"My sound and the music that I produce all comes from my roots and history."
Born and bred in Los Angeles, DJ/Producer David Alvarado has been carefully developing his smooth, soulful house signature that¹s deeper that the Atlantic Ocean since he was a teenager. Solidly entrenched in America's house underground and boasting a growing global following, he's played a pivotal role in shaping the dozen disparate cuts on his critically acclaimed Bomb Records indie, while cutting glistening tracks and remixes for labels like Definitive, Stickmen, X-Rated and Groove On.
Embracing a musical, less is more, ethos to all of his vinyl work, David's motivation behind the decks or in the studio has been to always add a new wrinkle to dance music's vibrant fabric.
"My friends and I were the only ten Mexicans in an all white school, so we were kind of outsiders and kept to ourselves. My cousin was a DJ and by accident, we got coerced into playing music at a party, because we all has access to such huge record collections and it all took off from there. Aside from sports, Djing was something that I was naturally good at and I kept pursuing it."
Spinning everything from underground Latin disco to British New Romantic tracks in the late 80s, David cut his mixing teeth by playing at huge parties and raves on the burgeoning East Side scene. All the while, he studied a variety of legends like Giorgio Moroder and Masters At Work - all producers whose body of work continues to evolve and influence. Some of these parties drew 3,000 clubbers and David and his sound crew - which was comprised of fellow DJs and dancers - regularly battled for bragging rights.
When the East Side scene fizzled out and rave culture infiltrated L.A. in the early 90s, David set his sights beyond his immediate surroundings and started producing . His desire was to "develop a family just like the guys in New York and Chicago did." Since there were no L.A. gurus to look up to, David drew upon his many musical influences and threw caution to the wind. "Something had to be done and I couldn't just sit around," David remembers, "so I got together with a friend of mine in the studio and cut the Las Americas project." A chance meeting at the records shop he worked at with Plus 8's John Aquaviva and Richie Hawtin, who were on a tour with Moby at the time, eventually proved fruitful : "I gave them a copy of the white label, then we talked a bit, and two months later they called me and told me about a new label they were starting, Definitive. It was housier than Plus 8's tracks and they wanted to release my record. I liked their philosophy about developing artists and they were down to earth."
Two remixes and two releases later, David's Plus 8 association led him to Toronto's Stickmen camp, where he ended up working with them in the studio and doing two releases. (In fact he recently dropped an additional tracks on the Stickmen's label in the Fall of '97 which he produced with his new protege, Hector Saldana and continues his association.) With his production career in full motion, David got to work on his goal of putting L.A. on the house music map.
"What John and Richie made available to me is what I've always planned on using as a springboard to people here in L.A., which is to create a family. That led me to start Bomb Records, which was intended to become a breeding ground for local talent."
After a dozen releases wholly realized by David's driving passion, Bomb has earned a solid reputation in Clubland. "Bomb is a practice field and we¹re learning as we go along. We¹re trying to develop a style while using it as a platform to show that there¹s good music out here. We¹re chugging along, trying to find our niche. But in the process, I'¹ve finally found people to build a team around."
As David lays the ground work to help Bomb blow up, Djing all over the world remains a steady muse.
"It's changed me immensely," acknowledges David, whose DJ sets run the gamut from deep and minimal to funky, phat and jazzy. "I've been travelling heavily for four years and it¹s shown me how universal house music is and that it'¹s beyond any one trend or scene. I¹ve realized how fortunate I am that I can go to play at a club in Prague, Germany or Spain and have people know my work. It pushes me a little harder each time I spin or go into the studio."
Possessing a firm knowledge of the past and a desire to make an impact of the future, it's an exciting time for David Alvarado. And he's only just begun.