DJ TUNESIFTER - ONE WHO SIFTS THE TUNES
Starting at age 7 on the Recorder and Piano, followed by Trumpet at age 11, DJ Tunesifter comes from a strong music heritage. He purchased his first record (Miles Davis Relaxin’) at age 13 in Wellington, a 7 hr bus ride from his home in Taranaki. This led to an ever-increasing collection of jazz records. Home-made compilation tapes of songs from the radio were taken to the next level when at age 16 his older brother moved to Auckland. What followed was a weekly mail package of radio shows recorded off 95BFM and sent down to Taranaki where DJ Tunesifter would create his own compilations of his favourite tunes. Shows recorded included “Tru School Hip-hop Show”, “Zambesi Jazz Show”, “Nice n Urlich” and “Manifesto Jazz Show” which all formed a mine of songs which in pre-shazam days, would take the next decade for DJ Tunesifter to track down what some of those tunes actually were.
"I spent a year doing gigs with borrowed turntables and a mixer with just volume, no EQ, no effects"
He moved to Wellington to study tertiary music in the late 1990s, and was exposed to the vibrant DJ and band scene, along with the record stores including Colin Morris Records, Chelsea, Real Groovy and Slow Boat Records. He began DJing on borrowed gear in his 2nd year in Wellington. This meant driving to two locations to obtain one turntable, and then across town to obtain a 2nd turntable and a basic Gemini mixer, without EQ, just a crossfader, volume and headphone cue. DJ Tunesifter would set up the borrowed gear at home for 2 hrs before the gig to test the mixes that he had visualised in his head. He knew his records inside out, so it was quickly practicing the technical skills needed to mix two records together.
"My DJing philosophy has always been to
play at least one tune for everybody in the room during my set...
...that means thinking about what might get that grandma sitting over there dancing, and what about that guy celebrating his 19th birthday, and also what about the bar staff...
...weaving all those tunes together to make a great night for everyone....
...that's where my DJ name came from in 1999, to sift thought the tunes."
In 2001 he purchased a 3rd-hand set of Technics 1200 turntables and a 3-channel Vestax mixer, which had previously been used on a regular house club night (La Bella), and Drum and Bass night (Valve bar with The Upbeats). DJ Tunesifter still owns and uses those turntables! He gigged extensively around the Wellington region, with a reputation for playing from multiple genres with a lean towards funk and music that keeps people dancing. Private gigs took him around the country, including playing in a shearing shed in the Wairarapa, a yacht club in Whangarei and various marquees in fields. A few years living in Latin America further widened his record crate and most of his sets have a short diversion into tunes with a latin flavour.
For the last 10 years, as a resident of Nelson, the sunshine capital of Aotearoa, New Zealand, DJ Tunesifter has continued to play his unique blend of funk, soul, disco, hip hop and latin for festivals, street parties, regular club nights and private functions. Previous clients include Pics Peanut Butter, Proper Crisps and Nelson City Council with local venues being Devilles, Fairfield House, Kismet Bar, East Street, Rhythm and Brown, Founders Park and The Freehouse Yurt. DJ Tunesifter is called on to open for out of town DJs, co-founded the regular "Soul Funk Collective" club night running since 2017, and had a popular livestream during the Covid-19 Lockdown in 2020.
DJing in the early 2000s at a farm in Pukekohe
The first Soul Funk Collective in 2017
DJ Tunesifter can be booked for festivals, venues and events anywhere in New Zealand. Use the the contact page for inquiries and pricing.
Follow his Facebook page www.facebook.com/DJTunesifter for his next gig.
Listen to many of his past mixes for free at www.mixcloud.com/Tunesifter.