We are hype to introduce our second monthly playlist. As a reminder, each month we will be talking to sound selectors from all over the world, listening to how their lives are impacted by movement on and off the dance floor. Oh and we had each of them throw together some heat for us as well. Round two is coming from Boston's own, cutwoes!
How long have you been DJing and where are you based?
14 years thanks to a friend in college who made me realize it wasn't as scary as it looked on the surface... I'm based in Cambridge, MA.
What music do you typically spin?
Chicago house, breaks and club music. I grew up listening primarily to hip hop / RnB so try to sneak some in where I can.
What’s the coolest place you've played and do you currently have any residencies anywhere?
Keep On is a club night every Thursday in Cambridge @ the Middlesex Lounge that is all about "underground" house and club music. It's a blackbox with a disco ball kind of spot. They book incredible DJs you'd normally have to queue for an hour (and pay $40 in NYC) to see in a much bigger venue.
I spent most of my 20s going almost every week – it's a special place to me – so when I got the chance to play there and open up the room it was an absolute dream come true.
No residencies at the moment, but working on it!
Did you workout today? What do you normally like to do to get your body moving?
Yes indeed. I try to lift in the mornings before I go to work in a little home gym I set up over COVID (game-changer).
Basketball will always be my favorite way to exercise. I can get an intense workout in, and not check the clock once.
What music do you listen to during your workouts (if you workout)?
It varies but generally I go with groovy, fast, and fun. I like to build my energy up like it's a DJ set, start with chiller house tracks while stretching, warming up etc then build it up as you get deeper into the workout.
And how do you feel about music and moving your body in general?
To me movement and music are completely intertwined. The right music unlocks a sort of "flow state" where I feel like my movements are much less rigid and more free form, which leads to better work outs and dance moves.
Before this question I had actually not made this connection, but generally things that work well for workouts translate to the dance floor too.
I also think music just makes workouts more fun – have you ever gone to the gym only for your phone or headphones to die mid set? It's excruciating, especially if your gym plays wack music (mine did).
Talk to us about your process when sound selecting for a playlist or mix.
First you have to think about the setting and context. Who is listening? What do they like? Where? What time is it? What kind of emotions do you want them to feel?
Once I determine the context, I try to think of one song that perfectly encapsulates that feeling I am going after, which forms the cornerstone of the mix. From there, I let my mind take me to similar artists and songs.
I like to do little things to keep things spicy and unconventional. When you are competing with an algorithm or Spotify intern you have to make sure you are bringing something to the table they can't.
One of my favorite techniques is to take a more modern song, and then mix it with something much older that it feels inspired by. There is something fun about combining music made decades apart. In a way, the listener might not even realize you are transporting them in a time machine.
What is your personal hope for this year?
I have two primary goals:
- Play out at least once a month
- Release music other DJs I look up to can play in their sets
Anything else you’d like us to know?
If you dug the playlist and want more, hit me up on Insta @cutwoes