Lock iconRectangle 1Rectangle 2 + Rectangle 2 CopyShapeRectangle 1


Super excited to have DJ, Producer and Label Owner EshOne (AKA Donnie Valdez ) on the volume number #006 of the Exclusive Mix Series, on top of being part of the Dataset’s Artist Team and a good friend, Donnie has taught me things like dimension in sound and the process behind dubplate production among other things. EshOne has an interesting second life as a rancher in New Mexico, so it’s fitting that his label is named Elk Beats. Check out his eclectic mix below while you read his interview below.


Who are you:
A picky music lover who can never learn enough! I enjoy making and playing music for people, and especially enjoy the transfer of energy during a performance. I also manage a record label, Elk Beats, and above all we try to put out some cool tunes for big sound systems.

Your big music dream:
As a fan, I’d love to see the band Down in a seedy Louisiana bar with a glass of whiskey. As a DJ, I just want to keep traveling. As a producer, I’d love to keep expanding my palette and be able to create any kind of sound with ease.

Your favorite studio gear:
Right now, I’m on this cassette tape thing. I have a Tascam Porta One 4 track that sounds amazing. I’m recording elements of tracks, or even whole tracks in some cases, to tape and then bringing them back into the box. Even just running a signal pretty hot through the 4 track without recording it sounds fantastic. Nothing beats real distortion.

What artist in your scene inspires/motivates you:
What artist in your scene inspires/motivates you:
I’m always inspired by my friends in New Mexico. They are truly all about fun. I’d list names, but they know who they are, and there are a lot of them too! Some of the most talented artists and musicians I know come from Albuquerque, it’s a really cool scene.

Life changing album:
I think Back for the Future by Dom & Roland was the album that made me want to take music production seriously. I wanted to make a specific sound and play it, and I spent a lot of time trying to learn how to make darker music with a heavy dance groove.

Production tip:
Make weird stuff. I’m always surprised when people don’t respond to a track I think they will like, and go nuts for the weird ones. To someone who’s always analyzing dance music culture, it may seem stupid at times, but the people in it are smart, and they want cool shit to listen to.

Something people don’t know about you:
I spend half of my time on a ranch in northern New Mexico. We raise cattle and grow hay to feed them. Thanks to my mom (who is also the reason I’m so into music in the first place), I’ve become obsessed with fly fishing for trout over the past year. I’m even tying my own patterns now. Hiking the rivers in northern New Mexico is an amazing experience.

Favorite food joint:
Lido’s Italian Restaurant in Spring Valley… For so many reasons.


01. Jason – Untitled 2
02. Miguex – Space Between
03. EshOne – Golden Ratios
04. EshOne – Elixer
05. Auganism – Slidey Bang Bang
06. Dblue – Feedback
07. Don Valdez – Sticky Floor
08. Trouble Maker – Spanish Skank
09. Distal – French Science
10. Mask – Rollout
11. Eats Everything – Trubble
12. Distal – Ascending & Solus
13. IV:XX – Back in Business
14. Caski – This How I See
15. Walter Ego & 2046 – Hand In My Hand
16. EshOne – The Search
17. Arge – Shivaganga
18. Archie Pelago – Carmen on Gold Street
19. Distal & Wheez-ie – Hard House Cheer Squad
20. Monky – Mostly Sativa
21. Ghost – Spooky
22. El-B ft. Juiceman – Buck & Bury [Caski Remix]
23. Monky – Blue Crimea
24. Bulletproof & Dutty Ranks ft. Yayne – Heroin
25. Arge – Santas Alarmas [Tomb Crew Remix]
26. Raggs & Dubface – In Your Eyes
27. IV:XX – P the 3