Fri, Jul 15, 2011 - Page 15 News List

The Vinyl Word

By Marcus Aurelius  /  Contributing Reporter

Yoda will be cutting up and pasting together audio and visual treats tomorrow at Barcode.

Photo courtesy of DJ Yoda

Big band swing music, country and western, and The Muppet Show Theme are not usually what people anticipate hearing at an ordinary hip-hop show. But expect the unexpected at Yoda’s (also known as Duncan Beiny) audio-visual spectacular tomorrow at Barcode, because his sets are workouts for the ears as well as the eyes.

A product of the 1980s, the young Yoda was exposed to music that had a certain feel to it. “The music I was listening to when I was a kid was hip-hop and pop music, and it all had DJs scratching in it,” Yoda said in an e-mail interview with the Taipei Times. “I would try and emulate that using my parent’s hi-fi player. Plus my dad kept his record collection in my bedroom, so I was kind of surrounded by records from the start.”

For many people, the golden era of hip-hop was the late 1980s and early 1990s, and Yoda is no different. “When I first got into hip-hop, the artists I was into were people like Salt-n-Pepa, Big Daddy Kane, Ice T or NWA,” Yoda said.

“I think rap music has kind of gone downhill since then, and there is much less hip-hop out there that I am into right now,” he said. “The energy and rawness that I used to love in hip-hop can now be found in a lot of underground global dance music like dubstep, drum and bass, moombahton, dancehall or whatever.”

Since Yoda’s love of hip-hop was waning, he searched through old records and honed a tongue-in-cheek style of mixing called cut and paste where he dropped various genres as well as humorous vocal snippets into his sets. In 2001, he released How to Cut & Paste Mix Tape Vol 1 and his career took off. “I think that cut and paste is a very cool kind of music for anyone to try, because all you do is take all your influences and put them all together to create something new,” Yoda said.

Before digital deejaying, cut and paste was much harder to do because people had to dig through records and find these special samples. Nowadays, anyone can record YouTube videos and use them to make music. Yoda still believes that originality is the key. “I think if you are honest about your influences, then automatically everyone’s version of cut and paste will sound unique,” he said.

In 2003 and 2004, Yoda set his sights on scoring movies, but the twist was that the films had already been made and released. He went on to tour the festival circuit and blur the lines between clubbing and a night at the movies by scratching and playing music during crowd-pleasing films like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and The Goonies.

Now, Yoda manipulates the video as well as the music. “I always used to include audio clips from my favorite movies in my DJ mixes,” Yoda said. “Then the technology changed to allow me to mix and scratch the video of these films, too. So it just seemed a natural fit into my style. Now half of my shows are just regular DJ shows, and the other half I mix and scratch with a screen.”

Yoda, tomorrow from 9pm to 3:30am at Barcode, 5F, 88 Songren Rd, Taipei City (台北市松仁路88號5樓). Admission is NT$500 and includes one drink.

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