It's very similar to jazz, he said. The Miles Davis albums "Autumn Leaves" and "Bitches Brew" are two of his favorites. "Records like that helped me develop my style," he said, adding John Coltrane and Jimi Hendrix to the mix of influencers. "I grew up watching them on concert VHS tapes. I thought, how can I play my instrument like they play theirs?"
Mix Master Mike calls himself a "scratch traffic controller."
"When I got hold of my first Moog Voyager, it was a dream come true. It pretty much shaped my Adidas Duramo 5 Mens Running Shoes Review
It's a game of tag you're it through the aural laying on of hands, he and his listeners swap energy. And it happens fast. "If they like one thing, they'll like these next 25 things," he said. "It's always good to have cameras on your hands so they can see the activity. It's not a fist thumping, knob twisting show. You're going to see some activity."
Beastie Boy Mix Master Mike plays free Moogfest show
he's channeling so many ideas that his job is deciding which ones to let through when. Where 20 some years ago he relied on pat moves, now he's giving himself over to improvisation. In that way, he's like a jazz master, open and assured.
Aggressive, rhythmic, his music is "suspenseful and unpredictable," he said. "I don't even know what I'm going to do. That's where the beauty comes from. In the age of YouTube and the videocam, you always want to have a different angle of approach. You don't want to be robotic. I look at my clips on YouTube, and I want them to all be different. I want people to think, wow, he was feeling good when he was going through that particular routine."
Mix Master Mike will be scratching April 25 at Moogfest, and calls synth visionary Robert Moog "a hero to us all." One of several musicians who director Hans Fjellestad interviewed in the 2004 documentary "Moog," Mix Master Mike has used a Moog Voyager for years to create sounds that he presses into vinyl records custom made in his home studio. Those records are some of the vinyl he spins on his turntables.
sound, as far as my scratch technique," he said. "The different varieties of sounds that a Moog can create, you can create a whole variety of top ends, low ends, high pitch frequencies. I assault the turntable, so I need sounds as ammo. The Moog is one of the top weapons in my arsenal."
That's largely because, as long as he's done what he's done, being the DJ for The Beastie Boys and all, he's less sure than ever of what's going to come out of his turntables. Adidas Duramo 5 Women's Sports Direct
Schwartz, born in San Francisco, has honed his skill so that his scratching is richer than ever. "When I first started, I invented a bunch of different scratch techniques. Over the years I've developed a book of over 100 scratches, and I would name them as I went along," he said. "The first 10 years were pretty valuable, because I was learning new ways to manipulate records into new sound. It was just like, you just memorize them and you go down the line. Now, I'm a more improvisational musician using these techniques that I'm free to run through. You use your soul and imagination."
"The way Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk did it, there was never a normal format (to the music)," Mix Master Mike (aka Michael Schwartz) said this week. "It was always a 64 bar free flow, back to the chorus, then back for a 32 bar free flow. To me, it's a form of honest expression. Artists like that taught me how New Harden Colorways to sculpt and design original compositions that are not of the norm."
Mix Master Mike goes on stage with a few game plans in his head but not with any particular arch in mind. He'll throw a couple of things up, see how the crowd responds and make adjustments to reflect the audience's temperature.
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