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Pioneering Bay Area Turntablist DJ Quest Releases Experimental Album "Queztocoatl" feat. free Amoeba Download Track

Posted by Billyjam, April 28, 2016 09:35pm | Post a Comment

Pioneering San Francisco turntable artist/producer and frequent Amoeba San Francisco contributor (group and solo sets plus curating The DJ Project), DJ Quest has just unleashed his newest full-
length Queztocoatl. The twelve track experimental album features the aptly titled "Grimmy Mutilation" that you can DL from the Amoeba Free Downloads page as well as see the accompanying music video below. 

During last weekend's record release party at Gallery 1317 in San Francisco, the father of two DJs was joined by his youngest turntablist offspring, five-year old DJ Lucas pictured above. [pic c/o Dawgisht]. His other, much older, DJ offspring is the talented 23 year DJ Trainn.  Last Saturday's release party was hosted by DJ 2Fresh, who did a showcase set, at his recently opened cool new North Beach gallery located at 1317 Grant Ave in San Francisco.

A follow up to such stellar solo DJ Quest releases as Cosmic Parasite and Questolous,  Queztocoatl is somewhat of a departure for the trailblazing turntable artist of three decades. For this release the Mission based DJ assumes the artist name of Questosahn feat. DJ Quest. This the veteran turntablist does to distinguish the more intricately produced and deeply layered project  from the turntable themed works that he's best known for. Less of a DJ/turntablist project,  Queztocoatl is more of a twisted funk collection of songs by the criminally underrated artist who is highly revered among his peers. Throughout  Queztocoatl DJ Quest equally showcases his production and composition skills. Synthesizers and old school drum machines are among the instruments he summons from his home studio collection of old analog gear to construct the, at times, darkly sinister sounding new album. Scratch fans should take note that Quest does include turntable
manipulations on the new album, selectively adding them into the dense Queztocoatl mix. 
 
DJ Quest is a founding member of San Francisco's groundbreaking Bullet Proof Scratch Hamsters/Space Travelerz crew who released the pioneering battle record Hamster Breaks back in the early 90's and are credited with the "hamster style" in turntablism. DJ Quest is also the architect of the long running jazz/hip-hop trio Livehuman along with Andrew Kushin (bass) and Albert Mathias (percussion). Livehuman's rich resume boasts several albums including 2000's Elefish Jellyphant on Matador Records, while venues they've performed at since forming two decades ago include the prestigious Montreaux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. Additionally for the past decade, Livehuman's hometown NPR affiliate KALW FM have utilized the revered modern jazz ensemble's music as the theme to their afternoon news reports.

Public Enemy, Kool Herc, Jungle Brothers, Doug E. Fresh, Nice & Smooth, and Bahamadia among NYC's Free Summer of Hip-Hop

Posted by Billyjam, April 27, 2016 11:51pm | Post a Comment

The recently announced lineup for the annual SummerStage free concert series in New York, that includes lots of killer hip-hop shows, makes a trip to the Big Apple worthwhile even if you are a music fan living on the opposite coast. DJ Kool Herc Public Enemy, Doug E. Fresh, and the Jungle Brothers are among the many legendary hip-hop acts scheduled to perform for free in parks across New York City's five boroughs over the upcoming summer months. The Chuck D led revolutionary rap act, who performed in past years on the same annual series, will perform this year at Brooklyn's Betsy Head Park on June 21st. DJ Tedsmooth is the opening act for the 7pm outdoor show. Meanwhile the Jungle Brothers will play a free show on August 4th at Staten Island's Clove Lakes Park.

Among the many other hip-hop acts on this summer's impressive lineup (more than any previous year) are hip-hop DJ pioneer / scratch creator Grand Wizzard Theodore at Herbert Von King Park in Brooklyn on June 30th, and Fat Joe and Tony Touch at Crotona Park in the Boogie Down Bronx on July 6th at 7pm. At that same landmark hip-hop park in the birthplace of the music and culture, a place where many of hip-hop's earliest era parties took place, the recognized founder of hip-hop DJ Kool Herc will be performing on July 10th at 7pm. On that  same bill will be Little Shalimar whose many accolades include co-producing both Run The Jewels albums and El-P's Cancer 4 Cure album, as well as the original soundtrack for the film Rubble Kings (inc. RTJ). That film about the outlaw New York City street gangs that ruled from the late 60's to early 70's, who paved the way for hip-hop culture, will be screened at the same event.

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2016 DMC Bay Area DJ Battle with Keith Shocklee, DJ Quest, Mista B, T-K.A.S.H. and Adisa, The Bishop

Posted by Billyjam, April 22, 2016 06:39pm | Post a Comment

It's DJ battle season again with the DMC's annual regional DJ battle series moving to the Bay Area this weekend.  Happening in Fremont tonight are both the 2016 DMC Bay Area Regional DJ Battle and the 2016 DMC USA Scratch Finals.  To turntable participants this competitive event is a big deal.  Going to battle at the DMC could mean repping the Bay Area at the anticipated annual national finals in New York City in August. Tonight these battle DJs will be judged on a myriad of factors.  Considered will be the technical and musical aspects of scratching and beat juggling, as well as originality and whether the DJ routines display some sense of musical composition. It can be put a lot of pressure on these turntable competitors (many of them young guys, entering a DJ battle for the first time) to calmly and confidentially recreate in a battle environment, the routines  they've spent months of intense practicing at home.

In addition to tonight's battles, there will be lots of great music. Public Enemy / The Bomb Squad's Keith Shocklee will be throwing down a partyrocking set, while both DJ Quest and Mista B will each present live turntable showcase sets. Also on stage will be the event host / emcee T-K.A.S.H. who many know from his collaborations via Paris' Guerilla Funk label, plus Adisa, The Bishop whose Hip Hop Chess Federation is presented the event, along with Rane. As reported on the Amoeblog, longtime Bay Area hip-hop artist/activist/author Adisa, The Bishop recently published the book "Bobby, Bruce, & Bam: The Secrets of Hip-Hop Chess." 2016 DMC Bay Area Regional DJ Battle and the 2016 DMC USA Scratch Finals are at 7pm this evening at Hip Hop Chess Federation located at 42660 Christy St. Suite B Fremont, CA 94538. For more info see flyer above or visit DMC website and the Bay Area DMC Facebook page. Below are videos by tonight's on stage performers.

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Prince [1958 - 2016]

Posted by Billyjam, April 21, 2016 12:31pm | Post a Comment

Like everyone I know who's been texting me or posting online regarding this morning's breaking news of the death of Prince, I too am in utter shock. Between the recent passings of David Bowie and Phife Dawg of Tribe and now Prince (all artists I love and whose entire catalogs I own), I don't know how many more of these sudden unexpected deaths of my musical heroes that I can take. In case you somehow missed the news story, it was confirmed by several sources that earlier today the artist born Prince Rogers Nelson, who went by the name Prince as well as that symbol of his, has died at age 57 at his Paisley Park studios in Minnesota. While no exact cause of death has been announced yet, according to TMZ, authorities had responded to a medical emergency this morning at the artist's famed home/studio where reportedly he was found "unresponsive" after collapsing. This is shocking and totally unexpected news since Prince had been very active lately doing shows all over, and making music including his recent two part HITnRUN album series.

Prince's death follows the (possibly related) news from a week ago that he had been hospitalized with the flu. That story made headlines when his private jet was forced to make an emergency landing in Illinois following a show by the artist, one of the many shows he had been doing lately. Just a couple of months ago, in late February, Prince was in Oakland, CA at the Paramount where he dedicated his two performances to former collaborator (and GF) Denise "Vanity" Matthews of Vanity 6 fame who died just ten days earlier. The Bay Area singer was also age 57.  But this news of Prince's passing news is just too sad for me! So rather than dwell on it, I am going to go and put on Prince's music, and listen to it for the rest of the day. Below is a list of some of those albums plus a video of a performance by Prince in NJ from January 1982. Rest in Peace Prince. You really will be missed!

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Bay Area 420 Guide: Get Blunted with Cypress Hill, Burn One For Bernie, Berner, Pep Love, Z-Man, Shortkut, Deuce Eclipse, Lazyboy +

Posted by Billyjam, April 20, 2016 11:59am | Post a Comment


4/20
may not be an officially recognized national holiday (yet) but that matters little to the legions of pot enthusiasts, especially in the Bay Area, who will gather at various venues and events throughout today to celebrate the annual hemp holiday. Think of 4/20 as the Record Store Day for cannabis connoisseurs. It's a day when new strains are unveiled, when clubs do giveaways and specials, and musical acts including lots of hip-hoppers perform to celebrate the beloved date. Assigned to the 20th day of the fourth month, which is derived from the daily 4:20pm designated dank time, 4/20 is a relatively recent phenomenon.  While it has only been around for a couple of decades, 4/20 day celebrations have exponentially grown in popularity over time, especially in the past few years.

Fueling this noticeable national increase in public celebrating of cannabis consumption, are the steps been taken by many states across the US toward legalizing or non-criminalizing cannabis for either medical or recreational use. While Colorado may have legalized weed and California just okayed it for medical use, from travels throughout both states, my experience is that California is much more open and free minded about cannabis consumption (not to mention way more affordable!). Consequently some of the best 4/20 celebrations are taking place in the Golden State today, especially in the Bay Area where Cypress Hill are among the many artists performing. Below is a rough guide to 4/20 events in the Bay.

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