DAVE AJU (Circus Company / Accidental // San Francisco)
SF Bay Area native Marc Barrite created the DJ/Production alias Dave Aju as a vehicle for his inimitable, fresh, and expressive take on electronic dance music. Though raised on a strict diet of Jazz and Soul music, and several years of paying dues in the South Bay via various B-Boy and Hip-Hop crews, it wasn't until Barrite moved to his now home city of San Francisco that the final ingredients to the Dave Aju recipe were added. Immediately drawn to the open-mindedness of the SF underground scene, he soon found himself on the vanguard of contemporary dance music - happily straying far into left field from the traditional house and electro styles he had been busting moves to in earlier years. After an introduction to new ideas and production methods from college courses in Minimalism and 20th-Century composition, paired with exposure to the eccentric work of local techno sound manglers Kit Clayton, Sutekh, Twerk, et al., the character now known as Dave Aju was fully born.
Doing away with half of his record collection that no longer seemed relevant, and likewise with all studio equipment except for two turntables, a microphone, and one sampler, Aju began slowly but surely carving out his own musical niche with unique and adventurous concoctions of outsider art-styled concepts and handmade sonic approaches blended with naturally deep-rooted soul and an undying love for the dance floor.
Working at a quality-over-quantity pace, Aju has earned much respect and kudos from like-minded peers with his original releases and flavorful remixes. The masses have taken notice as well, turning tracks such as "Runout", "Be Like The Sun", "Tapatio", and "Crazy Place" into veritable underground anthems. Even the critics, who gave his mouth-made debut album Open Wide high praise and saw it nominated for multiple awards, have sipped the tequila-spiked Kool-Aid.
Of course Mr Aju shines just as bright outside the studio, as his diverse DJ sets and extraordinary Live performances have blessed crowds from Moscow to Sydney to Mexico City, and everywhere in between, including repeat visits to legendary establishments such as London's Fabric, Berlin's Panoramabar, Paris' Rex Club, and Montreal's MUTEK festival.
Aju's distinctive voice, a fixture in his production and performances, has proven to have a life of its own as well; the formative years adding stripes to his coat as an MC in the underground hip-hop scene paid off, with vocal contributions for artists like dOP, Tiefschwarz, and DJ Koze, and an ongoing collaboration with Guillaume & The Coutu Dumonts as the lead vocalist for his new live band, The Side Effects.
With all of these facets in place and exciting new releases on the horizon - including his second full-length album Heirlooms for home-base label Circus Company and an eagerly-awaited EP for Matthew Herbert's Accidental Music, it's safe to say that Dave Aju, indeed the opposite of dja vu, is a seasoned veteran that's just getting warmed up.