Red Bull Thre3style DJ Drop- Mike 2600 Tommy Ellis

Name: Mike 2600
Twitter: @mike2600
Years DJing: 17 years
Location: Minneapolis

First album/song you ever bought?

First 7-inch single I got was Def Leppard 'Bringin' On The Heartbreak.' Then the first cassette was Duran Duran 'Arena,' and the first LP was 'Thriller.' I still have the Def Leppard and MJ records, but the Duran Duran tape fell way to my early interest in setting things on fire.

Vinyl vs. Digital?

They both have their pros and cons. I've been seriously collecting records since about 1999 and have discovered music I never would have ever heard of through record shopping and listening to records with friends. Nowadays, the convenience and flexibility of DJing with mp3s has opened so many doors, especially in situations like Red Bull Thre3Style, where DJs are able to use their own edits of songs and jump to any point in the song at any moment.

One huge advantage of vinyl, from a collecting standpoint, is the great collection of stories and memories connected with a record collection. I can look at just about any record in my collection and remember where I got it, who I was with when I got it, memories of first playing it and discovering some crazy break or sample on it. I can't tell you what desk or hotel I was at when I downloaded a certain mp3 -- there's no nostalgia with them.

Best song to get the crowd moving?

I mean, when those horns on 'Calabria' come in, it's kind of a no brainer. 'PYT' is another huge one that I've only seen not work maybe one or two times.

What's the 'Don't Stop Believing' of 2013?

It's still very much 'Don't Stop Believing.'

When do you play your ‘Don’t Stop Believing’?

Hahaha, I like to equate it with the chase scene in a movie. You've got to build up to it, but also have some kind of resolution afterwards.

How important is it to know the regions musical tastes?

Ten years ago, I'd say it was incredibly important, but I think this is actually less true nowadays. A few years ago, regional music was huge. There were rap songs that were huge in St. Louis that nobody else in the country knew about, club music in Baltimore that only got spun in Baltimore, etc. Now that every song is so readily accessible online, clubgoers are more likely to want to hear songs that are popular on the internet than just in their hometown.

How many records/mp3s do you own?

About 4,000 records and I don't know… maybe 20,000 mp3s?

Dream venue?

VIP oxygen tent BBQ on the moon.

How do you start your set? (slow buildup, instant beat drop, lead off with a crowd favorite)

It depends on what part of the night I start playing and what the DJ before me has done. It's fun to start with a track that makes people stop and look around for a second, catch a quick breather, and then get right back into it. Always fun to gradually build up the tempo of a set and then play with halftimes, like 80 bpm vs 160 bpm, 100 bpm vs 200 bpm, etc.

Dream collaboration?

I'd like to clone myself and do a four-turntable set with my clone.

Most annoying song request?

Anything involving cigarette breath in close proximity to my face.

What was the riskiest mash up you’ve ever done?

Too many to name. Some of the worst to come to mind are 'Chocolate Rain' acapella over Motley Crue 'Kickstart My Heart' and 'Bombs Over Baghdad' acapella over 'Chariots of Fire.'

What’s your guilty favorite song?

Insane Clown Posse, 'Chicken Huntin.'

Do you know how to play any instruments?

I'm glad my parents forced me to take piano lessons starting at about age 8. It's definitely helped me understand music and has been a huge help with DJing. I also play guitar, bass, trumpet, and am one half of Minneapolis' leading glockenspiel duo, New Kids On The Glock (see below). Also trying to learn how to play the khaen but it's gonna take a long long time to master that one.

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