I am a little anxious heading into this conversation with Richard Quitevis AKA DJ Q-bert, mainly because I believe turntablism has had a profound effect on the way we listen to and create music over the past 25 years. That being said, I’ve been following Q-bert avidly over the years since the movie “Scratch” was released world-wide and shed more light on the art of turntablism and DJ culture. At the end of the day my knowledge isn’t THAT deep on the subject and my anxiousness stems from this: What if he calls me out on this?
Little did I know Q-bert’s line of thought was on a completely different frequency than what I expected.
“DJ culture has evolved into something beautiful in terms of variation of styles and approach.” He says from his home base in California, “Where it’s headed is something beyond DJ battles.
“It’s about giving opposed to selfishness. There is an opportunity to explore the power of healing through frequencies and images. We can reach beyond our current practices for recovery and maintaining our health — hospitals are crude in this way.” To some this may seem far-fetched but this isn’t a new approach it is a nod to ancient beliefs and techniques touching on Buddhism (to give is good, being selfish is evil) and Reiki (in part the practice of using frequencies to tune energies affecting the spirit and the body in beneficial ways).
Reflecting on Q-bert’s work with Thud Rumble, a diversified media management company committed to showcasing and expanding the world of the scratch DJ that he started with fellow Invisibl Skratch Pikl, Ritche “Yogafrog” Desuasido, it all starts to make sense in terms of what space he’s playing in these days: community, education, giving, doing good by your actions and impacting others in a positive way.
All his ideas and current actions are spring-boarding off his success and talent as a turntablist and impresario of DJ culture. For example Q-bert’s “SuperSeal 5” battle records/ DJ tools have Reiki symbols on them furthering the ideas of co relating music frequencies with physical positive impact.
Q-bert is really deep, I don’t know how else to say it.
After our heavy discussion we talk about which artists he has the greatest respect for (Biz Markie, Madlib, Mix Master Mike and J Dilla (RIP), and then we finally start talking shop about his live shows.
“In the studio I use Tractor and vinyl. Traktor is fine to a point but if I need more accuracy I will press whatever I need to vinyl and go from there. [When] playing live it’s all vinyl.”
For more information on Q-bert check out thudrumble.com and to witness his live show check him out Thursday, September 13.