DJ and producer Justin Johnson has been rocking the dance floors of North America for over twenty-five years, and his eclectic mix of Funky Breaks blended with House Music and Tech House has made him a favorite at countless raves, clubs, radio shows, and special events. His influences come from all aspects of music, and he always brings the funk with him. His mix tape and CD series has been applauded for his flawless mixing skills, unique track selection, and excellent programming. Justin's production skills only add to his talent arsenal, as shown on his four record labels (Cable Recordings, Cylon Dub Receptor, Southern Vice and Barely Legal Records) and his remixes for Velcro City Records, Made Records, Mutate, Beyond Zilla, Blunted Funk, Knob, and Quartz Lock.
Justin originally began DJing in 1985 on his high school radio station (KSRH 88.1 FM), but got his first taste of being selector when he was three years old when his dad let him pick out songs for his radio show (KUMD Duluth, MN). Heavily influenced and raised on artists like Yello, Soft Cell, Depeche Mode, Giorgio Moroder, Cabaret Voltaire, The Psychedelic Furs, The Clash, Michigan & Smiley, Mad Professor, B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Bod Diddley, James Brown, B.T. Express, Curtis Mayfield, Afrika Bambaataa, and Egyptian Lover all kept his musical tastes diverse. It was Kraftwerk’s album “Radioactivity” that really pulled him in further to Electronica, but it was Frankie Bones’ “BonesBreaks Vol. 3” that made him turn the corner into a full fledged obsession with House and Breaks.
In the early 90s the rave and club scene in San Francisco was exploding with parties from promoters like Funky Tekno Tribe, Stompy, and the Wicked Crew, and he would find himself at events like “Boogie Buffet” at 1015 Folsom on Sunday Mornings grooving out to the sounds of Mark Farina, Spun, and good friend John Howard. Inspired further, he teamed up with Sean Murray and DJ John Mac as a founding member of the earlier Renegade Sound System parties and they threw the first “4:20” party at the Marin Headlands.
After several years of sharpening his mixing and crowd-rocking skills at full moon parties, one-offs, and house parties, he decided it was time to break out, and so he made a move to New York City to see if he could conquer the Big Apple. Within a year of being in the north east, his shoulder was tapped by Scotty Marz, the founding father of Kingsize USA promotions, to become part of the crew and a resident DJ at the weekly Bounce parties as well as at their one-off events. One year later he had built up such a solid reputation that he was recruited by Scott Richmond and Jonathan Kadish (aka Mr. Kleen) to work at the world famous Satellite Records in New York City. Justin quickly made a massive impact in the store and became the Breaks buyer and the stock manager for all three stores (Boston, NYC, Atlanta). Satellite offered the opporutunity to not only be on the cutting edge of new sounds and producers, but also to be able to help cultivate the sounds of other DJs like Danny Tenaglia, Roger Sanchez, Erick Morillo, DJ Icey, Adam Freeland, DJ Dan, Dave Dresden, Thomas Bangalter (Daft Punk), Todd Terry, John Creamer and Stephane K, Christian Smith, Deep Dish, Freq Nasty, Tommie Sunshine, and just about any other taste maker in the industry. After years of consistently rocking the north east in renowned venues like The Limelight, The Tunnel, The Roxy, Roseland Ballroom, and Irving Plaza, he became known as the “King of Breaks” in NYC, and an appearance at a massive NYC festival (6th Element) was so impressive that it even caught the ears of The New York Times.
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