Sunday, June 28, 2009
Telekinetic Roots: TKAT
On any given Friday night, you might find David Azzoni (aka TKAT) rocking the decks at Black Betty with Monk One, holding down the rhythm section and backup vocals with afro-latin-beat group Chico Mann, or maybe just cruising around Brooklyn on his fixie. This Friday however, you can catch the one and only TKAT drop his favorite vinyl selections at OFF THE RECORD.
I had some lasagna with David at Front Street Pizza to catchup and learn a little more about his love for DJing and music (which is probably the reason we both work at the TTL - it sure ain't the pay!).
S: How would you describe your DJ style/influences?
T: Nowadays I do a lot of different stuff, but when I first started out I was really into the J-Rocc Beat Junkie Style - you know, the idea of being real tight technically, while still rocking the party and having fun. When I play dance, hip hop, soul, dancehall - I try and play in a way that isn't just like "these are matched up just 'cuz I can match them up" but have a sort of continuous flow and transfer from vibe to vibe without it being jarring or awkward. Keeping it surprising and diverse.
S: So your pretty much open to any style/genre?
T: Yeah, and lately I''ve even been into mixing in hits and commercial joints with the other stuff to keep the party rocking.
S: Cool man. So tell me about your involvement with Chico Mann...
T: Chico Mann is a project from Marcos Garcia - it's all his music, his productions, etc. In order to do a live show though, he got ambitious and tried a couple live line-ups that didn't really work or translate the sound. But through a review of a single I did, we became friendly and he asked me what I could bring to it. At first he wanted to do a laptop performance...
S: Like Ableton?
T: Yeah, but for me - not only do I not know that stuff (still using Garage Band!) - but what I got from him is he wanted the show to be more like a continuous live dance party. Like going to see a good DJ, but its a live band.. not like the traditional band format of a song then clapping then song, etc. But more like working the crowd as a DJ - but from a band aspect.
S: How do you guys do that?
T: Well, what we came up with is that I pretty much hold down the entire rhythm section of the band through DJing - drums, bass, guitars - aside for the live percussionists we have. Marcos gives me the tracks and I edit them accordingly to work with the live show. That way I'm able to make the tracks flow in a way more like the flow of a dope dance party.
S: Wow, pretty crucial part of the band there!
T: Yeah, pretty crucial. But it's way cooler than just standing at the laptop at a sweaty dance party, which is what it always turns into. It's me mixing live and vibing with the band and they vibe off me, so without being cheesy, its like back in the day when DJs would mix breaks and it was all about that interaction with the people.
S: Dope. I hear you also do vocals too?
T: Haha, yea but they turn me down a bit because we also got Vinia and Matiana who are more talented than myself. But yeah, I add a little low end. (laughs)
S: So what can we expect this friday at OTR? This raw party style?
T: Yes. But I probably won't get too into the commercial stuff, just because APT is such a good venue to not have to do that. I really like the idea of playing on a Friday night and not having to play everything people know (unless its classics or that sort of thing).
S: Nice. I'm excited to hear the energy you bring to Chico Mann, but on the solo. One last thing though - Tell me about the origins of "Telekinetic Kat" (TKAT is an abbreviation of this moniker)...
To hear this story, you gotta come out on Friday and ask him in person ;)