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Doc Delay Interview

Having recently dropped his first solo album, Morgan, on California label Piecelock 70, we hosted Doc Delay on our latest episode of Turntable Lab Radio. His knowledge in the world of DJing and record collecting shines through in his production and selecting. From respected DJ to now notable producer, we chatted with the Doc to learn a little more about his world.

Doc Delay by ReallyNathan

You have made excellent psych / funk / rock mixtapes in the past, and have had some production featured on other artist’s projects. Why the long delay (no pun intended) on an all original album?

My odor-eater budget is out of control in the Summer.

Thanks Chris! I think I wasn’t ready to be thought of as an artist until recently. As a DJ, and no offense to DJs out there working hard, I felt more like a conduit than a contact. A messenger and archivist, but not a musician. It took a long time to feel comfortable enough with my work to stamp it as my own. If I had it my way I probably would have taken another year to make this album, but these opportunities come and go really quick.
doc delay collage

Speaking of said mixtapes, your vinyl collection is no joke. What got you into digging and on your travels what cities have been some of you favorites to dig in?

Why are there so many people in the cash lane when EZ passes are so readily available?

I started making beats in high school. I really didn’t know anything about rare records. I was just looking for sounds. Once I began amassing stuff, I learned more, and it became a perpetual thing.

Later on, I wound up paying my way through college selling records on the, then new, eBay. There’s really no better way to excel in a subject than to have it provide a financial incentive. Records=Food. I found some great keepers along the way.

I have been having some great record luck lately in Philadephia.

You dropped your first official LP, “Morgan”, can you walk us through the process for the album? Thoughts behind the project and so on?

I’ve actually heard its better to add detergent after the water has started.

I made a record with my friend Godforbid a couple years ago, and I think the new album was really born in the making of that project. When you produce a vocalist, no matter what you name the group, you are essentially making their record. They are in the forefront and their personality is always what shines through in the recording. Your production basically decorates and accentuates their vocals. It’s fun to team up with other musicians and some amazing things can bloom from collaboration, but I came into music from a one-man-band perspective. That was really the allure of DJing and Electronic production. Having the ability to create a track, uninterrupted, free of compromise. Morgan was basically that. An album as one person’s expression.
Doc Delay Morgan Album Cover

How did you come to Piecelock 70 for the album?

Usually upon reintegration, my dog has to be quarantined for 6 months. I miss him.

Thes approached me years ago about joining the collective. Everyone on the roster is encountering similar hurdles with selling and marketing music. There’s only room for the self reliant nowadays, but there is still strength in numbers.
I was out in Los Angeles recording “Owl Mountain” and played Thes the album. We set the release date right there and pretty much got everything finished at breakneck speed for Summer.

On Morgan what percentage of the album would you say is sample based and original instrumentation?

-Four pounds ground chuck
-half cup Worcester sauce
-half cup EVOO
-three jalapenos finely chopped
-sea salt and ground pepper to liking

Samples?? Whatever made you think I used samples?

Safe to assume you are into vintage / analog gear for production. What is your studio looking like these days? Favorite studio equipment?

What if Joy Division lived in a sub-division called Lovewill Terrace Apartments?

Getting the sound you want out of your space is a never-ending battle. I struggled with a very limited amount of gear to make ‘Morgan’. I also live in a pretty cramped apartment with neighbors above and below.

If you really want to dork out, here you go: I record almost everything through a small tube amp I have nestled in a sound proof box I built. There are two mics mounted inside. A Shure 57 and an AKG 414. I have one going through a UA Solo/610 and and on going through a Bellari RP533. I usually record both and pick the one that works best. There are some old synths, a Fender Rhodes, A few guitars, an mpc2000 and some outboard stuff. Nothing too fancy. I do have a ’67 Gretsch ‘Country Gentleman’ that I got from MGMT.

Can you walk us through your recent mix on Turntable Lab Radio? What was the concept behind the mix? Tracklist?

Miller Highlife.

I didn’t really have a concept, I mean obviously I wanted the mix to peak someone’s interest in the album. I figured the people you have checking your blog aren’t into lesbian folk, so I kept it pretty modern sounding. I mostly used things made by myself and my peers. There is definitely lots of unreleased and exclusive remixes on there.

Asking this because I know you can easily walk the line of either type of DJ / selector, but with the current trend of over the top party rocking DJs where do you feel the “DJ Shadows” or “Kid Koalas” fit in these days?

In the shade and at the zoo, respectively.

Both those guys are great DJs. I saw Shadow shut it down after a Metallica show in Texas. It’s without a doubt the greatest thing I’ve ever seen on turntables. Kid Koala is such a talented dude and humble as hell. I’ve heard some four-track recordings of his old rap group from 91-92 that are amazing. Both those guys have very solid foundations under them. They built their status slowly with care and concern for longevity. If you want to keep making music when you get older that’s really important.

As a DJ you need to make people dance. That’s your job. If people are watching you with folded arms, you should switch it up.

5 Favorite places to eat?

El Camello (Tulum)
Fritzl’s Lunchbox (Brooklyn)
La Cabinita (Glendale, CA)
Chickies (Philly)
Oyamel (DC)

What do you like to do, non-music related?

I’ve been finding a lot of pleasure in fixing things.

What were you like in high school?

On probation

5 Favorite records

Not even answering this.

Doc Delay Morgan (Limited Edition) LP

Thanks so much to Doc Delay for the great interview and incredible performance on our latest episode of Turntable Lab Radio. You can catch up with Doc Delay via his website and we can’t recommend his latest album, Morgan, enough. Special thanks to ReallyNathan for the always untouchable photography and of course everyone for listening and reading our rants. Til next time…

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