DJ Revolution, a turntable whiz who has been DJing since he was 12, is part of the team that makes up Beat Bites, Megatrax’s catalog of “urban ear candy” from producer Christian Salyer. He recently took the track titled “Man Or Machine,” which appears on BB019 Tasty Turntable Treats, and revisited it in a retro-techno video that evokes Herbie Hancok’s “Rock It” with a modern look and sound. We sat down with DJ Revolution and Salyer to learn more about the video and about what’s happening with Beat Bites.
Megatrax: DJ Revolution, can you tell us about the video- what inspired it, and how did you pull it off?
DJ Revolution: Truthfully, it was great art direction and post production, but it was the idea of the song that kicked it off. Basically everyone always calls me a machine when I’m DJ’n out live or in the studio, so that’s where the track came from, but the video was fun to do because I was really in a sense battling a machine which was …myself.
MX: Tell us about the track- what inspired it and who contributed to the BB version?
DJR: I just felt like it would fit the project as it’s predominantly about scratch music. A good friend and MC, KBimean, raps on the verse. Some of the elements changed in the mix for the Beat Bites version, but I wanted to keep it relatively the same.
MX: Christian, you’ve told us in the past that you “make music that sounds like records.” Can you tell us how DJ. Revolution’s work fits into that?
Christian Salyer: I mean that is what he does, he makes records. The guy lives and breathes hip-hop and rap music from producing and composing it to mixing it as a world class DJ. He does not make music for TV and film. He creates the best urban Instrumentals and songs that we license to TV and film… That is the BIG difference.
MX: Beat Bites has an authentic urban vibe. Can you talk a little bit about what you do to make sure the work you’re creating for production music retains that authenticity?
DJR: Speaking for myself, I go to painstaking lengths in order to make everything feel like it would if I was making a record for commercial release. All the standards of quality I set for myself remain the same. Getting inspiration from songs, artists, sounds etc… I’ve made a science of taking computer synth generated sounds and making them sound like samples to give the hip-hop I make for the catalog the same feel as if I did, in fact, sample. I also place a very heavy emphasis on getting the drums right. Hip-hop has always been a drum-based genre, and although the feel and sound of those drums has changed over time, getting them right means making them the center of the track.
MX: Christian, what’s coming up for Beat Bites?
CS: We’ve got some great releases slated for next quarter including one by DJ Revolution called 9-oh 90-yo’s. It is authentic 1990’s-styled hip-hop from the more gritty underground stuff to the big hip-hop pop mixes of that era.
Then we have Sugar-Free Beats 5, R&Breezy Splash, Ethno Urban Swirls, and, last but not least, we are introducing a NEW series for us called Movie Munchies. This is our version of modern music genres like electronic, urban, and rock, blended with neo-classical score. The first one is rock-based project called Movie Munchies Rock Cinema. The second release will be a hip-hop based one called Movie Munchies Urban Cinema.
MX: DJ Revolution, do you DJ live anywhere?
DJR: I DJ all over the world. This year I’ve been to Brazil, Europe twice and am actually in Australia as we speak. In L.A. I do random shows in places where I can play anything thing I want or find spots that I can play certain types of music I can’t play when on tour. I also do a weekly podcast on Mixcloud, and in January my partners and I will be bringing back our world-renowned radio show on SiriusXM’s Shade 45.
Check out the full Beat Bites catalog at Megatrax.com, and watch the video below to see DJ Revolution in a scratch battle for the ages!
This article originally appeared in the Megatrax Newsletter. Click here to subscribe!
Another terrific post from the Megatrax Crew