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You’ve probably witnessed DJ Stylus in action—-the dusty soul records that boom relentlessly, the old school hip-hop that encourages backpackers to dust off their Adidas gear and pop lock like its 1985.
But being a DJ in this region can be challenging, Stylus says. “Being a DJ here, you sometimes wonder if it matters,” he says. “I still find it hard to attract an audience that craves that deeper, soulful music.”
That wasn’t the case for Stylus when he traveled to Bali, Indonesia, late last month to gig with Stevie G., a notable D.C. DJ who moved to Indonesia six years ago in protest of then-President George W. Bush‘s re-election. “There, being a DJ is a respected art form,” Stylus says. “You can make a good living as a DJ in Bali because there aren’t too many people playing soulful music there.”
Stylus recorded a set he and Stevie mixed in Indonesia, a three-hour expedition through cosmic funk grooves and raucous break beats. “It was just us doing D.C. on the other side of the world,” Stylus says. “That type of thing puts you in a place to string together some beautiful music.”