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Thursday, October 8, 2015

Lips & Rhythm Founder Jesse Sizmo on His Label and Favorite Sounds of Autumn

Posted By on Thu, Oct 8, 2015 at 10:17 AM

click to enlarge sizmo.jpg
When asked to describe the sound of San Francisco, DJ, record label owner, and radio show host Jesse Sizmo sums it up as “… freaky behavior, misbehavior, secret parties, techno, sexual liberation, disco, psychedelic sounds, and soulful house music.” With access to outlets like his radio show and record label Lips & Rhythm, Sizmo is able to highlight all of those elements by spotlighting local talent and up-and-coming underground artists. He also throws intimate, seasonally themed parties to feature artists on his radar, such as this Sunday’s event titled "An Autumn Adventure."  We got a chance to talk to Sizmo about his lifelong love of unique music, his favorite radio shows, and what’s currently on his music radar. An Autumn Adventure takes places this Sunday at noon at Heron Arts.

Give us a brief history of how you got into DJing.
I always played instruments in bands and messed around with records and cassette tapes when I was younger. Selecting and curating unique music has been a lifelong thing for me, but I guess I started taking DJing/mixing seriously about three years ago.

What prompted you to start Lips & Rhythm?
It came out of getting back into music after a long time pursuing other interests. I had reached a point where I wanted to do more than just write, and radio had always been a big passion of mine. I knew there was still a pirate radio station in town flying the Jolly Roger and asked if I could join rank at Radio Valencia. Combining a live DJ set with and interview really gives the listener a little more insight into an artist when they're on the show.

What's been your favorite radio show thus far?
Oh geez, this is a bit of a tough question or a trap... I've had so many talented, amazing people on it is actually way to hard to say.

You are also part of a DJ duo called Birds of Rhythm. What kind of music do you like to incorporate into your sets?
Here's a mix I recently did with my partner Soleil in Birds Of Rhythm. We did this for our friends at the London-based ARKHIVE label.

Birds of Rhythm (San Francisco) Guest Mix | September 2015 by Arkhive London on Mixcloud

When did you decide to take the plunge and start the record label aspect of Lips & Rhythm?
It was on a late night when I heard some of the awesome music my friend Che Torres had sent me to play on the air and thought, 'Yeah, okay this is rad. We could make a record, maybe just one.' I thought about it some more and there's no time like the present, so I pressed it. Someone that talented needed to be heard.

How has the reception been to the label thus far?
People like it. It seems they want more. We sold a bunch of Che's release in California and London. The EP featured SF boys Bells & Whistles and this guy coming up in L.A. called RYBO. So it was totally fresh, a lot of firsts. People that I have a lot of respect for in the San Francisco scene bought copies and generally said they liked it, so that was nice to hear. I think people also enjoy the showcases, our day parties. People get wild. This whole thing is an evolution of mediums; it's all about transferring that positive vibe from the radio show, to the dancefloor, to a vinyl record or whatever.

Who are some artists you're hoping to showcase to the world?
This guy Yasin from Paris, who constantly blows my mind.

What are some goals you have for the label and radio show?
To put out some more vinyl releases and finish a few digital projects with some new artists. There are some interesting things in store. Focusing on the sound and direction is super important, but this will all come with time. As far as the radio show goes, I really like doing field broadcasts. I've done a few out of town and I'd love to do more.

What's something you often ask yourself about the local nightlife scene?
When will someone throw a big renegade in Golden Gate Park again?

This Sunday, you'll be throwing a day party called An Autumn Adventure. What are some songs that reflect this type of feeling?
I tend to like lighter sounding stuff, deeper stuff with vocals and more organic elements, so I would have to include the following three tunes:

Kerri Chandler - "Atmospheric Beat (Original Extended Version)"

Yasin - "Conversations"

Kevin Yost - "Natural High"

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Christina Li


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