Podcast 821: DJ 3000
Machine funk from a Detroit staple.
Podcast 821: DJ 3000
Machine funk from a Detroit staple.
The techno of Detroit DJ-producer DJ 3000 (born Franki Juncaj) can be distinguished by its heavy sampling and instrumentation drawing from his Albanian heritage. A longtime Underground Resistance associate, he was raised in Hamtramck, Michigan, a city within the Detroit borders that is heavily populated by immigrants from Southeastern Europe and the Middle East. He initially started to DJ under his own name before his friend DJ Bone introduced him to the UR collective and he quickly became part of the family. UR co-founder Mad Mike Banks decided that Juncaj needed a DJ name, so he DJ 3000 in honor of the street address of UR’s Detroit headquarters, which had just relocated.
DJ 3000’s first release was 2002’s Somewhere in Detroit Mix Series, Vol. 1, released by DJ Assault’s Electrofunk Records. He has since collaborated with Ursula Rucker and remixed Depeche Mode, Ellen Allien, St. Germain, and others. Further releases include albums like 2014’s Besa, 2020’s two-part Spectrum compilation, and dozens of EPs, including 2022’s Mashallah. Next up is Mezë, his fifth album that will be released as a series of EPs, and to celebrate it he prepared an XLR8R podcast of deep house and techno. Across its one-hour runtime, you’ll hear music from Daphni, Luke Hess, and Underground Resistance—plus some advance cuts from Mezë.
01. What have you been up to recently?
I’ve been incredibly occupied with my upcoming album, Mezë, scheduled for release on November 17. This project took about a year to come together, and I’m genuinely thrilled with the final result. Lately, my days have been filled with extensive planning for the four vinyl EPs that will accompany this album. It’s been a process that demands a great deal of patience and time, especially in terms of organizing marketing strategies, promotional efforts, and vinyl distribution.
02. What have you been listening to?
My musical tastes are quite diverse, spanning from R&B to jazz to the soulful sounds of Motown and everything in between. To satisfy my musical cravings, I tune in to two weekly podcast shows: Dubmission Radio from Pittsburgh, which has been a staple since 1998, and Basic Soul Radio. While I primarily focus on my own electronic music production, I do enjoy catching some DJ mix shows like Colin Dale’s Abstract Dance Show for my electronic fix!
03. What is it about electronic music that resonates with you?
I stumbled into the world of electronic music relatively late, around 1994 and 1995. It began during nights out at clubs with my cousins, where I encountered a genre of music I had never heard before, and it instantly captivated me. I began gravitating towards the DJ booth, asking questions about the songs they were playing. I started frequenting more clubs and parties where this music, which I would later discover was electronic music, took center stage. This marked the beginning of my deep dive into the electronic music scene, leading me to explore the roots of Detroit techno and, from there, the rest became history.
04. Where and when did you record this mix?
I recorded this DJ mix in my home studio just a few days prior to this feature. Initially, I did one take, but I wasn’t satisfied with how it turned out. About a day or two later, I decided to give it another go, and I’m pleased with the result!
05. What setup did you use?
I created the mix using a Vestax 05 Pro II mixer, along with two Technics 1210 turntables and one borrowed Pioneer CDJ-1000. My DJing preference has always leaned toward vinyl records; it’s just my personal style. While I have nothing against digital DJing, there’s something about the tactile experience and authenticity of vinyl that resonates with me. For this mix, I had to borrow the CDJ from a friend to incorporate a few digital tracks—roughly three or four of them. These were either songs not available on vinyl yet or tracks by friends that I genuinely admire and wanted to include in the mix.
06. How did you choose the tracks that you’ve included?
I aimed to curate a blend of both current and timeless tracks sourced from friends and artists whose productions I admire. I’m not the type of DJ who exclusively spins the latest hits or tracks fresh off the press. My sets typically feature a balanced fusion of old gems and current favorites—songs that might have slipped your memory or stand as certified classics!
07. How does it compare to what we might hear you play out?
This mix provides a good reflection of how I perform in my DJ sets. Depending on my mood on any given day, I typically cover a wide range of genres, spanning from techno to electro and everything in between when I’m behind the decks.
08. What’s next on your horizon?
Currently, my primary focus is on my upcoming album, Mezë, which will consist of four separate 12″ vinyl EPs. Following this release, my attention will remain dedicated to promoting my music through my Motech label, with a strong emphasis on vinyl output. I took a brief hiatus to concentrate on music production and ensure that all the pieces were in place for this vinyl output.
XLR8R Subscribers can download the podcast below. If you’re not an XLR8R subscriber, you can read more about it and subscribe here.
01. Daphni “Cherry” (Jiaolong)
02. Jack The Mack “Soul Edge” (White Label)
03. Kyle Hall “Baci Ballers” (Forget The Clock)
04. Detscientist “Techno City Nights” (DJ 3000 Remix) (Teknotika)
05. Octave One “Its Just Is” (430 West)
06. The Martian “Spacewalk” (Red Planet)
07. I O “Particle Beam” (City Boy)
08. Ten Lardell “Polygonization I” (Anterspace)
09. Yotam Avni “Acid Arab Breaks” (Avniart)
10. DJ 3000 “Mezë” (Motech)
11. Santiago Salazar “Más Violencia” (Yaxteq)
12. Wajeed “Shango” (Dirt Tech Reck)
13. Suburban Knight “The Warning” (DJ 3000 Remix) (White Label)
14. Luke Hess “Bellevue” (Dolly)
15. Underground Resistance “Code Breaker” (UR)
16. Jordon Alexander “Season” (Running Back)
17. O-Wells “Liquid Sun” (a.r.t.less)
18. Delano Smith “The Drive” (Upstairs Asylum)
19. DJ 3000 “ishalla” (Motech)