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Home » Electro Parlour

An inside perspective into the world of The Scumfrog

Submitted by on February 23, 2014 – 8:30 pmNo Comment

ScumfrogThe Dutch-American DJ sensation known simply to the world as The Scumfrog came to Toronto to flood the pond with his unique style of techno oriented mixes.

Real name Jesse Houk, the man graced “Footwork,” colloquially known as the Coda nightclub to show Canada’s largest city some love on Valentine’s Day. His highly invigorating opening set that took place from midnight to last call, in support of Toronto’s precious homegrown progressive house queen Sydney Blu, who took the show into the long hours of the morning.

The show ended at about 5 a.m.

Before the show took place, Martyr’s Tee Onek caught up with Scumfrog in his hotel room at the Cosmopolitan, and discussed how after over a quarter-century in the turntable turbulence he stays fresh and inspired.

“That’s a good question, because you get confronted with that question a lot,” Houk laughed. “It’s music, after all. And as long as there is music, that makes me want to get up and dance, then I love to play it for other people.”ScumfrogIt’s not always so black and white though. Houk’s admits that there are times that you have to just sit back and watch the music scene figure itself out.

“What happening now, in this whole new stream of deep house, meeting progressive, going back to that underground feel – that’s where I come from,” said Houk. “This is the perfect moment for me to be into that to do my thing.”

_MG_2976Being that Houk has spent so many years in the industry, not only has he seen a lot of change and evolution, technological advances, and he’s also heard everything the genre has to offer. One has to wonder how difficult it is to separate your roots of traditional showmanship, from the new bells and whistles of modern theatrics.

“It depends on the show, really. I think, the bigger the show, the more supposed to include theatrics in your show. What we’re doing here tonight, is very easy to keep it to just the music. There’s no need for a huge LED screen in your face that makes it less intimate.”

With that being said, he states that of course every artist is doing their thing, especially in the EDM scene.

“I just like to see it be all about the music. If it’s just a guy pushing buttons and the main attraction is the light show, then just call it a light show, and the DJ is basically irrelevant.”

The great thing about this genre is that there are no boundaries or rules, and every one can truly to their own thing, which is why Houk has stayed motivated through the last two and a half decades.

“People are always bitching that you’re supposed to do it this way or that way. But I love that there are no rules, and if you can get away with it, than all the power to you. If you want to push buttons and stand there with your hands in the air, but you getting millions of people out every night, then you’re doing something right.”ScumfrogNot known to all, Houk actually started his music career as a radio broadcaster, with a show on a major network years ago. After parting ways with the network, he took his brand of waves and made it his own.

“It’s very simply, the show has 12 new songs each week. To find 12 songs a week that I personally find good, is fucking tough,” Houk laughs. “I get hundreds of emails a week, and I might find 8 tracks out of them decent. At the end of the day, I can rely on my own radio show to make sense, and keeps me listening to new music.”

Story by Tee Onek photos by ftfphotography 

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