Inside the mind…… DJ Noumenon

Noms BTI FInal


MARIA- A Noumenon production

Hip Hop is a culture that has inspired generations of heads. Emceeing, Breaking, graffiti and of course Djing have given many people a path to a career they love. A career that is built around the vibrancy, love, and passion that is exudes from Hip Hop and it’s music.

DJ Noumenon is one those artists. The word NOUMENON means a state of level or being reached without using the five senses. When you hear him play you will overstated that definition for sure. From his roots in Albany, Ny to building a  career in N. Caroliinaaaaaaa! (He keeps his shirt on though)  to the National Director of Scratch DJ Academy, to now holding down multiple residencies in New York City, where the quality music rules all. This is a look inside the mind of the Ascot cap wearing, 90’s movies quoting, laughter inducin DJ Noumenon.

Noms trajectory  toward a career as a DJ began in Albany with his parents record collection. Three artists that remind him of growing up, and his  records from home. STEELY DAN, STEVIE WONDER, PHOEBE SNOW. No one is his family was a musician, but they understood music, and loved it. His Mother taught him about song structure by reading the liner notes of the records. They would read the lyrics together  and she would break down Verse, Chorus, Bridge etc. This helped him to build a personal relationship with music, it was never just on in the background, it always meant something. He also used to practice drum cadances with Hit Stixx (WHAAAAT!)

The first time he actually touched the Turntables was in Albany. His friend Geoff Gillis had a set up at his crib. One day Nom’s stepped to the decks, put on “Passin me by“(his favorite song) and mixed it with “Come Clean” by Jeru the Damja. The legend goes that he mixed it perfectly and cleanly the very first time. No mistakes. He just knew how to mix, it was inside him already. Hip Hop was the medium that showed him his gift,  from then on he knew his destiny.

He then began to DJ on the underground Hip Hop scene, collect records and scratch as much as possible with his mentor DJ Just Nyce.

Blame Me– A Noumenon production

In 2005 He moved back to NYC and started working for Scratch DJ Academy. He worked his way to the top of the organization quickly. Started out as one of the companies first event DJ’s, moved on to master teacher, and eventually became the national director of the company. Assisting in Curriculum Development, and helping Scratch expand to a national market.

After 9 years at Scratch he moved on to new solo endeavors. Facing a major crossroads for a DJ. This is not a job with a 401k, pension, days off, or any kind of security. As a working dj myself I am interested in other dj’s opinion on longevity in this line of work.

BTL – “Do you think DJ’s like us will ever be able to retire?”

Noms– DJ’s like us probably not. But honestly I don’t want to” ” Guys like Jazzy Jeff and DJ Spinna, maybe they can because they have publishing, but I don’t think they would ever want to stop playing either.

I’m not going to be old dude in the club with the silver beard though. There does come a time, when we need to evolve. That could be internet radio, working for a label, production work. Something that keeps you in music, but not necessarily on the front lines of club life. What ever that evolution is, technology is going to have to be involved and embraced.

BTL- On that note, lets talk about technology. We both came up at an interesting time. A transitional period. We started on strictly vinyl and digging culture. Then all of sudden Final Scratch came out, then Serato and the game changed. What are your thoughts on technology and the Digital DJ.

Noms– The first time I saw Final Scratch I was NAH, No, Not ever.! I never even wanted to use CD’js I was a purist plain and simple.

There are pros and cons. One of main cons is that people come out and try to spin for a crowd way to early. Without having to put in that work. Because of the ability to see the screen and match up the waves, a lot faux DJ’s took that to mean they were good, so did a lot of venue owners. But when it comes down to rocking a crowd of people all night long, impostors will be shown for what they really are.  The art of mixing by ear is gone to the newer generation of DJ’s. They simply won’t learn it, I think that’s too bad.

However if you know how to read a crowd, spend time finding dope music, and put the time into your sets and DJ techniques serato can help expand your creativity. You get to your cues so quickly, and pick up steam quickly with out ever having to worry about how much music you have in your crate. Also we are not using sync. A lot of people are. However real DJ’s are selecting, cueing, mixing using the Turntables in the same manner we always did. Now we just have little to no back pain. Those crates were a bitch.

Regardless of serato, traktor whatever, heads are always going to dig. Heads will be scratching on AHHH forever, and flipping breaks. It’s Hip Hop, “We will be here forever”

BTL– Word, lets move on to what you are doing now. So you have started a party called BROOKLYN TOOK IT! with your partner Oh Rouge. Tell us how that got going

Noms– We started the party because we really wanted a grassroots event, where the music reigned supreme. We want to play music that speaks to us, and creates a feel good vibe.

BTL– What is different about Brooklyn Took It?

Noms– The music. We have a “No new shit” policy. We rock, Funk, Soul, Classic hip hop, House, Disco. We even get into some early 2000’s hip hop as long as it has soul.

BTL– So even with modern party goers being tied to the radio and streaming. You are able to get a crowd of people to rock to classic good music.

Noms- Hell yeah! The crowd is so varied. You have music heads, who know every song, 20 somethings who just wandered in, the neighborhood folk who have lived here forever. It’s the music and the vibes that make people have a good time. We try to create a family atmosphere of equality and love, so every one feels welcome and leaves with a memorable experience. Also the sound system at FRIENDS AND LOVERS is on point. So when the bass is hitting your chest, and your sweating and moving. The energy just boils and bubbles until you gotta clean off the top of the stove cause it just spilled over ya know.

BTL-  I love it. I cannot wait to rock with you and Oh Rouge on JUNE 3rd at Friends and Lovers. I’ve been pulling some gems together for the occasion.

As we finish up, can you give us a few pieces of music you have been listening to that we should check for?

Noms- For sure,

Ivan Ave and Fred Fades – Dope underground Hip Hop.

Check them out here

Cortex- A French band with a lot of sample material.  It is like rare groove/Psych Rock. Essentially Breaks for days.

Drum patterns of Buddy Miles and Clyde Stubblefield.

Them Changes by Buddy Miles

Unknown Buddy Miles pictured here with during Band of Gypsies era.


Noms, good looks my dude. Thank you

No doubt.

Be sure to come through FRIENDS AND LOVERS on JUNE 3rd. 10pm, no Cover

GREAT MUSIC by Noumenon, Oh Rouge and DJ Alias







Aaron McMickle

Aaron McMickle- DJ, Father, Musician, Music Lover. If you like how we connect the dots on this site, please leave a comment. Play the music presented here, and come back often. It's a life long journey

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