Chicagoist Mix Series is an ongoing feature that profiles local DJs/producers and features a mix compiled exclusively for Chicagoist. This is mix No. 18, brought to you by Posedown.
A week removed from Marty Mars Exbestfriends’ party-starting mix, we shift gears and get deep with the relatively unknown Posedown, a.k.a. Ian Mitchell Wallace. The Charleston, South Carolina native offers a mix that explores the hazy, dreamy side of house music, a vibe that Wallace describes as “a feeling that you may have in a club at 2 a.m. amongst a big crowd of people, when the beat vibrations take control.” It’s a feeling that is hard to recreate, surely, but Wallace hits the mark with Mix No. 18.
Wallace moved from South Carolina to Chicago as a baby, residing in the suburbs with his parents. Throughout his childhood Wallace was very involved with music. He learned to play euphonium and trombone, and studied jazz throughout school. He eventually would major in Art and Music at Lawrence University, rounding out a long history of artistic training. But while Wallace was formally trained in music, it wasn’t until he accidentally heard a DJ set at Lollapalooza that he considered the draw of dance music.
“The defining moment that eventually led to me inhabiting my life with dance music happened at Perry’s Stage,” explains Wallace. “I was recuperating against a tree [ ] when I heard Boys Noize ahead of me. What compelled me forward was an invigorating feeling from the electro house beat and being amongst hundreds of people all dancing so close together.” From that point forward, Wallace began to examine dance music more closely. He had his own show on his school’s radio station, WLFM, for which he started exposing listeners to the music he’d just discovered. But at that point, Wallace was simply playing the music; it wasn’t until catching a Kid Color set that it occurred to him to start properly mixing. “His set inspired me to spin disco on my computer,” he explains. “The experience of DJing I compare to live performance, without having to worry about missing notes or stamina, and jazz improvisation, where combining certain songs improved an old or formed a newborn track.”
Today, Wallace continues to hone his craft as a resident in Pilsen, simultaneously combining his art to create the multi-faceted Posedown persona. The term “posedown” originates from bodybuilding, and was inspired by Arnold Schwarzenegger, a recurring theme in Wallace’s work. He designed the artwork for Mix No. 18, and it’s a window into his talent as an illustrator. Wallace has held exhibitions for his art, including a solo exhibition at Comet, for which he DJ’d as well. Wallace continues to hold exhibitions and DJ around town, but his goal is to eventually get a residency at one of Chicago’s big clubs. As Mix No. 18 shows, Wallace is headed in the right direction.