December 12, 2011


What is in a name, better yet, what is in a DJ name? Could it make or break a budding DJ, does it really matter at all? Well, at the end of the nite talent truly is much more important, but a name does matter, especially when it comes to DJs. For example, no matter how diverse a singers collective works are, they are all a representation of that artist and their journey. In fact, the more diverse their creations, the more highly we think of them as an artist, usually.

DJs on the other hand are defined by their sound, and as limiting a human condition as it may be, we usually pigeonhole DJs into a very tight spot. Though their sound may be an amalgamation of a few different genres, it still represents a cohesive sound, and their name is understandably inextricably tied to that sound. Imagine a DJ showing up for a Hip Hop party and deciding instead he wanted to play some hard edged Tech House or vice versa. This is a common issues many DJs face, so, it comes as no surprise that many of them have more than one name. One DJ who has gone by more than most is Maceo Plex. At least, that’s what he’s going by now.

His real name is Eric Estornel, he is of Cuban descent, and grew up in Texas. He was bitten by the DJ bug as a young teen and by 15 was rocking his first pair of turntables. He didn’t just want to be a DJ though, Estornel knew early on that he wanted to produce his own music and immediately set off to make that happen. By the time the 21st century was upon us, he was a well known DJ in the Rave scene and producer on the verge. He released his first production, a 12” with two tracks ‘Shoebox-Vox’ and ‘Uplift-Drift’ in 1999 under the name Tali Wackas on the short-lived label Illmatic Records – he might have a few other tracks out there under some other names, but we move on.

Estornal opened up the new decade with the name Maetrik, the name under which he has released the most work to this day. Over the years he has used the names Mariel Ito, Plaex, Eric Entity, and most recently Maceo Plex. Regardless of the name, he was soon spinning far and wide at clubs all around the globe and becoming known for his very technical and creative live sets. His production work took off even more; he has released or appeared on an impressive collection of singles, EPs, and remixes on a slew of underground labels such as Cocoon, Treibstoff, Mothership, Audiomatique, Immigrant, Affected, Modern Love, and more. He has released at least three albums, two as Maetrick, ‘Quality Excusrion’, and ‘Casi Profundo’, and his most recent ‘Life Index’, under the name Maceo Plex, the name he uses for his more Deep House sounds.

No matter what name he is using, Maetrick or Maceo Plex, you can always count on technically savvy and complex, yet ethereal productions – play close attention to those thick thumping kicks that you feel deep in your chest, and his melodies that envelope you in grooves so sweet you will find it hard to sit still. Bottom line is that when you fall into his groove, you won’t care what his name is, you’ll just know you like it.




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