credit: Dustin Ashcraft
Raised and rooted in Corpus Christi, producer, DJ, and nu-cumbia pioneer El Dusty translates the Southern Texas border experience into new barrio anthems where the MPC2000 sampler and chopped clips of Latin music history collide. With his major label debut on Universal dropping soon following the success of his single “K Le Pasa,”ElDusty’s self-taught approach is as collaborative as it is singular, drawing from a crate-digging and turntablist tradition that links Latin classics with the newgeneration of bass-heavy soundsystem and hip-hop cultures.Critical acclaim has hailed El Dusty as Rolling Stone’s10 New Artists You Need to Know, Billboard’s New Latin Act to Watch in 2016, and Pandora’s Latin Artists to Watch 2016.As a producer, El Dusty’s aesthetic is an effortless rendering of his palette for old school sounds thanks to growing up in a home soundtracked by Tejano anthems, Chicano soul music, classic rock, ‘70sLatin soul.These classic sounds are balanced by a solid education in hip-hop, and house music in their earliest stages thanks to his older brother, with this combination of aesthetics and generations laying the groundwork for the massive sample catalog he’s been building non-stop for years.El Dusty always wanted to be a DJ, inspired by DMC videos and top-notch turntablism routines from the likes of Bad Boy Bill and Richard “Humpty” Vission’s open format approach to mixing genres and razor-sharp scratching routines. He got his start practicing on a pair of Technic 1200s (that fortuitouslyshowed up from his brother) at home at the age of 12, teaching himself turntablism skills that landed him on the radio with his own mixshow by the age of 16. When it comes to working in the studio, the sampler is his primary instrument, taking after the cut and paste aesthetic of the masters like DJ Premier, DJ Shadow, Alchemist, and Dr. Dre. El Dusty takes this collage technique to new territories to reflect the layered experience of Tejano border culture, using cut samples from his massive collection of old school Latin vinyl as the instruments for his original tracks with an MPC2000 sampler.As a self-taught producer, El Dusty’s roots in self-discipline carry through to his routine of waking up and walking straight into the studio working 12 hours or more of production work daily, whether creating new tracks or digging up samples from his collection. If not in the studio, El Dusty can usually be found with his laptop in hand, ready to chop up samples in Ableton throughout the day. Still a turntablist at heart, El Dusty lets the sample lead his process, with an ear for taking in the live technique of the old school players on the original recordings to reproduce or grab the kick patterns, or to split up elements of the track into smaller bitsso that he can jam over them live to get inspired. After inheriting a massive record collection from his late mother, holding down a job in a record store, and playing in a rock band as a DJ/vocalist, El Dusty started making rap beats and scratching over them. As his record collection continued to grow, so did the development as his own sound, as he found the samples that could define his own voice as a producer. Even at a young age he was no stranger to the workings of the industry, having landed a job at a radio station and beginning to DJ their concerts with acts like Los Kumbia Kings early in their career. When Baby Bash’s single “Suga Suga” hit big, El Dusty went on tour with the artist for almost a year straight.