Hello folks! DJ Catfish and Firey Nairi have followed the smoke to the riff filled mystical land of Las Vegas to bask in the metal madness glory of Psycho Las Vegas. Headliners include The Brain Jonestown Massacre, King Diamond, Magma, Sleep and Mastadon, along with Pentagram gracing the pre-pool party happening Thursday evening. Stay tuned to the KZSC website blog for updates.
Interview by BGLEAFY (Updated 7/25/17)
From a conversation with KOOL A.D. and Amaze 88 at Guerilla Cafe in Berkeley, where both Kool A.D. and Cult Days were showcasing work.
BGLEAFY: What was your early musical background like?
KOOL AD: My pop’s side of things was like Cuban Salsa and Jazz, then he moved to the South Side of Chicago and was introduced to Electric Blues stuff like that. Later on he got into Jimi Hendrix and Rolling Stones and stuff. My mom was into The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Cream, Pink Floyd, but also reggae like Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer, Burning Spear, all that.
AMAZE 88: Basically my dad was a big record collector, He had maybe 1500 LP’s, 700 45’s, and he introduced me to music. We grew up in Section 8 housing at a time where everyone listened to hip-hop. Too $hort was huge, and right across the water, so everyone vibed to his tapes cause they were passed around all the time. My older brother was a DJ which got to me dig deeper when I was in high school, and eventually I got more into jazz and never looked back. Started making beats, and got my own mpc when my brother wouldn’t let me use his. Some of those beats are on 51.
BGLEAFY: Yea that’s how I was introduced to your music.
KOOL AD: Yea me and [Amaze 88] met via skateboard fools, watching lil skate videos and Kool Keith listening sessions, just various shit. What’s good bruh bruh!
(Kid Trails approaches)
AMAZE 88: This is Kid Trails.
Kid Trails: Beautiful art show tonight. My name’s Kid Trails. We’re putting out a tape, it’s called Kid Trails Sick.
KOOL AD: Definitely play that on the radio that shit go super maney.
Kool A.D Paintings
(Kid Trails walks inside)
BGLEAFY: Did you ever feel a moment in which you could distinguish your work as separate from the sum of its influences?
KOOL A.D: Really nothing is divorced from its influences. Really all you’re doing is, you hear music, however it comes to your ears, you recognize whatever collection of patterns that you grow familiar with, and emulate.
BGLEAFY: Ya I suppose it’s unintentionally loaded question. Not to prioritize uniqueness, but more like, when did you feel confident with what you brought to the table?
AMAZE 88: I’ve got a wide range of influences but no matter how hard I would try to mimic them it would never come out the same. Even when you follow a formula you’re gonna end up putting your own spice on it. I felt confident to put things together after two years of working on the MPC, when I put out a CD called Flowers that showcased what I was doing.
BGLEAFY: Feel. Have you ever had a favorite article of clothing?
AMAZE 88: I’ve always wanted an athletic A’s jacket that was satin, and puffy, but it was black, not green. I’ve never seen a picture of it, but I know it exists cause I was in Foot Locker in 2002 and they had it.
KOOL A.D: With the White A’s logo?
AMAZE 88: Na green A’s logo. Starter, Satin, Black. The Holy Grail.
KOOL A.D: I have a varied and conflicted relationship with the yay area municipal sports teams being that I came up in San Francisco and later the East bay, but as a kid I had the silk SF jacket and the silk Niners jacket. Then once I moved I got the silk Raiders jacket but not the A’s one, which I should’ve got since that’s who I ended up seeing most, just cause the tickets were hella cheap and you could just go to every game like fuck it. But to pick a favorite article of clothing I mean…
BGLEAFY: It’s a tough thing to pick.
KOOL AD: At two points in my life I found boots that fit me perfectly. I had walked outside this house where I had just crashed on the couch and found these Doc Marten boots, held em up like “Ay these are my size!” and rocked those for like 3 years. Literally happened again too with the brown joints.
Amaze 88: The brown joints!
Kool AD: Those were clean. Some steel toed ones, I still rock those now and then. Also happened with a pair of vans I found in front of the horse racing spot, just on the beach. I always fuck with those kinds of finds, the literal finds.
Cult Days Print
BGLEAFY: Is there anything that helps to keep the craft gratifying for you, such that it eases the stresses of touring/producing so much music so quickly/whatever other pressures that emerge?
AMAZE 88: I love making music, it comes naturally to me. It’s never felt overbearing or tedious, and I think that because there’s no deadlines, it allows us to put out more. It should never feel contrived.
KOOL AD: I agree, I’d be doing it regardless. Seeing as I am doing it, therefore, such and such.
BGLEAFY: Feel it. Last one, if you could soundtrack any movie, what kind of movie and how would you go about it?
AMAZE 88: A movie that already exists?
BGLEAFY: You could describe it too.
AMAZE 88: I’m a big fan of Italian and Japanese cop movies and horror movies. Probably that or like a 80’s horror movie with heavy synths, that would be super tight.
KOOL AD: I would wanna do a grand piano score to Alejandro Jodorowsky movie. They all beast mane. I feel like he’d allow for some Avant Garde styles, I could probably handle that.
BGLEAFY: No doubt. Appreciate you taking the time to sit and talk with me.
Kool A.D. is currently writing/releasing one chapter of the book Aztec Yoga on Medium, which is accompanied by one song a day as part of a 100-song mixtape. Amaze 88 dropped the song “Bigot” as the first single from his new group Feels Duo with Charlie Moses. Cult Days continues to put out new music, clothing and artwork on her website included below.
Electronic music artist and DJ Minnesota performed an ear-drum rattling show at the Catalyst this past Saturday, April 29th. Born in Minneapolis, the producer earned his moniker when he moved to Santa Cruz to attend UCSC, and his friends called him by the state of his birth.
Supporting headliner Bleep Bloop rocked the crowd with his glitchy and industrial style, creating stark and aggressive soundscapes. His music is generally slower, on the lower side of 110 bpm. His own description of his music is strikingly accurate: “Bass dipped in liquid question marks and rolled in lazers.” The crowd was mostly absorbing the music during his performance, rather than creating movement on the floor.
When Minnesota stepped on stage, the mood changed. His music is faster than that of his glitchy counterpart, and incorporates more synths and colorful sounds. Early in his career, he said, “My goal is to make bass heavy dubstep/glitch-hop music that’ll get you dancing…I try to focus more on the melodic side of dubstep, and hopefully, make quality songwriting a more relevant factor in the genre.” And get us dancing it did: shirtless, energetic fans and long-haired head bangers took over the floor, letting the music control their dancing bodies. Minnesota played much of his own music, and also many songs by fellow artists in the world of electronic music, including a few by prominent west-coast bass artist Bassnectar. The songs ranged from the melodic dubstep of his own music, to funky synth-incorporated bass, to the grimy trap of Getter. One of his most popular songs, Stardust Redux, bombarded the crowd with its rich and powerful chords, creating a surreal atmosphere we wished would never end. Minnesota knows how to get a crowd moving, and we were kept on our feet for the entire set.
By the end of the night, the concert-goers were out of breath and extremely satisfied. I know I can speak for most of the audience when I say that I was thoroughly impressed.
KZSC intern and Mentee
Check it out! @rizzystaydizzy caught up with Logan and Jordan from the internationally known band Katchafire from New Zealand after their stop at The Catalyst in downtown Santa Cruz on 4.16.17. Not only did I get to meet Katchafire but I caught up with the one and only Rebel Souljahz & Eli-Mac after their stop at The Catalyst in downtown Santa Cruz on 4.11.17.
On Thursday, February 24, 2017, I attended the Grammy Award Nominee and Island Reggae artist J Boog’s concert for his “Washhouse Ting” Tour here at The Catalyst in downtown Santa Cruz. I was unable to get an interview with J Boog due to his manager and peers saying that he was not feeling well but he did not show any sickness nor illness during his outstanding performance. Attached is coverage of the Wash House Ting Tour: J Boog, Jo Mersa Marley, Jemere Morgan LIVE at The Catalyst Club, Santa Cruz, 2.24.17 – Enjoy the concert review below written by Rizal Aliga (riz aka djrsd)!
DJ Westafa got the crowd bumpin’ and feelin’ the island/Jamaican and dub reggae vibe when the doors opened at 8PM and was the DJ throughout the show as he had a stellar night. At approximately 9PM, Jemere Morgan and band members came on stage and there has been no better opening act than Jemere Morgan that I have seen at The Catalyst. Jemere also stated during the show that he was not feeling well either but came out to perform just for the reggae fans in attendance. Jemere Morgan got the crowd involved early during his outstanding set.
Up next featured the Jo Mersa Marley, and yes he is related to Bob Marley, and happens to be Stephen Marley’s son. Jo Mersa Marley came out to Three Little Birds and obviously paid tribute to his grandfather, singing his world renowned songs. Jo Mersa also performed his own hit songs which the crowd really enjoyed. Before J Boog came on, Cisco of Big Body Radio collaborated with DJ Westafa and played music from the Bay Area to pump up the crowd to another level. Sounds included Tupac, E-40, Mac Dre and Too $hort. Cisco then introduced J Boog’s band which then introduced J Boog.
J Boog’s band had a sweet introduction as J Boog came out to Nuh Wan Dat which got the crowd groovin’. J Boog had an excellent performance, playing songs like Lifetime Lover and Love Season from Hear Me Roar (2007), and my favorite Coldest Zone. He continued with Sunshine Girl from Backyard Boogie (2011), Rose Petals (2016) and his most recent work Wash House Ting (2016). (I actually tried to take the crumpled paper outline of which songs they performed but they took it lol). He ended the show with his most known song Let’s Do It Again off of his self-titled EP he released in 2011. He engaged with the crowd frequently and the crowd rousingly responded with much love to J Boog throughout his show.
With this show being the first ever reggae show I’ve been to, it was an unforgettable night for sure. All the artists made the crowd feel the good vibes and there were no instances of violence or negative interactions in the crowd. Huge shout out to Chelsea, KZSC’s Promotion Director, J, KZSC’s New Media Director, and Earl Salindo, The Catalyst Club’s Manager & The Catalyst Club for this opportunity.
P.S. this show inspired me even more to become a reggae DJ. Be on the lookout next quarter, I could have my first show and who knows in what genre!
Thanks to all and One love. – Riz aka djrsd
Hello Jazzy and Bluesy Folks
We hope you’ve been listening to all the wonderful jazz and blues programming we’ve had so far this program schedule. In case you missed any, below is a list of the shows on the schedule offering the best of jazz and blues.
- Every Shade of Blue with Morganic on Mondays from 8:30-10pm
- Two Steps from the Blues on Tuesdays with Charlie from 6-9am
- Clam Chops on Tuesdays with Rocko from 12-2pm
- Beats, Rhymes, & Life on Tuesdays with the Tone from 11pm-1am
- Jazzmatazz on Wednesdays with Arya from 1pm-3pm
- Out Front, Outback on Saturdays with Larry Blood from 10am-12pm
- Jazz Kitty on Saturdays with BlueJay from 12-2pm
Recently Arya Poorsoltan and Eric Partika attended BadBadNotGood at the Catalyst. Below is a report of the show written by Arya:
Mosh. Mosh. Mosh. That is what went down during the BADBADNOTGOOD concert at the Catalyst in Santa Cruz last week. This was the band’s first show in a while and their first time in Santa Cruz, so we made sure to give them a warm welcoming. They played many songs off of their latest album, IV, which was released last year and has showcased their musical talent. They played hits such as, Speaking Gently, Confessions part II, and Cashmere. Their ability to keep jazz alive while incorporating elements of hip-hop, rock, and soul is something that I really appreciate.
My friends and I were quite surprised at the intensity of the mosh pits and the mere existence of them, since this was a jazz show. We thought we would be grooving to the music and just having chill vibes. However, the mosh pits were so intense that I almost fainted, if it wasn’t for my friend who came in clutch with a water bottle. The band’s energy filled throughout the venue that encompassed their youth and enthusiasm.
After the show, Eric, me, and some friends went backstage to chill the band and eat pizza with them. Our conversations felt like any other ones that I have had before, as we talked about daily activities such as Netflix and their lives in Canada. If they weren’t famous musicians, I would think that they were UCSC students.
Anyways, if you want to know more about their musical talents, collaborations, and their lives, check out the interview conducted by Eric and I (Arya).
Now for what you all have been waiting for…..Arya Poorsoltan and Eric Partika, two of our very own DJs, got an interview with the members of BadBadNotGood. To listen follow this link
Keep on listenin’
- Hip-hop written within the Trump era, for the Trump eraAugust 21, 2017 - 1:40 pm
- Interview: Denise Kaufman from the Ace of CupsAugust 20, 2017 - 6:00 pm
- KZSC covers Psycho Las Vegas 2017!August 17, 2017 - 1:34 pm
- KZSC’s Voces Criticas/Critical VoicesAugust 15, 2017 - 12:16 pm
- Not Alone: Interview with Chastity BeltAugust 8, 2017 - 3:39 pm