Mix Master Mike | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Mix Master Mike

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An underground turntablist might seem like a strange opening act for Guns N' Roses, but this San Franciscan knows a thing or two about rocking an arena--he's worked the decks for the Beastie Boys' live shows since 1998. (He's the title DJ in "Three MC's and One DJ," from Hello Nasty.) Scratch wonks know him as a founding member of the Bay Area DJ crew the Invisibl Skratch Piklz, who won the annual DMC World DJ contest so many times they were forced to retire from competition. He was also one of the first scratch DJs to issue an album under his own name, 1998's Anti-Theft Device (Asphodel), a disc whose dense scribbles and scrapes often made it difficult to hear the body-rocking beats underneath. Last year, he released Spin Psycle (Moonshine), a straighter but still scratch-heavy mix album blending middle-school artists (the Beasties, KRS-One, JVC Force) and newer indie-label acts (Cali Agents, Deltron 3030). The new Return of the Cyklops is something of a stopgap, compiling three out-of-print EPs (Eye of the Cyklops, Valuemeal, and Suprize Packidge) with B sides and other loose ends. Though hardly cohesive it does contain some savory moments, like the rampaging, distorted bassline of "Counter Attack Now," the soul-on-ice horns breakdown of "Harsky & Starch," and the sci-fi feel and kids-record intro of "Dwarf 9." Monday, November 18, 7:30 PM, Allstate Arena, 6920 Mannheim, Rosemont; 847-635-6601 or 312-559-1212.

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