One of the biggest reasons we love dance music so much is it's ability to bring friends, strangers, and in-betweens together, all with the sole purpose of having a great time and spreading good vibes. There are few artists out there who embody that on a daily basis more than our bud HENDO. The LA-based DJ and all around frother has been preaching the gospel of fun times accompanied by great tunes all over the West Coast throughout the past few years, alongside mates such as Bixel Boys, Tropicool and more. We recently sat down with him for a chat and had him put together an exclusive mix for us. Hear a taste of his acclaimed live sets in his killer mix below, and read about his influences, selection process, and the essentials for getting super frothy as well. Enjoy!
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1 | The Police — Walking On The Moon (J-Art & Madan Remix) 2 | Dr. Packer — Strawberries 3 | Proviant Audio — Hey, Let's Do It! (Jay Shepheard Mix) 4 | Rory Phillips — Mover (Original Mix) 5 | Yuksek ft. Juveniles — Truth 6 | Biernaski — Danse Avec Moi (Original Mix) 7 | Poom — Les Voiles 8 | FURNS — Haunt Me (Hot Sand Remix) 9 | FAT CATS — Cigarettes & Champagne (Emil Gonzo's Disco Recharge) 10 | Replay The Funk — Say What (Extended Mix) 11 | Du Tonc — Surging Memories (ATTARI Remix) 12 | Freak You — There You Are (Cosmonaut Grechko 1991 Dub) 13 | Casual Touch — Dance So Fine 14 | Corona — Rhythm Of the Night (Hotel Garuda Remix) 15 | Space Echo — Soul Power (Original Mix) 16 | Maura Hope, in.deed — Feeling Good (Original Mix)
Caveman Sound: You recently re-branded yourself from Surf Ambassador Hendo to simply Hendo. Why the change?
HENDO: I had been blogging as Surf Ambassador Hendo for nearly 7 years & djing under that same name for about 3 so the decision was similar to breaking up with a beautiful lil’ bb #NotEasy. I eventually decided on the change for a few reasons. Aside from Surf Ambassador Hendo being the longest dj name in the history of the universe, I began to feel that the prefix of Surf Ambassador associated me with a solely summer/surf/tropical sound. Although I’m highly addicted to tropical disco, surfing, and summer vibes, I have an ear for all sorts of other good music as well. I feel that just being Hendo comes with no preconceived notion and allows me to diversify my sound as I continue to evolve.
CS: Tell us a bit about when and why you started mixing & producing, and what influences your sound.
HENDO: I’ve been involved & in love with music my whole life but didn’t start mixing till around 2011. Back in 2009 some friends and a few surf videos introduced me to JUSTICE, MSTRKRFT, Cut Copy, Presets etc and the songs really grew on me. In addition, my buddies over at Guns In The Sun were djing a lot on the West Side. I started going to their shows and really enjoyed the music they played. Thanks to those dudes and a few others, plus my already existing affinity for 80s jams and disco grooves, I eventually became hooked on dance music (especially indie dance / nu disco / disco house) and thought it would be tons of fun to share good tunes with good people through DJing.
The summer of 2011 was when my djing really began to take flight. That summer, Ian of Bixel Boys threw a party with Dub Frequency, The Ampal Creative, & MindTai called No Shirt / No Shoes at the Standard Downtown. I was fortunate enough to be brought on as a resident alongside Bixel Boys, Tropicool, and Junkyard. We spent that summer becoming obsessed with daytime disco and supporting acts like Poolside, Viceroy, Goldroom, Oliver, CLASSIXX, Plastic Plates, Coleco, Cut Snake, and a lot of other legends. One thing led to another and before we knew it, we were djing all over California and having the time of our lives. I’m incredibly fortunate to have had that experience and really think that summer and the following one were immensely influential to my sound and craft. It was like dj puberty…
CS: We had the chance to see you spin at Viceroy’s first ‘Summertime All The Time’ show in SF a few months back, your set was killer, what goes into your selection process?
HENDO: Thanks dude! Yea that was a classic night, loved all the Troppo vibes and I love playing in SF!
When putting together a set, I mainly think about having fun first and foremost. I then consider the other acts playing, what time I’m on, and what that specific crowd might be into. In addition, I compile a list of songs that I’m feeling at the moment, along with a few classic boss jamz, and gauge the evolving vibe and energy of the room as I begin to play. Ultimately, I started djing (and continue to do so) for fun so I really just try and have a blast up there and spread the good vibes to the rest of the room. Life as I know it is all about having fun!
CS: You’ve had the opportunity to play with some awesome artists — Viceroy, Touch Sensitive, Bixel Boys, Mighty Mouse — how’s that been for your own progression? Can you pick a favorite experience so far?
HENDO: It’s been a real dream to play with so many talented artists and their insight, support, and friendship has been truly invaluable to my progression. I’ve had so many fantastic experiences but if I had to choose one, I’d say one of my favorites would be the day I played with Austen (Viceroy aka Vicerizlah) at our No Shirt / No Shoes party. I had a ton of my really good friends there and the day was truly something magical. All the boys had killer sets and Viceroy nailed his as well. I played after him and the place just went completely apeshit bonkers! I was throwin’ around all kinds of disco house, indie dance, and nu disco heaters and we all just danced and laughed like there was no tomorrow! After my set, some of the homies hoisted me on their shoulders and chaired me to the bar, I felt like I won a surf contest or something haha it was freaking animal! Really looking forward to more sets like that!
CS: Your main focus has been mixes for the most part, are you planning to work on putting out more remixes and originals?
HENDO: Yea, although I’ve done a few bootlegs, I’m still pretty new to the whole dance game and my production skills aren’t quite where I want them to be yet. As I continue to learn and improve my skills, I eventually plan on releasing originals, remixes, & collabs and would really like to incorporate a live aspect to my sets as well. I think it’s super rad when guys like Touch Sensitive or Fred Falke play bass live during a dj set; it adds an extremely special element to the entire experience. When I do release some originals they’ll sure to be fun-funky-frothy-booty-shakers! In due time my fine friends…
CS: Your music is the soundtrack to what city?
HENDO: Good question. I’d say it’s a combination of all my favorite places I’ve ever lived as they too have been huge influences throughout my journey. From my hometown of La Jolla to the wild streets of Isla Vista, Los Angles city skylines, the beaches of Hawaii, Fijian sunsets and beyond. Each of those destinations hold a special place in my heart and their natural beauty and/or general energy are inspirational beyond belief.
CS: Who is your dream collaboration and b2b set?
HENDO: Dream collab would be to put out an original with some producer all-stars like Yuksek or CLASSIXX featuring female vocals by Ann Wilson (Heart) or Sister Sledge, some kinda rippin’ guitar lead by Hendrix or Clapton, lyrics by Greg Graffin (Bad Religion), and big piano/sax/synth stabs (I love piano in dance songs). Random and eclectic as all hell but man would that make for a classic feel-good toe-tapper!
Dream b2b would be with Kenny Fuckin’ Powers! Dunno if he throws down on the wheels of steel anymore but we’d sure have a legendary time goofin’ around and crushing dj BluRay (aka Ivan the Russian). Ha but seriously, I’d be stoked to have a b2b set with any of my idols like Cut Copy, JUSTICE, The Magician, A-Trak, MSTRKRFT, Flight Facilities, Oliver, Aeroplane, and so many more! The ideal setting for this ledge-dog b2b set would be at a stage on the water out in a lineup with all the lordz shredding perfect waves and all kinds of Mates & Myrts frothin’ super hard on stage! Some day…
CS: What are the necessary essentials if I’m looking to get real frothy?
HENDO: Haha gettin’ frothy can be obtained by a variety of ways but the following are sure to get you some supreme frothing action: boardshorts, thong-bikini/Borat J-suit, tropical wax, Micheladas/Mojitos, any kind of feel-good music, deserted beaches with deserted off-shore barreling waves, shoyu poké, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, House beer, good friends/family, smiles, laughs, and an overall sense of being in the moment and truly enjoying it. Frothing is about being excited and stoked on life. Get out there, go wild, and be happy!
CS: Lastly, what’s on your plate for the rest of the year?
HENDO: Holy shiiiza, can’t believe the year is halfway through! I’ve got a few local gigs coming up and a really fun one on the horizon in July on a boat with a certain summer vibe buddy which should be epic. I might also be back in SF playing an Incredibly Stacked & Awesome show in September (more on that later). I’m looking into setting up a few residencies around LA and I’m also currently working on a bootleg Re-Froth that is the perfect summertime pool/beach anthem which I hope to finish and release soon. In the meantime, you can usually catch me gettin’ weird around Downtown LA, eating pizza or sushi or sushi-pizza, shralpin’ some waves, and anywhere where there’s good music, good people, and good times!
Just wanted to thank you guys for this feature, your support, and everyone else out there who has supported me in the past and future. Super stoked on all the positive vibes and great feedback! Keep ‘em comin’ and I’ll keep the tunes flowin! Lots more fun to come! Cheers.
A huge and heartfelt thanks goes to the man HENDO for taking the time to give us such an epic interview and guest mix. His positive vibes are without a doubt infectious and we look forward to seeing him continue doing his thing. Stay connected with the Froth Master via the links below.