Father Figure

Oakland DJ Moda plays proud papa to local audiences, deck jockeys -- and his career

At the same time that his music career was evolving, Moda was undergoing huge personal changes. Soon after he met Anne Briones at a club where he was DJing, the two were married. Before long, Moda discovered that being a family man could complement his unique lifestyle.

"Financially, before the marriage, I spent a lot of time and money looking for hard-to-find records and devoted my attention to the club and rave scene, getting involved in any aspect of both scenes," Moda says. "Now, I am limited to what I can do, but I have learned the art of patience and responsibility in becoming a parent, and I attribute these things as part of my success in the recording world."

Following his 1993 marriage, Moda began a Sound Factory residency, started DJing internationally, and formed the Trancefusion label with Jazz-E (the two parted amicably in 2000). Although he was beginning to earn a rabid following in clubs from Canada to Atlanta, Moda's fatherly instincts were seeping through. He wanted to do something closer to home: a large-scale, regular, 18-and-over event that would focus on local talent.

Akim Aginsky


Friday, Oct. 26, at 9 p.m.

Tickets are $10 before 10 p.m. and $15 after


He also spins on Sunday, Nov. 18, at 10 p.m. at "Spundae," Ten 15 Folsom, 1015 Folsom (at Sixth Street), S.F.


Maritime Hall basement, 375 First St. (at Harrison), S.F.

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"My main purpose has always been to educate people and to support local DJs," he says. "There's nothing like seeing the gleam in the eye of a young DJ who's just got a glimpse of the big time."

The event's venue, fondly referred to as "Home Base," was located in Oakland's Home Base Shopping Center and managed by Moda, his business partner Vlad Cood, and their hacker friend Michael Gammond. (The club ran from 1995 until early 2000.) Although Home Base didn't become the nightly superclub that the owners had intended, it did sponsor monthly, 10,000-capacity parties, introducing many second-generation ravers to electronic music in the process. Following Home Base's closure, Moda started "Future," a weekly 18-and-over event at the Maritime Hall, in February 2000.

Since then, Moda has decided to focus less on promoting events and more on his own music, believing that the rave scene has gotten too commercial and drug-riddled. He's jump-starting his production work, DJing at more officially organized clubs, and moving away from progressive house (or "trance") to spinning a new drum-intensive variety of house called tribal house, which is featured on his latest release, Nokturnel Mix Sessions: Live at the Pure Lounge.

Having been an important behind-the-scenes player in the industry for years, Moda is finally getting his due -- and the attention of important trendsetters. He recently built a studio with Austin's Shane Howard, one-half of popular underground production outfit Expansion. Moda's own single "Deeper" is featured on the forthcoming mix-CD People by Texan DJ D:Fuse, whom many in the industry are calling the next Paul Oakenfold. Two of Moda's other singles, including "Tiger," were recently picked up by strong labels following intensive bidding, and there's an album in the works. With the same manager as D:Fuse, Moda could become one of the biggest names in dance music.

But before he can do that, he's got to send his newest demo mix to promoters across the country. And before he can mail the CDs, he has to pick up Anne's 14-year-old daughter Gina, who has been waiting for him at school for 15 minutes.

After depositing Gina at home, he heads to meet Anne at a Starbucks in downtown Oakland. Moda's life seems awfully hectic, but he wouldn't have it any other way. "My manager keeps telling me that I need to work on an image so that I can stand out," he says. "But I'm not sure that I need to change."

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