Hollywood classic music guru, DJ Morty Coyle, has been an influential tastemaker in the Los Angeles music scene for upwards of fifteen years with a specialty in ’70s soulful classic rock and rare ’80s gems. DJ Morty is a master in mixology, seamlessly fusing two disparate songs into a punchy, perfect dance mix–even if you didn’t think a song was originally danceable.
When we first heard DJ Morty’s brilliant long-form ’70s mix, we knew that this was something the K-EARTH 101 audience needed to round out their digital music library. We got a chance to talk to DJ Morty, ask him how he formulates such righteous sonic amalgams, and what some of his favorite “oldies” are.
While DJ Morty Coyle has been dj’ing in trendy Hollywood clubs for a long time, his perfect club night would include obscure vinyl, rare grooves, and the kind of eclectic crate diggers that one risks getting bodily injury for. DJ Morty explained:
“My ideal set would be literally let my head explode and it would be anything I could dance to. It would be anything from disco to obscure disco to classic rock to mellow gold AM stuff, but stuff you could still dance to…And I would do remixes of songs, just so I could bring them in. Like [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Joni Mitchell[/lastfm] or [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Carole King[/lastfm].”
So how does someone with such a plethora of musical knowledge narrow down the songs he uses for his mixes? DJ Morty says it takes a long time, but he’s fortunate that his knowledge is generally vast and tangential:
“Luckily I’m straddling two sides of it, which is my record collection or my knowledge of pop music which goes from the ’20s to today…Because I’ve been in bands for so long and singing I can start thinking of songs in tempos. And words. There’s a lot of word jokes. There’s lots of word play interchangeable. You’ll be listening to a song about a bird and then three other birds songs and one will be about flying and one will be about feathers. It’s like having a conversation and I’m just sort of tangential about it.”
Asking DJ Morty Coyle for some of his musical favorites was a tall task considering his scope of knowledge, but just like his mixes, we managed to narrow it down a bit.
Favorite love song:
“I’m a weird quasi-romantic. I love ‘There’s A Light That Never Goes Out’ by [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]The Smiths[/lastfm]. Probably ‘Hey Jude’ by the[lastfm link_type="artist_info"] Beatles[/lastfm]. Although, I’m not sure if that’s a love song, but it does what it’s supposed to do. Something by [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]George Harrison[/lastfm]. All good. Everyone.”
Favorite ’60s girl group song:
“It would have to be the song that was #1 when I was born: [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]The Supremes[/lastfm], ‘Love Child.’ Or maybe [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]The Toys [/lastfm]doing ‘Lover’s Concerto’ because it’s originally a classical piece and every time I hear that, I get goose bumps about it.”
Favorite Disco song:
“I have this memory of ‘Ring My Bell’ by [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Anita Ward[/lastfm]. It’s a memory of that song in particular. There’s probably a million of them. But every time I hear that, it brings me immediately back. “
Favorite New Wave song:
“It’s really hard to think of one that totally encapsulates everything about new wave. Without being hackneyed, I really think ‘Just What I Needed’ by [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]The Cars[/lastfm] was really good, but that’s 78-79, so maybe [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Elvis Costello[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]B-52s[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Devo[/lastfm]…It’s so hard…’A Million Miles Away’ by [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]The Plimsouls[/lastfm]. I could go on forever…My head’s exploding.”
Check out “head-exploding” DJ Morty Coyle’s super 70s mix below!
DJ Morty Coyle’s 70s Mix