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Built From Scratch Golden Chyld spreads the disease.

Pimp His Ride

DMC champ Golden Chyld infects the ears with his new mixtape

By Todd Inoue

WHEN I FIRST met the San Jose turntable crew the FINGERBANGERZ, they owned the most ragged fleet of hoopties this side of Pick-n-Pull--mostly early-'90s imports. One who will go (Paolo) unnamed (Cutso) even drives a minivan. The reasoning was simple: they couldn't buy new cars because they were too busy concentrating on music. This willingness to forsake Bentleys symbolizes their dedication to the art, sacrificing cool rides to make sure the music's right.

Since the release of their full-length debut, VI.R.US, early this year, fortunes have changed. The Fingerbangerz are close to selling out their stock of VI.R.US and ready to issue a second pressing. DJ NGOBILITY is breaking into commercial and video-game soundtrack work. G-WREX and REPLAY are almost finished with their collaborative effort Progressive Development. CUTSO and SQUARE ONE are close to finishing their Coalinga Sound Machine project. DOMINIC 'GOLDEN CHYLD' CUETO informs me he now rolls in a 2003 Nissan Sentra. In fact, he's calling from the car wash.

Things must be good, and they are. His latest mixtape, Ear Infections, is a shiny shock tart of tracks representing a diverse selection of genres and audio sources. The 2001 SF DMC champ skitters through a crate of records like an ADD-addled time traveler. For anyone tired of the same rotation of 106 BPM post-golden era head nodders, Ear Infections comes as a curious detour instead of the usual stroll down memory lane.

"I knew I didn't want to do an early-'90s mix," Cueto says. "Every mixtape that comes out is based on the early-'90s era. I love early-'90s era, but I've heard too many. I wanted to put on what inspired us on VI.R.US. I wanted to do something different. People are getting more experimental; everything is more hip-hop influenced."

On Ear Infections, Golden Chyld is a cosmonaut broadcasting from a distant pirate station orbiting the Earth and Neptune(s). Other times, he's leading a pre-fusion funk band through a workout. I can barely recall hearing a "ffffresh" or an "ahhhh" cut up anywhere on Ear Infections, which is something of a revelation in the mixtape genre.

The decision to place BJORK's "Army of Me" and SMASHING PUMPKINS' "Disarm" behind beefy production beds is a way to satiate the alt-rock geek competing with the cutthroat scratch DJ within. The Bjork experiment--where "Army of Me"'s monster drums and the Icelandic diva vocals go on a blind date with MOBB DEEP's "Shook Ones" (escorted by Golden Chyld's mental flourishes)--is a sound clash blending electropop and underground hip-hop aesthetics. Prodigy's lyric "You can put your whole army against my team" can be thought of in a completely different context.

There are other moments worth checking. He flips a PREFUSE 73/FAT BOYS track into rig-rattling mayhem. He remixes the Fingerbangerz's track "The Dawning" with different drums, heightening the tension. "I cleared the sample with myself," he adds. Ear Infections is definitely a promo-only release, so sample-clearance lawyers can lay down their subpoenas.

This Saturday night, Golden Chyld celebrates the release of EI with his Fingerbangerz crew, FUSE ONE, DJ REZZ and special guests at GALLERY ANNO DOMINI. You can also hear Golden Chyld weekly at BLUE MONKEY starting Dec. 2. He's the resident DJ with UNWIND, a new beat lounge with rotating guests (the aforementioned G-Wrex, Cutso, Rezz, Fuse One) and friends DJ SOULO, DJ CHAZZ and ASIS.

So let's get back to this new whip. Does it have spinners? "Nah, I'm going against the trend," he jokes. "I'm going to raise it up instead of lower it, and put on 22's."

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From the November 24-30, 2004 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

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