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Did anyone in Minneapolis catch the Dj Qbert show last night
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Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 339
Did anyone in Minneapolis catch the Dj Qbert show last night  Reply with quote  

It was fucking awsome. It sucked that some dumb mother fucker threw a glass onto Q's Mixer but Qbert got back up when he shouldn't have and blew us away with a killer set. I really don't like the electronic scene but, it was worth sitting through 2 hours of Jack Trash(who is just horrible) to see Qbert.
Post Sun Jun 30, 2002 12:13 pm
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err  Reply with quote  


q-bert is beyond beyond
you listen to something he does and you never want to step up to the tables again
seriously, it's like....
slitting both wrists and wading around in the warmth
Post Mon Jul 01, 2002 12:00 am

qbert is the man  Reply with quote  

i saw the qbert show in mpls, it was sweet ass. yeah i agree, sitting through jack trash was harsh but worth it. i'll quote my boyfriend as we sat waiting for qbert "i betcha hell has techno music for a soundtrack" whatever floats your boat though right? i heard a dirty rumor that the whole drink-throwing stunt was a set-up, to hype up the crowd and transition into his other stuff,but i dont believe it. qbert is the man
Post Tue Jul 02, 2002 1:17 pm
Willy Joy

Joined: 03 Jul 2002
Posts: 416
Location: Chicago
Jack Attack  Reply with quote  

Man, you guys made me register just to defend JT. Although I realize you may not like techno, saying that he is "horrible" is something else entirely. Did you know that he is in fact the promoter for the events at the Quest on Saturdays? That means that HE BOOKED Qbert to come play for you. Without Jack, you would have had no show to discuss. He's also recently brought D-Styles and Rectangle through, along with a few others whose identities escape me. Personally, I'm really glad he exposes one crowd to another type of music, be it the ravers who came for the house headliner or you guys who came for Qbert. I don't know if you care, but the performance he did that night was pretty impressive. He was doing a Live PA (as opposed to a DJ set) meaning that he was doing everything you heard live.

I'm not attacking your musical tastes, that wouldn't make sense. Just saying not to pass judgement on someone in a field that you openly don't like. You would have probably said the same regardless of whose name was flashing across the screen.

On that note - any opinions/ideas from anyone on why hip-hop (generally) hates electronic music so much? The feeling certainly isn't mutual, and I'm definitely an example of that. Just curious.

Love, Willy
Post Wed Jul 03, 2002 4:22 am
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good q-bert interview taken from  Reply with quote  

Subject: Interview with QBert
Title: The Many Phases Of QBert: With His New Animated Wave Twisters Movie, Turntablism's Master Craftsman Shows the Next Cut

Byline: By Jim Tremayne & Michael Wong
Published: March 2001 by DJ Times Magazine

Daly City, Calif.
From his basement studio nestled in the Daly City hills, DJ QBert has the kind of view that postcard photographers usually dream of. Sitting at his overlarge video monitor, he can peer beyond the ProTools display and through a huge bay window to spy all of San Francisco from his semi-suburban home through the city lights and skyscrapers all the way to the Golden Gate Bridge. But QBert is used to that. As perhaps the worlds most innovative and mindboggling skratch DJ, QBert is rather accustomed to seeing and realizing what others can only imagine.

He calls it The Lair of the Octagon and its a studio setup that's on par with what you'd see in the homes of other ultra-successful DJ/producers, people like Roger Sanchez or Danny Tenaglia. The difference is found, however, in QBert's plethora of turntables. There are 16 Vestax units altogether with four pairs situated on a riser in the room's center, all begging for attention. Every moment, unguarded or otherwise, finds QBert squeezing, fondling, stroking or otherwise manipulating a slab of vinyl, while he forcefully nudges a fader like he's snapping all five of his fingers at once. The turntable becomes a percussion instrument, then a lead guitar, a looped-up jazz bass, then a spaceship. His elbows seem somehow bolted to his hips, his hands like rubber spaghetti, just skratching like everyone else breathes. He does it so often and with such jack-flash alacrity, you almost forget about it. It's as if you're at Jimi Hendrix's crib and he carries on a conversation, while squeezing out another off-the-cuff, yet brilliant solo from his Strat.

Later at an excellent Fisherman's Wharf dinner with manager/fellow Invisibl Skratch Piklz member YogaFrog, QBert turned the tables on DJ Times colleague Brian O'Connor and myself by peppering us with questions about DJs, about equipment, about places and people. As inquisitions go, you won't find one more full of wonder, surprise and amusement.

This guy doesn't get out much. I thought for a fleeting second before remembering that his frequent-flier points must easily quadruple mine. But it occurred to Brian that QBert’s state of wide-eyed wonder might be rooted in something deeper. Perhaps, while others are taking in the sights, QBert is too busy creating (i.e. – “training,” in Pikl parlance). But, as our interview later revealed, bingo! QBert believes that childlike thought promotes creativity and artistic freedom. Skratching is play for him. It’s what he does. It’s who he is. He’s trying to top himself. And then I remembered all the toy robots in the first floor of his house. Aha! “Think like a child and you shall be free.”

Even when discussing a mysterious turntablist “grandmaster” with whom he trains, QBert refuses to reveal his identity and only refers to him cryptically before offering that he’ll let us know who he is “in a few years.” Though this is kids-in-the-treehouse stuff and it’s beginning to sound like a Kung Fu episode with QBert starring as David Carradine’s Kwai Chang Caine, it’s hard to question or make light of QBert’s methods, considering his cat-like reflexes, lightning skratch routines and endless turntable innovation.

Sporting a list of accomplishments that demands several sidebars (gladly given), the former two-time DMC world-champ has taken turntablism through some new phases recently. This past July, QBert and fellow ISP members – Yogafrog, Mix Master Mike, D-Styles and Shortkut – produced and presented Skratchcon, a historic daylong educational skratch seminar/showcase/lovefest. Held at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Arts Center, the event drew turntablist devotees from around the world and presented every top skratcher you could think of – from the X-Ecutioners and DJ Shadow to Cash Money and the Skratch Perverts. The evening showcase, held at the legendary Fillmore rock venue, featured the final performance of all five ISP members.

QBert’s latest work involves the visual world. Along with seminal artists like Public Enemy’s Chuck D, QBert is currently being featured in a recent “I’m Listening” campaign of print and TV ads for Rio’s consumer MP3 player. His animated sci-fi film, Wave Twisters the Movie, will debut at the Sundance Film Festival, while a new documentary, Skratch, offers new insights to QBert’s world.

This month, though, QBert (aka 31-year-old Richard Quitevis) can be found at DJ Expo West, where he and Yogafrog will offer their own “skratch seminar,” in addition to a special “CD/Vinyl Skratchoff” with New Jersey’s Gerald Webb, “The World’s First Digital Turntablist.” It’s QBert’s way of connecting with the kids and connecting with himself. Perhaps there’ll be one kid in the audience who’ll eventually see through his eyes. So, with DJ Expo West around the corner and Wave Twisters the Movie nearing its debut – that’s QBert as the film’s “Octobot” on this month’s cover – DJ Times visited with QBert to ascertain his philosophies of the skratch.

DJ Times: The Invisibl Skratch Piklz shocked the turntablist world with its breakup last year. Many wonder exactly why this came about, especially when the group seemed to be on its way to even greater heights. Would you mind shedding some light on the subject?

QBert: Mix Master Mike and Shortkut live in L.A. It became nearly impossible for us to get together as a group because of the different paths we’ve chosen as musicians. Mix Master Mike was touring with the Beastie Boys and working on his solo album. Shortkut has a busy tour schedule, doing shows with the Beat Junkies as well as Triple Threat, whose theme is combining the art of party rocking, battling and skratching. Maybe in the future all our different paths will cross and from all the things we’ve learned on our different journeys we can come together and come up with some crazy shit.

DJ Times: You were recently bestowed the honor of “Grand Mixer.” For our readers, what does that honor mean?

QBert: This is an honor that was given to by Grandmixer dst (now known as dxt), the DJ who skratched on the song “Rockit” by Herbie Hancock. His skratching sound became famous internationally through the popularity of that song and the art of skratching was then taken out of New York and into homes worldwide via radio and TV in the early ’80s.

DJ Times: Earlier this year, yourself, D-Styles, Flare and Yogafrog announced that you would be committing yourselves to a strict training regimen. What can you tell us about this?

QBert: D-Styles, Yogafrog, Flare, and myself have three main locations where we practice, learn, and create. “The Lair of the Octagon” [in QBert’s house in Daly City, Calif.] has 16 turntables set up, which allows multiple DJs to jam and share ideas. Wave Twisters is being remixed for the movie here. D-Styles’ training center, “The Shit Palace,” is currently being relocated to his new house [in San Leandro, Calif.]. “The Palace” is the center where we record private to jam sessions like Pharaohs of Funk. D-Styles’ album is also being recorded here. “The Temple Warplex” is our training center in Oahu, Hawaii, where Yogafrog has now made his home and is preparing the new facility. It’s the perfect place for inspiration and creativity because of its beautiful surroundings in paradise. It is also the meeting ground between ourselves and the Grandmaster, who currently resides on the island.

DJ Times: Who is this Hawaiian Grandmaster? What do you learn from him?

QBert: He’s not Hawaiian, but he now resides there and I can’t say who he is because it will cause him to be hounded since his name is known throughout the underground old-school population. Don’t worry, though, you’ll all find out in a few years. In case you’re wondering what we’re learning from the Grandmaster, let’s put it this way: We’ve been skratching for 16 years and this guy has been at it for over 25 years. Right now we’re spending most of our practice time learning the styles that he’s come across from all those years.

DJ Times: Let’s talk about what is probably your biggest project to date, Wave Twisters the Movie. First, what exactly is Wave Twisters and where did the concept come from?

QBert: Wave Twisters started out as a skratch music story album. It’s a story about a team of heroes disguised as a dental team who travel through inner space spreading the forgotten arts of hip hop. Artist Dug 1 [aka Doug Cunningham] and animators Syd Garon and Eric Henry used the music to create the visuals of the film. We’re really happy that it made it to this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

DJ Times: How did you approach the soundtrack? Did the music exist before the animation or vice versa?

QBert: The music came first, but while making the music I kept in mind that the end result would be a movie. Each song is a chapter in the movie. Say for example, there was a space fight scene. The atmosphere and feel to that song would have to be that of an intergalactic confrontation, with all kinds of lasers and jet engine sounds.

DJ Times: What kind of vibe were you looking to create with the Wave Twisters music? Some of it is very cartoony, some of it is kind of ominous and scary. Wave Twisters has a lot of different moods for different scenes, just like in a traditional film. How did you compose this music?

QBert: In “Sneak Attack” for example, they go in the spaceship, fight the bad guy, save the girl, and flee. I used vocals and sound effects from different records and scratched them into the music to tell the story.

DJ Times: What records did you use and how did you use them?

QBert: I used everything from traditional skratch records, children’s records, spoken-word records, animal sounds records and sound effects records. I also used beats and music from all genres of listening pleasure and pain.

DJ Times: What studio equipment did you use to record the music?

QBert: Turntables, mixer, track machine, samplers... real simple.

DJ Times: What sets Wave Twisters apart from any other animated sci-fi films?

QBert: The main difference is in the sound. Everything on the soundtrack is scratched – from the beats to the sound effects to the voices. Also, it’s different because of the fact that the music was created knowing that visuals would be added later, the opposite of how most movies are made.

DJ Times: Was the Wave Twisters music more composition or freestyle/improv?

QBert: Both.

DJ Times: How did you approach remixes for the Wave Twisters material? What did you change or do differently from the original tracks?

QBert: Just tried to enhance the scenes better than the previous way they were expressed. I did things like replace older techniques with new ones that I’ve learned, as well as changing some of the beats to really capture the moods of the scenes. It’s like how the new Star Wars had to be fixed to George Lucas’ liking.

DJ Times: Were you inspired by other animated works or film soundtracks? If so, what were they?

QBert: Nah, I just wanted to create my own world. I really wanted the movie to be in hologram form, but our technology is still too primitive on this part of our earth. It was after the movie was finished when we had to explain it to people. They immediately associated what we did with Fantasia or Yellow Submarine.

DJ Times: Here’s the age-old art-versus-commerce question, but how do you balance business with skratching?

QBert: Give a service that no one else provides. As long as you have something new and worthwhile to offer, you’ll find that business side of things just fall into place.

DJ Times: Why do you think there are so many DJs emerging, especially skratch DJs/turntablists?

QBert: The sound possibilities are infinite times the infinite amount of techniques and compositions that can be acquired makes it the most interesting musical instrument. There’s such a wide range of musicianship from being a mix DJ to improvisational skratcher. Turntables can be used to play your favorite records or to spend hours creating new skratch techniques. There is such a vast array of styles that have already been discovered and even more that have yet to be touched. It’s like a hands-on Napster.

DJ Times: You’ve been Vestax’s biggest influence as far as their line of skratch products goes. Tell me about some of the new innovations you’ve helped out with.

QBert: The new ISP 07 Pro [mixer] has quadraphonic sound mixed in with the ultimate skratch DJ features. The new pdx-2000 is my favorite turntable right now because of its wide pitch capabilities. It has reverse capabilities, as well as plus-100 to minus-100 pitch control, not to mention the skipless tonearm!

DJ Times: What do you think about “CD scratching” and CD players made by companies that claim to duplicate the scratching sounds of vinyl?

QBert: Until it becomes exactly precise, I won’t use them. But I sure will when it gets to that point. I just haven’t seen it yet.

DJ Times: Which battle records impress you these days?

QBert: Dirtstyles by Darth Fader and Wax Fondler.

DJ Times: Which skratch jocks impress you the most and why?

QBert: One-hundred-percent for sure, our mentor in Hawaii, whose style is way out of our league right now. I can’t really say much about him, but of the ones I train with right now, D-Styles because of his subtleness as well as his lyrical ability. It never ceases to amaze me how Flare always seems to invent a new skratch every time I see him. What I love and hate about Yogafrog is that I can’t do that damn turbo skratch, which progresses every time we train. But also the ones I’ll love forever: MixMaster Mike will always be the first musical genius of the turntable. Shortkut is amazing because he can skratch, mix, battle, rock a crowd, anything. Disk’s “don’t-give-a-fuck” always reminds me that there truly are no rules. His avant-garde style brings me back down to earth and reminds me how fun this art is – plus, everyone else in the world because everyone has different styles and personal quirks that they contribute.

DJ Times: Speaking of DJs who impress you, what were your feelings when Skratchcon2000 – an event you helped produce – was happening?

QBert: Someone told me it was “the greatest thing I ever saw.” It was definitely educational, fun, bonding, historical, and a one-of-a-kind event. Being there was a priceless dream come true for us skratch DJs!

DJ Times: Do you have any personal highlights from that day you’d like to share?

QBert: Looking from the stage into the audience and feeling the energy of how wonderful it felt to be there. It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will never happen again. It was as if all the greatest guitarists in all the world came together in one room, only we skratch. It’s hard to imagine a second one being better, but it will be.

DJ Times: How do events like Skratchcon and DJ Expo West help up-and-coming DJs out there? What should young DJs look for when they go to events like these?

QBert: Exposure to the arts of turntable manipulations. Many kids only see one side and coming to these types of events lets them open their eyes to new stuff.

DJ Times: Not a lot of people are able to balance shows, production, and innovation the way you do. You mentioned before that you have 10 philosophies that keep you centered. What are they?

QBert: 1) Giving. Giving is the ultimate happiness, while selfishness is the ultimate evil. I found that since my talent is skratching, my true happiness comes from sharing the things I’ve learned with that. Whether I’m skratching, making Turntable TV videos, working on Wave Twisters or performing, it’s all about making people happy doing what I do best. I try to use what I do best to make the world a better place. This so far has been the basic premise of my spirituality.

2) Training. In order to come up with new things to share, I need to train. Every time I train, I think of something new to share. Skratch techniques don’t come naturally, but when you practice hard enough, they sure do. As long as you work hard, only good things can come. I’m lucky to work in a playground of music.

3) Imagination. Anything is possible. You gotta be like a child and let your mind be totally free. Just as a sculptor looks at a block of clay and forms it into a beautiful sculpture, I first hear the sounds in my head and bring them to life. It helps me to hear it in my head before I actually try to do it. By freeing your mind, you can give birth to endless creations. In art, there are no rules.

4) Study. One thing that helps me create is to studya others. The way great speakers talk, the way comedians deliver their punch lines, how a photographer makes sure his pictures are in perfect composition. I also learn a lot from musicians that I come into contact with. They teach me different theories. But nothing beats honest friends who are not afraid to tell me that something I do sucks!

5) Physical Fitness. I like to work out every day for at least an hour. This keeps me supplied with energy for the tasks at hand. For some reason, eating right and watching my diet keeps my mind, body, and spirit in tuned with each other.

6) Helping. I’ve come to the realization that helping others is what life is all about.

7) Balance. Not too much, not too little in everything. In Buddhism, they call it the “middle path.” I try to find the medium ground in everything. I think of skratching like food. You can’t have too much food, and you can’t have too little. You need just the right amount to be satisfied. A guitar string cannot be tightened too much or it will break. If it’s too slack, it just won’t play. I moderate my life just as I would my skratching. It’s up to everyone to find their own personal balance of all aspects of skratching. That way, everyone develops their own unique flavor. For me, it’s a balance of control, soul, lyrical and technical ability as well as my own personal touch. I try to keep my mind open to inspiration even as I play. Not too much of this, not too little of that. Finding a meeting place for all those aspects sounds the best to me.

8) Be Different. Like I said before, everyone has a different voice, fingerprint, looks, and so on. It’s the same with skratching. Everyone has their own unique sound. It’s OK to imitate in the beginning, but you should always add your own personal twist to whatever you do. You can hear the sincerity and pureness in originality.

9) Compete Against Self. Never underestimate your opponent. When I used to plan on outdoing someone’s trick, I kept in mind that by the time I learned what they had, they’ve probably taken it a few steps further. So that forced me to strive to get 20 million steps further. By doing this, you actually end up competing against yourself rather than anyone else.

10) Soulsearching. At times I like to be in my own world. Being alone and competing against yourself automatically brings out your personal uniqueness and originality. Every time you do this you take a step higher in your own universe, so that when I come back down to earth, I’ll have more to offer.

DJ Times: Tell us how meditation and spirituality impact your performance and your approach to your art?

QBert: Skratching is a form of meditation. When you get into a zone, you’re only thinking of one thing – the music being created at hand. All your being, soul, and energy is compressed into a continuous string of creation flowing through you from the universe. At this stage in my life, I’m trying I’m trying to be able to get to that nirvana (zone, meditative state, groove) at will. There’s also a consciousness where you’re in two worlds at once. On stage, you’re conscious of yourself as well as the audience. Sometimes when you’re not aware of the audience, you can space out and forget that what you’re doing is an offering to their ears. I perform for an audience just as a host would serve his guests. It’s important for me to record myself so I can perfect the dish I’m serving.

DJ Times: So what’s the “dish” you’re working on at the moment?

QBert: Well, right now I’m concentrating on the final sounds for Wave Twisters the Movie and, of course, for the rest of my life continuing to advance the art of skratch music.

Copyright 2001 DJ Times Magazine
Post Fri Jul 05, 2002 9:59 pm
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