Monday, July 30, 2012

Go see Mix Master Mike this weekend

Posted By on 07.30.12 at 03:38 PM

Mix Master Mike
  • Mix Master Mike
I discovered DJ culture in the mid-90s, just in time to get caught up in the brief turntablism craze. But it was a fleeting phase for me—I figured out pretty quickly that turntablists have as big a problem with virtuosity for virtuosity's sake as those guitar shredders I've always despised. And as entertaining as it can be to watch someone displaying superhuman dexterity on a set of turntables, it rarely makes for a satisfying musical experience without the visuals.

There are a few turntablists I still appreciate, though. One of them in Mix Master Mike, who you might know from his stint as the Beastie Boys' DJ circa Hello Nasty. I saw him right around that time on a solo tour, and not only did he show off bafflingly fast scratching, hyperkinetic vinyl switching, and over-the-top showmanship, but also his set actually got people dancing, instead of just standing there gaping. (A pre-"Ante Up" M.O.P. was the support act, and I will forever cherish my memories of the auditory ass kicking they inflicted on the room full of unsuspecting small-town Michigan alternative rockers who'd come out because of the Beasties association.)

Mix Master Mike is going to be in town over the weekend performing at a pair of Lollapalooza afterparties Friday and Saturday at the Vertigo Sky Lounge (on the 26th floor of the Dana Hotel downtown). Tickets start at $30, and if you're at all into the concept of DJing as an art form you might want to consider grabbing one. If you need more convincing, check out the demo video he made for Serato—highlighting the way digital technology lets him make even crazier sounds than he did in the purely vinyl days—after the jump.

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