Scratch Fever

DJ Radar and Raul Yanez mixed up a revolutionary blend of scratch and jazz. Now they're taking it live.

"At first we thought this would be easy," Yanez says. "We'd just sequence a lot of stuff. But I was like, You know what? That's not the way the jazz I like is,' and when I hear all the turntable stuff that Radar's been exposing me to, that stuff is live also. We're entering a new world, creating a new world, and a lot of this is still kind of rough at the edges."

"It's live, rough and raw," Radar interjects.

Yanez continues, "I've been studying jazz for, shit, I don't even know how long now, and that's really where I come from. It's just cool to get out of that whole scene and view music in a whole new other way. It breaks a lot of monotonies for me, a lot of jazz clichés."

Fresh pair: DJ Radar and Raul Yanez take their scratch-jazz innovations to the stage.
Kevin Scanlon
Fresh pair: DJ Radar and Raul Yanez take their scratch-jazz innovations to the stage.
DJ Radar, left, and Raul Yanez are exploring each other's musical worlds.
Kevin Scanlon
DJ Radar, left, and Raul Yanez are exploring each other's musical worlds.

Details

scheduled to perform live as a jazz duo on Thursday, September 12. Showtime is 8 p.m. Call 602-265-4842 for details.
Rhythm Room, 1019 East Indian School

"This is complete freedom; there's no standard," Radar concludes.

While discovering themselves anew in their fresh montage of styles, Radar and Yanez continue to work on Concerto, which has two movements yet to be unveiled. They recently finished work on a studio recording of the first movement, enlisting some of the Valley's most accomplished musicians. They're also busy adapting the arrangements for ensembles other than the orchestra, such as brass bands and concert bands.

"We're just trying to reach out to other genres and pull from them and make the exchange again," Radar says. Concerto is also being adapted for performance by an all-turntable ensemble, and Radar says that the CD will contain several different remixes of the first movement.

Together Radar and Yanez have succeeded in completely defying labels, creating hybrids far more innovative and interesting than rote combinations like record-scratching in rock songs.

"I'm trying to push turntablism into a different realm, experimenting with the acoustic world, and I think that's the next step. It's acoustic projects like these that are gonna take it to other places," Radar asserts. "[The Concerto project] has been well-received by all my peers; it's a great feeling for something I've been working on for so long to be accepted by the academia world and the turntablist world. It's a balance between trying to stay true to both of those."

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