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Buffalo.dj, new start-up from Monster.com founder Jeff Taylor, will represent and record DJs

Posted by Scott Kirsner  June 29, 2011 09:20 AM

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jefrtale.jpgIs Jeff Taylor's next career objective to become the Ari Gold or Ahmet Ertegun of the DJ world?

The founder of Monster.com and Eons is setting up offices and a recording studio in Dorchester for his latest venture, Buffalo.dj. As he describes it, the company will represent, record, and promote DJs who create their own music and perform at major music festivals — not those who spin "We Are Family" at weddings and bar mitzvahs. The start-up may also produce its own concerts, and at some point stage a larger music festival.

Taylor says that through starting six companies, he has been performing as a DJ on the side — on Sirius satellite radio, the Ultra Music Festival, and various clubs in Massachusetts. (He performs both as Jefr Tale — pictured below — and as a character called STR!PE, who wears a mask. Among his favored genres: electro, house, progressive, and dubstep.) Taylor also plays at — and helps organize — the Root Society "party dome" at the annual Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert.

"New music has always been a passion for me, but this is the first time I'm really pursuing it as a business," Taylor says. "When you go to festivals like Bonnaroo or Coachella, what you notice is that they're giving bigger stages to the DJs every year, and the DJs are attracting bigger crowds. You have DJs headlining in Vegas. Games like DJ Hero are getting young kids exposed to it, and you've got something like two million people who are doing it in their bedrooms."

jefrtale2.jpgThe business is still at an early stage, Taylor says, and he's bankrolling it himself. He expects to have about five employees by the end of the summer. "I'm going to represent ten or twelve DJs to start out with," Taylor says, managing their careers and assisting with record producing. He also envisions building an "Internet talent management platform to source the best [up-and-coming DJs] and build their careers," he says. And his plans for the Buffalo.dj studio in Dorchester involve connecting top DJs with vocalists for recording sessions. Without getting into specifics, Taylor says he'll use his Internet experience to help build big audiences for the DJs with whom he works. And he notes that New England, with its scads of college students, is notably lacking major music festivals — a void he may try to fill at some point.

As for the Buffalo.dj name (and the parent company, called Buffalo Entertainment), Taylor says, "A herd of buffalo move in these graceful patterns, but with lots of noise and commotion. At a festival, you get that same feeling of being part of the herd, and watching it move."

Taylor is still best-known in the business world for creating the jobs site Monster.com, and serving as its "Chief Monster" until 2005. His next company, Eons, a social network for baby boomers, raised $32 million in funding but never achieved critical mass. (Apparently, boomers figured out how to use Facebook, and Eons was sold earlier this year for an undisclosed sum.) Eons did, however, spin off two other sites: the 40-and-over online dating service Meetcha, and Tributes.com, which produces digital obituaries (they prefer the term "tributes.") Taylor is also on the board of Sonicbids, a Boston start-up that helps musicians land gigs.

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Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched Boston.com in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.

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