by Shaun Knittel -
SGN Associate Editor
If you've been here in Seattle longer than a week or so, and you are a Gay man, chances are you are familiar with Seattle's legendary dance club/bar: The Cuff Complex (1533 13th Ave). Cuff, as it is more commonly known, is a Gay Seattle staple. Over the decades Cuff has hosted some of the Gay men's community's raunchiest, most fun, and flat out unapologetically G - A - Y events while managing to raise money for organizations like Lambert House, POZ Seattle, and LGBTQ political initiatives R-71 and R-74, respectively. When the times are good at the Cuff, they are the best and when times are bad ... well, let's just say that the sense of ownership that this community has for one of its most beloved dance joints gets them through. These days Cuff is alive and well and by the looks of some of the crowds they pull lately - better than ever.
DJ Bret Law, one of Gay Seattle's pride and joy (he's hot, spins great mixes, and represents us at out of town gigs! What's not to love?) recently was asked by Cuff to join the lineup. Seattle Gay News spoke with DJ Bret Law this week to find out why he says he jumped at the chance to spin at Cuff.
'What DJ Almond Brown and the whole team at Cuff are doing is absolutely needed in Seattle,' said Bret Law. 'It's refreshing to see bars go back to putting effort into giving people a reason to go out. I'm incredibly honored to be added into the mix of hard-working local talent as well as the growing list of superstar DJs being booked there!'
Bret Law's night is called JAMS! - the same as his monthly podcast available for download on Soundcloud - and is set to begin December 19 at The Cuff Complex from 10 p.m. until 2 a.m. The DJ says he will focus on House, Dance, and EDM throughout the night.
Adding DJ Bret Law to the mix is a good move by Cuff; he's been a DJ for 15 years, starting in college with a radio mixshow before moving to Seattle and integrating into the local scene where he currently plays Sinfinite Production's 'HollaBack Thursdays', hosted by Isaac Scott, at Neighbours Nightclub (1509 Broadway E.) every week.
'In town, I've had the pleasure of playing most of the major venues on the Hill, as well as tons of great events, like PrideFest, Red Dress Party, and Re:Mix at SAM,' he said. 'Since leaving full time employment to be a DJ a year ago, I've traveled to play as part of Gay Days Orlando and Las Vegas, Pride parties in Vancouver and West Hollywood and have set up residencies in LA and San Francisco.'
Bret Law told SGN he's always been obsessively passionate about music, 'literally since I was a toddler.'
'At a very early age, I fell in love with dance music,' he said. 'In fact, my very first cassette I ever purchased, with my hard-earned allowance from my parents, was Technotronic's 'Pump Up The Jam.'
'I've always tried to find ways to share music with people, and when I discovered what it was to be a DJ, I knew that's what I wanted to do,' he continued. 'I like to play tracks that make people feel good. It means everything to me to see people dancing, smiling, singing along and really getting down on the dance floor because they love the song I'm playing as much as I do. Being a DJ is very much a dream come true for me.'
Of course, things have changed over the last 15 years in the industry. 'It is a totally different world from the one I started in, that's for sure. If I were to ever to go the 'press play' or 'auto-sync' route, I'd just get bored,' he said, referring to the DJs that can be found in some nightclubs playing prerecorded mixes that they don't even have to be in the DJ booth to mix. 'I am also of the mindset that a crowd can handle more than 2 minutes of a song. By just playing a chorus and a drop and then slamming into something else, you're leaving behind the chance for people to get into a song and enjoy where it's going.'
As for what sets him apart, he says it is that he spends a lot of time re-editing, mashing up, and creating tracks to add into his sets.
'I love taking an amazing instrumental that few people have heard, and putting a familiar pop vocal over it to create a fresh sound of a song you may have heard a thousand times,' said Bret Law. 'There are also dozens of amazing remixes of every big track these days, and it's fun to take a few of the best and re-edit them together to keep things exciting.'
'Anyone can listen and download my mash ups and re-edits from my Soundcloud profile,' he adds. 'Lastly, I love too many eras and too many genres of dance music to stick to just one, so you'll get house, dance, circuit, EDM, classic tracks, brand news tracks and everything in between in my sets. I take pride in that.'
At the end of the day, DJ Bret Law says he hopes that people continue to support 'everything that is the arts and nightlife scene in Seattle.'
'It's so tough to see people work tirelessly to put on events, plays, drag shows, club nights and the like, only to have a few people show up,' he concluded. 'We are blessed with incredible talents here in Seattle and there's something for everybody, you just have to be willing to get yourself together and go out.'
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