DJ Isaac Jordan Talks East Coast Versus West Coast DJing and His Famous Edits

Frequent club patrons know that while the DJ may play your favorite song, nobody really has the time or patience to hear you belt out “Uptown Funk” in its entirety. Instead, DJs will often play a condensed or rearranged version of the song, known as an edit. For club DJs therefore, a reliable source of effective edits and remixes is a godsend, saving them hours and ensuring that they always have the perfect version to drop during their set.

For the past 15 years, Philly-born DJ Isaac Jordan has been that source. The DJ is known for his ability to make a prolific amount of quality edits, from club favorites to classics, as well as maintaining a reputation as one of the most versatile club DJs around. First gaining notoriety on the DJ forum The Hollerboard, the demand for his edits soon inspired him to launch his own blog, 2000Down. While in the past couple of years the blog has seen fewer updates, the self-proclaimed “nomad by nature” DJ has leveraged his success, traveling and performing around Europe and the U.S., living in Barcelona, New York, and recently settling in San Francisco.

We caught up with the DJ about his musical history, moving to San Francisco, and his DJ dream team. He plays three local residencies this week at W Hotel (Thursday, 4/24), Bruno’s (Friday, 4/25), and Matrix Fillmore (Saturday, 4/26). 

Give us a brief history of how you got into DJing.
A couple of the friends in my neighborhood had DJ setups, one was a hip-hop DJ and the other was a techno DJ. I would be over one of their houses after school almost daily. When I left Philly and went to AZ for college is when things became more focused. I moved in with my buddy Sam who had a full setup. He had a day job and I had a night job so I'd spend all day practicing my mix. I remember playing with the same 50 or so records for around nine hours a day. A few months went by and I got my first offer to spin at a party from a good friend who also decided to move to the Bay Area some years later. Ironically, he got me my first residency in San Francisco almost 15 years later. Big ups to my brother DJ MyKill!

Growing up on the East Coast, what are some differences you noticed in DJing when you moved out to San Francisco?
The most noticeable to me was that DJs on the West Coast tend to be more focused on mixing than scratching and they usually let songs play out a little longer. I hear more DJs using intros and DJ edits here than back East. The East Coast in general is faster paced which comes across in the mixing style as well. Another thing is that the DJs seem to be less cliquey here so there’s more cross promotion and joint parties between crews.

Why did you choose to move to San Francisco?
I vacationed in SF eight years ago and instantly fell in love with the City. I was driving down at night after a weekend in Portland and I can remember seeing the lights shimmering as the Golden Gate Bridge came into view. After a week of exploring, figuring out what “hella” meant and listening to Mac Dre tunes I told myself if I ever get the chance to live here I would jump on it. I got the chance and I jumped and here I am.

You're known for making DJ edits. When did you start making them?
I started making edits for personal use in 2007. I had a residency at a club with a rotary mixer and the turntables were suspended on rubber bands, which made it difficult to scratch or drop mix so I had to have a mixable intro for every song I played.   For those of us that aren't DJs, what is the significance of your 2000Down blog?
2000Down was a blog I started to share my edits with my DJ friends so I wouldn't have to send separate e-mails out to each one. Somehow the blog went viral after a few months and I started getting e-mails from other DJs around the globe. A few more months in and I was doing guest posts from some of my personal favorite edit guys such as Jazzy Jeff, Sat-One, Victor Menegaux and Kevin Scott. It was an exciting time and I ended up making tons of connections. I don't post too often anymore but the homie DJ Alykhan keeps up as the site's current content curator.

When did you realize that your edits were really becoming well known among DJs?
I remember being in Miami for WMC [Winter Music Conference] in 2009 and meeting a bunch of different DJs from across the country. After introductions quite a few would tell me that they had known my name from the edits and thank me for the time I put in and that I chose to share my work.

What has been the most memorable DJ night in your career thus far?
Many come to mind but I'm going to say DJing at Razzmatazz in Barcelona. I'm in love with Barcelona and Razzmatazz is my favorite place to play there, anything goes.

What is your worst party faux-pas?
Standing in the middle of the dance floor staring at your phone.

Name a song someone will get extra props for if they request it.
“Feel Right” by Mark Ronson featuring Mystikal.

Lastly, who does your DJ dream team consist of?
Q-Bert, Jazzy Jeff, Flight Facilities, Thom Yorke, Mark Ronson, and White Mike.

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