The DJ, Justin Easthall a dance music aficionado has been DJ’ing & collecting music since the late 80’s
Q&A; Justin Easthall, Owner & DJ
How about a quick introduction!?
Sure! My name is Justin, I’m originally from England, I have been living in South Florida for about 12 years now, it’s beautiful, love it!
Justin Easthall aka DJ Tropical Disco
So how did you get into DJ’ing?
Out of the love for the music, back in the day I was a break dancer (don’t laugh!), so I was buying a lot of electro, hip hop & freestyle but then house music came along and just blew everything out of the water, I wanted to tell everybody about this new music, so getting in to DJ’ing was a natural step. Back then it was about the house groove but fast forward 30 years, my tastes have matured, I love to explore dance music as a whole, its history and its many, many sub-genres. Basically dance music and DJ culture is my happy place!
Justin (right) & friends – Key Largo.
Your favorite current dance acts?
I’m a bit of a snob when it comes to techno, I do not play the ‘boom, boom techno, techno’ stuff. I search for the more sophisticated music from the likes of Greg Gow, Underground Resistance, Jeff Mills, Kenny Larkin, Robert Hood, Carl Craig. Of course there’s tons of new cats releasing every hour it seems, but honestly, no-one touches the originators, these cats are all still very prolific and very much part of todays’ scene.
Justin at the first ever live Cybotron gig at the London Barbican, England – 2019.
So what's your style? What do you play?
The great thing about dance music is that there’s so many sub-genres and an amazing back catalogue to dip into. It depends on the booking of course but always in my crates are soulful/gospel dance tracks, nu-disco, uplifting dance classics, latin house, hip hop, soul, a lot of unreleased stuff too. My style? I’d say ‘eclectic’ mixing dance music new and old from around the world into one groove. I’m always looking for that ‘uplifting, spiritual feeling’. I love to keep the crowd guessing too, playing rare grooves, unreleased projects….
"WE SPECIALIZE IN Sunset Vibes, Upfront Dance & Lounge Music"
Live mix. Visit the MUSIC PAGE for a range of live recordings.
Your DJ tools of preference?
So, for the TROPICAL DISCO! show I needed to keep everything mobile, yet as close to an actual DJ performance rig as possible, the current set-up is the Pioneer XDJ-XZ CDJ & controller, 2 turntables & ProX Gig tables. The set up looks absolutely stunning and def has the ‘WOW’ factor when people first see it!
Professional club level controller the Pioneer XDJ-XZ is Justin’s current squeeze…
You mention turntables, You still buy actual records?
Of course! Classic dance tracks and labels like Transmat, Salsoul, Trax, Nervous, Henry Street, DJ International. Original disco 12’s, a lot of freestyle, and sprinkling hip hop too. Lately I’ve been buying a lot of 80’s hip hop, Eric B and Rakim, Bestie Boys, Del-a-Soul – I love that stuff. I discovered a record store in Oakland Park, called We Got the Beats, fantastic for vintage 12″ dance records and more local to me Musicians Discount Center in Cutler Bay, the amount of vinyl in there is just ridiculous… Heaven.
Justin can often be found ‘digging’ at the Musicians Discount Store, Cutler Bay fl.
So Vinyl or digital?
Oh I’m both – I’ve been collecting vinyl records since the 80s, but you really can’t beat the convenance of digital – I learnt the trade on two turntables but I have no problem at all using a controller, I’m not one of those DJ snobs, for me It’s all about the music. As a general rule though, I’ll buy old and classic releases on vinyl, and new releases on digital. Unless a new release is soooo good then I have to have the vinyl pressing too .
BUT having said that, if I had to choose one or the other for one night then vinyl wins. I can’t put my finger on it but there’s something really special about mixing with vinyl records. And that’s why if there’s room we’ll bring turntables to all our shows. A wink to the history of dance culture, some would argue a dying art… oh and it sounds fantastic too!