The Playlist: Deftones
With their 1995 debut, Adrenaline, California’s Deftones laid the foundation for the nu-metal genre. But instead of resting on their laurels, the band’s five members began to experiment with electronic sounds, resulting in their platinum-selling masterpiece White Pony five years later.
The band’s desire to explore new territory has been key to their success. On the eve of the release of Deftones’ eighth album, Gore, we asked bassist Sergio Vega to list five tracks that have inspired him; it was no surprise when, instead of rock classics, he chose tunes that he loves to play in his DJ sets.
Panda Bear: Crosswords
“Early in the evening I like to play songs that are a bit out there but still get people’s heads bobbing. ‘Crosswords’ is a good example of this. With their electronic rhythms and weird delay effects, Panda Bear’s songs are a modern, airy take on psychedelic music. When you’re a DJ, playing his music is a guaranteed win. It earns you coolness points from people who know of him, while others come up and ask what it is.”
The Juan MacLean: Running Back to You
“I love playing this track in my sets. Thanks to Nancy Whang’s cool vocals, everybody on the dance floor seems to click with it instantly, no matter what kind of music they’re into. It’s not a club banger, it’s a downbeat electro-pop song incorporating disco and funk elements, which makes it the perfect tool when switching between genres, from weirder stuff to hip-hop. It’s kind of the glue in my DJ sets.”
Migos: Look at My Dab
“This is a great track to get people hyped as you approach peak time. Migos are the kings of the triplet flow, which is so prominent in hip-hop today. In this song, they talk about ‘dab,’ which is basically a new word for ‘swag.’ Thanks to viral success of the video, ‘Look at My Dab’ is now a movement with a dance. That’s great for DJs, because when you play it out, the whole dance floor does the moves.”
Ty Dolla $ign: Blasé
“Hip-hop is a major part of my sets at the moment, because I love where the genre is going. Some people complain about the current lack of lyricism, but for me it’s about the experimental sound of a lot of hip-hop tracks right now. Take ‘Blasé’: For most of the song, there’s not even any bass, which is fantastic. It shows that you don’t always have to be banging away, as the music can lose its impact.”
Yo Gotti: Down in the DM
“What’s interesting about this rap song is that the only people who request it are women—and they ask for it a lot! In the lyrics, Gotti basically calls for girls to message him certain shots of themselves via Snapchat. It’s very risqué and he’s not very poetic with his words, which I think is why it works. So if you want to please the ladies in the club, be sure to include this one on your playlist.”