Hey DJ! Friday Q&A: DJ Staypuft
DJ Staypuft likes to make big noises out of little instruments. Specifically he turns Gameboys into musical tools, honing covers of Snoop Dogg and mashing up 8bit sounds with modern beats and melodies. Since relocating from Los Angeles last year, he's been working on throwing bashes in cool confines, including Night Kitchen, which goes down in the cozy basement of Chinatown fave Li Po next Friday. Before you decend the staircase for his mix of dubstep and SKWEEE (see below) take note and make sure to not party foul like his least favorite club guest: a chick who passed out on top of his turntables.
Name: T!m K!efer aka Staypuft
Style(s) of music you spin: Nothing less than mashups, dubstep, booty, hip hop, jungle, and SKWEEE (synthetic scandinavian funk).
You just moved here this year, right? Where'd you come from and how would you compare your old DJ scene to SF? Last Halloween I made the move from LA to SF, somehow managing to fit all my stuff in a teensy Toyota Tercel. They've got wonderfully wild warehouse parties down there, though audiences are generally more jaded. It seems that Bayfolk are ready to party the moment they step out. I'm overwhelmed with how much is going on in this city, not to mention how accessible it all is.
How do Nintendo Gameboys fit into the music you produce? All of my musical projects begin with Nanoloop, a sequencer specifically designed for Gameboy. It lets you play with and arrange all those awesome 8bit sounds from back in the day... I like to tweak those sounds into oblivion, making ruff electro beats and elastic basslines. After I've sketched out a suitably weird idea via Nanoloop I'll add some computer flourishes and voila!
What game has the best music/sound effects? Mega Man 3. I love the Magnet Man Stage music so much that I made my own lyrics for it in middle school, and dressed up as him for Halloween a few years back.
What game do you currently hold the highest score on? Back in high school, I scored something like 10,000 points higher than anyone else on the TI-85 Graphing Calculator version of Tetris.
What's the strangest thing you've sampled for a track? Recently I made a Gameboy cover of "The Next Episode" by Snoop and Dr. Dre, and used my cellphone keypad to play the main riff. Did I mention that I like to make music on tiny electronic instruments?
What's the best mashup you've made of two very disparate songs? The most unlikely combination has gotta be the Dixie Chick's cover of "Landslide" (a classic Fleetwood Mac tune), and a super spacey dubstep tune, "Fallen," by DJ Distance. I can't tell you what possessed me to blend these two, but it's pure sonic bliss.
Name of a track you can't get out of your head: Ciara - "Promise." It's basically Prince meets dubstep.
Favorite DJ experience: Playing a friend's birthday party / rave on a dry lake bed in the SoCal desert, surrounded by naturally formed calcium pillars. It was so windy that the records would last about 10 seconds until they blew off the turntable!
Worst request: This one girl passed out in the middle of requesting a song - on the decks.
What other musical projects are you at work on? (And tell us about Casey James and the Staypuft Kid): I work with LA-based artist Casey James on music best described as neon electro folk. I'm on Gameboy/beatbox duty, and he sings/plays ukelele - we call ourselves Casey James and the Staypuft Kid. Our debut EP, Halloween album, AND Christmas EP are free downloads on our website, cjspk.com. I'm also busy building 8bit / dub techno songs with San Jose's Selector Dub U, and plotting more Night Kitchen madness in 2009.
Musical mantra: Skewered beats served hot to your feets.
Question we didn't ask you but you often ask yourself: "What's next?" I'm always on the hunt for sonic freshness, or old stuff that got lost in the shuffle.
Next time we can see you spin: Subtek and I engage in a battle of the basslines at the next Night Kitchen [Li Po Lounge, 916 Grant Ave., 10pm sharp] on Friday, Nov. 14.