David "CIK" Sankey on How the SWAT Team Busted Up His Rave Set
Underground dance parties are kinda like a second home to Tempe resident David Sankey. Or, more specifically, his beat-juggling alter ego CIK. Pick up one of those typically cartoonish four-color fliers for the next big off-the-radar affair or desert party and its almost guaranteed you'll see the 36-year-old's moniker listed amidst a sea of other local DJs (usually sandwiched between Robotek and Mando). For instance, you can catch him at next month's Bubble Bobble 5 in Mesa.
David "CIK" Sankey
And while some teenyboppers will take their first steps into a rave new world of glowsticks, heavy beats, and candy kids, such things are old hat to CIK, who's been a part of the Valley dance party scene for 14 years now. He prefers raves to ordinary club gigs, excels at spinning genres you'd typically hear at some warehouse party (like happy hardcore or gabber), and he's pretty much seen anything and everything take place at such events. That includes catching ravers in flagrante delicto or witnessing SWAT officers fully loaded for bear storm a party he was getting ready to perform at. Sankey shared his memories of that particularly alarming incident when Up on the Sun recently spoke with him.
Name: David Sankey
AKA: CIK, Hardcore Dave, The Senator
Preferred genres: Hardcore techno, industrial techno, industrial hardcore, and gabber are what I'm most well known for. However I do sometimes play house under an alias (Inspector Mustache).
Why do you dig those particular genres?
The second rave I went to, I saw a Japanese hardcore DJ by the name of DJ Tact and this guy was so ill you would think was a ninja. He did everything but backflips behind the turntables, and the energy of the music was what really took hold of me.
I am currently more focused on music production but I do have gigs in the pipeline including Bubble Bobble 5 on March 23.
How did you get into the DJ game?
In 1998, my mentor DJ Spitfire started to settle down and start a family, so he asked me if I'd like to buy his record collection and that's ultimately how it began.
What separates you from other rank-and-file DJs?
That's a tough one because a lot of the local DJs are ok with being a "superstar" in the state of Arizona. That was never my goal. Most people need to look a little further outside of the box, it's my opinion that most locals in the Phoenix scene are not appreciated for what they do on a global scale, if they're doing anything at all.
My focus was to expand my brand, and expose people to my performances to different audiences where it counts. DJ's have the chance to go any place they want, it's all about how you go about setting and achieving your goals.
Do you have a particular mantra?