Collective Chaos on Misconceptions About Scottsdale DJs
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Collective Chaos: MastaMonk (left) and Thomas James.
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"Four turntables, two DJs, one powerful sound." That's the phrase that the computer-generated vocal drop states at the beginning of Collective Chaos' epic, hourlong megamix "Riot," and it's a pretty fitting description of the DJ/production team of MastaMonk and Thomas James.
The duo, which regularly haunts such Old Town Scottsdale joints as Smashboxx and El Hefe, is mostly known for its high-energy club ragers, which causes the Forever 21-wearing crowd to lose their shit via electro and dubstep-heavy bootlegs and remixes. MastaMonk and James admit, however, that they're in the process of mixing in more original tracks into both their sets and upcoming EP, which should drop sometime later this year.
"At first remixing was our bread and butter, but now we are really focusing on creating a unique sound that people will instantly recognize as Collective Chaos," they say. "With our new EP coming out, I'm sure people will be excited to rock out to our new sound."
See what else that the pair had to say, including why they're a cut above other local EDM/producer duos, in this week's edition of DJ Dossier.
Names: Anthony Martinez Biggers, Jr. and Thomas James Hanson
AKA: MastaMonk and Thomas James
Genres: Collective Chaos combines the electro infused sounds and intricate mixing skills of DJ Thomas James and the live keyboarding, turntablism, remixing abilities, and hip-hop background of DJ MastaMonk to provide an experience like none other.
What's the origin story behind Collective Chaos?
We used to be roommates and jammed out together all the time. During that time [we] found out that our different styles worked very well together and decided to try out a duo for fun. A little over two years later and it hasn't stopped yet.
Where have you performed?
Collectively and individually we have played many venues, probably too many to name, but a highlight would definitely have to be when we played [for] 5,000 people at Mesa Amphitheater with Lupe Fiasco. It was an unreal experience.
Which bygone clubs do you miss the most?
Thomas James: I've had some really good times at Myst. Opening up for Above and Beyond was a surreal experience and being able to talk with three of my inspirations and be spoken to as a peer was great.
MastaMonk: Six. It's where I got my Scottsdale start. Dirty Pretty and PCL are a close second. Being able to see Arizona legends like Fashen and D-JR on a weekly basis...I was spoiled.
What's the craziest shit you've seen at a gig?
El Hefe's Sundays get pretty wild, but one week some poor girl was dancing on a booth and fell off to a dull thud. The entire party stopped for what seemed like an hour -- in actuality only seconds -- but then out of nowhere she popped up from what everyone thought was surely death with her drink still in hand and the party went on. After that day they installed a retractable safety bar known as the "Tommy Bar."