Over the years, Cody “Codes” of Slow Roast records has built up a reputation as one of the hardest working producers and turntablists in the dance music game; as seen through a number of singles, collaborations and mixtapes regularly surfacing on his soundcloud page.
His sound pulls from a wide variety of styles ranging from hip hop and moombahton to disco house and electro.
I had the pleasure of meeting Codes in his NY hometown last year before he jumped on the decks at AM Only‘s CMJ showcase at Drom.
Shortly after, we reconnected online for a quick Q&A.
Check the conversation below and be sure to grab Codes’ latest freebies, “In Your Brain” and “World Rulin’” as you read along.
Joseph: How would you describe yourself to someone who’s not familiar with you and your work?
Codes: I’m a DJ/Producer that makes and plays music I like.
When and how did you get into turntablism?
I think my first exposure to scratching was the movie “Juice”. Then I actually started trying to learn cuts after I got a cheap American dj mixer and pair of Gemini PT 2000 turntables when I was 15.
I met my friend George at a house party and I started practicing with him a lot. He was a bit older and could do a lot more advance scratches than me. I learned a lot from him.
Did you have any musical mentors when you were getting into production?
I have been sending my music to Kill The Noise since I first started producing. I used to DJ with him before Serato and Traktor when we both went under different names a long time ago. He has definitely been a mentor to me as a producer.
What do you think are some of the most important elements needed to make a great track?
I think to make a great track everything has to be on point. From the production and engineering to arrangement and song writing.
What does your audio production setup look like?
Right now I’m on old Mackie 824′s, a G5, Logic and a midi keyboard. As for DJing I’m on Traktor, 2 Technic 1200s and pioneer 909 mixer.
What do you think makes a good DJ these days?
There is nothing better to me then seeing a DJ kill it on a pair of turn tables. I don’t enjoy watching people use ableton — seems a bit of an easy way out but in the end the most important thing is to move the crowd.
Where do you go to find new music?
The usual — Beatport, my email and homies.
Do you think soundcloud, twitter and facebook have made music blogs pretty much irrelevant?
Nah, I don’t think they are irrelevant but it definitely had an impact on how blogs work and what their roll is today in the music world.
Do you think new genres of dance music will continue to surface or will artists just keep switching up what’s already been established?
It’s always a little bit of both. Now there are so many it’s almost impossible not to pull influence from another already established genre.
Do you think a producer’s environment or location still plays a role in his sound in the current age of internet music distribution?
Where you work, your surroundings, how you live etc. will always play a role in your sound.
Why do you think there’s such a strong crossover between hip hop and house music?
They come from the same place — drum machines, samplers, synths and people.
Which producers do you think are pushing things forward right now?
Any advice for young producers and djs just starting to get on their grind?
There aren’t enough hours in the day as it is so take advantage of every hour you have on this god damned planet.
When did you really start getting into music and which scenes were you a part of growing up?
I was brought up with lots of different kinds of music being played all the time at my parents. Everything from the Beatles to Stevie Ray Vaughn to Al Dimeola. My babysitter gave me a Mamma Said Knock You Out (LL Cool J) and an Another Bad Creation tape when I was about 8. After that I found the Rap City Top 10 and would watch it religiously everyday. That’s actually probably where my first exposure to DJing was now that I think about it.
I started playing guitar when I was about 12 and started getting into older rock and blues music. When I was 14, my older cousin Woody took me to a rave and that was the first time I saw a DJ mixing electronic music in person. I saw some dude mix Wu Tang’s “Ain’t Nutthin’ To Fuck With” over some jungle beat and fell in love.
After that I saved up money for turntables and started buying vinyl records. First, all hip hop, scratch records and jungle/dnb. Then I got into breaks and eventually house — then just about every other kind of music you can think of.
What do you have planned for us next?
I have a new EP coming out on Slow Roast Records February 12th and will also be giving out a handful of new stuff. Also I’m remixing a few choice disco classics out of the Salsoul catalog that will be out on Ultra sometime this year. Check djcodes.com for updates, shows and new music!
Preview the Get Down EP teaser, mixed by Craze, below: