Today, September 25th at Amoeba Records in Hollywood, Slimkid3 & Dj Nu-Mark will be doing a special Live In-store at 6pm. They are promoting their new self-titled album on Delicious Vinyl which is available now. In honor of Slimkid3 & Dj Nu-Mark‘s new album & Amoeba In-Store, we have an exclusive interview with Uncle Nu himself. Not only that, for our Digital Record Pool members, we even have a special “Dj Nu-Mark Music Pack” to download. For those who are interested in getting the music pack & joining the Beat Junkies Digital Record Pool, go to http://staging.beatjunkies.com & sign up today!
Here’s our interview Jurassic 5‘s very own Dj Nu-Mark:
1. Thanks for the doing this quick interview Nu! We’ll start off by asking you, “What go you into Djing & what was your first record you ever bought?”
At the age of 7 I started to show interest in drums. I played at that age but my parents didn’t take my attraction to music seriously. It wasn’t till I was 12 that my Dad bought me a Slingerland drum set and I took lessons and joined my Junior High Jazz Band. In that Jazz class my best friend, Chris Cooke played bass and we would play 5 Minutes of Funk (by Whodini) on bass and drums before class started. Chris and I use to break together and his uncle was a DJ. Chris’s uncle use to live with Chris and would make us mix tapes to break to. One day I watched his uncle double up on the “Duck, Duck, Duck” part of Malcolm MaClaren’s (“Buffalo Gals”) and was blown away. Shortly after I bought some Technic Servo belt driven turntables. It took a long time for me to get both the Turntables via the newspaper second hand and a shit Realistic mixer that gave me blisters while transforming….trying to act like (Jazzy)Jeff and shit really. Eventually my job at Carvel Ice Cream and my bus boy job at a Jazz club helped me buy all the gear I needed to rock a house party.
2. For our generation, the next logical step for Djs to evolve was to go into production. Can you tell us what was your first production gear that used to make beats all the way to what you are using now? Also, who were you’re biggest inspiration for production?
Well, I actually bought my Roland 606 (Drum Machine) before my Technic Servo’s (Belt Drive Turntables). I use to plug headphones in that tiny drum machine and practice chain sequences. Somehow my parents made the connection from Drums to drum machine but I got an earful about how I’d stop playing drums once I got a computer to do it for me…..they were right….I can’t front. After the Roland 606, I started DJ’n all the parties in the San Fernando Valley under the crew name Bum Rush Productions. We would do 2-3 parties a weekend which put me in a good financial position to buy a SP-12 which carried a whopping 2.5 seconds of sampling time on it. This was a good time for me in experimentation and making the most out of a piece of gear that had very little horse power. I was introduced to Brother Soul…. a man with VERY heavy crates for back then and now for that matter. Brother Soul was introduced to me through Trevor Lawrence, his Dad was the sax player on “T Play’s It Cool”(by Marvin Gaye). Trevor told me that Brother Soul was the guy to hook up with if I liked sampling and trying to sound like Main Source etc… Shortly after that Brother Soul showed me the original breaks for 3 Times Dope, Pete Rock, Just Ice, Marley Marl and countless other artist I had already admired and played during drunken High School house parties with excessive Jungle Juice. I later graduated to the SP 1200 / Akai S950 combo, then went the MPC 60 / EMAX II Combo then caught the MPC 2000 solo for a bit. Later I graduated to making beats just on Pro Tools, then decided it felt to stiff and predictable so I got down with Reason but didn’t trust that Rex file thing, then went to Ableton Live / Maschine which is my current set up. I’m sure I’ll change again soon.
3. For those that do not know, how & when did you meet the fellas (Jurassic 5) & when did you officially became a group?
I met Chali (2na) and Cut (Chemist) at a rehearsal for a night called Rat Race. This was probably my first club gig out of the Valley around 1991 or 1992. I was the resident DJ and it was at Rudolpho‘s in Silverlake which is now Home I believe. Anyway, Rat Race would recruit Hip Hop groups to rhyme over their live in house Funk Band. It was pretty dope and just a tad bit before The Roots blew up under that same formula. At one of the rehearsals, I decided to hook up a guitar wah wah pedal to the output of my mixer and started cutting and filtering my cuts simultaneously, as that happened Cut Chemist walked in and said “Whoah, DJ Hendrix”! We got along famously after that. J5 wasn’t formed quite yet because Chali, Cut and Marc 7 were still in a group called Unity Committee and Akil and Soup were in Rebeles Of Rhythm. We quickly realized after recording “Unified Rebelution” together that we needed each other to make it in the music business. Both crews plus myself and Brother Soul had been actively shopping demos with no luck. It wasn’t till Jurassic 5 formed as one that we got our first break with Blunt/TVT and later on a sizey deal with Pias in the UK then Interscope here in the states.
4. You dropped a few projects such as the Blend Crafters with Pomo, Broken Sunlight, & just recently, an album with Slimkid3 (formerly of The Pharcyde) which is out right now……I know that all of those projects have a special place in your heart & were a labor of love, but out of all the projects, which one was the most difficult to work on & which one was the most fun you had working on?
Well “Broken Sunlight” was my debut artist album so that would definitely be the album that was the hardest to record. It’s a little bit like painting a picture an inch away from the canvas when you create 14 songs dolo. I was able to recruit Quantic on one of the joints but for the most part, I was dealing with Bumpy Knuckles, Large Pro, J-Live, Quantic, A-Skillz and Laudir de Oliviera directly. Coming up with video concepts and creating the DJ Needle Usb Drive took many tries until it was complete. My DVD “Nu-Conduit” which featured my live Toy Set was very difficult to complete: http://youtu.be/Bb4etMWgEyU.
God bless Luke Lynch for doing such an amazing job with editing of that DVD. All the hard work really paid off in touring an when “Tough Break” got licensed to “Battle Of The Year” on Sony Pictures. People seemed to enjoy “Dumpin Em All” featuring Bumpy Knuckles: http://youtu.be/oqVvFYoQ2uY and “Tonight” featuring J-Live: http://youtu.be/jqx1FT9RvXY
Rewind a bit, in 2004 I collaborated with one of my oldest friends Pomo. I would get off of these 4 month long J5 tours and just feel like I needed an outlet other than J5. We would play beats to each other and give honest critcism to each other. We decided to put out some of those beats on an EP. Was really just a simple project and might have been the only time I told a label not to promote it lol. One of the joints ended up on a Vodaphone commercial in the Uk and “Imagine” has done really well for us!
The Slimkid3 & DJ Nu-Mark album had to be the easiest of the 3. I think there was just something in the star alignment or something?? Our original idea with this album was to form a Middle School Super Group…..maybe a member from Hiero, Phife, Lady Bug etc… but we started recording and kept lookin at each other like “damn…maybe we should just continue with just us?” It just sounded natural and unforced I guess. I mean out of the concise 10 song album we had 4 singles….that’s the best average I’ve had yet in my duration as a producer. On top of that Tre was the easiest MC I’ve ever dealt with. His open minded approach in the lab made it both fun and easy for us to reach the finish line. Another strange thing happened in the last stage of this albums creation. When we sat together to sequence the album….we quickly realized that there was nothing to think about. As I played the songs in order off my disc drive, they just felt right and stayed in that EXACT order on our final album. We didn’t re-arrange anything…..very fucking odd if you ask me.
5. As a well known Dj/Producer/record digger/collector, the newest level of digging I like to think is multi-tracks….it’s almost like a secret society to be diggin in THAT circle. (Btw, your edits on your new mixtape “Tre’d Mark Mix” for 101 Clothing is incredible!) Do you think diggin for multi-tracks has made you lacksidasical to go record shopping or do you consider multi-track diggin just another way of diggin for new inspiration? Before that, please explain to our blog readers what are “multi-tracks”?
Yeah….Jesus….I’m breaking out in sweats just thinking about Multi’s. God Damn It!! These multi’s are gonna to be the end of me. Yeah, so a relatively small amount of us are collecting multi-track recordings from our favorite groups crossing many different genre’s of music. You can hear the isolated Bass, Vocals, Drums from a group you always admired etc… There’s a strange feeling that comes over you when you listen to a multi you’ve been wanting. Right off you know you’re doing something wrong yet you feel amped up….almost like you’re in the room with the engineer and the artist! It’s a little bit like finding a rare record except that …..well… Multi-Track trading is like the crack of digging. It’s a bit hard to return to regular albums after you’ve heard all the isolated parts on “Impeach The President” etc… I’ve made myself dig for rare albums again but it’s almost like going from Cocaine back to Weed…..btw, I’ve never tried Coke, just trying to paint the picture here player. Touring with J5 on our reunion runs have also helped me become more level headed about diggin for albums. It also kinda makes me feel like I’m a teen again!!
6. What records are you now into in terms of diggin?
I’m getting a bit more serious about my heritage lately and finding more Persian music is important to me. I also have been trying to step my dialogue catalog up a bit. I have zero interest in 80’s Hip Hop…. I know that’s the big craze now…could care less. I still search for melancholy loops….stuff I could never exhibit on J5 albums but could easily get away with on the Slimkid project. Always interested in breaks but I’m mostly searching for foreign sounding loops that change the way I feel. I’ve gotten further and further away from heady music and more into music that evokes feeling.
7. Will there be any of a chance that an official “Less Than Six” aka Cut Chemist & Nu-Mark album be recorded and officially released?
I don’t know man? Cut and I spoke before J5 reunited and I just remember telling him that I need to work harder to catch up to his success (that was 2 projects ago) in order for it to feel balanced. I feel like I have so much more to share with the world before Cut and I join. I have homework man. I spent many years worrying about getting J5 off the ground ….it wasn’t until 2004 that I released my first project outside of my crew. So I’m kind of playing catchup ya know?? Not sure if he’s 100% down with that idea yet either? Would be a ton of fun though! You can’t front on the Libra (Cut) and Gemini (Nu) combo…that’s def in the stars (Lennon / McCartney)….same signs.
8. Last question…..we know you & your girlfriend are a foodie. What are you favorite spots to eat in LA & that you can recommend us?
Oh snap. Ready, here it is player!
1. Soot Bull Jeep – By far my favorite Korean BBQ….and yes it shits on Korea’s BBQ. I go to Korea all the time and this place is puttin a woopin on that ass. Ask for the spicy Pork and Spencer steak. Located in Korea Town.
2. Shamshiri– I’m getting to be a very fine Persian cook but when I don’t have much time (which is usullay 98% of the time) I like to enjoy Persian Cuisine at Shamshiri. They have one in Glendale and Westwood. It’s all about the Fesinjoon there.
3. Hy Mart (Papa George’s) Sandwiches – This is a spot in Teluca Lake that has killer sandwiches. Everything from Meditteranean wraps to “Ben’s Pastrami”. I don’t normally advocate a sandwich spot but this place does big things in little Havana plus they named a sandwich after me! Ask for the “Uncle Nu Nu” it’s a chicken gyro…simply wonderful!
Thanks for having me peeps. The Slimkid3 & DJ Nu-Mark LP is out now!! See you Thursday at Amoeba. Catch me at www.unclenu.com
Thank you Uncle Nu!!
Here’s all of Dj Nu-Mark‘s social media links & his music videos with Slimkid3:
“I Know, Didn’t I” feat. Darondo (CURRENT SINGLE):
Behind the scenes making of the Slimkid3 & DJ Nu-Mark LP.