Nisus Wins 2012 RISE Electronic DJ Battle at Macworld

We are happy to announce that DJ Nisus is the winner of the 2012 RISE electronic DJ Battle and Bash, presented by Macworld 2012. The event took place at the Mezzanine in San Francisco on Friday January 27. Each DJ had 20 minutes to play a battle set. After each set a decibel meter read the crowd’s response, and then the guest DJ judges Ean Golden, Dani Deahl and DJ Solomon scored the performance on a scale of 1-10. In the end, Nisus came out on top with a whopping 104 db reading for the win.

Thanks to all the fans that came out to support and scream. Here is video recording of the set in it’s entirety. You can also download the mix here:

[youtube width=”590″ height=”350″][/youtube]

Nisus @ Coachella 2009!!!

Nisus @ Coachella 09 Heineken Dome part 5/5 from Rich DDT on Vimeo.

Reno Decompression Nikki Beach 2008

[youtube width=”425″ height=”355″][/youtube]

Coming out of the burn is always difficult. The drive is like a slow fall through the atmosphere back to earth. Nexus does it right by creating a soft landing pad in Reno to catch the ashes. This year at the GSR resort again we muddied up their pool and had sex in the elevators, partys in the hallways and had the assistance of some S.W.A.T. style thugged out security guards in the club. We got kicked out for having a pool noodle fight. I know crazy huh? Overall its always weird to spend time in Reno. After the burn is no exception. Though it is made a bit less surreal having been in the desert for a week or more. D

Dolores Park on fire!!!

The best day I’ve had in San Francisco since I moved here a year ago took place in Dolores park Sunday. Playing a set with amazing DJs for a lawn full of people on the Bangalord was a buzz I’m still recovering from. The weather has been amazing here, actually hot enough to break a sweat. When that happens SF blows open and people flood into the parks. White Mike and I did this last time the weather got nice. No plans, just keeping an eye on the weather and jumping as soon as it looks good. Mike went and got the generator and I loaded up the system. When we arrived at the park it was obvious that this was the spot to be in the city. It was like a fantastic garden full of beautiful shining faces.

It turned out that a crew of other Djs had the same idea and arrived at the same time. They were unloading the generator as we were unloading the sound system. It was clear that morphogenetic fields were at work and it was a natural solution to collaborate. When this kind of confluence occurs its a magical event that rings so loudly it resonates to the depths of our humanity. Its pretty much one of the best things that we can do as humans. Un-mediated collaboration, its what I live for as a DJ and a human being. Its impossible to plan this sort of thing. The planning itself destroys a little bit of the emergence of novelty. Novelty is so precious these days, its like cultural platinum.

So we set up, powered up the system and set to rocking the park. One major point among the Djs was how impressed we were with how well we all got along. Djs on a system could be like cats in a bag, except when they are all confident with their skills. Then its like a pride of lions chillin in the park getting each other’s backs and sessioning to attract the ears of the female lions :) What an amazing crew. Every single artist was able to keep up with the others and keep the whole place elevated. The energy just kept rising through out the day. The culmination for me was Dj Aspect’s set. Check out his Wandering Star remix. He was the only Dj not playing vinyl and unfortunately we couldn’t get Serato to work. It worked at OMGLOL!!! for Matt Heagen but not in Reno and not this time. But with no attitude he just blew it off and was was like “whateva it’s cool” He waits all day and goes on last at 7pm. He has one piece of vinyl and out of the crowd comes Kid Beyond beatboxing on the mic. What happens is truly the stuff of legend.

Everyone in the park had been listening to music all day and as the sun was setting the fog came rolling in over the hills. The steeple of church on the corner across from the park was the only thing tall enough to still catch the fading light of the descending sun. The people who gathered around the sound system were there because they refused to stop dancing until either the rapture or divine intervention drove them away. Aspect stepped up, introduced by Kid Beyond and proceeded to rip the park to pieces. They started doing a call a response with Beyond beatboxing a phrase and Aspect matching it with his hands. The beats were so good!!! Anyone left in the park came running over to see what was going on and to start cheering and dancing. The two of them just kept pushing each other to get more and more complex while sticking to super fresh rhythms. People were loosing it. I was losing it. Shit was manic. It was one of those rare moments that the trinity (DJ,audience,soundsystem) aligns and the event goes into space. And as always when we get that close something collapses. These two guys lost themselves in the performance and took us with them. But for whatever reason as has happened to me in the past on different systems, the sound system just stopped. It was like a hole was torn in heaven. The Bangalord was defeated and the people cried. Maybe the generator burped or someone tripped on the power, I don’t know. But it was an epic ending. We were done. There was nothing left to do at Dolores park that day. The party had been taken as far as we would be allowed to that day.

Sunday was a shinning example of why DJing is what I want to do with my life. All the suffering of poverty and ego death and hunger didn’t matter in that space. That was it. That is what needs to be done every time. Congratulations to everyone that got to experience it. Thanks to everyone that made it happen! Nisus

Nisus in the Matrix


Why would I continue to subject myself to playing venues that are outside of my genre? Because they are outside of my genre, silly. And genres’ are silly. I really believe that great music is great music. DJing is all about exposing these great new sounds to people that wouldn’t have had a chance to hear them otherwise. Playing The Matrix was the most perfect example yet.

If you’ve never been to The Matrix, imagine a really modern space with a black gravel fireplace and huge floor to ceiling windows on the front. Its like an expensive living room that happens to have a bar. The DJ booth at the back is on a curved stage and really the Fung Shewweee is pretty good. Its got a nice vibe. Now take this nice feeling space and fill it with a truckload of Guidos from the shores of Jersey. Striped shirts with popped collars wrapping muscley dudes talking about their popped collars. I didn’t just make that up to be funny there really were dudes talking about their popped collars. Of course these guys wouldn’t be complete without model trophy plasticine used to be strippers to piss off their rich parents accessory girl versions of themselves, still following? En mass. My favorites were the super geeky ultra rich donkey lopers making out with the hottest girls in SF. The irony delighted me to no end. I really wanted to talk to the long haired kid in the T shirt and trench coat. He seemed wonderfully out of place. Actually I know now how it must feel to be on the outside looking in at Burning Man peeps. “Whoa weird people, where did they come from?” Its kinda like that. Totally surreal, its as if the TV had become a reality. The Matrix is a perfect name for this place. “In the Matrix some rules can be bent, others broken” And thats what happened.

I fired up the Bangalord and buttered out the bass. Threw Scott on the BBQ to test the waters and hide from any incoming just emptied cognac glasses. People started arriving and the place filled up. The energy rose and I could feel the bass reverberating the huge front windows. Pretty awesome, I really fucking love that system. I was watching the door to get a head count of the number of Vinnies that left. I think there were a few but it was hard to tell with all the people coming in who was leaving if anyone. Scott’s set crushed it, he has a great ear for music and the laptop saves his ass while mixing. After about an hour warm up and no Blues Brothers roadhouse broken bottles, I kicked the set into hyperspace and the crowd came with me. I was amazed that the place was congealing so well. The dance floor filled in and people at the bar turned to face me to watch the explosion of energy I was unleashing. Pretty stoked. This really was a text book example of what I try to do with my sound. I love to get people who have never heard this music to get on the train and smash down the walls that separate them from losing their shit on the dance floor.

As 2am rolled around I wanted nothing more than to keep barreling through banger after banger. The staff was stoked and as the last track faded people started applauding. I threw my hands in the air and yelled with them. This is how a night should be. In jaded SF where everyone has seen everything this felt like a proper good time. The bartenders told me that I was the only DJ they had ever seen receive applause at that place. That felt good.

When I returned the next day to collect my check and talk to the manager who was sick and had to leave that night. I asked him if the feed back was good. He paused and then half said, ” I heard it was loud” Did you get any noise complaints? “No” Huh? Well when do you want to do it again?…….”Uh well were pretty booked for the next few months and……….” I was dumbfounded, I just tore the fuck out of his little bar and he was blowing me off.. I don’t understand. Whats the problem? I left feeling sick and frustrated. What do I have to do around here? I play my fucking heart out and still get nothing? Typical. It turns out that he is a Dj trying to make a name for himself by booking himself. Whatever.. Enjoy your Stevie Wonder bitches.

You want me to “play some hip hop” huh? Well…..

scan0001.jpgI have people come up and request hip hop all the time. Im usually busy playing not hip hop and don’t have the time to explain my “NO”. So this is for all the people that want me to play hip hop. First of all I love hip hop. The soul of hip hop captured my attention and put me on the turntables in the first place. I have run poetry slams and learned to dance listening to hip hop. That led to digging for the sounds that made it what it is. The art of hip hop is fucking amazing. The relationships with history through sampling are unprecedented. Sampling is a great way of passing forward the myths of the past and carrying a heritage that is so critical that it shouldn’t be legislated. The production in the studio has been illuminating for all areas of recorded music. Hip hop production has put us where we are in the grand evolution of listening and dancing to music. 2008 is a unique time that we will look back on in the future and be amazed at the sounds that were created largely thanks to hip hop.

Being literate I can appreciate the verbal virtuosity of the MC. Poetry is poetry. Good poetry is one of the most powerful uses of language. Oral storytelling is a fundamental element that predates writing. We need this. We will always need this. The voices in hip hop are beautifully diverse and at most times form the spine of the music. Sharing experiences is what is going to move us forward in knowing that we are unified in our wants and needs. Hip hop can lead us into a deeper unification of humanity. I am so thankful for hip hop. So why would I deny people their request?

Hip hop and I have broken up. We are no longer in a healthy relationship. It became abusive and boring. It has trouble innovating ie contributing. Its like an addict who only cares about its selfish fix, the thrill. Mostly to blame are all of us for letting it devolve into rap. Can I throw an antecedent in here? At one time it was funny (disarming) to appropriate the symbols of power of the oppressors, it stopped being funny when they started selling us their symbols and we started to believe in their power and again became repressed though less aware of it. Im thinking of Cadillacs specifically. Never pick up the tools of the oppressors not even as a joke!!!! Violence and materialism are not paths to liberation. The fun times Hip Hop and I had were over as soon as it was consumed by the confusion inherent in the tools of “resistance” offered by the state (violence and anger and separation). The state being rich white fucks in the tops of buildings dictating to the world through hip hop what hip hop is. Hip Hop has become a zombie. A dead soulless corpse with someones hand in its ass making its mouth move and saying stupid shit that the masses follow. Kinda like a politician. Why the fuck would I ever pander to you, my dear Hip Hop?

So who are you that asks for zombie music?………Confused. Mistaken, you want the sounds of rebellion without the work. You want blowjobs from zombies with no teeth. I know your life is boring at your bank job or pizza job or whatever and you want to feel like you are really pushing the envelope by identifying with frustration and the thrill of saying “Fuck you ho”. I can appreciate that desire for breaking the mold. But you are being lied to. You are being tricked in the same way by the same people who sold you the Cadillac. Your efforts will be fruitless because they are the efforts given to you by the oppressors in a very safe to them, nonthreatening way. I know you want to escape. I feel the same way. Something is wrong around here. The imagination and story form of hip hop helps pretend we are something else. There was a time when Hip Hop pointed the way out. Now is not then. Until hip hop comes to its senses its just as confused.

So No I will not play hip hop. I believe that thoughts are things. I believe that the word created the world and that means sound creates reality. The sound of gunshots will bring gunshots. The sound of violence and frustration brings violence and frustration. I will not contribute to a sound that encourages separation. Especially not amplified through a soundsystem. No one on this planet has the time to indulge in small egoic outbursts that encourage conflict. We’re beyond all of that. Now its time for hip hop to catch up.

PS If you read this and you know this critique doesn’t apply to you, you’re right! keep doing what you do and know that the world is waiting for someone to resurrect Hip Hop from the dead. Do it. D

Dude bugs out (literally) to the Salmon Dance, Crookers (remix)

The last time I played this track this is what happened. Awesome huh?

Nisus’s Curtains Mix Online Now!!!!!!!


Hey, I just finished my newest mix Nisus’s Curtains. I know its been a while since I posted any new music but things have just been accelerating in my Dj world. I have so much great new music that I will be putting out a few more mixes over the next month. Let me know what you think. Also I am going on tour in March. If you know of anywhere that would be down to book me send them to this site. The dirtiest hardest electrocrunk mix ever will be next. Here it is!!! Email me if you want a track listing

Playing for Diesel today rocked!


In an effort to stay busy and continue to find alternatives to the standard club scene, I played a set at the Diesel store on Polk today. As always, I enjoy playing daytime sets in these contexts. People are super stoked and are excited to see a DJ actually making it happen. Its great too because you feel the energy rise even though its a lot less than on the dance floor, of course but it happens. Best part, no requests for hip hop. I can just chill and tryout new tracks and enjoy my job. HA!!! I love it, “my job” = awesome!

Nisus at the W NYE

Nisus at the W

Wow, what a fun night! This was for sure the best NYE I’ve had in forever. My best friends from around the country were there. New friends from around the bay were there. My goal of playing at this venue was met and I brought a lot of new music to people who were literally asking for Britney Spears. I explained to people that we were doing something a little different tonight. Playing an international set for an international venue. People seemed genuinely interested in the new sound and showed their love by bouncing all night long. At midnight I did a count down and dropped the Guns and Bombs remix of Gossip’s Yr Mangled Heart. The lyrics ” I don’t want the world, I just want what I deserve” echoed in 2008. This is gonna be an awesome year!

The path that led to the W has been the idea that money can be a huge insulating bubble for the people that have it. On my other blog I have written about the dynamics of experience using sound waves as a metaphor. Essentially  money is a mediating factor for the amplitude of experience. It can be used to amplify or dampen experiences. Often money insulates by convenience. Its convenient to spend money on mediated experiences rather than put the effort into self guided journeys which take time to invent and time to reflect on the lessons learned through the experience. Money can be used to enhance the journey as has been the case for Richard Branson. But for many people the price gets confused with the value of the experience. I call this the Salmon Polo theory. A $280 dollar salmon polo shirt is still kinda ugly even if it is expensive.

Djing is all about bringing good music to the surface. The scope of a Dj’s contribution to the art correlates to the depth of their musical awareness and their ability to string meaning through out a set of diverse but similar songs. The Audience is one third of the Holy Trinity of my job. Connecting with the audience at the W was a goal to “bridge the gap” or pop the bubble using music as a vehicle to connect with people who might otherwise be underexposed to the breadth of awesome new music in the world. They are also a key audience because of their potential planetary impact through the leverage of finance applied to the real world. A broader awareness is better. Knowledge of world beyond Britney Spears is crucial for everyone, especially those who have the capital to make changes in areas where capital can help. This is basically what led me intuitively toward playing at the W. Music is the source of my inspiration and the path I am following. Hopefully, doing no harm and just by my presence changing the context of the scene. Thanks to everyone who came out to make this one of my best nights so far. I look forward to so many more. Apologies to anyone who couldn’t afford the door price. This is the nature of what I do. I hope you understand and know that the next set I play I’m playing for you guys. D

The artistic pursuit of Djing as an expression of community

lincoln-cathedral00.jpgDjing as an art is a matter of scale. A three hour set is the equivalent of one five minute song. Each record is like a single note in a songs composition. Rather than sampling one note or phrase, a whole song is played. My focus is the resolution of frequency, clarity of expression and application of intent throughout an entire set. The greatest thing about Djing is that by playing other people’s songs I acknowledge the value in bringing together musicians from around the world. The set becomes a stage for all of these other people’s artistic voices. It makes me feel more unified and alive within a community. It also sets aside my ego as the creator of “value”. My personal value as a DJ then becomes that of a selector or curator of a world of voices. Coming to one of my shows is like going to an art gallery. The resolution of the sound system that I play on becomes of utmost importance. The sound is the lighting in the gallery. Dark, muddy, dull sound keeps the beauty of the artist’s vision from being communicated. Its in everyones interest to keep the systems in repair and tuned for the broadest transmission of frequency.

I would like to start producing but not from the American individualist as power icon perspective. More as a statement of thanks to the community from which I benefit tremendously.

The M.A.P. Project Music, Architecture, Politics coming together

group-of-dance-stacks-l.jpgI have been busy putting together tracks for the next mix, have shows every week for the next month and Im starring in another short film by the cinematographer that did Wheeler. Really though my thoughts have been focused on how to bring Djing to the next phase. I want it to be more than just here and there. It has become the job that I love and I want to do it to the highest level I can. I have a couple of ideas.The M.A.P. project is one. Its a festival of Music, Architecture, and Politics. Using sustainable, low impact, modular buildings as venues that create a village like feeling during the day and an unusual setting for a club in the evening. I would love to have the whole thing function like an environmentally aware circuit that plugs into an alternative vision of what could be achieved by humans in the current light of global change. Like a living history museum of the future. Not all rocket ships and space, but the changing face of urban culture in a future without oil and battling to save itself from global warming. Kinda like a futurist fair. I want it to be uplifting in its recognition of community as a foreseeable evolutionary strategy. These times we are living in now are unique and should be studied in the future as a memory of what happens when our needs are met. Though I feel like we are still animals on a plain scavenging for food, albeit in a new form. So its main focus would be to examine, through the eyes of the future where we are in evolution right now. Then to offer a compelling view of the future and the road map to getting there. All while bringing people into a comfortable space to share ideas, dance and experience a future designed by the people of the present. Its a long shot since I have no real connections to Architecture and Politics but I figure that it must be similar to booking Djs. I just need a good reason, and a plan to pay back the Funktion One sound system pictured above. Thats what I really want. Then a tour of some sort. I love traveling. I have set this idea up on its  a project planning site thats pretty cool. Check it out and toss some solutions into the game. D

Djing at the Nexus Hay Maze was more than playing records

524919354_b25993c5d6.jpgFor me, djing is far more than playing records. I have chosen this as my vehicle for the expansion of my inquiry into the spiritual heritage of mankind (Djing is evoltech). In this, I am my own test subject. To the machine world, sound is like love, the effects on us are unprovable by any rational explanation. Why and how do these affect us so deeply? What is possible in the pursuit of these expressions? I have within me the feeling of my highest expression. My larval state of being is one phase of my total evolution. Enlightenment from this state and the transition to the next is like a move into adult hood, natural and unavoidable. It is appearing to me though that there are forces at work attempting for good or bad to keep us in the larval state. Whether it is to protect us from ourselves or to protect them from us remains to be seen. Either way I am finding that if you push too far too fast you get to feel the push back of the universe correcting you. Yet there is nothing I am willing to do other than progress, it has become my life.

For so long now we have been attempting to tell ourselves that this visible world is the only reality while our intuition tells us otherwise. This has become very apparent when Djing. When I play I am not there to have the audience listen with their ears. It really doesn’t matter what records I play, it matters what is contained within those records. The metadata is the sound within. The way I pick records is to listen to the metadata. Its a form of meditation. I listen with my soul instead of my ears. The records that resonate with my soul are expressions of my current embodiment. In building a set I try to put together a harmonic resonance that builds a reflection of that vision within me of my highest self. This is makes me a unique Dj. Its the same thing that famous jazz musicians and painters know. Its a universal understanding among artists who are able to set aside the personality ego and flow the light they find in themselves through the expression of their art. The production of this in the tangible world functions as a mirror and reminds everyone that views it of their own internal resonance. This is what is revolutionary about playing music. If people quit doing the machine world’s work and followed their own internal compass, the power would be reclaimed and the world elevated. Obviously the process is more complex than quitting your job and watching TV all day. Here is why I feel that it is so important to be Djing though. As a reminder. If I can lose myself in the process of becoming and people can see me do that they will remember within themselves their purpose. To live and grow and love and evolve. The rest is just icing. As we get older we learn that we can’t live on icing.