DJ profile: Indy's industrial giant 

Mister E DJ promotes synth samples and all-ages shows

Known in the industrial music circuit as Mister E DJ, the elusive Indianapolis, Ind.-based beat matcher and promoter has helped intensify the Midwest scene since he first spun at raves in 1993. From behind the scenes, he has booked regional shows for everyone from Haujobb to Razed in Black, garnering support even from Dancing Ferret, which enabled him to perform at a Dracula’s Ball in Philadelphia, Penn., early in 2006.

One of the original Circle City DJs, Mister E began working with DJs Spectre, Copper Top and Alyda Stoica in 1998 on B.O.G. Productions. The group started the first gothic-industrial club nights in Indy, moving from the Melody Inn to Fusion as Darwin’s Theory, then to The Vault as Strange Days, and now as the current Freak Show every Thursday night at The Vault. Originally, all-ages events at the Emerson Theater and the Purple Underground made it easy for younger dark music fans to socialize, but with Indianapolis’ liquor laws, those events are now reserved for ages 21 and older. Mister E hopes to change that.

“If you’re 18 and can go to a bar, it definitely helps your club scene,” he says. “I’ve been talking to venues to get a monthly all-ages event going. I’d like to incorporate bringing in bands like Hungry Lucy and Zoica, who don’t have a lot of [complex] sound requirements.”

According to Mister E, what the scene really has going for it is that electronic and industrial DJs are perceived by the public more as performers and musicians than as manual CD changers, like some sports bar DJs.

Beat matches, crossfades and synth samples make his tracks hot. “I use two Denon DNS-3000s, a DJM-500 Mixer and Stanton headphones. Sometimes I use my laptop and a program called Virtual DJ,” he says.

Touring as a DJ at the former 1470’s West in Dayton, Ohio, the Main St. Lounge in Louisville, Ky., and Berlin Nightclub in Chicago, Ill., has influenced his style, as has his consistent interest in musical performance. “I’ve always played some sort of instrument — percussion, violin, trumpet and piano,” Mister E says. He was even in high school choir.

Recently joining Danz Poeta as a live keyboardist and backing vocalist, he looks forward to getting on stage again. While away from the limelight, Mister E collects the newest industrial compilations, as well as comics, where, appropriately, he derived his moniker. But for now, you can hear him spin at The Vault on Thursdays — everything from VNV Nation to Combichrist.

“It’s crunchy, noisy and aggressive music to dance to,” he says. “Some places I might take more chances by flipping through my CDs and playing something I may not ever have listened to.”

A true professional, Mister E keeps most of his socializing to nights he isn’t DJing. “I’m there to work, not to pass out drunk,” he says. So he will continue booking national acts to perform Midwest shows, improving the overall nightclub atmosphere for industrial music fans. “I want to keep a forward momentum going,” he adds.

Mister E DJ performs on keyboard with Jamie Vitro in the ambient goth band Danz Poeta on Wednesday, Dec. 27 at the final Anything Goes night at the Melody Inn. The show starts at 9 p.m. for 21 and up; cover is $5.

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