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LiveHuman: ScratchBop

Mark F. Turner By

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DJ turntablism and jazz may seem like strange bed-fellows but have often found a creative bond in live events and recordings. For many years, musicians on both sides of the equation have blended instrumental performances with the skill of scratching vinyl / DJ mixing such as Herbie Hancock's Rockit (Columbia, 1983) and Chillin' in Batumi (Exitus, 2013) with pianist Beka Gochiashvili and DJ Logic. Recorded live at San Francisco's Tin Castle, the jazz/hip hop trio called Livehuman—DJ Quest (Carlos Aguilar), drummer Albert Mathias and bassist Andrew Ross Kushin—shed some light on the art form in ScratchBop .

The procession of bowed bass strings and shimmering cymbals in the "A is 4 Ambient" intro are not what you'd expect from a jazz/hip hop trio. The house quickly starts jumping with the swinging "Miles from Miles" as DJ Quest scratches and manipulates the vinyl; extracting what lies between the grooves to generate an extraordinary pseudo saxophone solo. "Birdfood" contains everything from a sweet drum solo, horn section, and piano riff. It's an impressive show of synchronization and improvisation listening as the trio adapts to challenging time signatures and different moods.

"Magic 4 Beginners" is like watching Savion Glover tap dance to Charlie Parker bebop. Kushin's walking bass and Mathias' drums create the perfect groove for DJ Quest's scratch techniques. There's an urban street feel yet eclectic quality to tracks like "the Rub" and "Sleepwaker" with their hip beats, sonic flavors and musicality. What Livehuman brings to the jazz turntable is anything but one-dimensional.

Track Listing: DJ Quest: turntables; Albert Mathias: drums; Andrew Ross Kushi: bass.

Personnel: A is 4 Ambient (intro); Miles From Miles; Rotten Rainbow; Magic 4 Beginners; Sheep Leap In Repeat; the Rub; Pretzel Talk; Sleepwaker; A is 4 Ambient(reprise); Death of a Satellite; Birdfood; A is 4 Ambient.

Title: ScratchBop | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Self Produced


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