Selective. Maria909 (Def Mix). Defining Moments from a New York Institution
Growing up in Brooklyn, Maria909 was exposed to everything that NYC had to offer. But it was the city’s vibrant techno scene that peaked her interest above all else. She went on to promote some of the biggest and most influential techno events in the city, but roughly six years ago, Maria somehow found her way into one of house music’s biggest institutions, Def Mix. Learning from the best, Judy Weinstein, she has become a key member of the Def Mix family. We caught up with Maria to hear about where she comes from and then offer her ‘selective‘ thoughts on her top moments with Def Mix.
You are someone who can say that they actually grew up in Brooklyn and did not migrate there, how did you first become exposed to nightlife?
I think the question is how was one not exposed to it? Music was everywhere in the streets back in the 70’s / 80’s & 90’s. It was the social media of the day especially in my neck of Brooklyn. (My brothers being 14 years my senior also helped) My mom used to take me to The Roller Palace every Saturday religiously from the age of 5, I lived there on the weekends till they closed. It was all down hill from there.
You promoted some of the best techno parties that the city had to offer. What were some of your favorite events?
There is over 20 years of history of events, there are so many fond moments. Every Twisted Thursday, Friday Future Shock & Saturday Soul to Soul at the Limelight. Every Burst party at the Palladium and all of the Hardcore parties we had at Tunnel. Between Siege, Nicky Fingers, Rob Gee, Lenny Dee, Grin, Decipher, Anthony Acid, Repete, Gonzo & Corbett (to name a few), musically we were off the chains…. This is not even covering all of the raves that were going on or all the smaller parties and after hours… NYC was literally non stop and for a 4 year period of my life and I was out promoting a minimum 6 nights a week.
here is a tiny list of some parties -
Every single Jeff Mills party since Limelight. Especially the ones that Sleepy & Boo produced, they put so much love into all those events and made them some of the most memorable parties with him in NYC.
The French Connection party at The Limelight that was produced with Dave Function & Alan Sax. We saw the likes of: The Driver/Manu Le Malin, Kraft, Torgull and Laurent Ho.
The Legend (Hardcore Techno) Parties at Limelight that was produced with DJ Siege
The 20 year Industrial Strength Records party we did at Public Assembly in 2011 to name a few.
There has obviously been some changes to NYC nightlife over the years – what are some things that you miss?
You miss everything that has passed in life, even the bad. You miss the way you experienced things as they happen for the first time. I miss the newness and rawness of it all, if that makes any sense.
Its no secret that you have a techno soul (and we will not tolerate anyone implying that techno has no soul!) What are your thoughts on the current state of techno?
The current state of techno… the new generation of kids took techno and gave order to a music that was created to go against everything that was order of the time. The commercialization of techno has polished the distortion of it all. Luckily the rebels, the humans who were always a resistance in the underground stayed true to the distortion of it and you can see a rising of the chaos of it all again.
Who are some artists that are still impressing you?
Jeff Mills will always impress me because he is always searching and seeking new things that do not conform to popular demand. I am just going to list talent without a description of why, that will take forever! Lenny Dee and all things Industrial Strength & Hard Electronic, Adam X and all things Sonic Groove, Black Asteroid, Fuction, Regis, Silent Servant, Minimum Syndicate, TR101, Ontal, Delta Dave/Delta 9, Manu le Malin/The Driver, Shawn O’ Sullivan, Anthony Parasole, Victor Calderone, Perc, Rrose, Underground Resistance, The Horrorist... there is so much amazing dark techno out there that gives cerebral massages and I am going into overload and forgetting to mention so much more!
Despite the techno soul, you work for one of house music’s institutions, Def Mix. How did you become involved with Def Mix?
About 6 years ago I decided to go back to school and get my degree in broadcasting and communications. Half way through, life happened and I had to go back to work. While at a Sleepy & Boo party with either David Morales or Frankie Knuckles, Begona (Boo) told me of an opening at Def Mix and introduced me to Judy Weinstein. Judy asked me what I was doing with my life and is been quite the experience ever since.
On the Def Mix tip, Maria presents her ‘selective.’ – top moments with Def Mix
Every moment at Def Mix is a top moment.
WMC of 2011
This was my first time going away with the company and truly experiencing magic. I made lifelong friends that became my family and This was the moment that I finally realized that I was blessed and lucky to be a part of a dynasty.
Def Mix plays host to two spectacular events, first on on Tuesday, March 8th and the second on Thursday, March 10th.
Tuesday, March 8th Frankie Knuckles will take us to the Official WMC opening event at The Vagabond in Downtown Miami. Joining Frankie behind the decks will be David Morales and HectorRomero. Guests will be treated to a very special performance by the legendary Jamie Principle performing the reproduced Frankie Knuckles’ classic “Your Love” and a new forthcoming single “I’ll Take You There”.
Thursday, March 10th Def Mix & Glamsta Records Present theDavid Morales “Resurrection” album preview party. The daytimepool party at the Shelborne Hotel will feature DJ’s David Morales, Quentin Harris, Hector Romero, and following in his father’s footstepsBrandon Morales. A special appearance by Def Mix Godfather Frankie Knuckles will top off the event. Performing selections from Morales’ album will be Ultra Nate’, Jonathan Mendelsohn, Tamra Keenan & Lisa Pure sponsored by Ultra Music.
Def Mix, Ultra Music & Roberto Buchelli In association with Dance Here Now Invite you to a Private Affair Celebrating the release of The New David Morales Album “CHANGES”
Thursday June 14, 2012 starting 10pm @ Cielo
18 little W12th Street New York
Polina * Tamra Keenan * Janice Robinson * Jonathan Mendelsohn
Frankie Knuckles * Hector Romero * Quentin Haris
& Guest Of Honor
Frankie Knuckles Boiler Room NYC DJ Set
This was very special to me because it meant everything that the youth of today who is predominantly into techno wanted to have a night with Frankie. Special Thanks to Zara Wladawsky & Charles Dagma for pushing to make this happen. It’s a moment with Frankie that was captured on film forever.
All the nights where the Def Mix Guys play 718 Sessions.. that basement is on FIRE!
SUNDAY DECEMBER 8TH – DANNY KRIVIT 718 SESSIONS HOLIDAY CLASSICS PARTY! @ SANTOS
Next up… 718 Sessions – Sunday December 8th,
A night of pure classics, when Benny Soto presents…
+ Downstairs Special Guest
VERY SPECIAL GUEST FRANKIE KNUCKLES
The last moment I share with you is a bittersweet one… It is The Frankie Knuckles Memorial, April 22, 2013
With his passing it truly taught me the lesson that life does not stop for the living. We did not just lose a family member that meant something only to a select few, we lost a man who has touched the souls of millions of people. There was just too much to do to be able to take time out from reality to grieve. I was grateful for that because it kept me busy and was able to be a part of giving a great human an amazing tribute of a life truly lived. I love and miss you every day Frankie… I will never be able to trip you again.