DJ Tony Moran’s Arctic Babylon set promises to be anything but chill
From deep and dark to dramatic and soaring, DJs come in every style and stripe. For artists like Tony Moran, though, nothing beats a fun time on the dance floor. A songwriter, producer and remixer whose clients have included Janet Jackson, Donna Summer and Gloria Estefan, Moran infuses his energetic sets with breezy pop. Only recently having returned to playing parties after more than a decade of mostly studio work, the New York-based mixer quickly earned his circuit cred at events like the Montreal’s Black and Blue and Fire Island’s Zenith parties.
Now a featured DJ in the fifth annual Babylon tour this year dubbed “Arctic Babylon” Moran will spend the summer spreading ecstatic grooves to 21 cities across North America. To herald the Dallas stop at Station 4 next Saturday the jock divulged details about his favorite old-school tracks and the life of a circuit spinner.
Characterize your sound: Happy, fun house music. Music that makes you wanna throw your hands in the air.
When do you sleep? I’ve been doing this for so long that my inner time clock is set for night hours. I usually don’t wake up until well after noon. It drives my friends and my publicists crazy.
How has the circuit scene evolved since you started out? I started playing the circuit right after 9/11. At the time, club music was dark, with heavy monotonous beats. It was a sign of the times. In the past couple of years, the music has become happier again. Vocals are big on today’s dance floor. They’re certainly essential on mine.
What’s in your suitcase, traveling man? Tank tops and clean underwear. Also, toothpaste and floss: Those two are very important.
Craziest thing you’ve witnessed from the DJ booth: At New York Pride a few years ago, a guy climbed the scaffolding and started swinging from the lights. It was pretty scary. The police pulled him down and took him away in handcuffs. I want none of that at Arctic Babylon, Dallas!
How many records are in your personal collection? Tens of thousands. A lot of DJs have switched to CDs and MP3s, but I stilly prefer my vinyls.
First record you ever purchased: Anita Ward’s “Ring My Bell.”
First album you embraced from start to finish? I was a huge fan of Michael Jackson’s “Off the Wall.” I knew every word. I probably still do.
Tracks spur your nostalgia: Duran Duran’s “Hungry Like A Wolf” takes me back to high school. Lisa Lisa’s “All Cried Out” reminds me of when I was first starting in the business.
Best music for making out: Anything by Luther Vandross. He was the king of romance songs.
What do you listen to other than dance music? Classical especially Mozart and Bach.
Best memories from previous gigs in Dallas? The Purple Party, two years ago. Here I was, a Latin guy, in the middle of a sea of blonde muscle boys. I was in heaven.
Possess any non-musical talents? I can cook a mean pot of chili.
Tony Moran spins at the Arctic Babylon tour
at Station 4, 3911 Cedar Springs Road. July 13
at 9 p.m. $10, advance, $15 at door.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, July 6, 2007.