Juan Jose Aristy
I was first introduced to Disco and early Hip Hop by a good childhood friend who emigrated from New York City to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and moved across the street from my house in the summer 1973. He used to travel to New York City for summer vacation every year and would return to Santo Domingo with the latest Disco and Hip Hop songs of the late ‘70s and early ‘80s played on New York City radio stations. Thanks to him, I started listening to songs like: Rapper's Delight (Sugar Hill Gang), First True Love Affair (Jimmy Ross - Larry Levan Mix), Bounce, Skate, Roll (Vaughan Mason) and many, many others.
In 1982 my parents decided to immigrate to New York City in search of the American Dream. After arriving in Queens, NY, one of the outer boroughs of the biggest metropolis in the world, and enrolling in school, I quickly made new friends. Pretty soon we started hanging out together at a local roller rink called "United Skates of America" a stone throw from where I reside at this present time. At the roller rink (now a Korean Church) we would roller skate every Saturday and Sunday afternoon to Disco and Hip Hop beats of now classic songs by Michael Jackson, Afrika Bambaataa and the Soulsonic Force, Rockers Revenge and many more.
After a year of hanging out at the roller skating rink and becoming a young adult with the legal age (18 years old) to go to night clubs in Manhattan (The City), exactly on December 31, 1983, I went to a club called "Funhouse." This was my first time in a nightclub and the resident DJ was no other than now legendary John "Jellybean" Benitez. The Funhouse was a very interesting place with a mix of Italian American, Latin and African American kids (and I say "Kids" because no alcohol was served at the Funhouse). John "Jellybean" Benitez played songs of the era, such as, Give Me Tonight (Shannon), Set It Off (Strafe), On The Upside – Dub Version (Xena), The Mexican (Babe Ruth), Starchild (Level 42), Emotional Disguise (Peter Godwin), Key West (Kasso), Stone Fox Chase (Area Code 615) and many others. The
Funhouse would eventually close its doors a few years later.
In the summer of 1984 the DJ bug hit me and I saved enough money while working part-time in the family business to purchase DJ equipment to the tune of (State of the Art….. pair of Technics SL-1200 MK2 with Stanton 680EL needles, Gemini 4-channel Mixer, Gemini Sound speaker system together with a Fisher or Technics audio receiver). With the acquisition of DJ equipment I started DJing soon after at Weddings, Birthday Parties, Small Underground Clubs, and Local Colleges around New York City.
With the Chicago House Movement at its starting point in 1986, I started to explore other venues such as "Paradise Garage" on Friday nights. The resident DJ was Mr. Larry Levan (RIP). The club was strictly “Members Only.” One member could host two guests (most of my friends owned membership cards so I did not need one). The crowd was a mix of African American and Latin with very few Whites. The sound system was the best I’ve heard and Larry would come in to play at around 1 or 2 am and take over from opening DJ David DePino. Larry played songs such as, House Music Anthem: Move Your Body (Marshall Jefferson), Like This (ChiP E), Music Is The Key (J.M. Silk) and a barrage of ‘70s Classics into the late morning hours. The Loft (on the lower east side - this was the second location for The Loft) was another outstanding underground club I used to go to (also Members Only) with resident DJ David Mancuso. Many other nightclubs attracted my attention at the time like Danceteria, Area, Shelter, Palladium, The World, Underground, The Tunnel, Red Zone, Roseland, Copacabana, Latin Quarters, Devils Nest, Mars, 4D, 1018, Nell's, and many others I can not remember.
I enrolled in Center for Media Arts in 1986 to study "Audio Arts - Recording Engineer." Upon graduation from Center of Media Arts in 1987, I delved into music production and collaborated with a friend but this endeavor never took off. I found love in 1990 and got married in 1992, this event together with a the birth of my beautiful daughter in 1996 named Daphne Paola and College Life, slowly and somewhat retired me from Club Life, DJing, and the ever evolving House Music scene.
After a temporary hiatus from buying, listening, and playing House Music, I often listened to internet webcasts from all over the word between 1999 and 2009. In the latter part of 2009, I connected through Facebook with a very good friend from back in the day and he encouraged me to start the DJ journey again, and I did. In early 2010, I started buying new DJ equipment, House Music and DJ mixing resulting in a few DJ Sets made up to date. I have been posting all of my current DJ Sets on SOUNDCLOUD at: http://soundcloud.com/dj-jey-1 and MIXCLOUD at: http://www.mixcloud.com/DJ_JEY/ for your listening pleasure about once a month. I will continue to play, record and share my DJ Sets on SoundCloud, MixCloud and Facebook until the end of time.......Peace, Love and Beats…..DJ JEY.
DJ JEY’s tracks