JUANThe word mixtape has plenty of different interpretations. It used to be that mixtapes were actually DJ sets recorded on cassette tapes, but with the coming of the digital music age, the name remained the same, but the definition expanded. Nowadays, people call mixtapes many different things, some of which are not necessarily mixed and most of which were never taped. Here we try to cover them all. In this column, Juan Data gives you a worthy one every week.

DJ: Ethosdj ethos

MIXTAPE: Mar & Tierra

Now this is the real shit! In these days when anybody with a laptop loaded with a bunch of MP3s can claim to be a “DJ” (causing bad impressions), it also gets harder and harder to tell true DJing artform from wackness.

Ethos is as real as a DJ gets. When he puts a mixtape together, he doesn’t just line up one song after the next. He really mixes and employs a variety of techniques that take years of patience and practice to develop and perfect. And perfection is achieved indeed. He’s on point during the whole half hour long set, blending, cutting, scratching, back-spinning and basically letting all the wannabes and bedroom DJs out there know that he’s on a different level, doing something that they (we) can only dream of.

Born in Morelia, Mexico, the LA-resident turntablist can be seen regularly at the Subsuelo parties and in other prestigious guest spots when he’s not touring as the live DJ for Bocafloja, Ana Tijoux or Los Rakas.

His foundation as a DJ is clearly set on the “golden era” of hip-hop when it was all about skills (instead of swag and bling) but his set is not restricted to funky breaks and rap music. As we can appreciate on Mar & Tierra, DJ Ethos has no problem blending in some Afro-Latin tropical flavor too.

No disrespect to all the other DJs that are out there really trying, but seriously, some lazy play-button-pushers should reconsider calling themselves DJs after listening to this.