BREAKESTRA SOUNDSYSTEM featuring DJ MILES TACKETT and MC MIXMASTER WOLF with DJ KOLA and DEE JAY NAV at Una Mas (422 Adelaide West), Friday (September 14) at 10 pm. $10 advance, $15 door. email@example.com Rating: NNNNN
Miles Tackett isn't content with just playing bass in the West Coast's baddest nu-funk crew, Breakestra. The multi-talented son of Little Feat's Fred Tackett has been working on his bass, drum and guitar chops and honing his production and composition skills as well.
Since co-writing songs on Macy Gray's smash-hit debut, On How Life Is, he's been focusing more on his turntable technique as a club DJ. For Tackett, learning how to mix is an important part of connecting with the roots of the Breakestra sound, which lie deep in the origins of hiphop.
"I do a Thursday-night party called Root Down at the Gabah Bar on Melrose," says Tackett. "We have a great time spinning everything from deep funk to hiphop, roots reggae and Latin grooves.
"I definitely see what we do in Breakestra as being an outgrowth of the whole selector aesthetic that people like DJ Kool Herc laid down. That's the foundation of hiphop. What many people don't realize is that before drum machines and bands played behind MCs, there were DJs jamming records with funky breaks."
Although Tackett insists he's not an obsessive record collector, he says he enjoys digging for beats whenever time permits. And he'd much rather take a road trip through the southern U.S. in hopes of turning up an obscure Eddie Bo-produced funk 45 than buy online through eBay.
"I just got back from New Orleans, where I came up with a few really cool records. As far as eBay goes, I've been burnt too many times -- either by getting records that were scratched up badly or something I wasn't counting on. So I've given up on it, for now anyway."