When we ask DJs to make a mix for Zatacoza, or any of our collaborative artists for that matter, we give them the general vibe of the newest collection and let them run with it. We approached Richie Racks, Toronto hip-hop and open format DJ, to take the reigns, and the results were not what we expected (in a good way). A true Parkdale legend, Richie has been involved with DJing and music since a young age, and his fresh take on our psilocybin and LSD-inspired theme has been a hit with one of the collaborative artists who listened to it while making their own Zatacoza pieces. The Psychedelic Mix is a soulful transition throughout 60s and 70s rock and roll, intertwined with audio from an old-school drug documentary (hey, you might just learn something too).
Unfurl on the shag carpet rug, plug in the lava lamp, and enjoy this uncharted ride into psychedelica.
Where does the DJ name Richie Racks comes from?
When I was young it was Rich E Rich, then DJ Gloryhole, but when I started getting gigs I needed something a little more crowd-friendly.
Smart business move indeed. Tell us about how you get to Toronto?
I grew up in a small town in Northern Ireland called Ballymena. I'm in Parkdale now, and been here since 2008.
How did you get started in DJing?
I swapped a second-gen iPod for a set of Numark turntables and was lucky to be good friends with a Ballymena DJ Legend, Michael McCrum.
We made an album together in 2006, titled, I am not your stereotype. Shout-outs Mystro, Fez, Vasco, Krab Kriminalz. It was a great way to learn how music was put together and then being able to use that going into djing.
Who have been your local DJ / Producer influences and why?
JayemKayem, Freeza, AuxGod, MikeRoc, Mxtt Hxll, Jon Chetty, Grump.
When things were normal you could see any of these ones play all within a 2km radius, I loved bar hopping to see these DJs.
In your eyes, what traits make a good DJ?
Being friendly, flexible, and fun.
Couldn’t agree more. Richie Racks, what’s your favourite Djing experience?
Opening for Majid Jordan in Paris. I’ve been friends with Majid and Jordan for a long time and have gone to watch them play all over the world. We were in Chicago in 2016, after a show the boys had an after-party at the Soho House, but when we go there the DJ's equipment wasn't working. I said I had my controller in my room and I'll DJ - they said cool, and it was a banger. I met up with them in London for part of their European tour. I was just hanging out and my boy Travvy (DJTJ) was opening, they all kept it a surprise but said I could open one of the shows. I was expecting another after-party but it was opening at the Palais de Tokyo for their concert. It was always a dream to open a proper show with a big crowd, but to do it for my friends was just an incredible experience. The crowd was amazing and the best part was when I played Kendrick MAAD city...if Pirus and Crips all got along...when it got to every time I’m in the streets I hear..." I cut the volume and the noise of 1000 people going YAK YAK YAK in unison was special, still get goosebumps. Shout-outs Majid Jordan and DJTJ for letting me do that, that was a gift I will be forever thankful for!
What a high. Have to ask, what’s your worst djing experience?
Blowing the speakers at Wayhome (Festival).
Oh no, what track did you dirty?
It was a Jay Z & Kanye in Paris x Benny Benassi Satisfaction Remix. The bass was too heavy, speakers wasn't ready.. but you kids are gonna love it.
We’re loving your take on our latest theme, tell us about this mix and why you chose the songs?
The mix is composed of mostly psychedelic rock bangers all from the late ‘60s and ‘70s. The audio clips are from a 1970 documentary called, LSD and the Hallucinogens, I thought it was a fun transition between the songs. I tried to condense a full-on psychedelic experience into a one-hour mix.
Any psychedelic experiences you would like like to share?
I once kayaked around a lake in Muskoka for 3 hours, when I came back to the cottage everyone told me there were no kayaks...
What’s your prediction for 2021?
- Summer of love 2021!
- Bitcoin hits $100k
- France win the Euros
- Mariah to be number 1 at Christmas
Thanks Richie! Make sure to follow Richie Racks on Instagram.
Summer Madness - Kool & The Gang
Everybody Loves The Sunshine - Roy Ayers
Strawberry Letter 23 - Brothers Johnson
Time Of The Season - The Zombies
The Pusher - Steppenwolf
White Rabbit - Jefferson Airplane
Light My Fire - The Doors
Spirit In The Sky - Norman Greenbaum
Dazed and Confused - Led Zeppelin
Jimi Hendrix Experience - All Along the Watchtower
Sunshine Of Your Love - Cream
Iron Butterfly - In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida
Dreams - Fleetwood Mac