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Chopped and Skewed Vol.1

Chopped and Skewed Vol.1

“…my hometown created a truly original artform…”

Houston, Texas, as Win Butler has recently professed to the world on his #1 charting album, is a sprawl. It is a city of endless repetition. Subdivision after subdivision, Starbucks after Starbucks, fast-food, Banana Republic, mall after mall after, not one, but three SUPER MALLS (The Woodlands Mall, Katy Mills Mall and The Galleria 1-3). Or at least this is what Houston was to me. A homogeneous drone of middle-class, status-quo consumerism; the kind of semi-urban landscape that David Lynch has described with the words “it kills your soul.”

DJ aSkew - Chopped and Skewed

Chopped and Skewed Vol.1 - DJ aSkew (artwork by Zaxx Davros)

Rare glimpses of sonic uniqueness and individual expression to come out of this immersive “sprawl” landscape (even the Arcade Fire bros. had to move to Canada to form their now legendary band) included the shockingly eclectic and adventurous 91.7 Rice radio station (recently acquired by a larger corporation which plans to change its broadcast content to music deemed more “conventional,” if also more economical), DJ Screw mixtapes and not much else, that I ever became aware of at least. Not being interested in rap much until already out of high school (and out of Houston), I never got to hear or appreciate this budding, underground and eventually thriving sub-genre of hip-hop until later. I even lived within a mile of future rap superstar Chamillionaire most of my life. So, despite this being a tribute album, of sorts, I felt the need to make this confession that I can hardly consider myself a “die hard Screw fan.”

Once I found out my home city had attracted real attention from a full spectrum of musicians and listeners from around the world (even The Unicorns did a “screwed version” of a song at their final show in Houston), I began to pay attention and be blown away by it all. When I was living in Houston in 2004-06 I remember how crazy the stuff 97.9 The Box would play on the one night of the week they devoted to local “DJ Screw” style mixes. It was the kind of stuff that could really find a pathway deep into your soul; either that or it made you laugh at the absurdity of the ridiculous pitch and tempo changes and the almost “as a rule” off-the-beat vinyl “chops.” What if Pierre Schaffer heard this stuff, what would he think (he did live long enough to be aware of 90s Hip Hop)? Personally, I think “chopped and screwed music” totally follows the tradition of musique concrète , at least in spirit. It is more than mere “DJ-ing,” while not being so involved that it could be considered “remixing.” Yes, my hometown created a truly original artform in the evolution (IMH?O) of music, and from the periphery I couldn’t help but attempt to contribute my own personal take on the style.

DJ aSkew Artist Profile Here

I love DJ Screw’s stuff, and of his surviving cohorts, protégés and reverent fans who have continued to execute his style I’ve enjoyed some more than others. My album is done in my own style, with all of the inspiration derived from Screw’s vibe and style, and I call it “Skewed or aSkewed Music.” It’s slowed down and chopped, but sometimes it’s sped up and glued back together. There were no rules when I made this really. It was just about having a lot of fun and trying to push Screw music way past where it was ever designed to go and into the realm of the truly absurd. Some of these tracks will still help you to “slow your roll” (to borrow a certain anti-energy drink’s slogan), while others will probably make you feel like you just got steamrolled over, very quickly, by a gang of drunken or methed-up ninjas. Don’t take any of this too seriously, I didn’t! Just turn it up loud and enjoy!

R.I.P. DJ Screw

Download this Album to your Computer.

3 Comments

  1. Every day I’m hustlin’ hustlin’ hustlin’ 😀

  2. the beck song is badass

  3. LEAN

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