Morning Becomes Eclectic 30th Anniversary Interviews: Jason Bentley
Jason Bentley spends four nights a week in the basement studios of KCRW at Santa Monica College. 20 years ago that was virtually the job description of a DJ, but Jason's one of those DJ that didn't exist 20 years ago. He's as likely to be found talking music on the radio as he is to be spinning to four city block's worth of dancing revelers in downtown Los Angeles.
If you've enjoyed "Metropolis" on KCRW or his Friday midnight show "Afterhours" on KROQ, you know that what he plays is more than just a mindless string of club tracks at 150 BPM. At lot of DJs working in the same genre play sets that are the musical equivalent of a snake eating itself by the tail. You can't tell where it begins and where it ends. You're actually interested when Jason back announces a set.
To hear what Jason plays, tune in to KCRW Monday and Wednesday through Friday, KROQ on Friday midnight or check him out a cool sounding free event at the Music Center called Uptown Underground on September 22 (more details below). To hear what Jason says when he's not playing records, please keep reading.
LAist: How does producing a radio show with a small handful of people and no one watching compare to spinning at something like a live Giant Village event with a large crew and the potential of thousands of eyeballs (and ears) on you?
Bentley: I do feed off of the crowd at a live gig. It's a powerful thing, being in the DJ booth at a club. I love it. Playing in the studio is much different, and hard to compare. I love that too, but it's much more of a controlled environment. In the studio you can explore different moods, while in clubs the DJ is pressed to move the crowd and keep the energy up so there's less of an overall range possible.