It was approximately 2003. I was picked up at my house by my 2 friends, DJ Matt Lok and Robin Wynne a.k.a DJ Global Killer, around 5pm. After a brief stop at Matt’s house to pick up vinyl (which ended up becoming 30 minutes of staring aimlessly at a basement full of hundreds of records arranged in alphabetical order, and coming out with nothing), we ended up driving to a bar in London, ON. It was here that I first met Barry Rooke. Although he was only a boy, and fresh in the scene, he was the one that had organized the entire event, brought in the DJs, and broadcast the entire evening live to air on the local university radio network. Honestly, Barry wasn’t the greatest beat-matcher at this point. I remember him shivering when, a few years later, I asked him give me another copy of the mixed CD he gave to me that night. The problem was that it was his track selection that drew me to this set, not the mixing itself. He tried to coax me into accepting anther CD in its place, but I wouldn’t have it. I think he finally gave me a bunch of CDs, and the tracklist of the first one, in compensation. I still have the first CD he gave me though, scratched, battered and beautiful.
I didn’t realize that this boy who we giggled about on our drive home, as we listened to his live amateur mixing out of Matt’s car speakers, would end up becoming one of the most committed and motivated promoter/DJs in the Toronto/Guelph area. I won’t fill you in on the details of his career (his biography is posted to the bottom of this article), but I will attempt to explain to you the type of person that Barry Rooke is. Lets see… I wanted to see Keoki at WEMF. It was the year that Mix Master Mike was there. On top of arranging a ride for me, Barry hooked me up with a press pass so that I could interview Keoki when I saw him (even though he didn’t show). That is the best thing about partying with DJ Ampz: Everybody is VIP. He treats us all equally. Ampz is 100% the nice guy. From setting up love matches to sneaking us backstage to play groupie with the DJs we love, he knows how to treat his friends properly. He isn’t influenced by the hype. He isn’t in the scene to play the popularity game. He doesn’t like some of us at some parties and not others. Ampz has always operated far above the high school level antics that are still so prevalent throughout our scene. He just loves EDM, loves the parties, and spreads the music as much as he possibly can. I know I’m not speaking for myself when I say that DJ Ampz is someone who we are proud to have as a part of our local EDM family.
I thought it would be fun to have Ampz answer a few EDM related questions. Here they are:
Q: How many years have you been a DJ?
A: 13 years as a radio host, almost 10 as a “nightclub” DJ.
Q: What genre(s) do you DJ?
A: “DJ Ampz” is a full on, multi-genre EDM DJ, playing mostly House and Trance, but can and does often play sub genres such as tech, techno, minimal, progressive, chillout, tech house. In the past he’s even mixed Psy.
Q: If you could choose to relive one year of your DJ career, what year would that be? Why?
A: Hopefully the next, but any of the 2008-2010 years were solid with some major gigs all over the place such as Miami, etc.
Q: What is your earliest musical memory?
A: Listening to 2 Unlimited – Get Ready For This
Q: Give ONE example of something that is unquestionably “raver”.
A: Of my own? I have a belt that has a turn table (with spinning vinyl) on it.
Q: What do you feel has been your greatest achievement in the electronic music scene?
A: 13 years, 620 or so radio show episodes with out missing a show in over 10 years (and only a 2 month period off while I was in school).
Q: Name ONE key feature/quality/element that the electronic music culture can not exist without.
A: The perfect kick and baseline
Q: Name ONE key feature/quality/element that a DJ can not exist without.
A: Headphones and experience
Q: Briefly discuss women and the electronic music scene.
A: There have always been champions who were women in the industry, however that is growing. Many more females are interested in the sound, vibe and interactions that happen in the club. The result is overall a much stronger scene then if their numbers were not growing.
Q: If you could be any other producer for 1 year, who would you be? Why?
A: BT – Overall he can producer ANYTHING and has such a talent for hearing and producing unique sounds.
Q: Who is your favourite non-EDM musician?
A: As a band, Linkin Park or Just Jack.
Q: Where in the world would the ultimate EDM party be hosted?
A: From what I have seen, Tomorrowland looked pretty good.
Q: What has been the WORST contribution to electronic music?
A: Greedy promoters who have no respect for music, only what makes them $$$.
Q: Briefly discuss men and the electronic music scene.
A: Still pretty lop-sided when it comes to production and DJing, but it is definatly not a “mans” world anymore.
Q: Do you read/have a subscription to a music based magazine?
A: I just read blogs and Facebook posts here and there.
Q: What drives a DJ?
A: Typically they drive themselves to gigs or their promoter/booker.
Q: If you had to pick one genre of electronic music to be destroyed, what genre would that be?
A: I am not really a fan of “raver Techno” the hardstyle sound of 150 bpm. But I would say it has its place in the industry, so I would not like to see it go.
DJ Ampz is the host of Amplified Radio, an internationally syndicated Trance, House, Progressive and Techno radio show which has been on the air weekly since August 2000, currently on over 20+ stations worldwide. The show features both upcoming and established artists, as well as interviews, giveaways and much more in the past 600+ episodes. From there, he created Paradigm United, a music conglomerate including promotions, bookings, labels and radio show.
His DJing career has seen him playing directly before or after such names as Above & Beyond, Markus Schulz, Wippenberg, Blake Jarrell, Andy Moor, Glenn Morrison, Preach, Kenneth Thomas, Elevation, Noel Sanger, Zoo Brazil, Mike Shiver, Airwave, Mike Foyle, Jon O’Bir, Steve Aoki, Hatiras, MC Flipside, Sydney Blu, Marcus Schossow, Tritonal, Macca, Mark Oliver and Carlo Lio in over a hundred venues such as the world famous Guvernment, System Soundbar, Comfort Zone, Vola, Rio and Viva Nightclub (Toronto), Beta (Waterloo), Gazebo (Bangkok), Hyde (Hong Kong) in festivals such as WMC (Miami) @ Dream and Pure Ultra Lounge 10, Aerobar 09 and Ora 08, WEMF (Ontario) & APEX (BC) as well as permanent residencies at Rio (Markham), Purple Room inside Revolution Nightclub, Rude Native, Vault Lounge, Elements (Waterloo), Atmosphere & Albion (Guelph) and Coliseum (London ON).
DJ Ampz is also the owner and manager of 4Play Trax (House), Ice Media (Chill-out) and Amplified Digital (Tech-Trance), three digital/CD music label launched in August 2007 which focus’s on new talents and quality productions from around the world.
For more information and locations to upcoming events, or head to: http://download.amplifiedradio.com/
To grab over 6 dozen sets for direct download:
Past Nightclub Gigs:
Denim/Ragin Caygeon/Guelph Concert Theater, NV Lounge, Brass Taps, Opus, Albion, Ebar, Tabu/Underground, Gator Petes, Loft/Tree house/Van Goghs, Vinyl, Atmosphere, GEMF
Beta, Purple Room/Revolution, Elements/Fire Room, Wax, Rude Native, The Vault/Titanium, The Sanctuary, The Turret, Filthy McNastys
Skybar/Levels, Lan Sanng Lounge
Guvernment/Acid Lounge/Gallery, Viva/Rio, Vola, Comfort Zone/Silver Dollar, System Soundbar, College Street Bar, Harmony Lounge, WEMF, Beba, Kool Lounge, Sutra Lounge, Touch Lounge, Gin Lounge.
Barking Frog, Coliseum,
Empire Lounge/Le Roi
Dream, Ora, Pure Ultra Lounge, Aerobar