Amoeblog

Recently Reunited Invisibl Skratch Piklz Pitch Perfectly Recreate "The 13th Floor" @ Packed Amoeba Berkeley In-Store Performance

Posted by Billyjam, September 5, 2016 01:14pm | Post a Comment

The Invisibl Skratch Piklz, featurnig the talented trio of DJs Qbert, D-Styles and Shortkut,  did a mind blowing in-store set followed by a meet-and-greet for a packed-to-capacity Amoeba Music Berkeley on Saturday evening. Coinciding with the pioneering Bay Area turntablist crew's anticipated soon-to-drop new album, The 13th Floor on Galactic Butt Hair, they effortlessly delivered a jaw-dropping, next-level turntable manipulation performance to wild loud applause. All the more impressive of their half-hour set, was that it was a flawless, pitch-perfect reworking of the reunited group's new nine track LP. Note that the album does not officially get released until Friday (September 9th) but Amoeba shoppers had the opportunity to buy it early and get the record signed too. The unprecedented huge crowd turnout not only packed the jazz-room performance area of the Telegraph Ave. store but spilled into the next room too with fans eager to catch in person these three local legends. In fact so many were jammed into Amoeba that some fans went back outside onto the street to peer through the window for a glimpse of these living legends. Most fans of the Piklz  thought would never perform again after they broke up at their peak back up in the late nineties.

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Bay Area DJ News: Piklz in San Mateo, Deco All-Star Reunion, DJ Quest @ Carnival, DJ ALF in SF, Skratchpad, Mista B, True Justice

Posted by Billyjam, May 22, 2016 10:05am | Post a Comment

This is a good week for Bay Area fans of hip-hop DJs with lots of must attend turntablist events in the week ahead in the San Francisco Bay Area. These include the return of legendary SF 90s DJ club Deco, DJ Quest (pictured left @ Amoeba) curating a stage at next weekend's Carnival on day two May 29th, and Maryland DJ ALF flying out to SF for various events including the monthly Skratchpad and teaming up with Mista B and others including the aforementioned Quest and Six Kutter and DJ Zobe at DJ 2Fresh's new spot Gallery 1317 for session and screening of Positive Omen (see flyer below for info). Additionally in Bay DJ news long time Bay Area True Justice releasing an album on Paris' label, and the return of the mighty ISP.

The much heralded recent return of the Invisibl Skratch Piklz (ISP) has been taking full effect this weekend with the pioneering Bay Area turntablist crew's reunited members representing at the the Maker Faire in San Mateo. The official reunited ISP lineup, who recorded the new 2016 ISP album The 13th Floor, is the trio of DJ Qbert, Shortkut, and D-Styles who are pictured above this afternoon along with former ISP member Yogafrog who handles more of the business and management areas these days. In fact it is Yogafrog who, along with Qbert and others at their  Thud Rumble company, that masterminded the turntablism meets high-tech collaboration with Intel that landed them a spot at the Maker Faire a year ago exactly.

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Amoeblog Interview with DJ Fuze on DJ History, Digital Underground, Raw Fusion, 2Pac, Dave Chappelle + more

Posted by Billyjam, January 6, 2016 10:28pm | Post a Comment


Digital Underground was not merely an amazing funk fueled hip-hop crew out of the Bay. They were also the pranksters of hip-hop. D.U. member DJ Fuze recalls what may have been their best public prank from back in the day on a visit to New York City. It was one of the times they played the famed Apollo Theatre in Harlem. "Hosted by Mark Curry, during the Amateur Night part, we came out with bags over our heads as The Unknown Rappers. We got booed and Sandman started pulling us away. Then the curtains opened revealing Digital Underground band to a huge applause, followed by a great performance of "Kiss You Back" and later "No Nose Job." We basically beat the Apollo crowd at their own game," Fuze told the Amoeblog recently when we caught up with the longtime Bay Area (East Coast transplant) hip-hop producer and turntable artist.

The Syracuse NY DJ born David Elliot is known for a myriad of associations and projects over the past three decades but most notably for his membership of both Digital Underground and related duo Raw Fusion with fellow D.U. member Money B. In addition to his membership of D.U. and Raw Fusion, Fuze, who is a trained chef as well as turntablist, is also known for his production and performance DJ work with such artists as fellow Bay Area hip-hop acts The Luniz, Dru Down, and comedian Dave Chappelle with whom he has done a ton of shows over the years (since Chappelle left his TV show). Fuze just did 15 shows with Chappelle in Chicago. He opens for him at the Punch Line in SF tomorrow (Jan 7).  Bay Area clubbers know DJ Fuze for his eclectic solo DJ sets including his residency at Oakland's SomaR bar in the Uptown district where he spins African amongst other styles. 

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DJ Quest Fine-Tunes Livehuman's Concert Mix By Channeling Everything Through His DJ Mixer

Posted by Billyjam, July 8, 2015 05:44pm | Post a Comment

Since they formed back in the 1990s, the pioneering San Francisco turntable jazz three-piece Livehuman (comprised of DJ Quest, bassist Andrew Kushin, and percussionist Albert Mathias) have been performing all over and at all kinds of venues from underground hip-hop clubs to outdoor jazz festivals. At those concerts the critically acclaimed modern jazz ensemble, who are heard everyday as theme music on San Francisco NPR outlet KALW, would do their part by performing at their very best. However how that would translate into the final mix heard by the concert goers in these venue was beyond their control since the mix was dependent on the club's sound-person. With fingers crossed, the musicians would hope that the sound person would know how to properly mix together the unique trio's individual sounds. Unfortunately, it rarely did happened that a sound man would get the Livehuman mix and blend of their three instruments just right.

Until very recently that is, thanks to new electronic gear and a whole new approach in concert for the turntable-based jazz trio. The solution to getting just the right mix desired was simple enough: they simply had to channel everything through DJ Quest's mixer. In comparison to the sound of old, the new way is a clean, clear, pitch-perfectly balanced, final mix of both Andrew's bass and Albert's various percussion sounds.

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Skratch Fight Inspires Bay Area Turntablists

Posted by Billyjam, February 18, 2015 01:27pm | Post a Comment

Like so many positive uplifting music events in the Bay Area that tend to fly under the radar and get little notice or props for all they contribute to the greater Bay Area music/arts community, the ongoing DJ session and battle gathering known as Skratch Fight is among the most admirable. An informal yet tight-knit community of dedicated skratch DJ and aspiring DJs, Skratch Fight is an ongoing series of turntablist sessions and/or DJ battles that take place on a monthly basis (typically twice a month) around the Bay Area including every last Sunday at the War Memorial building in Daly City where the next Skratch Fight will take place this weekend. Another location where Skratch Fight takes place is at the Michael Chavez Center in Concord CA where I stopped by on a recent (January 25th) Sunday afternoon during one of the Skratch Fight live DJ sessions (as distinct from their battle/fights). There I met with the main Skratch Fight founder/organizer/DJ who goes by the name Dulodulo, as well as Concord Skratch Fight organizer (and member of 925 Hip-Hop) Benny Contreras who both chatted with the Amoeblog (see video interview below) to break down the history of Skratch Fight as well as its positive impact. Those in attendance that day included DJ Me One, DJ Universe, Nicholas Joeseph Abigana, DJ Sick Nick (GPK - garbagepailkid), S.T.A.T.I.K., DJ MaseTheTablist, Ichy the Killer, Kurteek, Six Kutter, DJ ALF, and Chuck Martinez.  All were clearly into the ongoing informal skratch session which, as well as a musical outlet for turntablists, is a grassroots networking/meet-up; the type of event that inspires longtime DJs and aspiring DJs alike. It is also a potluck (everyone brings a dish of food to share) and an informal record swap meet with several DJs bringing extra copies of battle records and old VHS tapes to share or trade with their fellow skratch enthusiasts.

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