I don’t get involved in producing underground events very often, but when Matt Housley of Night Spin Kollective approached me about scheduling a tour date with Shade K and BBK, I couldn’t resist. I’ve been a fan of both artists for close to 2 years now, and the prospect of the two of them making a whole new album and going on tour – I knew it could be good. When Matt told me they were looking to do it around the end of October, I looked at the calendar. Halloween fell on a Monday – immediately something clicked.
I knew that the big Halloween rave massive in Utah, called Get Freaky, would happen the weekend before on the 28th and 29th because that’s how V2 Presents always does it. I also knew that Corbin Schmitke did his monthly called Bass Breakerz on Mondays at The Ice Haus in Murray (Utah), so I suggested we approach him about combining forces and doing it there. I messaged Corbin and he was 100% down with the idea.
Matt and BBK had talked about doing this tour date during the process of them securing a separate earlier date for BBK to perform here in Utah – at Desert Wave, a first-year, outdoor weekend rave/”festival”. At that show, I ended up performing with BBK as his DJ in place of Timmy Teaze, who could not make it. That set turned out to be amazing. We had a natural chemistry and were both on point. I had about 90 minutes beforehand to put a quick set together of the tracks he gave me , and it flowed well.
So back to Halloween, we made all the arrangements with the Ice Haus, booked the artists, and promoted the show lightly at the end of August through September; then did a heavy push all through October. V2 allowed us to flyer their show, which was very nice of them. But in the end, that turned out to be a fruitless endeavor. Not one single person we flyered from Get Freaky showed up. But as we expected, our core crew fam showed up in full force and it turned out to be the best time I’ve had all year.
Nosay started off the night with an all vinyl set of classic breaks, which was phenomenal because Jason has great taste. Matt (IN2GR8), Corbin (Decent) and I (Diggabeatz) did two rotations each of about 45 minutes apiece after that and man did we lay down some funky ass Bass, Breaks and Electro. Then Shade K and BBK took over and brought down the house. I have to say – as a veteran DJ of over 30 years on the decks, I have mad respect for this young DJ’s skills. Not even mentioning his production prowess, which cannot be understated. At this very moment, Shade K has, count them, 7 – yes SEVEN – tracks on the Beatport Breaks Top 100 chart. Aside from what I feel about those charts, this is a big accomplishment, especially considering (whether we like it or not) that those charts are as good as we’ve got to ranking the world’s Breaks producers.
Then there’s BBK. I can’t say enough about this young MC. I had already admired his smooth flows over the Breaks tracks I’d heard him on, but you never know what an MC will be like live. BBK kills it. He’s on point and doesn’t miss a lyric. He was up dancing on top of the subs and the energy was off the scale. On top of that, they’re both very nice people, very humble, and BBK put together the whole tour on his own, while not being greedy about it, working it out with us to be as inexpensive as they could afford.
At the end, I sent everyone home with a quick beatbox over the mic, while BBK freestyled for about 60 seconds, then told them to get the fuck out. GREAT NIGHT. Big love and thank you’s go out to NSK and Bass Breakerz family for making this an unforgettable Halloween!
Venue: The Fallout, Salt Lake City
Producer: Utah Arts Alliance
Sound: Rock Solid – Eric
Lighting: Vanishing Productions – Dustin Moss
Visuals: Mindhum – David Giardinelli
What a great party! I haven’t had that much fun in quite a while. The Arts Alliance and their staff and volunteers absolutely nailed it last night. An amazing mix of grand artists and their art, performers and their acts, DJ’s with their beatz. Hour and a half of DJ at the booth on the floor, then switch over to the stage for the artistic performances. It worked very well. The decoration was of course, Alice in Wonderland themed and looked fantastic. And there was a voluptuous body-painted caterpillar on a mushroom. Mindhum did some video projection mapping onto large sized white foam cutouts of mushrooms onstage and Alice and the White rabbit on the truss surrounding the DJ booth. Dustin lit the room up with a shitload of LED black lights that made all the white clothing really pop.
DJ Flash and Flare got the party started off and set the vibe very well. Then Eben Flow came in and wrecked the whole place with the best Electro Swing set I’ve ever heard. We really need more of that here in Utah. Then I played and switched the vibe up a bit, of course. I was followed by DJ Artemis who ended the party nicely with some progressive House and other stuff.
I prepared for this event by picking out a selection of my current favorite tracks from the last year. I only planned the first 5 mixes then left the rest of the set open for improv and to feature my own tracks. I also rehearsed with my current dancers, Robot Rob and E-Boogie. We have just come off of filming my most recent music video, “The Wind Up” and had a couple of classic popping routines available for that song. We also choreographed a completely new and original routine for the opening number. Very robotic, futuristic, comptemporary styles for that one. I also bought a new Adidas Superstar track jacket (Real Madrid issue – white with black stripes) and some solid white Levi’s 501’s and the white polo shirt from my Dad’s favorite rock band, Kansas. I also purchased some fiber optic sunglasses that looked very Kool Moe Dee and lit up white around the edges 😀 Aaaaand, rounded off the outfit with a brand new pair of Adidas classic Superstar limited edition gold foil shell-toes.
The logistics of the room setup wasn’t really what we envisioned, though. We had imagined everything happening on one stage but they had the DJ booth on the floor and the other performances on the stage to the right. No big deal at all, though. Actually made the opener a little more up close and personal for the crowd, which is just fine with me.
My set started off very smoothly with us performing a popping routine to “Back” by Habstrak, then me heading back behind the decks to mix about halfway though. I have to say, Rob and Boog just assassinated it on their solos. They are both very talented. Everything continued very smoothly and the crowd got rockin’ very quickly. Got about an hour into it though and I had some serious technical problems. My Winamp started auto-playing tracks I was trying to drop into Serato very loudly and on top of the other tracks and I couldn’t stop it or turn it down for about 10 seconds… this happened 3 times before I could stop it. What really sucked is it was auto playing “The Wind Up” which was getting it’s official public debut… Ay ay ay.. how embarrassing. But, as a professional entertainer, I just apologize and plow through to continue being dope and the crowd comes back to me. It’s not like that kind of shit doesn’t happen to me during my sets on a historical basis HAHA. The DiggaCurse continues to remind me that Murphy still haunts us.
Let me mention here, that my favorite part about this party was the fact that everyone danced all night. No fist pumping, no crowd all staring in the same direction at the stage just watching cake… people dancing their asses off and sweating like they just had the most intense sex of their lives… that’s what a real party is. A great mix of ages, styles, vibes, etc.. And it was all positive and love.
Anyway, I finished up with some Disco-House’y 90’s sample-vibe-breaks and the crowd loved it. All in all, I had a great time and I think the attendees did, as well. Big ups to Derek Dyer and all the staff and volunteers who made this a truly memorable experience! I recorded most of my set but as usual, forgot to hit record until about the 3rd track… ugh. BUT Evan from Elm Films was there and he got some great footage. Both of which I will add to this post later.
I had a microKORG for a few years and it was the best synth I ever owned for a variety of reasons but I haven’t seen another hard synth that impressed me enough to venture out of soft synth world. I think KORG has done to me again though, with this one. Just might have to pick one of these up. Only $499
Technics has Diggadone it again. Today at CES in Las Vegas they unveiled the reintroduction of the SL-1200 turntable, but significantly upgraded and yes, quite sexy indeed. Some mechanical upgrades to note: 78RPM speed and +16% pitch adjustment!
First of all, I called it. I knew the discontinuation of the 1200 couldn’t last long but I didn’t expect a freeking Rolls Royce of a deck. It’s not surprising though, considering two factors – 1, the reintroduction of Technics as a “high end” brand by Panasonic a couple of years ago, and 2, the recent re-surge in vinyl record sales. But that’s a whole ‘nother blog post or two.
So it’s also not surprising that they’re aiming these two new models at true audio enthusiasts (thus the AE?) with lots of money. The SL-1200GAE limited edition of 1200 units (funny but true) will be released first, and is made for serious audiophiles, containing the most upgrades. The SL-1200G will follow a few months later and is geared toward discriminating DJ’s. No word on pricing yet from Panasonic, but expect not to be able to afford either model 😉
More on all this later
In the early part of 1983 I was 13 years old and beginning to really develop a love for music. I had been obsessed with Michael Jackson for years before he did his backslide (neospeak:moonwalk) on Motown 25, but that moment influenced a lot of people, including me, because it was like a magic trick. There was my musical hero, dancing better than I had ever seen anyone dance. He looked like he was trying to walk forward but was moving backward. And it was so smoooooth… I’ve seen better since, but it’s still one of the best. Only a few months later, on a show called Night Flight, a pre-MTV, late night show that featured music videos and odd material such as documentaries about underground culture, I saw a few minutes of a doc about the emerging Hip Hop scene in Los Angeles. And it literally changed my life.
Not only did I want to dance like Michael Jackson, now I had to dance like these guys in the movie! They were doing the same kind of magic trick, but then then doing a thousand more magic tricks with their bodies. They literally looked inhuman. Sometimes like looking like robots or mannequins, sometimes floating on air and waving like they were made out of plastic and water. And the music… it was like nothing I had ever heard before. So mechanical and robotic, yet funky. From that moment on, all I wanted to do was dance like that. I literally became possessed by the idea, obsessed with finding out how to learn. It was shortly after that I met the now world-famous Rick Robinson and he taught me the basics of popping, Chicago style.
The next year I met someone who had the whole documentary on video and he showed it to me and our little Hip Hop crew we had formed. It blew us all away and I got a copy from him. I began watching it every day and modeling my dance moves from it, especially those of Boogaloo Shrimp. Many of the people in this documentary went on to star in the movie Breakin’, which introduced most of america to the culture (although in a bubble gum way). To this day, the foundations of my dance moves can be found in this film. I’m so glad it finally made its way to the internet. Until last year, I hadn’t seen it in over 20 years. You should watch the whole thing. WrrD! ~Digga
Lo IQ? is at it again, and doesn’t dissappoint with Ready, Set, LO! Straight Techno Bass classic style with a solid 808 low end. Lots of room for scratching. Get it free