Music » Livewire

Mix Master Mike

Wednesday, March 15, at Modä Nightclub.


He may be best-known as the Beastie Boys' man behind the wheels of steel, but Mix Master Mike has scratched out an impressive career beyond that role. A native San Franciscan, Michael Schwartz was inspired by his uncle's record collection and an in-concert taste of Grandmixer DST cutting up Herbie Hancock's "Rockit." Fresh out of his twenties, he became a world champion DJ in 1992, both solo and with the first turntable band. That group would later mutate into the Invisible Skratch Picklz, a massively influential quintet of record spinners, in the mid-'90s.

Never slow to spot the next big thing, the Beasties had already noted Mike, who further intrigued the trio by leaving Adam Yauch a series of intricately scratched phone messages. Invited to work on the Boys' Hello Nasty, Mike impressed, winning the coveted gig of Beastie DJ. The band's long inactive stretches have given Mike time to do a weekly radio show on California's famed KROQ, as well as gigs scoring indie films and video games. And his solo career, which last produced the 2004 set Bangzilla, is reportedly set to be revived with a new collection of turntable tricks.

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