I recently sat down with DJ D:Fuse to discuss his take on the value of club culture and recent government moves that could negatively affect raves and clubs. When he’s not spinning his signature ambient trance, D:Fuse is a prominent activist for the livelihood of electronic dance music. The native Texan recently released his second album, The_People 2. His current tour features a new twist for fans – experimentation with hard percussion beats spliced into his harmonious lounge style.
Hatchet: Do you think there’s a stronger connection between club music and drug usage than other music types? For example, do you think the clubs have gotten out of control with ecstasy?
D:Fuse: I think they did for a few years. It’s like any kind of music format when it comes out and it blows up because it’s new. But walking into a club and seeing kids all lying in a pile, obviously on ecstasy, that kind of thing is incredibly out of line and needs to get shut down. That’s not what clubs are all about. There were a few different scenes that I noticed where the law enforcement had a point, but in the last two years, I just don’t see that anymore. The promoters have really cracked down. They don’t allow someone who’s obviously messed up to just lay around the club. Now, I would be hard-pressed to look out into a crowd and see somebody obviously on drugs. I see people drinking, dancing, having a good time. I really have seen a change. I think they’ve just gotten more responsible with it. So now it’s really not more dominant than any other music form. It’s just a part of our society.
H: I know you’ve toured a lot in Europe, where electronic music is more mainstream than in the United States. What differences have you noticed between the management or the patrons in the two scenes?
D:Fuse: I remember when I was there last year, (British Prime Minister Tony) Blair issued a pamphlet to allow club owners to be more lenient by educating the public on drug usage. They just stepped up the safety measures with medical awareness. There, drug use is not as taboo and hush-hush, so people don’t feel the need to go crazy with it. But when the European scene was breaking out, drug usage was out of hand. But people gradually got more responsible. Now the clubs are very well run, and in the United States it’s getting there.
H: So what do you think club culture is all about? And, at risk of arriving at a clich?, could you describe it in a single word?
D:Fuse: I would just say release, escape. It’s about what we all want to do – escape from our problems and have fun. That’s what drives it. That was a lot of words (laughs). But I would say escape.
H: What do you think the new generation has to gain from the club scene?
D:Fuse: It’s like any art or self-expression, the lifeblood of what our country is all about. The pulse and the excitement of any community lie in its art.