Do Remember: DJ QBert’s Demolition Pumpkin Squeeze Musik (Mixtape)

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Although he does not get nearly enough credit in mainstream Hip-Hop circles, DJ QBert is one of the proven masters within the culture. The San Francisco, California DJ/turntablist/producer born Richard Quitevis has advanced the possibility of the turntable, mixer, and scratch language beyond comprehension. The leader of the Invisibl Skratch Piklz, QBert would become a West Coast conduit for DJ culture.

This past week, he premiered a new set of ’60s and ’70s Soul/Rare Groove that had the web abuzz. It calls to mind the breakthrough tape/album that the Butter Rugs slipmats inventor released 21 years ago, with a cassette tape that opened the universe to the sound coming out the Bay. Demolition Pumpkin Squeeze Musik sliced like Michael Myers.

With his turntables and a mixer, QBert embarked on a journey much like his recent one. The DJ stacked up plates by James Brown, Jackson 5, ESG, The Blackbyrds, Z.Z. Hill, and Roy Ayers Ubiquity. Much of the mix is built around Hip-Hop’s famed samples and break-beats. Within, QBert snuck in Prog Rock band Rush, futuristic New Wave artist Gary Numan, and Rock & Roll pioneer Bo Diddley. Additionally, Q worked in Too Short, Roxanne Shante, Fab 5 Freddy, and even retro Acid Jazz outfit, Greyboy Allstars.

What made the mix so astounding is that QBert retraced Hip-Hop music back to its elements, the very ingredients that were at the DJ’s disposal in the Bronx park jams of the mid-1970s. Almost like moving from acoustic to electric guitar, QBert takes the turntable, and amplifies the elementary Hip-Hop exponentially. Moreover, the DJ slides in other records, challenging himself to stay grounded in the confines of the culture.

At the same time the X-Ecutionerz (Rob Swift, Roc Raida, et. al) were running around New York City with a street-stuck rawness, and the Beat Junkies (DJ Rhettmatic, J. Rocc, et. al) were making moves in Southern California, QBert was going back to the future with aggressive scratches, unpredictability, and the fastest hands on two turns around. Already a two-time DMC World Champion, QBert was simply giving the grassroots masses something to admire in their tape-decks. The results were so strong, the work was later officially pressed up to CD and 2LP.

Work like this helped reinvigorate the DJ market, prior to Scratch, Serato, DJ Hero, or mass reissues. Before he was working with Kool Keith, DJ Shadow, and making animated films, QBert was out to be the baddest DJ in the space. Some say this tape may have sealed the deal:


Here’s the tracklist:
Rush    Tom Sawyer
Eddie Bo    Hook & Sling Pt. 1
Bill Withers    Kissin’ My Love
The Chubukos    House of the Rising Funk
Bob James    Take Me to Mardi Gras
Rufus Thomas    Do The Funky Penguin Pt. 2
7th Wonder    Daisy Lady
Galactic Force Band    Space Dust
Galactic Force Band    Space Dust
James Brown    Funky President (People It’s Bad)
Dexter Wansel    Theme from the Planets
Rhythm Heritage    Theme from “S.W.A.T.”
The Brothers Johnson    Ain’t We Funkin’ Now
Esther Williams    Last Night Changed it All
Jackson 5    It’s Great To Be Here
Lowell Fulson    Tramp
Lonnie Liston Smith    Expansions
The Grass Roots    You and Love are the Same
Lafayette Afro Rock Band    Congas
Dennis Coffey    Ride Sally Ride
Yellow Sunshine    Yellow Sunshine
The J.B.’s    Blow Your Head
Incredible Bongo Band    Apache
Jackie Robinson    Pussyfooter
ESG    U.F.O.
Fab 5 Freddy    Down By Law
Gary Numan    Films
The Headhunters    God Made Me Funky
The Honey Drippers    Impeach the President
Funk, Inc.    Kool is Back
Ike White    Love & Affection
The 5 Stairsteps    Don’t Change Your Love
Lamont Dozier    Take Off Your Makeup
Roy Ayers    Boogie Back
Roy Ayers    Boogie Back
Bo Diddley    Hit Or Miss
Roxanne Shanté    The Def Fresh Crew
Black Heat    Zimba Ku
The Wild Magnolias    Soul, Soul, Soul
Banbarra    Shack Up
Juice    Catch a Groove
Dennis Coffey    Son of Scorpio
Cecil Holmes Soulful Sounds    2001 (Also Sprach Zarathustra)
Magic Disco Band    Scratchin’
John Davis and the Monster Orchestra    I Can’t Stop
Pleasure    Let’s Dance
James Brown    Give It Up or Turnit a Loose (Remix)
The Blackbyrds    Rock Creek Park
Wild Sugar    Bring It Here
Brother Soul    Cookies
Bobby Byrd    I Know You Got Soul
Z. Z. Hill    I Think I’d Do It
Greyboy Allstars    Tenor Man
Coke Escovedo    (Runaway) I Wouldn’t Change A Thing
Grant Green    Ain’t it Funky
James Brown    Soul Pride Pt. 1
Too Short    Freaky Tales

Check out other Ambrosia For Heads’ “Do Remember” pieces.

Related: Many Think DJ QBert Is The Best Turntablist Alive. Listen As He Obliterates a ’60s Soul (Mix)