If I remember correctly, it was Lars Behrenroth who first introduced me to the work of DJ Offbeat. It was in 2006 o 2007, and I was organizing the occasional deep house event in Minneapolis and looking for guest DJs. Lars sensed that we had a great deal in common, musically, and though I never managed to get him out to the Twin Cities, we sparked an important friendship and correspondence.
Those who have been following the site for a while know that he has featured a number of my mixes on his weekly radio show "Future History of House," and that he, Chris Galvan, and I collaborated on a series of decade-ending label and artist retrospectives. Gerardo Frisina, Far Out, Schema, Especial, Scandinavian Jazz--I was continually impressed by both the depth of his crates and the breadth of his musical knowledge, not to mention his passion for the music and dedication to his listeners. He and Chris recorded a bunch of other specials without my participation (Compost, Jazzanova, Nicola Conte, Strut, 4hero) because I couldn't keep up with their pace of recording every single week.
A lot of DJs talk about how diverse their musical interests are, but few manage to deliver the same variety in their sets. I could mention the wide sampling of genres one can find in an Offbeat set, but that wouldn't be appropriate. Offbeat doesn't play genres; he plays MUSIC. Good music, in the order that seems natural, switching tempos and styles when it feels right. He is one of those rare DJs that can make rapid evolution in a set seem smooth, despite the warm contours and rough edges of each song, the timeless--the polyrhythmic drum track serving as a sturdy backbone. Even having heard literally dozens upon dozens of his sets, he still manages to surprises with his selections and the order in which he plays them. Offbeat is, for me, one of the most exciting DJs out there.
For more from Offbeat, check out www.futurehistoryofhouse.com.