Having A Blast: LGBT beach party invades Atlantic City

Having A Blast: LGBT beach party invades Atlantic City

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Sand Blast is taking over Atlantic City for another nonstop wild weekend of gay and lesbian beach, pool and dance parties. This year’s edition offers 13 different parties and events featuring the talents of an international roster of DJs. 

With so many parties and events to choose from, we asked a few of the performers what makes their parties and skills in the DJ booth stand out.

Here’s what some of them had to say.

 

DJ Eddie Elias (New York City)

RAW: The Underwear Party • 2-6 a.m. July 17

The Claridge Hotel, Park Place

844-224-7386

 

PGN: What made you want to be a DJ?

EE: The exposure to house music in the New York City club scene back in the ’90s piqued my interest. Listening to DJs such as Junior Vasquez and Victor Calderone motivated me and inspired my creativity.

 

PGN: What is it about your style as a DJ that sets you apart from other DJs?

EE: While I still incorporate high-energy vocals, my sound is not what you would call “circuit.” My vibe is more underground tech-house.

 

PGN: What would you say is the best or most popular song you’ve had a hand in remixing or producing?

EE: I would have to say “Make Some Noise” by Inaya Day.

 

DJ Dani Toro (Barcelona)

Rip Tide • 11 a.m.-6 p.m. July 18

Bally’s rooftop pool and deck, 1900 Boardwalk

609-340-2000

 

PGN: What is it about your style as a DJ that sets you apart from other DJs?

DT: My style is your style; I DJ exactly what you want to listen to in this moment at the dance floor. I’m reading the dance floor! I love to play uplifting tracks, no long breaks, not too many remixes and combine past and present in a way where I’m not being too old-school or playing only the top-10 hits. Also many years of mixing makes my DJ skills good enough for DJing many, many hours and keeping the same level as the first two tracks played!

 

PGN: What would you say is the best or most popular song you’ve had a hand in remixing or producing?

DT: I loved remixing work from Iggy Azalea or “Heartbreak City” by Madonna most recently. One of the remixes I am not playing anymore but was very good at its time was “Wrecking Ball.” Every new performance I do a couple of new mash-ups that make my set unique.

 

PGN: Who has been your favorite artist to work with?

DT: Performing right before Peter Rauhofer or Super Chumbo (Tom Stephan) has been something that really made me very proud of how my career was going. I respect each artist and I enjoy and learn the best I can from each one; it doesn’t matter how big they are, you can still learn from somebody new. I never underestimate talented people.

 

DJ Eddie Martinez (New York City)

Deep Blue • 10 p.m.-5 a.m. July 18

Resorts Superstar Theater, 1133 Boardwalk

800-334-6378

 

PGN: What made you want to be a DJ?

EM: I’ve always been into music ever since I was a kid making my own mixtapes on cassettes and putting sounds together. A friend of mine suggested I looked into DJing. I did and then it became a hobby and took off from there.

 

PGN: Why should people choose your party at Sand Blast?

EM: Each of the events are different and they will all be great. I’m playing the Saturday-night Deep Blue event. I can guarantee it will be a hot one, so bring some comfortable shoes and be ready to dance.

 

PGN: What is it about your style as a DJ that sets you apart from other DJs?

EM: I like to channel some of my New York City roots into my sound, mixed with current sounds — a little hard, a little sexy, a little high-energy into one.

 

PGN: What would you say is the best or most popular song you’ve had a hand in remixing or producing?

EM: It would have to be my remix of Madonna’s “Gang Bang” or Tove Lo’s “Talking Body.”

 

PGN: What is your dream gig or project?

EM: The sky’s the limit!

 

DJ Morabito (New York City)

Deep Blue • 10 p.m.-5 a.m. July 18

Resorts Superstar Theater, 1133 Boardwalk

800-334-6378

 

PGN: How and when did you get started DJing?

M: The idea of becoming a radio DJ developed in 1976 when I was in high school. At the time, I would save my lunch money and shop at the local head shop/record store. Eventually, I learned that radio DJs had program directors and couldn’t choose the music; I was disappointed and scratched that idea. Then in 1980, I went to my first dance club, Traxx. I was beyond amazed and fascinated at what I witnessed on the dance floor and in the DJ booth. I knew instantly during that experience that being a club DJ was what I wanted to do. In time, I befriended a DJ in town that I admire, Greg Whitbeck. I asked him if he would teach me how to play records. He said, “Just hang in the booth, shut up and listen.” It was really great advice. It was all about listening to how music was arranged. I’d hang in Greg’s booth for months just being quiet and watching him mix. Eventually, I bought another turntable, a mixer and 12 records — that was in October of 1982. I practiced a lot and within months, I got a job at a local lesbian bar called Isis.  

 

PGN: What music really drives you?

M: I love all sorts of music. I love tech house, tribal house and basically all forms of house music that is well-produced, clean, innovative and interesting. For me, DJing is a very spontaneous, emotional art form. So how I feel inside does indeed show in each performance. It’s really a fascinating dynamic for me. For my entire career, I’ve searched for the key to a perfect performance every time, even though each one is different. It took me a really long time to realize that you can’t reach perfection in everything you do each time; it’s unrealistic, we’re human. Once I accepted that, oddly enough, the better I’ve become.  

 

PGN: What three songs would you play to explain to people who you are?

M: Depends on my mood and how I’m feeling at that present moment. It would be impossible for me to explain who I really am in three songs; I’m a complicated girl.

 

DJ Mike Reimer (Washington, D.C.)

Sand Blast Beach Party • Noon-7 p.m. July 19

Bungalow Beach Bar, 2641 Boardwalk

609-350-6823

 

PGN: What made you want to be a DJ?

MR: I started going out to gay nightclubs in 1995, and the first thing I noticed was the music. I instantly fell in love with the four-on-the-floor rhythm, drum beats and vocalists I had never heard before. I quickly started researching who the people were producing this music. I used to drive from Pennsylvania to Washington, D.C., to buy this music at 12 Inch Dance Records so I could listen to it outside of the nightclubs. It wasn’t long after this I wanted to learn how to DJ. I wanted to share with others the music I discovered, make them dance and feel what I was feeling.

 

PGN: Why should people come to your Sand Blast party?

MR: There are going to be some amazing parties with talented DJs all weekend long, but the party I am playing is in a venue most don’t get to experience too often. I will be opening the Sunday-afternoon beach party. I’ll be on the beach with everyone dancing to my beats next to the Atlantic Ocean. 

PGN: What is it about your style as a DJ that sets you apart from other DJs?

MR: I put a lot of thought into track selection and song placement. I learned to mix at a time when DJs still took their crowds on a “musical journey.” I still try to do that, so I like to build the energy level in my set as I go along. I play plenty of fun vocals, but mix it up with tribal beats and drop a classic track or two to surprise my crowd.

 

DJ Aaron Abizker (New York City)

Kahuna • 11 p.m.-6 a.m. July 19

Caesars Dusk Nightclub, 2100 Pacific Ave.

609-345-3875

 

PGN: What made you want to be a DJ?

AA: As an aspiring DJ, I was greatly influenced by DJs Peter Rauhofer and Junior Vasquez. I’ve always had a strong ear and passion for music, and wanting to create a sound that had the power to change someone’s mood and energy and completely transform them on the dance floor. 

 

PGN: Why should people choose your party at Sand Blast?

AA: Each party will offer something great for everyone. The DJ lineup this year is incredible and each DJ has their own style and sound and there are different themed parties throughout the weekend. I will be playing for the closing party and my set will include tribal-house beats with a lot of high-energy vocals that will also include all of my latest remixes, from Madonna to Rihanna!

 

PGN: What is it about your style as a DJ that sets you apart from other DJs?

AA: As a DJ and producer, it’s important to have my own style and sound so when I make a song or remix, it has my stamp on it. People know that’s my remix. I also create, write and produce many original tracks because I feel it brings something exciting and new as opposed to only doing remixes. A number of my original songs have gone on to be dance-floor anthems played by top DJs around the world at every circuit party! It’s very exciting and rewarding!

PGN: What is your dream gig or project?

AA: To open for Madonna!

 

DJ Mick Hale (Asbury Park)

Kahuna • 11 p.m.-6 a.m. July 19

Caesars Dusk Nightclub, 2100 Pacific Ave.

609-345-3875

 

PGN: What made you want to be a DJ?

MH: I’ve always been really into music and played “real” instruments in a few bands as far back as the ’80s. Then I got more into midi-programming and sampling in the ’90s when I started “club DJing” and doing remixes for other artists. Growing up 15 minutes outside New York City, I used to listen to the mix shows on New York radio and go to Limelight and Tunnel and hear these guys blending songs together and thought I’d give it a go.

 

PGN: Why should people choose your party at Sand Blast?

MH: I’ve been on gay cruises where all the DJs play almost all the same tracks, which can get a bit repetitive, and that’s not something I’ve ever found in all the years of going to Sand Blast. [Organizer] Brad [Hurtado] has a great ear to keep a varied roster and offer something for all. But to toot my own horn, I’d like to think my sound is a unique mix of deeper house and circuit-y tribal mixes of both new and classic tracks, for a wide cross-section of people. I try not to do the “hit parade” regardless of if it’s quality material or not. Some of these “top Billboard dance tracks” are pretty awful and I won’t play something crappy just ’cause it’s “big.”

 

PGN: What is your dream gig or project?

MH: Spinning TEA Dance to 2,000-some guys on the RSVP Cruise was definitely already a highlight and I am totally looking forward to this year’s Kahuna closing party in A.C. But I suppose to maybe someday spin the beach event or Deep Blue here at Sand Blast would be cool. Or a Gay Disney weekend gig. Now you got me dreaming!

 

For more information on Sand Blast 2015, visit www.sandblastweekend.com

 


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