DJ MixMaster Mike
Mike, like many turntablists was inspired by “Grandmixer DST”,
the DJ behind Herbie Hancock’s 80’s hit “Rokit”.
He was fascinated by the sound of the scratch and how the turntables
were being used as an instrument to create a melodic tune. “I
was so hypnotised by the art that I just wanted to take things into
my own hands.” That’s exactly what he did and the rest
He entered his first DJ battle at the New Music Seminar’s “Battle for World Supremacy” in 92 when he went up against DJ Honda in the famous head to head battle. This win didn’t stop Mike as the same year he formed the Rock Steady DJ’s and went on to win the DMC World Finals. “Initially it was me and apollo that hooked up as a team and started the tag teaming on the turntable and then we hooked up with Q bert and brought Q into the team to take on the DMC”. In 1992 DMC was at a stage where they felt that every possible trick had been done with 2 turntables and they had to introduce new rules to keep the competition entertaining. So they got rid of the strict 2 turntables and 1 mixer set up and announced that multiple turntables and any extra musical equipment could be used. They also allowed a maximum of 3 DJ’s to enter back to back in the battle as an option.
This opened up the competition for the DJ’s to be more experimental with their routines. Seizing the opportunity, Mike, Apollo and Q Bert practiced as a DJ team not knowing how much of an impact this routine would make in turntable music history. “I don't know, we were just so out of our mind and thinking of the next shit. And we just had aspirations of playing like a band on the turntables instead of guitars and drums and stuff. We wanted to actually play all those instruments on the turntables together. A lot of it came like really sporadic like parts of the routine came up like in one time period and another part came in another period and we just kinda like collided each routine together and smashed it into like a one piece of just non-stop mayhem.” This Mayhem routine and concept won them the World Title for 2 years consecutively.
rules later changed when it became apparent that you could not judge
a team against solos. So in 1996 Alex Aquino who was managing Q Bert
at the time formed a new DJ Battle ‘the ITF DJ Championships’,
which separated the battle and the artform to different categories.
However Mike’s favorite category was always going to be the
one he first won the World Finals with. “I think the head to
head battling is the best way. It's like one guys goes for like 2
minutes and the other goes for 2 minutes, it just goes back and forth
and keeps the battle interesting and flowing more.”
new album “Bangzilla” has all his unique elements and he
describes it as turntable theme music. “Basically it was like
2 years in the making, it was like a start and stop process. I would
like make all these songs and put them away. Everybody that knows my
style, it's just very sporadic. I didn’t want something like
you just get that audio pleasure, I wanted to give the listeners something
visually, like using their imagination cuz for me it's just like theme
music. The total turntable theme music, monster music !” So can
we expect more releases from this Beastie DJ in the near future? “I
mean I’m just touching the surface on this stuff, this stuff
can go on for days and days. I originally made 25 tracks for the
album and I only picked like 14. I didn't want to over do it.”