Q&A: DJ George Brazil

  • Photo by Tessa Berg
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From the August 16, 2012 edition

Upon relocating two years ago from his hometown, Charlotte, to his wife’s hometown, Columbus, George Brazil (aka Ryan Miller) immediately resumed doing what he did down south: mixing it up in the local music scene and on the decks at dance parties like Sweatin’ and Dirty Triff.

With the upbeat Dirty Triff party relocating to the Campus club Rio this Friday, Miller told his tale.

I play in a band called Black Congo, NC. We actually put out a double vinyl right as I was moving here. It’s got European distribution. It made the (Village Voice) Pazz & Jop list. I think we’re going to tour this winter.

There was an open decks night back in Charlotte that was pretty much run by drum and bass kids. I had always collected records, and things just kind of came together. I started thinking, “Why not bring my record collection to the drum and bass open decks night and slide in some weird stuff?”

I just fell in love with the format of being able to mix two records. It’s mostly just cross-fading and blending two songs, not real mixing or anything per se, just being able to segue songs and make this live mixtape.

As I developed a reputation as a DJ, I started getting all these weird gigs thrown at me. I started having to step up my game.

It was around the same time bands like LCD Soundsystem and Cut Copy, the whole dance rock thing started taking off … Everything culminated into indie rockers DJing. It was kind of a necessity. We wanted to have our own dance parties that were outside of a nightclub.

I made friends with Scott Niemet before I moved to town. I played a Sweatin’ party a couple years before we moved here. He’s a Columbus mainstay. My wife knew him from the hardcore scene ... He slid a few gigs my way. I met people like Barticus and Danny (of Dance or Die), started playing a few gigs around town.

I try to tell a story when I spin, and I sometimes get caught up in the mix. And then there’s other times when I like to do something humorous like throw something odd in there to clear the dance floor — or to see if it won’t clear the dance floor.

I’m always happy when I don’t get requests. But when I do get requests, I’m happy when they’re good ones.