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Those pills are dangerous, Jessie: DJ AC Slater doles out dance floor lessons

by Ryan Snyder

On television, AC Slater was a wisecracking, vaguely sexist jock with a heart of gold. In reality, AC Slater is the stage name of ghetto-blasting, pop-hook mangling, electrohouse pioneer Aaron Clevenger, an internationally lauded dance floor provocateur with crisp endorsements from names like Diplo and Drop the Lime. Raised on ’90s hip hop and nourished by old-school rave, AC Slater has cultivated these influences to give birth to his own style of music production which manifests itself in his digital record label Party Like Us. He releases on the Trouble & Bass label — search for “Take You” and thank me later — but he’s constantly updating his website, www.djacslater.com, with fresh mixes and new singles. One of those, and most notably, is his remix of the international hit “Show Me Love” by Robin S and his remix of underground classic “Turn The Music Up,” the latter of which was voted one of Moby’s top 10 tracks of the decade.

Y!W: This Greensboro show is all by itself in between some Canadian and West Coast dates. What are you working on that might influence what you play Friday?

AC: I’m doing my next couple of singles right now, along with some remixes. I did a remix of Kill the Noise’s “Jokes On You,” but there’s so many it’s hard to keep up. There was a free hip-hop album I did with Dell Harris from Atlanta that came out in September just to put out feelers and get feedback, but we’re working on a whole album for 2011.

I’m not sure when that will be out, but I’d say early 2011. We’re working on a live show as well. I always play a little bit of everything, but mostly dance stuff, though I’ll sneak a few things in here and there.

Y!W: Would that come out on your label Party Like Us or Trouble & Bass?

AC: I’m not quite sure. It’s not really dance music, because it’s kind of a side thing outside of AC Slater. I’m just trying to figure out what to do with it right now since it was something we just kind of did for fun.

Y!W: You’ve been to what looks like at least a dozen countries this year. Do you stay current in every country you’re in at the time, or are you just out spreading the seed? AC: I like everything man. My taste is all over the place, so it’s actually great going to other countries to see what people are feeling and what sounds and styles other crews are pushing. You can’t really help but take it back with you when you hear something you like. It can’t help but influence you.

Y!W: What gear do you tour with?

AC: I use Serato with CDs and a laptop.

Y!W: What’s one trend in among electro and house music right now that won’t survive 2011?

AC: It’s hard to say man. Nowadays and in the past couple of years I feel like trends come and go so quickly that I feel like maybe the Dutch house sound has gotten so big that I can see that evolving a little further than what it is right now. And also dubstep is really changing a lot, always evolving. I don’t think things go away altogether like they used to, but they tend to show themselves in different ways. But for Dutch house, I think a lot of people are doing it and it’s been around for a minute. I think people will start taking it in different directions this year.

Y!W: Why the name AC Slater? Do you have a special affinity for “Saved By the Bell”?

AC: My initials are AC and when I was younger that’s what everyone called me. Whenever I was introduced to someone, they’d always make a joke about AC Slater. When I started DJing, it was kind of a joke and it stuck with me. It was a good show though.

Y!W: I hear you’re a Manhattan snob. Got any interesting recipes you want to share?

AC: I like Maker’s Mark, dry and sweet vermouth, and I got this bitters in London that’s like a rhubarb bitters. Have that on the rocks with a little cherry in there. Perfect.

Y!W: Do you carry that bitters with you on tour?

AC: No, but I probably should though, right? I probably feel like a raging alcoholic though. ‘No thanks, I brought my own.’

DJ AC Slater will hit Artistika Nightclub in Greensboro Friday at 10 p.m.

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