Dylan Drazen – DJ Biography
No discussion of underground techno purism and technical DJ mastery would be complete without the mention of Dylan Drazen’s uniquely remarkable life and career, and the myriad of musical influences it has brought. Conforming to no one person, genre or entity, Dylan has fiercely charted his own path since his sonic journey began over thirty years ago.
With the outset of Drazen’s path arriving in the early 90’s at the age of 18, a crescendo would already manifest in the late 90’s when Spain took note of his visionary methods and pioneering sound during the earliest days of the Internet, and he quickly became an originating stalwart of its nationwide underground techno scene for years, putting in over a million air miles commuting from his New York base, crisscrossing the Iberian peninsula many times over, as fans couldn’t get enough of his relentlessly energetic, organic and authentic rhythms that were so novel to a generation of partygoers.
Yet at the height of all this in the mid 2000s Dylan became swept up in the worldwide poker boom and found himself at a crossroads with dual careers. Maintaining both for nearly a decade, he decided to relocate to South Florida in 2012 to take poker more seriously and music took a back seat. By 2020, Dylan’s poker talent would bring him over $1 million in cash and tournament winnings. Then the pandemic hit, the world ground to a halt and everything was reset as he noticed fans begging for his return, bringing him to yet another crossroads…
So let’s reset.
Dylan’s exposure to multiple forms of music began at the age of 16 getting his first job working at his local record store on Long Island, NY. He quickly gravitated to electronic music, heavily inspired by what New York’s FM airwaves had to offer well before the hiphop era would take over. That summer he would sneak out to NYC and into his first club experience, The Limelight, where he instantly fell in love with its debaucherous environment and DJ booth, which he vowed to get into.
By graduation in 1993 he was beyond hooked. Before heading off to college, he took that summer to intern at a few Manhattan based labels: Todd Terry’s Freeze Records, as well as Astralwerks and Instinct Records. All the while insatiably crate digging through NY’s various vinyl shops, Dylan’s teen self was already swimming in local contacts and influences.
But college awaited, and throughout his time at Boston’s Emerson College (obtaining a degree in audio engineering) he launched a weekly radio mix show called “Underground 88” on WERS 88.9 FM through 1997, working his contacts and continuing to hone his technical skills live on air. During these formative years Dylan maintained working at various vinyl shops in NY and Boston doggedly advancing his exposure to every genre imaginable, thus contributing to his encyclopedic knowledge of electronic dance music and all of the wide-ranging influences it would bring him. As a byproduct, his position enabled him to recommend tracks to and influence the taste of bedroom DJs and a myriad of luminaries alike.
Through these years, he even made good on his promise to play at The Limelight before it closed, as well as other infamous New York megaclubs like The Tunnel, Twilo and Save The Robots. And thanks to his stint as an assistant engineer at The Looking Glass Studios where David Bowie was recording his latest album in 1997, Dylan was hired to DJ Mr. Bowie’s private 50th birthday party after his sold out birthday performance at Madison Square Garden.
But by the turn of the millennium it was off to the races and Dylan was spending more time on the road than at home, as he found himself in demand not only in Spain, but also in The Netherlands headlining the Awakenings festival three times, as well as other major events and festivals in Germany, Brazil, Japan, and Colombia, spreading his unique form of techno gospel one city at a time.
Between journeys Dylan made the most of his audio degree by building out his own studio in Brooklyn, releasing a handful of original releases and remixes on some of America’s more influential labels of the era: François K.’s Clicktracks; Ascend; Blueline; Remains; and Ultra Records. Even after moving to South Florida in 2012, Dylan continued to work on remixes for other Spanish and European labels.
Then as Dylan began to go dark quietly diving head first into South Florida’s world of high stakes poker, he made sure to finalize the curation of his life’s work on his website and SoundCloud page, with that nagging feeling he would one day return…
That day arrived in 2021 when Dylan decided to look for work as a local DJ in his current residence of Fort Lauderdale and its saturation of gay nightlife. To his surprise, there existed a small but thriving underground electronic scene right in his backyard, so he decided to jump right in. Those couple years helped pave his way back and he now feels just as comfortable in today’s booths as he did 20 years prior. Getting tapped to play Ramrod’s prestigious monthly Pig Dance in 2023 sealed the deal.
Determined to not stop there, now Dylan Drazen is primed and ready to return to the world’s electronic stage showing modern audiences how 30 years of sonic mastery, experience and musical influences can be put on brilliant display in a single set.