From the Streets of Seattle: PrEssHa
I first met my good friend and fellow redneck DJ family member PrEssHa (aka Matthew Thomas McGiveron) at the Produkt Dance studio in south Seattle where a Friday night’s festivities had slid right over into the next afternoon, and we were all lazing about, smoking and drinking and listening to music and dancing on the big splintery floor. “PrEssHa, play some techno! PrEssHa, play some dub step! PrEssHa, play some glitch!” It didn’t seem to matter what genre it was; what the people wanted was what the people got and for hours Matt delivered it with a slick style and a smile.
Since that afternoon I have gotten to know PrEssHa and have learned that his easy nature and recurring smile are part of his fun personality as much as his extreme versatility is part of his performance. One of my favorite experiences was around midnight at Operation Apex out on Vantage River, I was asleep and cuddling in my tent with a couple friends after a crazy day, and my girl Lynzie nudges me. “Do you here those bass beats?” she said, “It’s PrEssHa.”
Sure enough, booming down the sandy river beach and right into my ears was the unmistakable sound of PrEssHa throwing down some heavy bass about two hundred yards away, coming from beyond the tree-sheltered d&b stage from the insanely windy and cold beach stage. I got my ass up out of the warm tent, put on a few more layers, grabbed the long PVC pipe I like to twirl and RAN to the beach where PrEssHa was playing. There with the maniacal wind and crashing river waves, amongst the campfires and beach rocks and tripping party kids, I danced, under the fat moon and the star-lit waves. It is one of the many dance floor experiences imprinted in my brain forever. By the end of his set a whole crowd of people had gathered to dance to the bass, inclement weather be damned. It was the best set of the weekend which had no shortage of good music and talented DJs.
I told PrEssHa the next day that you know you are a good DJ when people get up OUT of nice warm tents and brave the 50mph wind and RUN to hear your set- but there are many more reasons why PrEssHa rocks. Here they are:
PrEssHa is one of the most versatile DJs in Seattle and throws down sick beats from techno to hip-hop to dub step to breaks to electro house to drum and bass to glitch hop. Immersed in the party and responsive to the desires of his audience, PrEssHa loves to create a scorching dance floor riot and you will find him in clubs all over the city having as much fun as the dancers getting down to the blazing beats.
A musician from a young age, PrEssHa picked up sheet music at 13 and quickly learned to play everything from the trumpet to the drum kit. His first foray into the world of electronic arts came when he discovered the turntable in Myrtle Beach while pimping for the US Navy, and he lit up the barracks nightly with a pair of Gemini belt drive turntables and a pieced-together pawn shop mixer. A DJ was born.
Starting off from a background mixing hip hop with classic rock, PrEssHa soon discovered breaks and was hooked on the hefty, chunky, dance-friendly beats. The DJ name of PrEssHa fell on him, literally, when a huge chunk of ceiling and dust collapsed onto the decks during his set. Staying cool and collected and not missing a beat, he continued to play and the MC at the party dubbed him PrEssHa, for playing under it. Adding more significance, the capitalized letters in his name stand for Pure Electronic Harmony. Indeed.
Back home in the Puget Sound area, PrEssHa kept partying and could be found on a nightly basis carrying around a simple set of Technics, a pair of Kenwood house speakers and a Fisher amp, making him a welcome sight at house party after house party where he would rock out for the love of the game. His talent and passion gained some promoters’ attention and soon PrEssHa was brought in to play shows for big names in the local hip-hop scene- Tech N9ne, Spice 1, Twista. He made his mark at his first main stage event, Apocalypse, at the Qwest Field Events Center with headliners Darude, Omar Santana, and many others. PrEssHa would soon be playing all over Seattle, his name on the lips of club kids and partygoers citywide.
PrEssHa currently holds residences at Noc Noc and The Jet, and regularly lights dance floors on fire at Trinity, Last Supper Club, Contour, Heavens, and many more clubs around Seattle. He has opened for Donald Glaude, Simply Jeff, Keith McKenzie, Adam F, Bachelors of Science, and Ninjatunes “Nanquan”; his first release “The Interpretation” had over 1,000 copies on the streets followed up by his new mix CD “The Resolution” which is out now, booming out of speakers all over the city streets.
PrEssHa was also voted to “The Best of 2007” on The Vortex 89.5, an electronic music program loved in Seattle and known worldwide. He also recently experienced Burning Man for the first time, and like all great artists was heavily inspired by the vast array of music on offering and came home to Seattle with a new appreciation of the wide variety of music coursing this planet’s veins as well as a renewed love for down tempo.
Right now this most diverse DJ is deep into the mid tempo, dubby, glitch-hop sound that is sweeping the West Coast, and as one of the pioneers of the un-named, bass-heavy genre in the Seattle electronic music community PrEssHa will most definitely continue to lay new twists to whatever he is playing, and we will no doubt continue to dance.