Thousands pack a Liverpool club to hear the funky house beats of DJ Slater Hogan before headliner Fatboy Slim in 2000. Later dubbed the best party of the year by DJ Magazine, it marked the height of Hogan’s career.
Every aspect of Hogan’s life is a rush.
Whether he’s throwing down his jazz- and hip-hop-inspired version of modern house music within the urban appeal of the Therapy Lounge, leading his tennis players to tournament championships or gazing at the Indianapolis skyline from his downtown loft’s rooftop, Hogan is in the center of the action with humble intention.
Hogan, 36, began playing mixed CDs at frat parties before discovering a house music night at the former Patio in Broad Ripple. When DJs Andy Austin and David Hollands moved on, Hogan volunteered to spin. With 30 records and little experience, Hogan took home the Patio’s turntables and used the influences of Austin and Hollands as well as one of his Muzique Boutique label partners, DJ John Larner, to teach himself the trade.
“Electronic music is all about matching beats and really has nothing to do with musical knowledge as far as pitch and tone,” Hogan said. “I’d never played an instrument in my life. If I can learn, anyone can.”
Now spinning over a decade, Hogan has formulated a unique blend of modern house music through his lifelong love of ’70s soul, jazz, R&B and hip-hop.
“I have to entertain first, then I educate people on music styles they may not be familiar with,” Hogan said. “They may hear a vocal they relate to, and it allows the music to cross over into different crowds.”
Hogan’s 22 12-inch singles rotated on the U.K.’s Radio 1, the world’s largest electronic music station, and have catapulted him into annual Australian and European tours.
“Belgium and Australia are my hot spots,” Hogan said. “Overseas, people appreciate the art form of DJing, the blending of the music and the ability to take the energy up and down throughout the night.”
Though house music originated in the U.S. Midwest, Hogan said Americans are more interested in hearing a top 40 song. For this reason, Hogan does not pre-program his sets, but freestyles it each night according to audience taste and reaction.
“It boils down to connection with the audience. It’s fun to watch people enjoy themselves,” Hogan said. “If it all ended now, I accomplished way more than I ever imagined.”
Slater’s All-Time Top Five Dance Tracks
1. Daft Punk “Around the World”
2. Roy Ayers “Running Away”
3. Steve “Silk” Hurley and the Voices of Life “The Word is Love”
4. I: Cube “disco cubism”
5. Derrick Carter “Square Dancing in a Round House
All tracks can be found at Luna Music
Catch DJ Slater’s funky blend of Midwest house music at these venues and Web sites:
“Keepin’ it Deep” at Therapy Lounge Thursdays from 9 p.m.-3 a.m.
Lulu’s Restaurant & Lounge Fridays and Saturdays from 8 p.m.-3 a.m.
Electronic Music Fact: House music derived its name from the location where it was first played. Frankie Knuckles spinning it first, house is short for the venue in Chicago where it all began, The Warehouse.