Frequently found behind the decks at inclusive Portland parties like NoFOMO and Opal Underground, silversound got his start in San Francisco over 10 years ago before relocating to the Pacific Northwest. Since then, David Silver's dedication to creating joy on the dance floor has established him as a go-to selector for uplifting vibes with an underground edge.
David's passion for dance music ranges from foundational genres like soul, funk, and disco to niche sub-genres of 90s house, UK garage, deep house, techno, and more. With a recent studio recording session, involvement in some exciting parties, and his attentiveness to inclusivity in nightlife, it's a pleasure to have David on this side of the Portal.
With your recent gig in LA, lots of sets recently, and plenty more to come here in Portland, what has you excited to play out lately?
I’m so excited to DJ for happy dancers again! The first half of this year was very transitional for me, and I’m now focused more than ever on what brings me joy: discovering music that makes me excited, creating original music, and sharing all of those sounds with crowds looking for a transcendental dance floor experience.
While you were in LA, you also spent time recording at Old Voltage. Tell us about your session, and what music you've been working on lately.
As someone who struggles with anxiety and perfectionism, finishing and releasing songs has always been a challenge for me. The infinite possibilities of digital workflows can be paralyzing. That’s why making analog recordings at Old Voltage was such a great experience!
My friend Rob built Old Voltage around his treasure trove of vintage synths and a Tascam “mid-fi” tape console. (“It’s not lo-fi, but it’s not hi-fi.”) The limitations inherent to vintage gear forced me to make quick decisions and push forward during the recording process. Creating a final product in just a few hours was creatively inspiring and invigorating, and I’m so excited to continue making new music with this mindset.
I recorded two songs at Old Voltage. One song was written specifically for the session, and another was an unreleased song that I re-recorded. Each track lives solidly in the realm of deep house, with swung 909 drums, sweeping synth chords, hypnotic basslines, and echoing atmospheric textures.
I’m currently working on the final mastering touches, and I’m excited to start pitching this release to labels so that it can get out into the world. Both songs started as digital projects, so my vision is to release both versions of both songs on the same EP. Let the analog vs. digital discourse begin!
All parties and new music considered, it's apparent your time behind the decks is valued by the community. As a DJ, what part does community play in your contributions to the scene?
Even though I’m already known as a rather introspective person, I think most people would still be surprised to learn how often I interrogate myself about improving as an ally. Even for gay men like myself, dismantling racism, transphobia, homophobia, and misogyny is an all-day, every-day commitment that has as much to do with what’s going on inside your own mind as what’s going on around you.
In the context of nightlife, I think the crucial practice is to make space (literally and figuratively, both on the dance floor and behind the decks) for everyone to enjoy and express themselves. Whether you’re dancing or DJing, clubbing is a collective experience. It’s about “we,” not “me.” If you’re patient and kind and make space for others, it’ll come back to you and you’ll get your own opportunity to shine. All of my most exciting opportunities in music have been gifts that were given to me without asking for them.
It’s an honor and privilege to be part of the queer dance music community. My sincere hope is that through my music, I help people experience joy.
Many of Portland's dance floors have incredible programming lined up for Pride this month, including favorites such as The North Warehouse and Holocene. How do you feel about representation in our community now and outside of Pride?
There is no end-point where allies can say, “Okay, that’s good enough; our work here is done.” Every day is an opportunity to learn more and do better.