This week The KCSBeat, Colin Marshall’s column for the Santa Barbara Independent on everything to do with KCSB, takes a look and a listen to Chronometricz, a Friday-night hip-hop and dance institution since 2007:
Host and DJ George Duarte, also known as XTEK OVERLOAD, has led just the kind of life and career to acquire the skills to pull this off. While Duarte sets up before each show, rapper Chui Malik mans the hand-truck, wheeling seven crates full of vinyl into the control room. “I’ve been on a kick,” Duarte said. “I’ve been trying six crates, seven crates, eight crates, but I’ve found that seven’s the magic number.” And if you do happen to sit in on the show, don’t even look at his crates funny. “These crates took 15 years to get in the perfect order. I fly off the handle of you move them.”
Duarte’s experience as a DJ and producer stretches back even further than that. “I got my first turntables at 16. That was 1986. Then came the drum machines, the little Yamaha samplers — no sequencers — and a four-track recorder. Everything was finger-triggered. That’s why I have this ability.” That ability, in use constantly throughout the show’s two hours, was his almost supernatural way of manipulating imperfect gear to produce exactly the sounds he wanted, exactly when he needed them. He demonstrated by playing a pretty respectable beat using only one of the studio CD players’ cue buttons. “I’m trying to change the tempo, but the turntable’s pitch control doesn’t go far enough,” he later said, pressing his thumb directly onto a spinning disc. “I have to do it by hand. Took me years to learn this.”
Read it all here.