Jason "DJ Logic" Kibler contributed to redefine the turntablist as a jazz improviser on Project Logic (1999) and especially Anomaly (2001).
Jason "DJ Logic" Kibler was a kid from the Bronx who learned to use the
turntable at parties. After a short stint in the rock band
Eye & I, DJ Logic collaborated with
jazz musicians Don Byron and Graham Haynes and with rock guitarist
In 1996, DJ Logic joined jazz trio Medeski, Martin & Woods.
Project Logic (Ropeadope, 1999) is his own project. Helped out by
Melvin Gibbs on bass and Skoota Warner on drums, DJ Logic sets out to
redefine the turntablist as a jazz improviser and the mixer as an orchestra
conductor. DJ Logic and his rhythm section recorded their jams, then DJ Logic
enlisted a number of external contributions
(from Teo Macero to Marc Ribot) and submerged them with effects.
In his profession, this amounts to a virtuoso performance.
Shea's Groove is his manifesto and tribute to his predecessor David Shea.
Gig 1 and Bag Of Tricks are powerful grooves,
and Spider Dance is as close as he gets to rock music,
Mnemonics sounds like Bill Laswell's fusion of Indian and drum'n'bass.
Boasting countless guests (Vernon Reid, John Medesky, Melvin Gibbs),
Anomaly (Atlantic, 2001) is even more creative.
DJ Logic seamlessly integrates the noise of his turntable with the
instruments of his jazz combo
in tracks that are both ebullient and eloquent.
French Quarter is a visceral organ-driven soul-rock rave-up.
Black Buddha is a meeting of the turntable with jazzy flute,
saxophone, organ and tribal drumming.
Trumpet, Caribbean percussions and organ take shifts at leading the upbeat
theme of Ron's House.
Far from being cerebral or harsh, the music flows carelessly and warm:
Michelle has a catchy refrain and laid-back jamming;
Soul Kissing, one of the standouts, is a relatively straightforward dance that mixes exotic, Irish and techno elements, besides piling up xylophone, two violins and turntable.
An explicit tribute, Miles Away (that sets a Davis-ian trumpet into a chaotic, industrial landscape of percussions), further increases the jazz quotient.
Drone picks up from these meandering harmonies and continues into wilder territory, letting all the instruments improvise against each other.
The tracks where the scratching takes the lead are the strongly syncopated
Frequency One and the hyper-funky Bean E Man.
On the other hand, Afronautical is Afro-dub full of electronic effects,
and Hip-Hopera (the "experimental" standout) is a surreal layer of
wordless vocals, looping strings, steady drumming, electronic noises,
funny scratches, that achieves a pensive, dramatic emphasis.
This jazz combo with turntable plays a music of irregularities that is the
ideal extension of the very notion of the turntablist.
Yohimbe Brothers are Vernon Reid
and DJ Logic, attempting a fusion of hip-hop,
hard-rock and electronic noise on
Front End Lifter (Rope-a-Dope, 2002) and
The Tao of Yo (Thirsty Ear, 2004).
Groundtruther's Longitude was a collaboration with Charlie Hunter and Bobby Previte.
DJ Logic's Zen Of Logic (Ropeadope, 2006) bridged hip-hop, jazz and world music, and displayed a stronger hip-hop element than any of the creative
collaborations of the era.
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