Dj Disk
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Dj Disk

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The best kept secret in music

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"Get all the ass you can get… an interview with DJ Disk"

Interviews Archive - Solo Artists
Written by Laurent
Tuesday, 29 November 2005

When I went to the 05 DMC world finals, the last thing I expected was to meet one of the biggest legends in scratching, especially the one and only DJ Disk. Still life moves in mysterious ways, and thanks to a heads up from Pritt Nu-Skratch I managed to corner Disk early on in the night and get a quick interview with him. Disk is a legend in scratching for many reasons: he is an ex-member of the Invisibl Skratch Piklz, taught Qbert how to scratch (alongside MMM) and he’s done more than many (if not most) to push the boundaries of the artform and expose scratching to new audiences by working with (live and in the studio) a wide range of artist from Primus to Bill Laswell. His own releases on Bomb Hip Hop in the 90s have become classics, and his live CDs are also a must own for any fan. While time may have moved on, Disk still is one of the best scratchers on earth. So in between bouts of fairly boring battling we sat down with Disk for a quick chat about his recent work, scratching, English ass, believing in yourself and more. The answers are as crazy as the man himself... if you thought Mixmaster Mike was crazy, meet Phonopsycographicdisk.
Code

So what have you been up to recently man?

Disk: Just travelling the world and trying to make a difference in scratching and opening new doors, and just basically practicing a lot and creating new styles of scratching.

And so why are you in town tonight then? I heard you were here with Brain from Guns n Roses for a concert?

D: Yeah I’m here with him, he’s just an amazing drummer and we’re in town doing some shows and showing the people something new.

What are the shows like then?

D: The shows are just me and him going off, in this one I’ve got two different set ups, one turntable and one mixer and just trying something new and seeing how it goes.

I read about the new Praxis project you were working on, can you tell us some more about that?

D: Yeah we just finished the Praxis album, it’s got people from all over the world on it. Surge from System of a Down, Iggy Pop, who else… Brain, Buckethead, Bill Laswell, Mike Patton on some vocals, DJ Olive and loads of others I forget. It’s an amazing album everyone needs to check out. It’s a collective effort, it’s really diverse too. Really nice album that I recommend everyone to check for sure.
I also worked on a Mike Patton album, his new album called Peeping Tom. It’s got Kid Koala on there as well, and I’ve done 7 songs for it so it’s pretty dope and different too. I did cuts and production for it.
Code

So how did you work on the production, was it more samplers and computers or something else?

D: To tell you the truth, I guess you could consider me one of the most hardcore scratch DJs in the world because I don’t believe in anything making it easier for me to do my job, I’m strictly fader and one record. And nothing else, but I do dabble in sounds and effects, just changing the way shit sounds, but ultimately for me it’s all about the hand. It’s not about the button, forget the button, screw the fuckin button! I’m sorry if I can’t cuss, but seriously screw the fuckin button, it’s all about the hand movement, vinyl, screw the other crap.
I’ve always believed in pushing the boundaries and if something that’s not even… If something hasn’t got an organism to it, or anything human like that can control it, I’m not gonna allow something mechanical like that to move me, if anything’s gonna control me it’s gonna be me, and I’m gonna control the machinery, I’m not gonna go down that other road. I do dabble in some sound effects, pedals, computer effects, but I do everything by hand still and I’m still trying to move it in that direction… I mean who would have ever thought that scratching would come such a fucking long way, from the 80s to where it’s at now, so if that happened what’s gonna happen when I turn 45, who knows what’s gonna happen, shit’s gonna be crazy! It’s kinda like a lottery, so I’m looking forward to the future, there’s no stress at this point for me.

And you got any solo projects…

D: Yeah for the first time in five, six years, I’m working on my third solo LP. And it’s gonna be, basically it’s gonna be a diverse collaboration with all the people that I’ve been playing with over the years… and I’ve been working with tons of people from Herbie Hancock to Mike Patton to Primus, so I think from the time I left the Piklz I just went on to try and expand the horizon and try to combine everything and see what comes out of it at the end, and now I’m ready for that and ready to just give it out and make an album, a scratch album like no one has ever heard before! You’ll never have heard anything like that, I’m coming way off on this one!

Has been like a constant learning curve since you’ve left the Piklz then?

D: Yeah, and it comes with age I think, you get older and come to a point where yo - Spin Science


Discography

Albums:
ANCIENT TERMITES - PhonosycographDISK (DJ Disk)
Released September 1998

LIVE@SLIMS- PhonosycographDISK
Released December-1998

EL STEW
Released 1999

RIMUS
Released 1999 Interscope Records

TABLA BEAT SCIENCE Live @ Stern Grove
Released 2001

RANCID out come the wolves
Released 1999

HERBIE HANCOCK Future 2 Future
Released 2001 Sony Music

Compilations:
BOMB HIP HOP 1995
SHIGGAR FRAGGAR SHOW VOL. 1-5

AXIOM ALTERED BEATS 1997

Peeping Tom 2007

*MORE UPON REQUEST

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Dj Disk was born and raised in San Francisco, and this is where his musical quest began. The year was 1977 when Disk was inspired after seeing the movie Star Wars, and by listening to Kraftwerk on the radio for the first time. At the age of 8 he began a conquest like no other skratch dj in music history. By the age of 11 he began spinning at local venues and competing in dj battles. Disk spread scratching like a virus all over San Francisco throughout the 1980s. Then in 1990 Disk met another local pioneer; Dj Qbert and together they would forever change the art of djing. In 1993 Dj Disk joined the rock steady djs crew along Djs Qbert, Apollo, and Mix Master Mike. This crew soon became the world famous Invisbl Skratch Piklz. From this point on Dj Disk would make history, and become one the greatest and most influential djs of all time. In 1996 he decided to leave the group in order to explore other genres, and introduce the world to the art of turntablism. Dj Disk would go a different route by collaborating with various musicians outside his genre. He would go on to collaborate with legends such as TOSHINORI KONDO, HERBIE HANCOCK, BILL LASWELL, BUCKETHEAD, LES CLAYPOOL, JACK DE JEANETTE, ZAKIR HUSSAIN, ULSTED SULTAN KAUHN, and PRIMUS. He has also played with such artists as FLAVA FLAV, LYRICS BORN, PRIMUS, RANCID, TERRY LYNE CARRINGTON, DJ KRUSH, MIKE PATTON, SERGE, CINDY BLACKMAN, TIM ALEXANDR, BRIAN BLADE, and KARSH KALE. Dj Disk is involved in more than 70 recordings, and more than 30 DVD concerts. He is also a member of Bill Laswell super groups; Tabla Beat Science, Praxis, Material, and Charged. Dj Disk is responsible for coining the term "TURNTABLIST", as he is the first turntablist in dj history. Now the phrase turntablist is a universal term used all over the world. He is also responsible for creating the "Orbit" skratch among others that Djs teach and perform today. Dj Disk is the first dj/turntablist to have and perform with his own band. Disk continues to tour and record throughout the world and will continue until eternity to skratch the surface of the earth!