JM De Frias
EMBRACE consists of a series of mixes by Sequencias label head JM De Frias. These mixes are intended to create a dialogue using a broad range of organic and machine-made sounds. Before engaging with any of the chapters, make sure that your mind is open and prepared to absorb the selector’s intentions: to deliver the messages of the respective musicians behind each track.
Arbitrary rules and barriers will only narrow the scope of possibility. Free yourself from this and allow pure creative impulses to play a larger role in life. The mixes are a product of uncompromised self-expression. All of the chapters will be recorded at the Sequencias headquarters, located in the not-so-touristic area of the Bronx, NY.
Imperfections will certainly be found throughout each mix due to the fact that they were compiled in real time by an actual human being using the tangible format of vinyl.
Absorb your surroundings and find your own voice. Lastly…fear not to EMBRACE.
''THAT'S KIND OF A NEW YORK THING''
Interview with JM De Frias, June 2012
JM De Frias, could you please introduce yourself for Radio Student listeners?
I am JM De Frias, I live in New York. I am a DJ, producer, label owner and a party promoter.
You come from Dominican Republic, right?
Yes, I was born and raised in Dominican Republic. Nowadays, I live in New York. I've been here for four years already.
Was your first contact with electronic music there or in New York?
No, it was way back in Dominican Republic. It was different, though. The scene is different there. You don't get as much as you get in a big city, you know. But it's alright. There's a lot of people trying to make it happen, so in the future things might get better there.
So, was making music the main reason for the move?
Well, to be honest, it was more of a personal matter. My whole family is here, they live in the States now, so I guess it was meant to be. I just decided to take that step once I felt ready to leave Dominican Republic and to be on myself. Starting a label, making music, DJing – I always wanted to do it here, in NY. Coming from an island, you always want to make it to the big city and kind of experience the real deal, you know what I mean?
Yes, I get it. You mentioned you run your label called Sequencias?
Yeah, I started the label last year. I'm on my third release already, which is out now. It's SEQ003, called Disparate Implementations, and it includes tracks from Traxx and D'Marc Cantu.
I was quite impressed with you first release, especially because it features one of the most respected artists in electronic music, such as Jamal Moss, Aroy Dee and Andres Ordonez. Did you get in touch with them while you were making parties?
No, no at all. I got in touch with them basically via email. They are really nice and cool people, who also run their own labels, so I was really happy that they agreed with my vision.
You also organize parties called Algo Rhythm.
I organize the Algo Rhythm parties here in NY with my friend and a very talented DJ A.Arias. We started the party about a year ago, and we've been doing it on and off for a while now. We got some great things coming, and we're very excited about that.
I find it interesting that the parties function on a RSVP principle. First, you send a confirmation email, and then you get the secret location sent a couple hours before the start, is that right?
Yes, that's kind of a New York thing. The situation here is really tough on promoters trying to do warehouse parties or loft parties. I don't really want to go into it, but most legal venues close mainly at around 4 or 5 AM, and the people usually want to keep going. So that's the reason why these kind of parties got started – so we can give people more and that people can have more fun.
When I noticed your name on Levon Vincent's recent Fabric mix among other artists, I wasn't aware that you were behind the Sequencias label. Your track Intrinsic Motivation is among the best on there. When did you start producing?
I started producing about three years ago. I've been making music on and off, I don't go to the studio every day, I make music when I'm inspired. And that track was actually meant to be Afro-Cuban, Latin American, Carribean music, like salsa, which I'm a big fan of. I was heavily listening to that stuff at the time I made the track, so that's the way I make music. When I find myself inspired, I go to the studio and make it happen.
Yes, I definitely hear a Latin American piano in the background!
You know, I was trying to go after those geniuses like Eddie Palmieri, listening to those guys - it's crazy stuff!
Do you have any future plans for Sequencias?
I'm actually planning on putting out an EP of myself on Sequencias probably at the end of the year. We'll see how things go from now to then.
Will you release anything digital or do you intend to stay on wax?
On Sequencias, it's all wax. Me, I'm a vinyl-only DJ, I really love the format. I have nothing against digital, though. I just chose that specific format – I love the sound, the whole feeling behind it. And when you run a label, you realize how much work needs to be done in order to get vinyl pressed, so you get to appreciate it more and more. So yeah, vinyl-only, all the time!
What are the artists that we should pay more attention to?
Well, I would say that people should definitely pay close attention to all the guys who featured on Sequencias, because I know they're going to do big things. They've been doing it for a while, but it's only going to get better, they are very impressive. Also, Perseus Traxx (Orpheus) who was on the second release on Sequencias is a very talented guy – he also runs his own label called Future Flash. Here in Brooklyn, there's a lot of people doing a great job, like Shawn O'Sullivan, Willie Burns, a lot of people. Things are getting very healthy in New York nowadays.
You compiled a mix for Radio Student, can you tell us something more about it?
I did something very special, I hope everybody enjoys it. It's basically the way I like to program and mix, so you get the idea of what I'm about behind the decks.