to go into an expensive studio. I used to have to rent studio time by the hour; now I’m able to do everything on my laptop. I might do go into a nice studio for one day, take those audio samples and put them into Pro-Tools and do the rest on my own.
Are you a fan of vinyl or CDs?
It’s cool with new CD players coming out, you can scratch on the CD players and actually get a feel of how it’s gonna sound when you press it onto vinyl. I still like using vinyl because it has a lil’ bit of a warmer sound. The CD players are getting close, but it’s not quite as easy and accurate…but it just takes practice. I like vinyl, though, because you can actually see where the end of the record is going, where as with CD players you have to look at numbers or remember the music.
And you have your own record store, right?
Yeah. At our record store we get, like, 400-500 new releases a week, so it’s hard to remember where the bridge is gonna come. With records, you can actually see the bridge on the record. But with CD players, you can automatically loop a bar and it’ll automatically figure it out. It’s cool.
So what games have you been playing lately?
I’ve been jamming the new Playboy: The Mansion. I am actually a character in there. I’m trying to unlock my character but I just got the game and haven’t gotten that far yet.
How did you hook that up?
A fan of mine who became a friend worked for Game Grooves, who were doing the licensing for the game, and he hooked me up. He said, “Hey man, I was about the license your track and, by the way, would you like to be a character in the game?”
Dude, you are my hero. Have you gotten to go to the Mansion and party with Hef and the Bunnies?
I got to go there once and missed Hugh Hefner by, like, two minutes! I was so bummed. There was a lot of bunnies there though, so it was cool.