Crate Diggers, presented by Discogs, is excited to make its return to Los Angeles! Now in its third year, Crate Diggers comes back to the great city of LA for the second time, hot on the heels of its international debut in Berlin. A Record Fair by day, followed by an all-night After Party featuring DJ sets by Juan MacLean, Rick Wade, and Zernell, Crate Diggers is your chance to dig and dance from noon till the wee hours of the morning! It all goes down on October 22nd, 2016 at Lot 613. In anticipation of the event, we are spotlighting some of the Record Fair’s vendors. In this installment: DJ Debo of Funk Freaks Records.
For those that may be unfamiliar, what can you tell us about the Funk Freaks crew?
The Funk Freaks crew was formed out of a necessity to represent the Funk lifestyle and subculture that was alive and strong in Southern California, especially in Orange County. We represent the blue collar hardworking people who know that music fuels and motivates us to get through the work day. Funk Freaks is a collective of DJs and veteran Boogie Funk collectors whose main objective is to represent our cultura and to never fake the Funk and always keep the Funk alive, whether it be by collecting Vinyl, organizing shows, representing our music through fashion or just throwing down at a back yard boogie aka those infamous Cali carne asada kick backs.
What is your role within the crew?
As a co-founder of the crew and CEO of Funk Freaks Records, my role consists of organizing each show, stocking up our crates with the heaviest Funk slaps all on vinyl, to find great artists to help illustrate our visions for flyers and shirts, to find talented musicians to work with for our record label, and to represent my crew to the fullest here and around the world.
Who are some of your inspirations?
street Funk Prince Charles and the City Beat Band. On the vinyl tip it’s that Blvd. Tattoo Shop Unique, Smiley, Spider, Raskal; these guys were and still are the top collectors and DJs in Orange County.
You guys have released a couple records, and I see that they are pretty collectable. Can you tell us a bit about these releases?
Confection’s “I’ve Gotta Thang 4U” was released in 2007 only on CD and when I got a copy of that CD I was playing it non-stop, especially “I’ve Gotta Thang (4U).” I contacted them years later and told them “I want to press your track.” They were all about it, and now it’s considered an Orange County classic.
Funky Drive Band’s “Funky Drive’z Me Crazy” was a track that just gave me goosebumps all the way up to the top of my head. My good friend Kashif from Lyon, France sent me the track and I told him “I must press this on vinyl.” All the artists we have worked with and would like to continue to work with are Modern Funk artists and know the sound we love.
Does Funk Freaks have any upcoming releases on the horizon?
We have a limited edition 7-inch 45 collection set which is titled Funk Freaks Street Funk Vol. 1. It will consist of three records featuring six of the world’s best Modern Funk artists and will only be released on vinyl.
The Modern Funk scene seems to be pretty tight-knit. Would you agree, and if so, to what would you attribute this?
Not necessarily, people know who the players are in this game but there is so much more talent to be found. I’ve been fortunate enough to experience the so-called Modern Funk scene not just in California but in different parts of the world as well. I would have to say that the artists and DJs that I have encountered have reflected many styles of Funk that cannot just be categorized in a Modern Funk sound.
Where can people in SoCal find you guys out there doing your thing?
You can catch us every last Friday of the month at Original Mike’s in downtown Santa Ana where we play nothing but rare Funk grooves, all on vinyl. For those who can’t make it out to our shows you can tune in every Thursday morning to my radio show “Don’t Fake The Funk” on 88.9fm KUCI from 2 to 4AM, also online at KUCI.org. We are the originators of the Funk scene in O.C., nuff said.
Are there any records that you are hoping to find at Crate Diggers?
Hopefully a holy grail Boogie Funk 12-inch like Mid Air “Ease Out” or a super slap 45 like The Townsends “Under The Whip”! It hasn’t happened in a while, but at the end of the day it’s the thrill of the hunt and the knowledge that is collected in the excavation that keeps my curiosity going and my fingers in the crates.
What can people expect to find at your table at Crate Diggers?
We will have strictly Funk, Boogie Funk, Vocoder Funk, Synth-Funk, Talkbox, Disco Boogie, Hip Hop, Breaks, and Modern Soul at our booth; also all the best Modern Funk from around the world, as well as tons of European picture sleeve 12-inches and 45s, which I have brought back from touring in Europe; also some of our Funk Freaks merchandise and limited all vinyl mix CDs at our table. “Don’t trip if it skips” is our saying since we only mix with vinyl.
Crate Diggers LA, presented by Discogs, takes place on October 22nd, 2016 at Lot 613. The epic FREE event begins with a Record Fair at noon, featuring some of the finest area vendors and 6 local DJs. The After Party goes from 9PM till 4AM (!), and features DJ sets from Juan MacLean, Rick Wade, and Zernell. Stay tuned to the Crate Diggers LA Facebook event page for more information!