Mix Master Mike
Named as one of the greatest DJs of all time by USA Today, Mix Master Mike got his initial itch for vinyl while growing up in San Francisco listening to his uncle’s extensive record collection. Years later, the moment that had the most impact on him was catching Grandmixer DST on stage with Herbie Hancock.
With his new found love for hip-hop and his foray into the art of scratching, Mike got involved in the mobile DJ business. Entering Dj competitions, rocking house parties, weddings and all those other “cutting the chops” type of gigs for experience and exposure.
It was at one of those parties that he met Richard Quitevis, better known as Q-Bert. Q-Bert wasn’t a DJ at the time, but was so impressed with MikeÍs scratching technique that it had the same effect on him as watching Grandmixer DST had for Mike. The following day, Richard went over to Mike’s to watch him practice and it was there that the two quickly became friends.
In 1992, Mike was the first West Coast DJ to become World Champion by winning the New Music Seminar DJ Battle for World Supremacy in New York City. That same year, Mike, DJ Apollo and Q-Bert, known as the first ever scratch band, won the DMC World title.
In 1993, Mike and Q-Bert decided to take the competition to the next level by teaming up as a scratch duo known as “The Dream Team” and won the title once again.
In 1994, after winning three consecutive world titles and consistently coming out on top, Mike and Q-Bert were asked to step down from further competition as their domination was too much for the rest of the pack. The two performed an amazing “farewell” set and were honored to become DMC judges.
Shortly thereafter, friends and fellow turn tablists Triple Threat – Apollo (Apollo Novicio), D-Styles (Dave Cuasito)and Shortkut (Jonathan Cruz) – joined Mike and Q-Bert to form the Invisible Skratch Picklz (ISP), the most influential and recognizable turntablist crew in hip hop history. Though the ISP no longer exists, the five founders still remain close to this day.
It was a chance meeting at the Rock Steady Anniversary Jam in NYC in 1994 with Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys that would propel Mike to the next level. The two exchanged numbers and Mike often left crazy scratch messages on Adam’s answering service. Fellow Beasties Mario C and Mike D caught on to his scratch message craze and in 1997 requested Mike’s studio work for their multi-platinum album Hello Nasty. Soon after completion of Hello Nasty’s recording, the Beastie Boys offered Mike to become their resident DJ.
In the summer of 1999, the International Turntablist Federation honored Mike with The Grandwizard Theodore lifetime achievement award for the advancement of the turntable as a musical instrument. The new millennium brought more amazing things from Mike. In March 2000 the Eye of the Cyclops EP (Asphodel) dropped to brilliant reviews winning the California Music Awards as “Best New Electronic Album,” with his first-ever mix CD Spin Cycle (Moonshine) following in 2001. Also check: Return Of The Cyclops (Asphodel), a special anthology of Mike’s works recorded before and after his seminal album, Anti-Theft Device (Asphodel, 1999). In 2004 , mike released “Bangzilla” which is nothing short of the titles reference. Its A Battle through the zektarian constellations as mike hits you with action packed kick drums to the chest and a relentless assault of hardcore scratch compositions bound to challenge your musical intellect.
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