The DJs have been assembled. And the clock is ticking, ticking ... down to 9 p.m. this Friday night at NV (220 Admiral), where a fresh crop of DJs will face off with randomly ordered, back-to-back, live, super-intense, peak-time, club-banging, 30-minute sets in the city's biggest yearly DJ event: The Pitch Ultra Music DJ Contest. We're totally excited about this year's contestants. They come from all sides of the music spectrum — and some are from halfway around the globe. But they're all coming to the contest to do one thing: Make. You. Dance.
1. Real name: Shaun Duval
Unofficial title: The Heavyweight
Mexican wrestler name: El Rey
Cut his teeth: Atlanta, 1995 to 2005
Has been DJing: "Longer than I care to talk about. I would say, professionally, 10 years."
Started off spinning: "Strictly soulful Chicago house."
Preferred style(s): "I just kind of go with the event and the night that I'm playing. Some places, I play Top 40 mash-up remixes; some places, I play downtempo. But I don't really mix too many styles together. I try to keep to one particular style when I'm playing a gig. ... I like to rock a dance floor."
Inspirations: Hot Mix 5, Frankie Knuckles, Clever, Tittsworth, Diplo
Has played: Re:Verse (three-year Friday residency), One80, Mosaic, Blonde
Current residency: Thursdays at Nara, on rotation at Blonde
Calls his followers: The Shauntourage
Plan of attack: "Pure energy. I want to surprise everyone. A lot of people think that I play only one style of music, or that they can pigeonhole me into being one kind of a DJ. But I really wanna surprise people. I want them to know I'm not just house music, not just Top 40 mash-ups and remixes. That's the plan of attack — just energy, make some eardrums bleed."
2. Real name: Francisco Asis Morillo Otero
Unofficial title: The Spanish Flyboy
Taxi-driver name: Chow-Chow White
Birthplace: Cadiz, Spain
Day job: High-school math teacher
Has been DJing: Eight years
First gig: A club called Ajo in Cadiz
First gig in KC after moving here two and a half years ago: The Westport Beach Club, alongside Oz McGuire
Preferred style(s): Electro-indie, electro-noise, mixing up funk, reggae, hip-hop, afrobeat, "flavor music, urban sounds, very eclectic"
Inspirations: Ninja Tune, DJ Krush, DJ Shadow
Has played: One80, Balanca's, Record Bar, Eighth Street Taproom, Replay, Skybox, "pretty much everywhere"
Current residencies: Tuesdays at Nara, Fridays at One80
Plan of attack: "I'm going to play things that people recognize. ... I don't care if I win — I wanna play music and help people have fun."
Best thing about being a DJ: "The response of the crowd. Another thing is, I feel that I can put everything I have in my head — all the sounds and beats — and put it together in a session. I like to take people from one place to another place in terms of music."
Worst thing: "Requests for commercial music."
3. Real name: Scott Carpenter
Unofficial title: The Blonde Bomber
Hobbit name: Lotho Boggy-Hillocks
Birthplace: St. Luke's Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri
Has been DJing: Three years
Got started: "I used to be in electronic music when I was younger, and I kind of got away from it. Then I went to an event at the Madrid, featuring BT as the headlining DJ, and after that I just kind of re-emerged myself. I went out, bought some new equipment and got going again."
Preferred style(s): Electro-house
Inspirations: Deadmau5, Klaas; "Locally, Bill Pile, Steve Thorrell, and this up-and-comer Andrew Northern (who's real experienced with production)."
Has played: Blonde, Mint, Glow