Artist: DJ DNA
Title: When Days Breaks, Nights Falls
Label: Bomb Hip-Hop
Catalog Number: BHH2064
Configuration: 12" single
File Under: Hip-Hop "D"
01. When Day Breaks, Night Falls
02. Electrocution Behind A Feeling
Sacramento's Justin Adams (aka DJ DNA) grew up in a family with consistent
musical presence. For several years Justin would spend time in recording studios
while his father engineered and mastered albums for local rock and jazz bands.
These early years of being surrounded by music left a lasting impression on his
life and inspired him to create music of his own.
In 1989, after seeing Digital Underground's DJ Fuze in concert, Justin decided
to buy a Radio Shack dj mixer. Along with his father's Technics SL-220 and his
mother's Sansui turntable, he began scratching and and recording mix-tapes. These
mix-tapes became a neighborhood favorite. Selling them for $5 each, Justin raised
enough money to pay for his pair of Technics 1200 turntables. "DNA derives
from the strands of my creativity forming the body of my music," says Justin,
"so in 1994 I started labeling my mix-tapes and rocking house parties under
the name DJ DNA." In early 2000, DNA began producing and recording with two
San Diego based groups, Future Shock and the Solseekers and has shared the stage
with KRS-ONE, LA Symphony, Spontaneous and The Fingerbangerz to name a few.
What so many producers don't take into consideration when they are working on
an instrumental project, is that no one is going to rap over the tracks. So the
beats need to be thick enough and they need to be able to tell a story themselves.
It's such a simple rule and fact, it's quite surprising how few producers actually
accomplish such. DJ DNA really took this first rule of making an instrumental
project into consideration when he put together this four song 12" single
"When Day Breaks, Night Falls". Taken from the forthcoming full length
Some records are meant for the dimly lit lounges of beat freaks all over the world.
This is one of them. "When Day Breaks, Night Falls" brings you back
to the revolutionary and exciting days of the Skratch Piklz, the peak of DJ Shadows
Entroducing, and the excitement felt by the reinvention of the art of turntablism
the ingenuity and unabashed creativity required in the craft of piecing together
drastically varying influences into a single cohesive entity.
DJ DNA's ability to set a mood is paralell to none in this fast growing market
of sample based music made popular by DJ Shadow, DJ Krush, Kid Koala, and Dan
the Automator. Nevertheless DJ DNA hold's his own as he truly stands out as a
dope reconstructor of breaks and outlandish samples. The songs on this record
are never stagnant, always changing and always interesting. This is the kind of
music that allows your mind to travel. With the journey ranging from b-boy summit
anthems to emotional travels deep within the soul, "When Day Breaks..."
marks DJ DNA as a skillful engineer of tone, bringing feeling back into music.
"I wanted to make this release to basically reminisce on where I've been,
kind of question where I am at, and explore where I am going. Not just musically,
but spiritually and socially as well," explains DJ DNA .
On the lead song "When Day Breaks, Night Falls" we're urged to get our
shelltoe Adidas out and see what kinds of twists and turns our bodies are able
to do on a cardboard. This track is for the b-boys and b-girls and contain well
known vocal samples like the 'let's dance' chant and Kurtis Blows 'these are the
breaks' saying in the background. The song results in a motivational track for
the dancers, while the first and concluding part of the song also make sense in
your headphones. The vibe changes on "Electrocution Behind A Feeling",
an enormously atmospheric track that does not shy away from changing halfway through
turning from 'at peace' to in panic' within a few seconds. "Re-Balance"
kicks off side B of this piece of wax. Using a lot of blues instrumentation this
track gives off the vibe of getting up and getting down complete with DNA lacing
the track with scratching through a wah-wah pedal. At least until everything comes
crashing down and DNA breaks the beat down. This four song piece of wax rounds
out with "Odyssey," a melodic song in which 90% of the samples were
not played on the MPC but with a turntable.
Ranging from the eerie to the downright funky, DNAs technical expertise
is as evident as his penchant for some serious crate-mining. The haunting,
repetitive, elegantly rustic melodies provide the backbone to DNAs abstract
breakbeat scratching. While many of the tracks finish as they start, there's always
a whole lot of things happening in between, with tracks moving far away from where
they began, while still always staying in respect to all what came before. And
what's very important, there's very little room left for anyone to rhyme over
these songs. And that's the way we want it, when we listen to an instrumental
record. A must have for serious beat freaks.
Full length album Impressionism out now!
Reinforcing turntablism's cut-and-paste pastiche with a solid rhythmic bass and
a steady and at times saddened procession of moody atmospherics, Northern California's
finest, DJ DNA, delivers one of the more impressive instrumental hip-hop CDs of
the year. While "Live from the Unheard" and "Destructions Theme"
aim for the feel with the pure velocity of slashing breakbeats, "Daily Grind"
and "Odyssey" shoot for the cerebral side of the psyche with delicate
rhythms. "Impressionism" even gives a nod to DNA's spiritual fore-bears
DJ Premier, A Tribe Called Quest and (of course) DJ Shadow. - 4
Stars - Urb Magazine / October 2004 Issue
01 I'd Just Like to Say (Intro) 01:09
02 Destruction's Theme 04:36
03 Live From The Unheard
04 Daily Grind 05:20
05 Infection Collection 1 (Extended Version) 03:57
06 Electrocution Behind A Feeling
08 Thou Shall Not Synth
10 Impressionism 10:54
Day Breaks, Night Falls 04:13
12 I Know I Have To Go (Outro)
a download of the album or select songs via ITunes
"In the family of cut 'n' paste party rockers
such as Cut Chemist and DJ Shadow (the obvious comparisons), Sacramento's DJ DNA
nonetheless manages to surprise and raise an eyebrow with his unexpected twists
and fresh samples. "Re-Balance" is the prime example here, a clear student
of the John Hillard School of Rock-45 Digging." - XLR8R
"Bomb Hip-Hop presents the impressive debut 12" from Justin Adams, aka
DJ DNA. The Sacramento native crafts moody instrumentals thick enough to stand
on their own and so expressive that they don't need an MC to complete them. DNA's
vibey mixture of crashing beats, far out samples and top-shelf turntablist flourishes
gives discerning heads-on-the-go something truly fresh to bump on their headphones."
- SF Examiner