Gangstercast 56 comes from Brillstein.
Mike Brillstein, known to many as Thee Mike B, has been a kingpin in the LA club scene since the late 90s, and over a decade later his respect for the underground and others’ respect for him has not dwindled. Having worked with names like Jesse Rose, Switch, Diplo, and Oliver, it’s no surprise that Mike has a deep understanding of house and the underground. The recent success of his work with Jesse Rose on “Shuffle The Paper” and “Good Wife” solidified Mike’s place in the underground house world, and with that, Brillstein was born. To draw a line in the sand between Thee Mike B and Brillstein was something that allowed a sense of artistic freedom from both sides: Thee Mike B as one of Los Angeles’ best DJs and Brillstein as a producer who got his chops in chunky productions on the Play It Down imprint from Jesse Rose.
Brillstein has recently received radio play support from Skream on his residency show. He has also played at Hard Summer last year alongside the likes of Axwell, Martinez Brothers, Dusky, and Josh Wink.
We asked Brillstein How this mix represents him as an artist, to which he explained; “Everything I do as Brillstein is a tribute to the House Music that first spoke to me in the mid 90s: Daft Punk, DJ Sneak, Armand Van Helden, Roger S, Junior Sanchez, Paul Johnson, Roy Davis Jr, Cajmere, Pepe Braddock… It’s a long list. This stuff was not meant for fashion shows and hair salons. It was funky, bassy, loopy tracks. Not unlike hip-hop, so it spoke to my sensebilities. I’m capturing that classic flavor while putting my own modern, even post-modern touch on it. Basically, old school vibes without sounding dated. There’s lots of classics in there sitting comfortably besides the brand new stuff.”
Asking Brillstein what the House Gangster movement means to him, he replies; “I think House Gangster is the perfect name for Sneak’s label. Because it describes everything that drew me to his sounds. It’s house music. But the beats, samples, vibes, all of it just has that head nodding, blunted, funky vibe. Whether you’re in the cold city streets or in Ibiza, a House Gangster can create that feeling. And it always hits you in the chest no matter where you’re at… Cuz it’s GANGSTA!”
Brillstein describes the House Gangster sound as “Dope, banging, funky tracks for the green bush smokers, girls wearing chokers, bling bling playaz and exotic dancers … It’s that funky rhythm, that they can’t control. That perfect House Music vibe.”
We asked him ‘What does House music mean to you?’ to which he replied; “Dancing until you’re falling asleep in the club. The vibes, the family, the warehouse. If you get it… you can’t escape it.”
Telling us how he chose the tracks for this mix, Brillstein says; “Initially I wanted to recreate my NYE set that wasn’t recorded. So I tried to remember as much as I could from that, in addition to showcasing some new material (a few unreleased ones in there) and also dropping lots of other favourites both new and old.”
Finally, Brillstein gives a little special mention about this mix; “I had just got back from a night out with Junior Sanchez and Todd Terry, they were playing at Avalon in Hollywood. I had so much fun and was inspired. I was scrolling twitter at 6am LA time, when I saw Sneak tweeting about checking out the latest Gangstercasts. Since the inception of the series I’ve followed it closely and had been waiting patiently for my invite. I was feeling bold so I tweeted at Sneak “When’s my turn?” He replied “make one man” or something like that. Never being one to back down from a dare, I replied, “I’ll make it right now live, you’ll have it in 2 hours as proof.” So I recorded it live in my studio in one take, while my homegirl Ashley was nice enough to dance and hang out and cheer me on. Then I uploaded the file to Sneak 2 hours later without even listening back! Now that’s House Gangster!”