Swinging deep house out of Los Angeles.
Damar Davis is a house producer and DJ from Cypress park, California. He’s also the host of Say Less on dublab Radio and the founder of Salon Recordings, a label where he’s put out the work of Jay Sound and DJ Born Again Virgin. He connected through music through his family, all of whom play music either professionally or at church, before becoming involved into bands through high school. Electronic music touched him like nothing else because of the drums. “I was always told to play the part [the drums] straight. Don’t play too groovy, don’t play it like this or don’t play like that,” he recalls. “So it really stood out that the drums are always going nuts and the drums are kind of the lead as a singer is to a band.”
A few years later, Davis moved out to Los Angeles to attend music school, aiming to become a touring drummer, but pursued DJing and production because he wanted to own his own music. In 2018, he launched Salon and began releasing his own music: SUSTAIN ME, Native Son, Kinfolk, and Dance Season Vol. 3, all landed in reasonably quick succession. Last week, he released Percussion in hi- fi, a collection of 10 slick deep house racks. (The release followed Bobby Cabbagestalk’s AQUA on the LA label). Coinciding with its release, he’s delivered an XLR8R podcast of the laidback, groovy house and electronica that he’s been playing out over the summer.
01. What have you been up to lately?
Life has been super hectic. I recently played Boiler Room. I’ve really been focusing on establishing the sound of Salon Recordings. As a label we have a lot of cool releases coming out. Artists that are from Los Angeles and some that are not. I’ve been trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle, so you know working out, eating well, and trying to live happily.
02. So what have you been listening to lately?
I normally start my day by listening to some jazz. Then by the middle part of my day I’m going heavy on old-school hip-hop, R&B and depending on how much coffee I’m drinking that day I’ll gradually get into like some house music.
03. When and where did you record this mix?
I recorded this mix in my studio in Cypress Park, Los Angeles.
04. What setup did you use?
05. How did you choose the tracks for this mix?
I didn’t want it to feel like the dancefloor. I wanted it to be a little bit easier for the listener. I tried to pick things that were a little bit more full and then I also made sure to put breaks in there so it can live longer in a work or home environment.
06. How does it compare to some thing you would play out?
I feel like there’s a deep-rooted Damar Davis sound when it comes to selecting tracks, so it does sound very similar to what I would play live, just not as aggressive.
07. What’s next on your horizon?
I’m really just establishing the fact that Los Angeles dance music deserves a little bit more light on it. I feel like every year when I look at the publications and see who is being nominated and see who’s winning these awards I rarely see people that are native to Los Angeles. There’s so much great music coming out of LA outside of Salon Recordings along with DJs that are really (really, really) good that I feel like these big publications don’t necessarily put us in the running. Outside of that, I’m going to continue to put out good music, play fun shows, create fun parties, play and dabble inside of the merchandise world and then I would like to do some more scoring. I would like to do more movies and commercials like I’ve done in the past. Yeah, so shit like that!
XLR8R Subscribers can download the podcast below. If you’re not an XLR8R subscriber, you can read more about it and subscribe here.