A scant five years ago, UC Berkeley undergrad Denise Rees was an absolute nervous wreck behind the tables -- not only was it her first show, but she'd touched a turntable for the first time, well, 2 weeks before. "My hands were definitely shaking when I put the needle on each record," DJ Denise recalled in a recent interview, "I had a cheat sheet with my track listing for the night & basically went from looking at that to my next record (they were already lined up) to the turntables... I don't think I ever looked up to see if anybody was enjoying the music at all!"
It's hard to imagine the confident and charismatic queen of the Bay Area rave scene reduced to a quivering pile of nerves -- inconceivable, however, has been the trademark of a DJ Denise's firecracker career. Since that fateful show five years past, Denise's infectious energy and natural knack for beatmatching have taken her on a wild and wildly successful ride that has seen her play alongside internationally famed DJs Paul Oakenfold, Binary Finary, BT, Dave Ralph, Christopher Lawrence, Donald Glaude, and many others.
And this long, strange trip all began rather by "accident"...
"I stumbled into DJing after walking into the Trance & Jungle Factory, Thomas Trouble's old record store in Berkeley." In this chance encounter, Denise's innate ability so impressed the veteran DJ that Trouble booked her for an event only 2 weeks later. For the next 2 years, she was booked at every show Trouble produced -- DJing, it seems, chose Denise. Under the name DJ D, Denise exploded onto the hard house scene, quickly becoming one of the most sought after DJs in the Bay Area and playing an astounding 50 events in her first year gigging. In only 3 years since tripping into the Trance & Jungle factory, the recent UCB grad quit her well-paid day job as a biotech researcher to DJ full time under her new name, DJ Denise, with her new business, Mizumo Music.
With a new name came a new outlook, and Denise quickly found herself exploring genres beyond hard house. The result was her first funky house compilation, "Live at Howe House," an underground hit which not only burned new musical trails, but opened exciting doors -- no longer an energetic new-comer, Denise was now an established headliner both in the rave and club scene.
Her meteoric rise hasn't shown any signs of slowing. To the contrary, Denise is now looking to break onto the competitive national stage with one of London's premier hard house labels, Tripoli Trax (www.puregroove.co.uk). Her first licensed and nationally distributed CD (due July 2003), it will undoubtedly be another solid contribution to her library of popular self-produced mixtapes and CDs, including the recently released Volume 2 of "Live at the Howe House" series. In her tireless pursuit to make our asses wiggle and shake, Denise is always improving her already critically renowned style (including the addition of scratching in her sets -- look for it soon), and is producing her first album of original material with veteran DJ/producer Aleks (www.djaleks.com).
From trembling and talented amateur Denise Rees to hardened, hard-working and ever innovative professional DJ Denise, she has had one mission and one mission alone: not for fame, not for fortune, but to get you to get your damned groove on. Thousands upon thousands of satisfied fans can attest -- her time-tested, unique blend of banging beats and unstoppable energy is guaranteed to get you off your