- Posted April 14, 2012 by
Santa Fe, New Mexico
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Destination U.S.A.: Santa Fe
The Sound of Santa Fe
In the mid 90s, a few Santa Fe DJs who were responsible for producing underground warehouse parties were keen to increase the excitement on the dance-floor. Rather than a single DJ mixing on two turntables, they invited multiple DJs to mix together on 4 turntables with 2 mixers. This practice was rarely done in other cities, but became standard fare at raves in Santa Fe.
17 years later, the ritual has blossomed into the Sex on Vinyl (SOV) brand which was created by longtime mixing partners, Melanie Moore & Donovan Livingston. SOV celebrates love and affection in a modern, musical world and their Valentine’s Show in 2012 featured 8 DJs on 8 Turntables. The background of a winter forest created a romantic and ethereal atmosphere with decorative birds perched above the dance floor. This design aesthetic was inspired by a vintage New Mexican Valentine which depicted two ravens sitting together on a branch.
“For over 16 years I have been mixing with Melanie,” says Donovan Livingston, “it has always been about finding that magical place where the music is spontaneous and pure, our ‘now’ moment. SOV is the epitome of that pursuit, and our unique formula allows the artists to explore that moment.”
For the past 2 years the SOV Valentine’s show has been at Rouge Cat in downtown Santa Fe and has flown in DJ pairs from Berlin and Los Angeles.
Another reason to stop in Santa Fe is World Cup DJs, a month long musical journey produced in tandem with the Men & Women’s FIFA World Cup Tournaments. This event started in 2006 and features 32 local DJs who each represent a nation in the World Cup. The DJs are required to have a bloodline to the nation they represent, and perform after the matches are broadcasted. As the teams are eliminated, so are the DJs. By the 2006 Semifinals, this party earned the distinction of buckling the floor at the venue.
While the DJs are not asked to play traditional music from their nations, they often select producers or musicians who hail from those areas of the world. This attention to detail and willingness to catch the fever, has always made for an amazing soundtrack with surprising combinations.
For many years World Cup DJs creator, Melanie Moore was discouraged by how the media would misrepresent the Melting Pot’s public interest in the World’s sport. Moore set a course to dis-spell the misrepresented dark cloud of apathy that shadowed World Cup articles published by the US media.
“I felt it was it was irresponsible, untrue and damaging, especially to the youth of America,” says Moore. “With the US obesity epidemic, surging rates of juvenile diabetes and diminished funds for both art and physical education ... I found it disheartening that the media would continually ignore the positivity that the World Cup brings to America.”
The Cowgirl BBQ has hosted World Cup DJs from the beginning, creating lunch & drink specials representing the nations and featuring the DJs on the outdoor patio.
Sex on Vinyl & World Cup DJs are but two that represent the sound of Santa Fe. The town is home to DNumbers, an electronic band that tours internationally, plus great radio stations such as KSFR FM 101.1 - Santa Fe Public Radio and KBAC FM 98.1- Radio Fee Santa Fe. The Santa Fe Community Convention Center has hosted Heath Concerts events for Arcade Fire, Beirut, Morrissey and the Pixies. The Santa Fe Opera draws mega talent year after year and remains one of the best summer musical experiences in the West. Amidst numerous cultural and creative attractions in this high desert town, the sound of Santa Fe echoes eternal.