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DB's No School Like The Old Skool: Reid Speed

The story of Play Me records boss Reid Speed's early years in the NY underground, plus an archival two-step mix.

DJ DB has been a fixture in dance music through every renaissance the style has experienced. His archive of DJ mixes and flyers from the '90s rave era are a time capsule of electronic music's first worldwide explosion, and in NO SCHOOL LIKE THE OLD SKOOL he shares some of these treasures. Get out your notepads…

You wouldn't look at Reid Speed and think, "Oh, she's old school." But don't judge a book (or a DJ) by its cover, because looks can deceive. Reid Speed (or Speeder, as we affectionately called her) is the real deal.


When she walked in the door of the Breakbeat Science record store, right as we first opened our doors in 1996, she could already play a bad-ass set. She paid hard dues working behind the counter there and playing a million underground events in NYC throughout the early 2000s. She and I first really connected over our mutual love of two-step and UK garage.

This dope mix from her was recorded live at Breakbeat Science's 5th Anniversary party at PS1 Warm Up in 2000. It was fucking awesome; we broke all their previous capacity records. The line up was DJ Craze, MJ Cole, Dara, myself, and Reid Speed and we all killed it.

Breakbeat Science truly believed in Reid Speed and we released her first mix CD in 2001.

While Speeder has experimented with styles and subgenres (and much makeup), the thing that has stayed constant is her love of dance music and heavy bass in particular.

Chris Love of Stuck on Earth (left), Reid (center), and KECH (right) at WMC. Miami, 1998.

Experimenting with makeup and adult photographer Eon McKai in 2001. (She's going to kill me for posting this, but there were much more hardcore ones.)

Reid Speed went on a three-month tour in 2002 to promote her CD. I think this shows exactly what a hardworking DJ she is.

Until this week I had actually forgotten that we tag-teamed together at ULTRA 6, alongside The Chemical Brothers, Paul Van Dyk, Goldie, and many more.

Reid Speed now runs Play Me Records, one of the highest-charting dubstep labels around and still plays all over the place. New York misses Reid and LA should be grateful they have her!

Connect with Reid here:

Reid Speed Facebook