Reviewing a ghetto-tech mix CD isn’t easy. What would someone like Ernest Hemingway say about it? Well … he liked drinking, womanizing and, like ghetto-tech producers, his power stemmed from concise language. Likewise, Disco D drops tracks such as “Shake dem titties” and “Take yo panties off,” which leave no ambiguities in their wake. Obviously, ghetto tech isn’t ripe for analysis — it exists solely to move yo ass. Straight Out Tha Trunk does just that in a 45-track flurry of cut-up electro beats and foul-mouthed MCs.
Disco D (aka David Shayman) is one of Detroit’s foremost anomalies. D’s a very young, noticeably white ghetto-tech (see also: booty-house) DJ with more skill and crossover potential than almost anybody currently in metro Detroit. As the former resident of the legendary “Solar” nights at the Blind Pig in Ann Arbor, D cut his teeth on the decks at the tender age of 17. Inspired by Detroit radio DJs such as Wax Tax’n Dre and more underground figures such as DJ Godfather, D’s early sound mimicked that of his influences. Initially, it seemed D had more energy than many established DJs, but lacked their fluidity and style. Now 21, Disco’s matured on the tables, wowing crowds across the nation with his skills as a turntablist. His first studio mix, Straight Out Tha Trunk contains almost as much substance as it does flash and shows that D’s managed to maintain his teenage exuberance to create an irresistibly vibrant mix.
Disco D’s flipped the ghetto-tech script on SOTT with his remixes of various hip-hop tracks. D helps artists such as Paradime (“Detroit Zoo”) and 8 Ball & MJG [“Buck Bounce (Disco D rmx)”] to create beats with a club vibe that are dirtier than hip hop, yet much more polished than conventional ghetto tech. The “Buck Bounce” remix is especially dope, and D’s eerie electrofunk reworking clearly outshines the original mix. Other highlights include new, unreleased tracks by DJs Godfather, Slugo, Nephets and Deeon. DJ Deeon’s tracks are especially raw, with perverse synth noises and rhymes that make Ol’ Dirty Bastard seem like Pat Boone.
Regardless of your tastes in DJ-oriented music, it’s impossible to deny pure skill. Disco D dices tracks like the Iron Chef cuts bok choy. There’s so much energy pushing one track into the next that even if you’re grossed out by the lyrical content, your booty will shake side-to-side faster than your disapproving head.
Disco D performs at his record-release party, Wednesday, Oct. 24 at the Necto, 516 E. Liberty, Ann Arbor.
E-mail Robert Gorell at firstname.lastname@example.org.