Apple instore in Tokyo
What's up everybody? My name is ALF and I represent
Hip Hop Slam and The Giant Peach. My guest here today is none
other than D-Styles aka The Wax Fondler. He's one of the top turntablist
in the world and perhaps the next poker king of the whole damn
universe! So, let's get this started.
DJ ALF: How's it going
D-Styles: Good. Can't complain.
DJ ALF: Cool! Now for
those who don't know already, can you tell us when, where, and
why you first decide to start messing around with the turntables?
D-Styles: Around 1984. That's when I got my
first mixer and used my Dad's belt drive turntable. I used to
record songs to tape and then play the tapes thru the mixer and
scratch on top of the songs.
DJ ALF: When you
seriously started practicing earlier in your career, did you have
the intention to go out and just battle other DJ's and DJ at various
parties or did you have other plans?
D-Styles: My intention wasn't really to battle
but at the time, that was the only way to be heard. Most of the
DJ battles were either at a public hall or at a school cafeteria.
I was into drum machines and programming beats also but I didn't
get into production until after 1990. So battling was pretty much
the only outlet for scratchers.
DJ ALF: As far as
DJ crews are concerned, you were a part of the Invisible Skratch
Piklz, Beat Junkies, and with the Turntable Troopers at one time.
What did you learn about being in a crew and what advice would
you give to others out there that have or are about to start a
D-Styles: Being in a crew was more like having
a group of friends to share ideas with. People to practice with
and drink beers with. I think as you get older it becomes more
about yourself. You have to figure out what you want to do and
how you're gonna get there. My advice would be to look out for
yourself and learn about the business so nobody can screw you
DJ ALF: Fast forward
to roughly about 2004. I've noticed that recently you have promoted
your own label, Funkshitup. Did you decide to come up with your
own label after you won loads of money kicking people's ass in
Vegas at Texas Hold Em? Or did the thought just pop into your
mind while doing something else?
D-Styles: When I left the Skratch Piklz, I
had to start all over again. I learned how to do everything from
the ground up. From pressing up records to distribution. I wanted
to call it FUCKSHITUP RECORDS but that might be too extreme so
I made it PG13 and came up with FUNKSHITUP. It's just a small
label that puts out Break/Scratch records.
DJ ALF: Does your
label consist of others such as Mr. Henshaw, and/or artists that
the hip hop world doesn't know about yet?
D-Styles: I had Mr. Henshaw do a few records
with me, and we put it on my label. Right now I'm just putting
my break records out thru the label, but I'm open to putting quality
stuff out from other artists.
DJ ALF: Do you want
your label to someday get as big as labels like Stones Throw,
Rhymesayers, or just stay low key like it currently stands now?
D-Styles: Nah Funkshitup is just a label more
for fun. It ain't that serious.
DJ ALF: I noticed
that you have taken a big part over the years in producing or
appearing on a number of tracks on various artists albums such
as Rasco's "Time Waits For No Man", and AWOL One and
Daddy Kev's "Killafornia", just to name a few. Was making
the appearances on these artist's albums something that you see
as I guess I would say expand and test your DJing and producing
D-Styles: Yeah it's kinda like freelancing.
Usually if I like the beat,I'm down to cut on the project. Most
of the projects that I scratch on are usually friends. I think
doing these cameo appearances can sometimes get you new listeners.
Like AWOL One fans wouldn't normally listen to my music but they
heard some of my cuts from his album and then checked out my album.
DJ ALF: You are
part of the group Third Sight, which consist of Jihad and Dufunk
(for those not knowing out there). "Symbionese Liberation
Album" is the recent album, and you played a big role. Was
your big involvement in terms of production on the album something
you always wanted to do since you started DJing, or was it something
that grew on you over the years?
D-Styles: Production was something that grew
on me over the years. I got my first sampler in 1990. It was the
Ensoniq EPS. Before that I had various drum machines (Casio RZ-1,
Sequential Tom, Roland 606). So I was programming beats and using
these drum machines to cut on when I would battle. I stopped scratching
for a bit around 1994 and got more into making beats. That's around
the time when I started working with Third Sight.
DJ ALF: While we're
on the subject of your accomplishments, you and Ricci Rucker designed
the Vestax turntable called the Controller 1. When you, Ric and
the rest of Ned Hoddings introduced the scratch world to a new
form of scratch music during the Bastard Language Tour in 2003,
did you two think about developing the Controller 1 then, or just
simply seeing that the scratch records coming out today are more
melodic and that there needs to be a turntable to develop to help
make that melodic sound complete?
D-Styles: I remember around 2000, Ric used
to come by the house to cut or work on music. He had this idea
of a turntable where the pitch could be controlled with a foot
pedal. I'm sure he had this idea in his head even before 2000.
So we brainstormed and tossed back and forth different ideas of
what this turntable should have. It wasn't until 2004 that me
and Ric did a show in Japan. We met with Vestax Japan and introduced
the idea to them. Vestax had other artists contribute ideas also
(Mike Boo,Teeko,Woody,Excess,etc.) As far as records, we were
already making records that contained more melodic sounds. We
just needed a turntable like the C1 to get exact pitch.
DJ ALF: I got the
chance to mess around with the Controller 1 for a little bit while
I was in Japan, and I must say that it is a complex turntable.
I've noticed on various message boards people are constantly asking
when the Controller 1 is going to come out in the U.S. Do you
want to clear up any rumors you heard people talking about the
D-Styles: All is know is that the C1 will be
out in 2007. The footpedal will follow shortly after that.
DJ ALF: We touched
on your accomplishments, such as having your own label, being
a DJ/Producer of a Hip Hop group, and inventing the Controller
1. Is there anything else that you have accomplished, created,
or soon to come with that you would like to address to the people
D-Styles: The TableCloth slipmats are available
now. They are thin and slick turntable slipmats for scratchers.
They are made in Japan.
DJ ALF: Digital
technology, a wonderful discovery made decades ago. I've noticed
a lot of DJ's have turned to inventions such as Serato Scratch.
What is your overall opinion not only about Serato, but digital
DJing in general?
D-Styles: I don't like the whole Digital DJ
thing. One thing I hate about it is how everyone is a DJ now.
I walk thru the mall and I look into a clothing store. They have
a DJ in there with 2 ipods or 2 CD-Js. It gave birth to all these
clowns who have no record collection and no mixing skills. They
just trade mp3s with one another and are all about the "cool"
factor of being a DJ.
DJ ALF: If you had
to choose one from the following list as a gift for yourself for
Christmas, which would you choose and why?
A) Appearing against Texas Doyle Brunson in a Finals match of
Texas Hold Em' on ESPN
B) Porn videos
C) "Extreme" Tickle Me Elmo
D-Styles: C - tickle me elmo.
DJ ALF: Do you have
any last comment, shouts, gripes, groans, you want to say?
D-Styles: Give peace a chance?
DJ ALF: If people
want to learn more about you, what sites can they check you out
or for hairstyles www.dstyles.com