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Time Out Chicago / Issue 183 : Aug 28–Sep 3, 2008

DJ C in XLR8R

Fall Preview 2008 | Clubs
Vital man C

With an online label, global mashing mentality and futuristic dancehall album, DJ C’s got the sonic nutrition you need.

By John Dugan

At the crossroads of the genre-blending, digital-remix and bouncing-bass–obsessed international DJ scene, DJ C and Mashit.com have a rep for pushing underground dance culture forward, both online and off. Radio One legend John Peel picked Mashit as his label of the month in October 2004 when the then-Boston-based producer was releasing tracks by DJ C and others with a jungle bent. More recently, DJ C, who relocated to the Chicago area from Boston a year ago, has turned the vinyl label into a download site, podcast and blog that serves as an outlet for his (and his friends’) mixes, mash-ups, original tracks—even full albums—that don’t tuck neatly into any genre. He’s a DJ expanding his curatorial role online and a Chicago producer of growing influence.

This fall, he’s issuing a free album of all his mash-ups—playful recombinations of everything from Usher and Kelly Clarkson to Southern club tracks—with the working title Mas Hits, plus an album featuring Venezuelan producers Cardopusher and Pacheko for Mashit. He’s also throwing the Bouncement party, which showcases global ghetto-tech, dubstep, bassline, grime, blog tracks and genre blends at Sonotheque on September 21 as part of the Chicago World Music Festival.

A former rock and free-jazz musician and four-track experimenter, DJ C and his friends in the collective Toneburst made their name throwing multimedia events showcasing left-field electronica in Boston in the late ’90s, combining multiple dance styles in one playlist. “I’ve always been more about mixing all of my favorite things all across the years and the genres,” he says.

At New York’s Turntable Lab shop in 2003, he picked up a genre-blending mix-tape from a Philly DJ team called Hollertronix. “We rode back from New York listening, going, ‘Whoa, this is what we do,’ ” he remembers.

The dancehall, hip-hop and pop fan claims he was wise to regional genres such as Baltimore club music before hip DJs embraced them. “Some friends of mine in Boston were sourcing those records in the mid-’90s. I was dumbfounded that Baltimore music wasn’t more popular. Especially the early stuff—it was really funky but with that ghetto feel that was really fun.”

In 2004, inspired by that homegrown sound, C and friends kick-started a Baltimore-inspired movement called Boston bounce that gained the attention of like-minded tastemaker Diplo (of that Hollertronix mix-tape). Diplo chose DJ C to cut a remix of “U R A QT” from M.I.A.’s first album in 2005, and remixes for Warrior Queen and Ghislain Poirier have come more recently. In 2007, he issued Sonic Weapons in Japan, a techy bass record with toasting from Jamaican and U.K. MCs. This summer, he upped the ante with a full album of originals that’s getting national notice—a collaboration with Chicago MC Zulu called Gods & Robots.

The hypereclectic DJ refuses to sell himself as a Baltimore-club or dubstep DJ, though. Instead, he prefers to assimilate new styles—as he’s done with jungle and dancehall—into his far-reaching sets. All the while, he’s looking for new rhythms to bubble up from the streets. “In the Bronx, Kingston [Jamaica], and with the U.K. rave scene, outlaw sound-system cultures spawned their own form of music,” he says. “Our thing in Boston was totally academic. I haven’t been here very long, but I’m impressed with Chicago’s club scene—it’s really vibrant.”

Mas Hits drops at Mashit.com in September. Bouncement gets low on September 21 at Sonotheque.

Listen to DJ C's mini-mix of tracks from his Mas Hits album, coming out in September. ->

Portland Mercury, October 16, 2008

DJ C

(Ohm, 31 NW 1st) DJ C got a couple of big breaks a few years ago. First, legendary BBC radio host John Peel named C's Mashit Records label of the month, citing the ability of the first few releases to burn up just about any dance floor while mixing any and all genres. Shortly after that Diplo asked C to remix a track he was working on for M.I.A., which proceeded to completely explode, giving a boost to everyone involved. Aside from running and producing music for his own label, C has released tracks on Shockout, Ninja Tune, and Community Library. He appears in Portland for a special "Ragganaught" edition of Reactionary Tuesdays, a new breakcore and dubstep weekly at Ohm. Although DJ C makes it a point to represent a very wide variety of styles, expect a focus on jungle and ragga sounds this time around. - AVA

Montreal Mirror, April 10, 2008

Full Cycle
DJ C’s globetrotting grooves and dub
digressions bring him back to the
beats he was running from

by JACK OATMON

A true crate-digger can only dodge the forbidden fruit for so long. Especially when said beat fanatic is a guy who’s made his name turning over forgotten stones in search of exciting new—and old—rhythms to rumble rumps of all affiliations. Jake Trussell, aka DJ C, is a Boston-born Beat Research resident and Mashit record-label founder whose desire to expand the bandwidth of his hometown clubs has led him through over a decade’s worth of D&B, dub, ragga and dancehall production, DJing and remixing. But now he has relocated to the house that house built, Chicago, Illinois, and his eclectic ears are engaging an entire gamut of grooves he never thought he’d embrace.

“In Boston, that’s the kind of club scene we were trying to avoid when we were coming up,” recounts DJ C of his entry point into electronic music. “It’s a college town, so there were always these rich kids around with their beamers, and they’d go out to these cheesy clubs on the weekend. And to tell you the truth, house and techno was big at those clubs in that time, so that’s why I reacted against it at first, I think. Not even because it was bad music or anything. The whole vibe around it was just bad.”

Now the four-on-the-floor beat has become one more source in Trussell’s enormous range of influences. Just half a year in the former dance-music Mecca, and a helping hand from the U.K. bassline house sound, have cranked open his ears to all manner of gems from the history of house, and added a new spice to his flavourful mixes of dubstep, B-more, baile funk and all things bass-heavy—expect a heaping when he hits Baile MTL’s second anniversary party. “Since I’ve moved here, I’ve learned a lot about it and realized how much great, classic stuff there is, and the new great stuff that’s happening.”

Don’t take that to mean he’s overhauled his sound, however. It still features leftfield beats from as many locales and eras as it does genres. “My take on DJing has always been to play what’s good, no matter when it’s from. That was one good reason to start making my own music, so I could always play stuff that people hadn’t heard before. If it’s new, great, but I’ve always been all about playing my favourite things from any era. I’m glad that that seems to have taken hold more now. People seem to be more into busting out old tracks now.”

That said, he still certainly identifies with the excitement of the brand new sounds, which are made available to him by surfing the blogosphere for fresh jams, in equal parts with his vinyl-nabbing missions in his new home.

“I do feel like the people getting so into these micro-genres, ‘global ghetto tech,’ still have that mentality of being interested in hearing whatever new sounds they can find out about that are going on somewhere. I’m like that too. As long as I like it, as long as it’s fun and people will like it on the dancefloor and it resonates with me, then I’m totally into it. It’s always exciting to hear about a new theme that’s bubbling up.”

With Baile MTL DJs at Zoobizarre on
Saturday, April 12, 10 p.m., $5

XLR8R Magazine, August 2007

  DJ C in XLR8R

DJ C
Boston's original artcore junglist pulls up his roots and comes full circle.

DJ C is a man on the move. For the past 10 years, Jake Trussell has been a pivotal figure in Boston's electronic music scene, organizing parties, hosting club nights, and spinning a riotous mix of jungle, ragga, hip-hop, dancehall, dubstep, bhangra, and '80s pop. This June saw the release of DJ C's long-awaited first full-length, the formidably enjoyable Sonic Weapons. This summer also saw the Boston native move to Chicago on a mission to introduce third-coasters to the hyper-hyphenated style he's dubbed 'Boston bounce.'

"Boston bounce began as an experiment in artificial insemination," he explains slyly. "I was wondering why Boston didn't have its own dance music 'sound' like many other cities do. My theory was that it had to do with the provincial/puritanical repression that's left over in the so-called liberal state from back in the olden days. Those parties in the streets of Kinston and the Bronx, and the abandoned warehouses and fields in the UK weren't legal, but they were tolerated. Unfortunately, Boston is not so tolerant. We were forced to create our own culture in the Beat Research laboratories."

At their long-running Monday night weekly, also called Beat Research, Trussell and his longtime co-conspirator Anthony Flackett (DJ Flack) have conjured all manner of sonic alchemy. But this is nothing new for Trussell. From his earliest musical experiments as a teenager in the northern suburbs of Boston, Trussell has embraced a dizzying variety of styles, using turntables to sample Ravi Shankar and Frank Zappa records into four-track recordings, and regaling house parties with sets heavy on reggae and techno.

He moved to Boston during the heyday of rave and jungle, and became a founding memeber of the influential artcore junglist collective Toneburst (the same group that nurtured DJ /rupture). As part ot Toneburst, Trussell organized large anti-raves and art happenings around Boston that aimed to explode stagnant musical categories—an approach he describes as "extreme culture-blending."

Fulled by recent changes in technology (DJ software like Serato and Final Scratch, MP3 blogs, MySpace), the radical eclecticism that is Trussell's bread and butter is makeing a comeback. "It's changed a huge amount just in the last year," Trussell says of DJing. "I think there's a huge amount of potential, because it frees things up, encouraging DJs to mix all different styles together." These changes, which he describes as a "seismic shift," have not only spurred this own creativity (there's a lot of tracks in the DJ C pipeline). but have also led Trussell to make changes to his heretofore ragga jungle-based Mashit imprint. "I'm really excited about the re-launch of Mashit. which will expand across genres (more like my DJ style) and cater to the (more digital) way DJs work today."

DJ C's Sonic Weapons is out now on Wimm Recordings.

Textura, August 2007

DJ C feat. Zulu: Body Work
Community Library

DJ C and Zulu Body Work

A 10-inch ‘riddim series' vinyl prequel to the forthcoming 12-inch Darling, Body Work is a fabulous jam by collaborators DJ C (Jake Trussell) and vocalist Zulu. The duo's third single to date and follow-up to the 7-inch Animal Attraction provides an irresistibly funky fusion of dancehall, grime, and dubstep. Bask in the glorious sound of Zulu doing vocal somersaults while the tune's “Jump Up and Bounce” rhythm pulses with kinetic energy and a triggered siren squeal wails like a crying baby. Sans vocal, the jaw-dropping instrumental version melds a serpentine dubstep skip with rambunctious, jungle-inflected breakbeats. More please!

Time Out New York, July 2007

Album Review: DJ C; Sonic Weapons
4 Stars

DJ C "Sonic Weapons" CD Cover Art

A digital-dancehall groove graced by the otherworldy sound of a theremin; crunk, dub, drum ’n’ bass, reggae, and the distorted bass and beats of grime and breakcore crammed into a three-minute track—Sonic Weapons is not your everyday album. And that’s all for the good. Produced by Boston’s DJ C, who also runs the appropriately named Mashit label, the collection of singles, remixes and instrumental versions integrates all of the above—and then some. It’s a vertigo-inducing, roller-coaster ride in a style that he’s taken to calling Boston Bounce. (It possibly has something to do with those beans.…)

Take a cut like “Come Back Version,” an instrumental version of DJ C’s Tigerbeat6 release “Come Back Wicked.” Kicking off in a fairly straightforward digi-dub style, the beats swiftly burst into a breakcore paroxysm that morphs into some full-blown, Squarepusher-style avant-rhythmic madness before settling back into a reggaefied jungle groove, complete with a microsample of the Bob Marley chestnut “Could You Be Loved”—all in the span of two minutes. But Trussell has thoughtfully included a few pit stops along the way for those prone to motion sickness. The “Let It Billie” remix, for instance, would be a fairly conventional ragga-vocal reggae number if not for those distorted drums, while album closer “Dehydrogenated” (one of the album’s two theremin tracks, with Pamelia Kurstin oscillating the radio waves) is an understated, broken-beat beauty that lifts its melody from Devo’s “Gut Feeling,” of all places. Nonetheless, a dose of Dramamine before listening to Sonic Weapons is highly recommended.

Remix Magazine, September 2007

DJ C; Sonic Weapons (Wimm)
Bringing out the big guns
The Toneburst Collective was co-founded by DJ C in the late 1990s, and much like well-known member DJ /rupture, C's adept beatmaking and explorations lead him all over the map. Sonic Weapons is a rush; hyper-speed jungle breakbeats and deep, impenetrable bass drills power almost every cut of C's eclectic spread. Guests' weapons are equally divergent. Pamelia Kurstin's theremin floats all over the gurgling riddim of "It Gets Worse," and like the crunchy "Gi Mi Di Break," these standouts end too quickly. If you're looking for bigger guns, C's got a whole arsenal worth of serious cracked-out artillery. —Dominic Umile
4.5 Stars

Weekly Dig, August 2007

DJ C | Sonic Weapons
If you're the type of DJ who calls himself a "party scientist," you're either a tremendous tool with a clown hat and a seltzer bottle or a genuine party-detonating force. Wouln't you know it, Boston's (and now Chicago's) DJ C is categorically the latter. It's been years since C first helmed the notorious Toneburst collective, and dozens of Mondays' worth of his Beat Research series with DJ Flack at the Enormous Room have piled themselves into the stuff of legends; but until Sonic Weapons arrived, C had yet to pull his many penchants together for a proper debut. This is about as proper as it gets. Throughout, C showcases his seemingly effrortless ability to harness the twist and jerk of jungle and meld it seamlessly into logy dub-step structures. He's as unafraid to lapse into drifty banks of swelling noise (as in album closer "Dehydrogenated") as he is of shooting up dreamy dancehall templates with a dose of his trademark "Boston Bounce" sound. Even the guests are good: Zulu's contribution on the skittering ragga of "Ransom the Senator" is locked and hot; thereminist Pamelia Kurstin lends welcome textures that never overdo their novelty; and the frenetic "DJ C It Dat" sports the powers of Wayne&Wax, Dami D and Wasp. Hard to imagine a summer throwdown without this little beaut. [Michael Brodeur]

Montreal Mirror, Feb. 22, 2007

Vitamin C: Head of his own Mashit label, remixer of M.I.A. and Gregory Isaacs (a joint for Jill Cunniff of Luscious Jackson's in the offing too), co-resident at Cambridge, MA's Beat Research weekly, Boston's DJ C a self-described "party scientist" whose experiments in sonic mix 'n' match make for maniacal sets of "crunkment, mashstep, ragga-bounce and grime-hall." His ballsy approach to beats has taken him around the world, and it's bringing him to the next Bounce le Gros party, with Ghislain Poirier and Riddim Wise Sound System, at Main Hall on Saturday, Feb. 24...

Boston Phoenix: September 20, 2006

DJ C continues to flex his abilities on-line. Blentwell.com, one of the world’s finest sites for DJ mixes, has released its fourth podcast from “da Boss of Boston” (a/k/a JAKE TRUSSELL), on which, in his usual murdering style, he goes from TV on the Radio to Donovan to Mary J. to Wilco to Vybes Cartel. Mr. Trussell has an EP of original music as well; it’s called Traced Milk, and you can find it on both Napster and Rhapsody. Six tracks of instrumental glory, Traced Milk tangles influences better than Christmas lights. Bump it in your car and you may find it stuck in your dashboard. DJ C’s brilliant mind does not discern among dancehall, rock, and crunk vibes. It’s all just music.

DJ C; Traced Milk Reviews

The Aganda; Providence, RI

Call it trip-crunk, or grime-step, but wherever you unfairly pigeonhole this excellent music, recognize its sublime style. I can’t even get into the semantics anymore. This is some seriously fucked up stuff — go get it!

75 Or Less; Providence, RI

The new album from Boston-area producer-dj-remixer-party boy DJ C is electronic poetry at its finest. Much akin to the Japanese style haiku, his downtempo beats are structurally simple but speak volumes. Through the use of subtle breakbeats, a sampled guitar riff here and there, the occasional glitchy moment, some stuttering drum sounds, a hint of dreamy vocals, and a well-placed bassline, something beautiful and mysterious has been made. - heidi

Fat Planet (Australia) September, 2006

dj c 2

mp3: DJ C & JONNY P seaga face and pj body (yousendit)

mp3: DJ C & ZULU ransom the senator (myspace download)
also available for download at murdochspace/death$ucker

mp3: DJ C crazy baldheads (mashit version)

mp3: ZULU VS JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE spread the sexy word

i’ve written about jake trussel aka dj c twice before (here and here), but i make no excuse for keeping the bandwagon bumping and thumping. dj c blends ragga, breakcore, dancehall, dub and throws it in a turbo-changed blender with a few tablespoons of his own secret ingredient (which is oft referred to as ‘boston bounce’) . his label, mashit, has brought us a collection of some of the finest examples of this bastard genre - all of which are available for download at mashit.com. take time to digest the entire catalogue - each release is of premium quality so it’s almost impossible to single anything out. start with ‘crazy baldheads’ (above) and keep going from there.

you have to admire the generous nature of the label - in giving so much away for free, i would hazard a guess that we’re more likely to purchase a release when it next comes on sale, or go and see these artists when they’re next playing in town. it’s an old argument that i’m not going to re-run, but you get the idea. as an aside, you know the story of downloads killing music? in the six months to june 2006, the australian recording industry association reported a growth in physical cd sales of 17%; total growth including downloads was 5.8%. (source)

aside no.2: much like the prospect of going ‘carbon neutral’ (e.g. putting something back into the environment for every particle that you pollute), maybe we should go ‘music neutral’? for every track we grab for free, we restore the balance with a purchase. just a thought…

we can certainly return the favour to dj c and friends right now - there’s four (count ‘em) releases out now which i urge you to track down and open your wallet for.

first up, there’s a collaboration with jamaican mc jonny p (get a time-limited download of one the versions above) on shockout’s latest release ’seaga face and pj body’ - with jonny p having a swipe at women who bleach their face for a purely cosmetic rationale. on the flip is a version featuring kid606. more info at tigerbeat6.com, or buy at boomkat.

there’s two collaborations with chicago ragga-vocalist zulu; the ‘animal attraction’ 7″ on community library, and the excellent ‘ransom the senator’ four tracker on death$ucker (myspace download link above). zulu is a talent to keep our eyes skinned for, check out his own blend of an original track (’spread the word’) with timberlake’s ’sexy back’ above.

finally, there’s a digital-only 6 track ep available on cozy music entitled ‘traced milk’. in a break from what we’ve come to expect, this collection apparently presents a more downtempo dj c, “a series of short beat poems” and “chilled out goodies”. release info at cozymusic.org, download details at mashit.com/djc.

Reviews of the Animal Attraction 7-inch
by DJ C & Zulu on Community Library

DJ C is all over the place at the moment and after appearing on Shockout and Deathsucker, he now crops up on the excellent Community Library label. As you might expect, if you know his other stuff, it's a slice of Dancehall Electronica with roughneck vocals from Zulu as well as a very lively, almost 2-step-ish style rhythm. Play loud... that's my advice. And there's a wicked dub version on the flip.
- Smallfish

Everybody's favourite nu-skool junglist DJ C hooks up with his man Zulu for a killer 7" on Community library. Taking a bare bones post jungle template - something similar to kode 9's infamous 'backward' riddim - with a metronomic hi-hat allowing the lumpen gabber kick/snare pattern to twist itself into a highly developed steppers pattern over invisible subhits and sticky bass. A proper tasty little slice of steppers riddim methodology - essential purchase!
- Boomkat

US-label grime! Hoodie hoo! Nintendo hits punching straight through a tightly-stitched, ruff riddim, with tuff delivery by Zulu crosscut with his singing abilities, sounding rough and sincere like Dervin from the Equals. A poppy, soulful vibe underscores and contains the sonic violence one might expect. The dub on the flip side jams hard as well, building rhythms in the space between beats and withstanding attacks from large 8-bit monsters that project bass as weaponry. Good times, good times. Edition of 400 copies.
- Dusted Magazine


Reviews of DJ C's Ransom The Senator EP on Death$ucker

DJ C is fast beconming one of our favorite producers working in that area around breakcore / neo jungle / dancehalll, with a series of really good mixes and tracks on a variety of labels. The difference between him and the crowd is his thoughtful open ended approach to production and drum programming, consistently getting interesting rhythms and ideas out of his sliced up breaks. This lead track consists of breaks cut and shaped into a kind of 2-step shuffle and it sounds great. The other side 'Nuttin Attall' is more hectic, getting closer to gabba at times but still keeping a detailed interesting eye on it.
- Warp Records, Warpmart News, July 28, 2006

The bastard child of an orgy amongst members of the hip hop, grime, jungle, bhangra, folk, rock, dub-step and bashment community, DJ C's music is an intoxicating collision of styles that more than manages to stand-up without support. Making his debut for Death$ucker records with a style he's named 'Boston-Bounce', 'Ransom The Senator EP' (a limited affair...) is a close relation to Baltimore's current ground-swell - with 'Nuttin Attal' sounding like Spank Rock having a fight in the car park with Diplo; a good thing we're sure you'll agree... From here, the title track is a politically charged blast of dubbed-up polemic wherein Zulu puts in a throaty vocal performance, whilst the alternative version proffers up a similarly hectic vision. Pay up!
- Boomkat

Boston Phoenix, May 19 - 25, 2006

DJ C, Featuring Tiger Saw, "Fish Town Freighter (Remix)."

Beat scholar, party scientist, remixer of M.I.A., and ragga maniac DJ C is the busiest man in Boston these days: he's prepping a half-dozen releases on two continents, including seven inches, 12 inches, CDs, and digi-only downloads, with [cohorts] ranging from Kid606 to Ghislain Poirier. But this song is our favorite of the batch: part of a digital-only EP coming out next month [correction: release date pushed back to August 29] on Providence's Cozy Music, it's a hard-riding take on a soft-focus track by Newburyport indie rockers Tiger Saw. C defibrillates their strummy haze, dials up a shockproof heartbeat, and loops their plaintive boy-girl vocals into gorgeous dub-step reverie.

The Fader Magazine, issue 33, Oct/Nov, 2005

"Boston Bounce"; The Ass-Shaking Academia of Beat Research and Wayne&Wax
By Nick Barat

Wayne&Wax, DJ C, and DJ Flack (photo by jessica dimmock)

Jake Trussell and Antony Flackett met in a grad school class at Massachusetts College of Art's Studio for Interrelated Media. "I was trying to build a MIDI controlled sampler out of Hallmark cards -- you know, the ones that you could record a message onto, and when the recipient opens it , the message plays back," Trussell recalls. "I was super impressed," adds Flackett, who promptly used the idea in one of his video collages. The men otherwise known as DJ C and DJ Flack have spent the ten years since performing as the beatboxing/laptopping/turntabling/video-projecting combo DuoTone, and have also dropped a number of vinyl and CD releases of "experimental party music" on the self-owned Mashit label. But at Trussell and Flackett's weekly Beat Research party, all those theoretical jamz get put to the ultimate test: making people dance.

Held every Monday at Cambridge's Enormous Room, Beat Research has played host to guests ranging from Montreal dancehall deconstructivist Ghislain Poirier to students from Flackett's class at MassArt, where he is now a professor. "I like to emphasize how art that comes from a club or party can be just as important and valid as what ends up in a gallery, if not more so," Flackett says. One regular guest is fellow beatmaker/academic Wayne Marshall. Along with teaching electronic music courses at Brown and Harvard Extension School, ethnomusicologist Marshall records and DJs as Wayne&Wax; his solo album Boston Jerk juxtaposes original, pull up-worthy dancehall cuts with found-sound spoken word interludes and a version of the Diwali riddim made from samples of dogs barking.

Recently, the three were among the artists featured on the (((Re:Sounnd))) compilation, coinciding with a gallery exhibition that studied the links between outlaw soundsystems and the creation of indigenous electronic music scenes from Jamaica to detroit to the UK. That comp was the debut of "Boston Bounce" -- think Baltimore club with a triplet swing beat thrown in -- created by Trussell as Boston's own local contribution to that pantheon. While the Enormous Room isn't quite an "outlaw soundsystem," it does represent a massive two-step away from the ivory tower, and perfectly illustrates how Trussell, Flackett and Marshall have found individual ways to turn academic philosophies into actual, living art. If the people losing their shit to Boston Bounce tracks at Beat research are any indication, maybe all those posters of Garfield reading a book were right, and learnin really can be fun.

URB Magazine, November 2005

DJ C feat. Shinehead Billy Jungle (Mashit)
By Rob Da Bank

One of the most forward-looking [US] labels (if you like your electronics mashed up) finally releases this version of the Shinehead original, which was a corking reggae version of Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean." If you ever need a record to get a party started and you've forgotten your copy of "blue Monday," whack this on.


XLR8R Magazine, October, 2005

DJ C & Quality Diamond "Let it Billie" (Scandal Bag)
By Peter Teller

Boston's DJ C finally issues his mashed-up d&b rework of Shinehead's "Billie Jean." One of John Peel's (RIP) fave cuts on dubplate, C's 7" single comes in both straight-ahead and rough jungle versions. Quality Diamond really nices up the mic on this one -- "Clean mind clean heart" he chats before launching into a double-time lyric. The dancehall/d&b vibes and limber DJ toasts should get any sideline posers to hit the dancefloor.

Grooves Magazine, September, 2005

DJ C
By Howard Shih


DJ C live at Toxic Dancehall, Bristol, U.K., 6/11/05

Over a decade since jungle's infectious combination of double-time breakbeats, throbbing half-time dub bass lines, and vocal samples of Jamaican patois first exploded out of London's dance music underground, the music has found new life an ocean away in America on labels like Shockout, Rewind, and Jake Trussell's Boston-based Mashit Records. While Kid 606's Shockout may have a higher profile, Trussell's Mashit has been unleasing its equally devastating blend of raggaphonic junglistic sounds by artists like Aaron Spectre, Murderbot, and Wayne&Wax since 2003. Trussell's own contributions to the label as DJ C have been among the label's finest, whith his blistering remix of Capleton's Conscience a Heng Dem and last year's Billy Jungle, which melds spaghetti-western whistling with a Michael Jackson-impersonating Jamaican vocalist, being particular standouts.

Trussell's musical explorations began at an early age, playing in bands covering classic rock, metal, and Prince songs (later delving into John Zorn and downtown NYC jazz, electreic Miles Davis, and James Brown) but it was his parents who planted the musical seeds in him that continue to bear fruit today. "[They] got me into reggae in the first place, durring the early '80s, listening to all that rub-a-dub, and rockers stuff," he says. After receiving a Technics 1200 turntable as a high-school-graduation gift, Trussell used it to incorporate samples into his four-track recordings, but didn't try his hand at DJing until a few years later. "DJ C was born in "92 or '93," he says. "I actually released a series of cassettes under the name Cee, and then just C. They weren't DJ mixes, though. They were my early experiments with electronic music, using analog synths, drum machines, and my four-track."

In the mid- to late '90s Trussell released two albums of electronic-tinged jungle and post-Orb dub as Electro Organic Sound System while also helping to curate a series of experimental electronic music events with DJ /rupture and others as part of the Toneburst collective. "One of the reasons it started was that a bunch of us like-minded experimentalists couldn't get gigs in the clubs—so we had to create our own venues," says Trussell. "Toneburst was always about doing events in alternative spaces. We did one at the Boston Children's Museum that was great: We had live electronic acts playing in a giant tea cup, analong synth experiments in 'Grandma's Attic,' and people dancing all over the place to hip-hop and jungle beats."

While Toneburst is now defunct, its spirit lives on through Trussell and fellow Mashit artist Antony (DJ Flack) Flackett's weekly Beat Research party—which also happens to be the name of Trussell's newest label. "The first Beat Research record, by DJ Flack, has an instrumental hip-hop remix of an indian-flavored Cul de Sac tune, a klezmer/dubstep tune, some Hawaiian-flavored beats, and a tune with Czech folk-music samples," says Trussell. "[The label] is an attempt to spread out into different areas ... When I DJ, I play all kinds of music, and I want my own work to reflect that."

Indeed, head to Mashit's website (www.mashit.com) and you'll hear Trussell's live and DJ sets, which demonstrate his ability to confound strict genre boundaries by mutating jungle, hip-hop, dancehall, bhangra, techno, rock, and folk into a super-virus of mind-bending and ass-shaking sound. "Recently, the DJ C stuff has been less jungle, and more Boston bounce—a sound influenced by grime/dubstep, Baltimore club, shuffle, etc.," Trussell says. "Another project I'm excited about at the moment is the B series of DJ mixes... So far the Breakment and Boots mixes are available [online] ... Future mixes in the series will include Berlin, Bouncement, Bhang, and Boston."

DJ Flack's Meet Mr. Doobie and Murderbot's Fi You 12-inches are out now on Mashit.

International DJ Magazine, August, 2005

DJ C & Quality Diamond Let It Billie (Scandal Bag)
By Kevin Martin

Boston’s DJ C has been busy tearing up jungle tunes for his breakcore brethren with his Mashit label. Yet his reworking of Shinehead & Mr. Jackson’s ‘Billie Jean’ is his most potent transmission to date. A brilliant marriage of pop and noisefest, it’s dancehall carnage for reggaefied headbangers. And the crew behind London’s Heatwave nights have cannily engineered a brilliant meeting for Mr. C with ever improving dancehall MC Diamond. The result is a hyper jungle anthem that will fight it out with the current mash up of ‘Jamrock’ for subterranean dominance in the rave. Diamond’s old skool vocal style offsets the musical rollercoaster brilliantly. Wicked.

XLR8R Magazine, January-February, 2005

Leftfield Guest Reviews: DJ Flack & DJ C

DJ Flack and DJ C

DJ Flack (Antony Flackett) and DJ C (Jake Trussell) are out to give conservative Boston a kick in the ass. As DuoTone, the two crate bombastic beat collages with turntables, pedals, laptops, microphones and video projectors. They also run the Beat Research night at the Enormous Room in nearby Cambridge, where they play all manner of experimental dance beats, from Bhangra to brock-out drum & bas; the pair is currently starting a label of the same name. In the meantime, DJ C heads up the Mashit imprint, which transmits hard-hitting ragga jungle throughout the land. C's also got a cone-toasting number with Gregory Isaacs coming out on Tigerbeat 6 subsidiary Shockout. And when they get bored (hard to imagine, isn't it?), the pair performs as acapella beat-box-and-rap outfit Beatboxy and Flack. Here's what they're playing now.
-Star Eyes
www.BeatResearch.com, www.Mashit.com, www.DJFlack.com

Panjabi Hit Squad - Desi Beats - AV8/US/12
You may have noticed Indian music seeping into hip-hop and dancehall recently. On this rockin' bhangra record, familiar riffs by Timbaland ('Ugly"), Neptunes ("Pass The Corvoisier") and Dr. Dre ("No More Drama") are skillfully reworked with traditional indian vocals and instruments for Maximized booty shakin' from Boston to Bombay.
-DJ Flack and DJ C

Virtuoso - Fahrenheit 9/11 - Raptivism/US/12
As a proud Massachusetts liberal, it's great to hear local talent tear into Bush and his war with such well-placed anger. The instrumentals can stand on their own too, which is a must for me. "Fahrenheit 9/11," featuring Slain, is melancholy and haunting; "military Intelligence" with Akrobatic is dark and menacing-a perfect fit for this post-election mood.
-DJ Flack

Krinjah - Fugees Hand Grenade - Hand Grenade/CAN/12
Krinjah is little known outside the inner circles of the ragga jungle resurgence, but for some he's a hero. The A-side is a rinsing update of "Squeeze," the jungle classic by DJ Ash & DJ Vern, while side B rides Lauren Hill's "Killing Me Softly" into an onslaught of jungle madness.
-DJ C

Boston Magazine, March 2005
Spin City
By Rachel Strutt

If these innovative local DJs can't find a "Boston sound," they'll invent it themselves.


DJ C

Most local DJs fall neatly within specific genres—house, or a mix of trance and techno. But DJ and electronic musician Jake Trussell ignores such labels by fusing a madcap panoply of styles and sounds, ranging from reggae to dubcore to computer-generated speed beats. Whether he's DJing at a club or composing sonic collages on his laptop, Trussell is an alchemist of sound, a guy with a knack for sustaining a danceable groove. Sometimes that groove may subside while a frenetic burst of breakbeat takes center stage, but it reemerges, unscathed and steady.

"I get bored pretty easily if I stick with one genre," says Trussell, who is also known as DJ C. "So I think, What can I throw in? I like taking something that people are familiar with from radio and mixing it with some obscure folk song. When DJing, I do a lot of beat matching. By organizing music by tempo, I can somehow mix it together, regardless of genre."

Each Monday night, DJ C along with friend and kindred spirit DJ Flack (Antony Flackett), spins experimental party music at the Enormous Room in Central Square. Dubbed "Beat Research," the weekly soiree never gets stale, thanks to C and Flack's endless vinyl configurations and a revolving cadre of guest DJs, which has recently included local beat splicer Wayne and Wax, a musician who is currently penning his doctoral dissertation on the connections between reggae and hip-hop.

Two years ago, Trussell launched Mashit, an independent record label that features reggae-influenced electronic dance music made by Trussell and others. The niche label has already put out five releases, available on vinyl and as free MP3s which have been snatched up by DJs worldwide. Although the company moniker refers to the ever-popular genre of "mashups," (the conflation of two or more songs into one), the name has other connotations, too. "To 'mash up' the dance is Jamaican patois for when the DJ plays incredibly rocking stuff and people start freaking out on the dance floor," says Trussell, who is deeply inspired by Jamaican musical culture.

Mashit may fall below the radar for many people in its own community, but BBC Radio 1 presenter John Peel named the Somerville-based outfit Label of the Month last October. Peel, who died that same month, has often been credited with helping launch the careers of rock titans like David Bowie and hot acts like the White Stripes, so his championing of Trussell's label is significant.

This month, DJ C and DJ Flack will launch a Mashit sister label called Beat Research, which will be more laid-back and dub-heavy than typical Mashit fare. C and Flack have also started to explore creating a "Boston sound," a project thy hope will culminate with a CD on the new sister label. "There isn't a distinctive Boston sound," Trussell notes with a grin. "That's what we're reacting to. In a lot of cities, a sound naturally evolves. We're taking a different route. We're artificially creating a sound."

(Monday nights. The Enormous Room, 567 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, 617-491-5550, www.mashit.com.)

Pitchforkmedia, March 31, 2005

DJ C [ft. Shinehead]: "Billy Jungle"
Four Stars ****

Once a month, I head over to the cyclotron with an eight-year-old to read the latest issue of ATM, the longest running drum'n'bass magazine. I need the electron microscope and the second grader to decipher the fluxed up syntax, non-existent grammar, and shit spelling, all written in two point Sanskrit. (Then I give it to her to line the cage of LTJ Bukem, the class guinea pig.) It's masochism, sure. (I'd learn more about dance music reading ye olde Rooty review on this here site, tee hee.) But I have to keep tabs on "the scene" or DJ Fresh will come to my house and steal my bike.

This month featured some loafers (whenever I think of 21st century mainstream d'n'b, I'm invariably reminded of that dog chasing the little chuck wagon around the kitchen floor) offering their opinion on the "ragga-jungle" revival. While I was initially excited by the thought of DJ Hype being (re)introduced to Soundmurderer et al., it turns out they meant some biddly-biddly-boring samples over the usual contempo clownstep congaline. (Potential Bad Boy, why you gotta do me like that?) Joke's on u, fools: ragga-jungle (the real deal version) is still a crowd pleaser the world over and not conveniently shunted to the old skool tent.

The truth about MJ becomes more sadly undeniable every day (as Megaphone Marc would say, the man is guilty, guilty, guilty), but DJ C takes us back to a time when he convinced the world he was an inveterate seed-spreader while seducing us into feeling sorry for him. (Which, in a much grosser way, he's still doing.) I actually think it's a new vocal or some contemporaneous lovers rock version over a heavy stepping intro (kicks holes through that light-up sidewalk) and a tear out that proves even at his slickest, our biggest public pervert was rugged never smooth. It may not have anything to do with the Tae Bo jazzercise going on at a rave near you, but I'm locking up my bike tonight just in case. -Jess Harvell

John Peel Label of the Month Spotlight
October 2004, BBC Radio 1

Bedroom dance and crazy mash-ups from the US
Listen to a mix by Mashit's DJ C


John Peel

Mashit records first came to our attention with their very first release, a remix of Capleton by DJ C and Aaron Spectre late last year... In 2003 DJ C started the Mashit label to release hard-hitting raggabreaks and jungcore mashups. The first Mashit 12" (played a good few times on the Peel Show may I add) featured rough and rugged remixes of Capleton by DJ C and Aaron Spectre, and sold out within weeks of it's release. On the recently released 4th Mashit 12" DJ C versioned the version with a raging remix of Shinehead's remake of Michael Jackson's Billy Jean. 
 
The upcoming Mashit 005 will feature a collaboration between Boston hip hop MC Wayne And Wax, and Kingston JA DJs Wasp and Dami D. All the Mashit records have garnered nuf respect from Japan to Australia, Budapest to Brooklyn. Advanced promos of upcoming Mashit releases are killing dance-floors across Europe and the US months before their release.

DJ C runs Mashit out of his bedroom in Somerville Massachusetts. "I don't just sleep in my bedroom, I DJ, make tracks, and run the label there too" he says, "I mix all kinds of music when I spin records and I'm always looking for records that blend genres in new and fun ways. I want Mashit to be a launch pad for new combinations of great music into compositions that are made to move the crowd."
 
On a recent Mashit tour of Europe DJ C, Ripley, and Kid Kameleon mashed up so many raging riddims it made heads spin. Jungle, reggae, hardcore, rock, hiphop, folk, bhangra, techno, and just about everything else were represented. They moved crowds with secret beats that got under skin and forced feet to move.
 
We are told that in the coming months and years that Mashit "will continue researching genre blends, speed beats, and bass hits, releasing the results of those experiments to the public as Mashit 12s, CDs, and MP3s."

Keep your ears peeled.

John Peel Bigs Up Mashit

“One of Musicalbear’s favourite imprints, Mashit records from the U S of A, has been honoured by the big man John Peel with a slot as one of his labels of the month. Since picking up on their first release in summer 2003 (that Capleton remix…you know the one) we’ve been consistently impressed by their output, which blends some of 90s dancehall’s most potent and memorable vocals by artists like Sizzla, Shinehead and Capleton with tearing amens and general jungle/breakcore madness.

The Mashit DJs also smashed it at our [London] warehouse party back in July, playing alongside the Bug and setting the party off with their raging blend of styles. There’s a mix on the Peel site which features many of the highlights from their rapidly growing catalogue, including the forthcoming single ‘A It Dat’. Watch out also for DJ C’s Gregory Isaacs mashup forthcoming on Shockout which blends a plaintive lament from the cool ruler of reggae with some truly futuristic beats – we’re loving it. Long may the mashups continue.”
- Musicalbear.com

Go to check out the feature on John Peel's site here:

Check out the photos Musicalbear/Mashit/Bug warehouse party in bethnal green London here

The Mashit Tour Blog has a rant about the party here:

Wayne And Wax - A It Dat (DJ C It Dat) MP3

“There's plenty of information and free music to download on WayneAndWax's site. This track is taken from the album 'Boston Jerk' - music he wrote, apparently, to accompany a dissertation entitled 'Routes, Rap, Reggae: Hearing the Histories of Reggae and Hip-Hop Together'. Don't be fooled by the academic reference - 'Boston Jerk' is full of humour and is a smart north american take on the contemporary Jamaican sound. This is being released through Mashit - a label I only recently discovered and I felt very sorry that I hadn't got there sooner! A mainstay of the label is Boston's DJ C, purveryor of some damn fine breakcore. On his own site there is a huge collection of MP3s to download.”
- Fat Planet Blog

DJ C - Billy Jungle - Mashit

“Jamaican music purists frown on white guys like the Bug playing around with dancehall riddims, but anything that adds some new flavor to the electronic music circuit is OK with me. Mashit head honcho DJ C has added to the fray with his label's string of 12-inches straight outta Boston. He's behind the controls for the latest EP, which features a version of Shinehead's "Billy Jean" – itself a version of "Billie Jean" – and then offers a version of C's version on the flip side. Of course, fourth-generation versioning is just a start of things in dancehall culture, where a new rhythm can spawn 20 different versions in the time it takes to smoke a spliff.

You can't miss with anything based around "Billie Jean," and Shinehead added a distinctive little whistle based on "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" to his version. C frames the verses with those all-so-familiar frantic breaks, but the see-saw effect of the tempo changes gives this a bopping, almost paradoxically laid-back feel in an otherwise-manic genre. C's versioning of the A-side strips our the lyrics, bringing focus to the whistle and the beats – probably a more palatable trak for the breakcore massive, but it isn't quite as much pop fun.”
- Sean Portnoy - Grooves Magazine

DJ C – Billy Jungle (featuring Shinehead) (Mashit 004 12")

“The most recent outing from DJ C has been rinsed out by John Peel, Resonance, Ninja Tune and happy junglists in Europe and the U.S. – no surprise there as he’s really excelled himself this time with a scorching version of Shinehead’s classic, old skool dancehall take on Billy Jean (it’s all about versioning the version). There’s just enough of the morricone sampling original to lull you into a skanking reggae vibe before the amen breaks come crashing in, leaving you clinging on to that elusive melody – ‘they told me her name was billy jean...’. It’s hard to make an impact when you take on one of the most versioned tunes in dance music but this more than succeeds and has kept us at the Bear entertained and amazed since we first dropped the needle on the test pressing. We don’t usually review stuff that’s not available to buy in the U.K., but this is well worth paying u.s. postage costs for – a proper anthem.”
Masta G - www.musicalbear.com

DJ C - Billy Jungle (Mashit 004) gets 10 stars from
German magazine future-music

“Schon jetzt absehbar der grösste Hit des bisherigen Mashit-Backkataloges. Über treibenden DarkJungle-Beats interpretiert Shinehead die "Billy Jean"-Vocals des selbsternannten King Of Pop neu, addiert dazu das legendäre Pfeifthema aus dem Westernklassiker "High Noon - 12 Uhr Mittags" und sorgt damit nicht nur für Aufsehen, sondern auch für eine tobende Tanzfläche.

Auf der Flipside findet sich das ganze noch einmal als Version ohne Vocals für alle die nicht auf Gesang können. Feine Sache das und definitiv ein Kandidat für die Endjahrestopten 2004.”
((baze.djunkiii (nitestylez.de, otaku-records.de), 06.2004)

EOSS – Wacko Macko is Backo (Mashit 003 12")

“On the a side of this latest Mashit release, DJ C takes on the Electro Organic Sound System’s haunting, string drenched melody (originally composed for an award winning documentary about alien abductions). The original break twists into a heavy ragga junglistic bass line, nicely offset by a sample from an overlooked Xterminator classic: Sizzla proclaims that ‘babylon a listen from near and far’ and this one surely will shake babylon down to its foundations. The usual tight Mashit production values are in evidence here and on the flip, which sees EOSS take on a hip hop instrumental from producer Moosaka and twist it into a 200 BPM monster, which takes in fierce hardcore and rinsing jungle. The sci fi theme of the record is taken up with some eerie vocal samples which are glitched up in the mix to complete the wacko effect.”
-Masta G - www.musicalbear.com

Eoss - Wacko Macko Is Backo (Mashit 003) gets 8 stars from German magazine future-music

“Schon mit den beiden ersten Schieben hat sich das in Boston beheimatete Mashit-Label einen guten Ruf bei Liebhabern des raggalastigen DarkJungle erarbeitet, den es mit Katalognummer 003 nur bestätigt."Wacko Macko Is Backo" startet ganz unschuldig mit melancholischen Digi-Dancehall-Elementen und herzergreifenden Toastings, die im weiteren Verlauf des Tracks von immer weiter gesteigerten CutUp-Junglebreaks kontrastiert werden, die den Dancefloor in Bewegung bringen, ohne die tragische Grundstimmung zu zerstören.

Auf der Flipside verarbeitet Moosaka die Tatsache, das sie in ihrem Kopf ständig Musik hört, unter Zurhilfenahme zersplitterter Hochgeschwindigkeitsbreaks, die auch Breakcore-Liebhabern ein Lächeln ins Gesicht zaubern werden.”
((baze.djunkiii (nitestylez.de, otaku-records.de), 06.2004)

DJ C – Junglist Bashment mix

“This blinding mix of nu skool ragga jungle from up and coming producer and Mashit records impresario DJ C definitively proves that jungle is no longer a London ting. Tighter than Elton John’s arsehole after major reconstructive surgery, it takes in the tearing amen breaks and jump up bass lines that you love to bug out to, with DJ C paying his respects where they’re due: old skool dancehall vibes include the likes of limb by limb and ring the alarm. Plenty of sounds have got to be dying in New York right now under this kind of junglistic assault. Conscience a heng dem (Mashit 001) was one of the bear’s favourite tunes last year and it looks like his superb remix of Shinehead’s Billy Jean dancehall version – Billy Jungle – is going to be near the top of our list for 2004. Don’t sleep – download this right now.” [MP3: download : stream]
- Musicalbear.com

DJ C featuring Capelton – Conscience a Heng Dem (Mashit 12)

“The first release from the appropriately named new American label Mashit makes imaginative use of a militant Capelton vocal (an interlude from his ‘More Fire’ LP), aggressively cutting up and looping his rasta-inspired toasting. The a side sees DJ C fusing this with some nasty, American style hardcore techno. the aa side is a hardcore jungle remix from Aaron Spectre, certain to appeal to anyone who’s feeling that Soundmurderer/DJ Scud ragga jungle vibe. One for all dem gangster youts...
Limited availability 12” available from Warpmart and other good outlets.”
- Masta G - www.musicalbear.co

Mashit 001

“DJ C, the man who brought you the Electro Organic Sound System project, returns with a mashed up ragga scorcher. The DJ C track is super dubby and teeters on the breakcore side of things, while Aaron Spectre's remix goes more the route of the ragga/jump up jungle of old. 2 tracks. 100% good. Anyone into ragga, breakcore, or otherwise should check this record out.”
- www.soundclash.net

Mashit 001

“All you BREAKCORE/RUGGED RAGGA fans rejoice! This new US label focuses on Dubcore/ Ragga/Mashups and hard D&B sounds. A-side has ill breakcore drums & mashed up dub sounds topped with the nasty RAGGA stylings of Capelton. Flip is hard edged jungle bizness with full Ragga vox. Fans of Rewind...”
- www.djnexus.com

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