Occasionally, new DJs are thrust onto the global club and festival circuit before they’re quite ready. It could be off the back of their popular productions, or partly thanks to their contacts, or an engaging social media presence. By the time Mike Servito reached the status of an ‘international DJ’, he’d spent years earning his stripes.
Born and raised in Detroit, Servito experienced the techno scene which is so dearly respected, referenced and researched by ravers across the world. Moving to NYC in the ‘00s, he gradually built up a reputation as a passionate, energetic skilful DJ, and he became resident at Brooklyn clubnight The Bunker – a position he still holds to this day.
Five years ago, Resident Advisor referred to Mike Servito as one of Detroit and New York City’s “best kept secrets.” For some time now, the secret’s been out – Panorama Bar, Movement Detroit and Dekmantel are a few of the big gigs he’s ticked off the list. For The Face’s mix series, Servito has delivered a passionate blend of techno, house, electro and acid that’ll conjure up hazy memories of the sweaty dancefloor experience from the comfort of your home or desk.
Listen via the player above.
What makes you feel happy when you’re DJing in the club?
Getting in the zone, being in the mix, and letting the tracks speak. I love being in absolute symmetry with the music. There’s nothing greater than when everything aligns. Everyone dancing, music pumping, no distractions. Just a complete connect with the music and the dance floor. I live for that exchange. It can make a night feel electric.
What’s the vibe and direction of your Face mix?
Schizophrenic acid house Jacker.
Honestly, the mix is inspired by the live DJ mix. You have that one shot. I like that coin toss. Sometimes, obsessing over something detracts from the spirit and energy going into it. The mix is pretty representative of how I play out. It’s a mixed bag of favourites. Acid, electro, techno, and house music have always been a mainstay for me. I grew up in the Midwest on that first wave of acid house, so it’s tucked very close to my heart. There’s a decent sprinkling of British artists I’ve always admired. I have a real soft spot for British dance/electronic music history and its appreciation for Detroit and Chicago in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, and what that continues to inspire in the music today. It’s a magical and blessed era. There are touches of the past and present in there.
My mix for The Face is brash, funky and raw. It’s spontaneous, energetic and moody. I think people can relate when I say a chaotic environment can subconsciously influence what you put out there creatively. We are definitely living in chaotic times. This mix is reflective of a chaotic state of mind, unapologetically mixed for a chaotic world.
What are your hopes and fears for the New York club scene?
My hopes are that New York nightlife will continue to thrive and succeed in the face of adversity and continue to be a great outlet for us all, locally and internationally. We need healthy, inviting dance floors. And, I think we achieve that and do it well. New York is on fire!
My fears? This doesn’t apply to just New York, but I think the incubating time for DJs to grow and mature has been dissolved. We are just thrusting people into spotlights. It feels accelerated in a way I’ve never seen before. I’ve seen the evolution and de-evolution of DJ culture over the last three decades. My fear is seeing a culture fizzle and fade fast because of oversaturation and over consumption on every level. It feels hyper disposable. In today, out today. No one’s work, no one’s history matters anymore. Credentials don’t matter. That’s scary.
Any new or underground DJs on the scene we should keep our eye out for?
In New York, I love AceMo and Love Letters. They really do it for me. Such talents. I just played with Danielle in London. I really love her style. She has impeccable taste and skill. I like newer DJs and producers who seem to carry the torch for the history of true underground dance music.
Who would you most like to see on the cover of The Face?
I wish I had the face to grace your iconic magazine, but nah. I would love to see a Grace Jones cover again. She just performed in my hometown of Detroit. So, let’s say her. Iconic. Black. Female. Beautiful. Unapologetic. And Forever Bold. Grace Jones 2020 is a good look. I’m imagining it. Put some Grace in your Face!
- Luke Vibert – iSocket (Libertine Traditions)
- RAC – Tunnel Talk (Warp)
- Gescom – A2 – (Skam)
- Purveyors Of Fine Funk – State Of Mind – (Peacefrog)
- Truncate – 7_2 Limited #2 – (Truncate)
- Paranoid London – (Vi Vi) Vicious Games Dub ft. Josh Caffe – (Paranoid London)
- Acid Jesus – Radium – (Klang Elektronik)
- Reptant – The Raid – (Craigie Knowes)
- Vin Sol – Misguided Until Today – (Dark Entries)
- Bill Converse – W.A.T.B. ft. Carlos Souffront – (Dark Entries)
- The Moody Boys – Acid Heaven(Holy Mix) – (City Beat)
- Lil Louis – Jupiter – (Diamond Records)
- A Guy Called Gerald – In The Beginning – (Rham!)
- Baby Ford – Normal (Helston Flora Remix by AFX) – (Rephlex)
- Luke Vibert – iWash – (Libertine Traditions)
- Love Letters – Hey Yo Who Dat – (unreleased)
- Blotter Trax – Programmed Memories – (Frustrated Funk)
- L.A.M. – Balance Of Terror – (Hardwax)
- BBC Report on Acid House – Lights Flashing – (BBC News)