Sep 01, 2015
The Digitally Imported Dial 20: House

We’re back with our weekly series with Digitally Imported, The Digitally Imported Dial, where we highlight some of the best channels and shows available on the Web’s premier electronic music streaming radio platform. Every channel is curated by hand, so we’re hearing from the men and women behind the scenes how they bring us the music we love.

In the lineup of Digitally Imported’s almost 90 channels of electronic music, House is an absolutely essential offering. DI House has been around for over a decade now, and recently got back its original curator, Jolene Poydar, as the channel director. Learn about her Missouri house roots, the sound she feels defines “house,” and more in our interview below.

Perhaps surprisingly, Jolene first fell in love with house music in Missouri:

I’m originally from the San Francisco Bay Area. During college, I lived in Missouri and London. After a brief return to SF, I was drawn to New York and have been here ever since. The ironic thing is, I discovered and fell in love with house music in Missouri. There was a tiny, dark club that had a DJ from Chicago and he would play house music every weekend — and every weekend, I was there to dance. It’s still how I like my house music: in a sweaty, small, dark club. I started DJing in college, back when there weren’t many female DJs. When I moved to NY, I had to take a break for a few years because I couldn’t afford rent AND records! But eventually, I found my way back and chose DJing for a career. In New York, I’ve played bigger clubs and had residencies at bars and clubs all over town. I’ve also traveled to different parts of the globe to DJ.

Jolene’s house tastes were originally gleaned from the Chicago curators of the sound:

My house appreciation was formed by the Chicago sound. I still always veer towards a raw, sexy track with a real funky bassline. With that said, there are so many other beautiful forms of house music. I’m influenced by Frankie Knuckles’ melodic keyboards, snippets of Tony Humphries’ gospel vocals, Jeno’s (Wicked Crew) selection of psychedelic instrumentals, and Naked Music’s funky guitars. As long as it has a smart song structure and makes me feel something, chances are it will end up on the DI House channel. But as our fan base has pointed out, I truly can’t say “no” to a funky bassline.

Jolene was the founder of the DI House channel, and has recently taken the reins once again:

I was the founder of the house channel back in 2002, and painstakingly encoded all of my music from vinyl to mp3s. After five years, I had to step down because of my hectic schedule. I’ve just recently become channel manager again! So if I may be so bold, I’d say that my new monthly show “Colorsplash Mixes” featuring DJ Jolene premiering on Sept. 2 at 1 p.m. would be my favorite (every 4th Wednesday)!

Fred Everything and Maxxi Soundsystem are some of Jolene’s favorite artists to play on the channel:

I’m drawn to producers that have an intelligent musical background. Fred Everything, Olivier Desmet, Maxxi Soundsystem, Giom, Inland Knights, Johnny Fiasco, Charles Webster, and Jimpster are my top picks, to name a few.

Jolene also gave us a list of some of the best tracks she’s found while curating the DI House channel:

There are some songs that simply stop me in my tracks and force me to listen. Here are a few that have done just that:

Logic Box – Liquid
Furry Phreaks ft. Terra Deva – Want Me (Like Water)
Roots & Wings – Come Over To My Place
Nice 7 – Time To Get Physical
Asadinho & Ingrid Hakanson – Love Capacity (Lonely Boys Max Capacity Rework)

We asked how Jolene stays involved in listener feedback, and how she knows what the audience enjoys most:

That’s an interesting question because I’ve just recently re-adopted the channel. I am currently listening to the channel along with the listeners to see which songs fit into my concept of the DI House channel overall. There will be some fine tuning over the next couple of months to make sure that it is staying true to the house sound. Listener votes and comments hugely influence what needs to be kept or taken off, and where the channel will head in the future.

Most of the artists on DI House are underrated, in Jolene’s opinion:

Because I select underground house music, I’d say most everyone on the playlist is underrated. But there is something truly inspiring about people producing music for the love of the music alone. I think, somehow, it makes for the best house music possible.

Listen to the Digitally Imported House channel here.

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Download the Digitally Imported app here.