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In all instances of a successful double team, two rules apply: 1) The members have to have different personalities, and 2) The combination of their last names has to have a ring to it. If that's the case, DJs Daniel Minaya and Shane Vikus are the ultimate Odd Couple of EDM.
Minaya—a long-haired, quirky, quiet type—is the yin to Vikus' fist-pumping, party-rock yang. But put a couple of laptops in their hands, and Minaya & Vikus transform into a multifaceted DJ force committed to playing ass-kicking music that ignites the dance floor. Handpicked as winners by Swedish House Mafia's Steve Angelo for his Size Matters DJ Contest last May, the duo opened for Angelo, along with AN21 & Max Vangeli and Junior Sanchez, at the Hollywood Palladium—not bad for two local boys who started out as anonymous rave promoters.
They met in Newport Beach in 2010 through a mutual friend. At the time, Minaya was a promoter for the LA-based GIANT Club. When Vikus sent Minaya his Rhianna bootleg remix—an inventive, chopped-up take on tracks from the pop star—they realized that despite their differences in demeanor, they had stylistic similarities. Vikus soon began promoting for GIANT as well, and shortly after partnering up on the business side, they decided to produce their own tracks as Minaya & Vikus, remixing well-known duos such as Sasha & Digweed and Gabriel & Dresden.
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Now, on any given Saturday night, they orchestrate the decks side-by-side, with Vikus nursing a vodka and soda and Minaya sipping a gin and tonic in front of hot, sticky crowds of beat-lovers, warming up for headliners such as Bingo Players, Nervo, Michael Woods and Nadia Ali. Starting off as tranceheads, they shifted to a style of house music that boasts several different flavors—tech, progressive, electro and deep. Shying away from anything resembling a Top 40 playlist, Minaya & Vikus' sonic weaponry employs a bouncing, disco feel with minimal vocals and thick basslines. Just last week, they hit a new plateau with their first headlining set at the Yost Theater in Santa Ana. The Labor Day weekend gig was an impressive step up, with a furious pulse and laser-light spectacle reserved for performers worthy of having their names emblazoned on the venue's massive LED panels.
Vikus says they'll continue to play it smart and insert themselves into the best SoCal DJ lineups wherever they're needed. As an act with few limitations, these two know how to police a dance floor, no matter the kind of EDM crowd it holds. Aside from their stomping grounds in the Newport Beach area, Minaya & Vikus are also regulars at Sutra, Avalon in Hollywood and Drai's in Las Vegas.
Recently, Minaya & Vikus released an original mix titled Archie—Desire on Into the Am Records. This takes them back to their original form of trance, while also displaying high-energy electro. Whatever style they take on, they always come out with two guns blazing—hey, maybe they'll eventually become the Gehrig and Ruth of EDM.
This column appeared in print as "Two Guns Blazing."