Big Ups With DJ Lexis

Original photo by Djordje Zivaljevic.

Name, Location, What You Do:

Lexis. Founder of the Music Is My Sanctuary website + 24 Hours of Vinyl project. Digging both in the past and the present. Digging vinyl, cassettes, CD’s, wav’s, FLAC’s and even Windows Media Files.


My roots are definitely hip-hop, growing up playing football and basketball, it was the soundtrack of my youth and was the music that most of my teammates listened to. In my early teens I started opening up to the UK scene, trip-hop, drum & bass and eventually UK Garage and Broken Beat. I would say that locally (Montreal) my biggest influences were Christian Pronovost, Dr. Love and just working at the Inbeat Store (RIP) and internationally I would say my biggest influence growing up was Gilles Peterson.

Favorite Records at the Moment

I’m constantly digging for all of the genres and sub-genres that I love and I tend to let the records find me. But I guess these past few months and years i’ve really been into the Dancefloor Jazz stuff and the Cosmic – Leftfield (from the late 70’s early 80’s stuff) à la Daniele Baldelli meets Mancuso’s The Loft sound. But then again, i’m constantly digging for Broken Beat, UKG, 80’s Soul, Jazz, etc…

Otherwise, in terms of new stuff I really like this tiny label in the UK called SUGAR, they’ve put out two 12’s that are on the 80’s digi-dancehall meets lovers rock tip.

Best Digging Story:

I just love digging when I’m on the road. After 20 years of doing it in Montreal, I don’t really feel the excitement I once had. You feel like you always run into the same records. When you’re in strange places it just feels like everything is new to you.

Favorite Mix and Why. Any Genre, Any DJ.

Ohh there are so many. Definitely some Gilles Peterson mixes like his INCredible Sounds of… I would say a lot of the Paul Nice mixes like Soul on the Grill, some on the BBE catalogue like Kenny Dope’s Strange Games & Funky Things. I think Amila from Germany is doing a really nice job right now with his Altered Soul Experiment cassette mix series too! Not to self-promote but there are a ton of fantastic guest mixes on Music Is My Sanctuary and I’m always really thankful that talented DJ’s trust us to put those out.

LP, 12”, or 7” format?

Can I say 10”? Hehehe… I would say 10’s and 12’s. I know the vinyl scene has been really hype on 45’s but my game isn’t that strong there. Maybe just because I’ve never really focused on building a 45 specific set, I could defiintely pull it off though. But yeah, I guess most of the dance floor jams that I love/want tend to be on 12”

Junk Food You Can’t Live Without:

My office is next to this amazing dumplings place, we go at least once a week. Shout out to Mademoiselle Dumpling in Montreal!

Most Memorable Gig Played:

Playing @ Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide was a huge honour, playing Dimensions Festival every year is always a treat. Otherwise I would say the most memorable in Montreal was probably our 5th anniversary at the Jazz Fest with about 4000 people, wonderful night!

Record That Never Leaves Your Record Box:

Hmmm… lemme look in the box now. I guess records like Dimenzio, Society of Seven, SunPalace “Rude Movements”, Pal Joey, Broken beat stuff from IG Culture, Peven Everett “Heat Up”, Michelle Sweeney “See Line Woman”, etc., etc.

Shout Outs, Last Remarks, and Gig Info:

Shout to everyone who has supported or collaborated with Music Is My Sanctuary these past 10 years!

(Some) of our next projects:

June 1 : Lexis with Deadboy @ Chromatic Festival (Montreal)
July 6-7 : Music Is My Sanctuary @ Montreal Jazz Fest
July 30 : Lexis (with Seb Fauteux) opening for Motor City Drum Ensemble @ Piknic (Montreal)
August 30 – Sept 3 : Music Is My Sanctuary 10th Anniversart @ Dimensions Festival (Croatia)
September : Europe tour

Check out Lexis and his TED Talk On Crate Digging, the first of its kind!

More on Music Is My Sanctuary here.

Keep Diggin’!

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