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John Kelley

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Biography

An acid funk DJ who helped push the popular West Coast sound of breakbeat trance by rinsing it all over the nation, DJ John Kelley is best-known for his sets at Full Moon Gatherings. The influential series of raves held in the deserts outside Los Angeles during the mid-'90s created an emergent sound, led by breakout producers like Crystal Method, Überzone, Bassbin Twins, and Electric Skychurch. Born on a U.S. Air Force base in Japan, Kelley grew up in Southern California and began going to raves outside the city during the mid-'90s. He also became interested in the turntable arts and after Full Moon Gatherings promoter/spinner DJ Daniel heard one of Kelley's mixtapes, he began playing at the raves as well. In 1996, Kelley released a mix album — explicitly patterned after his rave sets — with the descriptive title Funkydesertbreaks. The compilation became an underground hit, sparked an American tour where Kelley spotlighted the style, and prompted a sequel one year later. In 1998, he released Knee Deep, a mix album more aligned with global trends in trance and techno. The 1999 collection High Desert Soundsystem was a slight return to the Funkydesertbreaks sound; a second volume appeared a year later. A volume in the United DJs of America series surfaced in 2001, followed in 2005 by A Night In the Park (a production album).

Top Songs

Born:

Japan

Genre
Years Active:

'90s, '00s

Contemporaries