Mike Boo

Born in Oakland, California and raised in Fremont, Mike Boo was heavily influenced by the mobile DJ and turntablist scenes that flourished in the San Francisco Bay area during his childhood years. Back in the '80s, his older cousin was a heavy metal head who allowed Mike to raid his record collection. At the tender age of 9, Mike would grab stacks of Iron Maiden and Dio records and spend hours playing them backwards on his Uncle's stereo, listening for secret messages. This was one of Mike's earliest experiences with vinyl experimentation. His childhood infatuation with records evolved into DJing with friends at high school dances and house parties.

"I always wanted to get into making beats but never had enough money for samplers or beat machines," explains Mike. "Then in 1990, I heard FM2.0 (Q-Bert, Mix Master Mike, Apollo) doing their turntable band thing on the radio. It was something like I never heard. Soon after, I saw them perform on a Bay Area TV show called 'Home Turf' and saw that it was all composed with turntables and scratching, and I was like 'Damn, I wanna do that.' Didn't need any samplers, synths or big mixing boards. So one day I went out and bought a 4-track and started making tracks with turntables and have been doing it ever since."

Representing the new wave of turntable music, Ned Hoddings was formed in 2002 after a cool vibe scratch session at D-Styles' house. Uniting cross-continental members Toadstyle (Chicago), Excess (New York), and Ricci Rucker (San Jose) with Mike, Ned Hoddings' first live performance was at the record release party for D-Styles' Phantazmagorea, documented on the A Night at the Knitting Factory DVD. "The combination was obvious... it was like the Bermuda triangle of scratch music," says Mike. Shortly thereafter, the members of Ned Hoddings accompanied D-Styles on the now-legendary Bastard Language Tour, which was also released as a DVD of the same name.

After the tour, Mike conspired with D-Styles and Ricci Rucker, along with live drummer Ace, to form Gunkhole. "The science behind Gunkhole is no rules a 'don't give a fuck' style of playing music, with turntables as the main element. We dive into funk, noise, ambient, free jazz and hardcore scratching" explains Mike. Gunkhole has toured extensively worldwide, including a month-long European tour in 2004, where an improvised set was performed each night in a different city.

Mike's first foray into serious recording was Scetchbook: An Introduction To Scratch Music, released to worldwide acclaim in 2003. Produced with Ricci Rucker, Scetchbook was composed with nothing more than a turntable, a mixer, a multi-track recording program and an abundance of records. The album was fully composed by scratching individual instruments: kick drums, snares, percussion sounds, leads, bass lines, solos, etc. "We were just trying to prove a point: that other themes can be made with scratching by jumping from theme-to-theme."

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Mike Boo - Mike Boo is a San Francisco instrumental beat maker, electronic producer and sound designer.
Photo: Alpha Pup Records