OLIVER TWIST BOOKINGS
Please call 310.477.2212
||Since 1985..I can't
Deep House, Funky House, Breaks,
Chugging Funky Bluegrass, Tribal/Tech
||Frank "Ponch" Poncherello,
David Hasselhoff, Emanuel Lewis, Fred
Sanford, ZZ Top, Jethro Tull, and
oh yeah. Derrick L. Carter, Mantronik
(King of Beats!), Angus Young, Rakim,
Donald Glaude, DJ Dan, Eddie Van Halen,
and David Lee Roth
You may recognize the name from the
classic tale by Charles Dickens, but this
Oliver Twist isn't a character from a
children's book! Here, his name is synonymous
with the Southern California club scene.
Spinning grooves for over 18 years, he
has definitely come a long way from his
first gig at the 'Our Lady of Sacred Heart'
Spring Dance of 85'! He has played at
some of the best clubs and parties in
the country like Level (Miami), Utopia
(Vegas), Coachella, Giant (LA), Honey
(LA), Union@Montage (San Diego) and Remedy
(OC). Currently Oliver Twist has residencies
at one of LA's biggest and best nightclubs,
Spundae and with the infamous Funky Tekno
Tribe. Find out all about all his likes,
loves, and tastes in music in this exclusive
raves.com interview with reporter Annalee!
Annalee: How did
you get started?
Oliver Twist: Actually, I got
started when I realized I had 2 left feet.
It was St. Augustine High School (in San
Diego), Spring of '85. All my friends
were b-boys, so they knew how to pop,
lock, b-boy, etc. I just couldn't get
the rhythm, so I tried the ever-so-expensive
hobby we know and love as DJ'ing! I remember
saving a portion of my lunch money for
a month, went to Radio Shack and got me
my first mixer, it had 2 little VU meters
and 4 vertical "stiff-as-hell" faders,
no cross fader. I stole my great grandmother's
turntable w/ no pitch and a ceramic stylus-
all plastic turntable! The other turntable
I stole from the family room's stereo,
dad hated me!
What was the 1st record you ever
I still remember to this day, wait, how
about my first 2 records? The first one
was I believe in 1976 @ KMART, my mom
bought me a 45 single of the S.W.A.T theme
track, still a funky ass track to this
day! My 2nd and really 1st 12" single
was "Rappers Delight" by the Sugar Hill
Gang, my parents took me to the Wherehouse
in '77 for that one *shedding a nostalgic
What/Where was your 1st gig?
Spring Dance, 1985 @ Our Lady of Sacred
Heart.wow, I remember the BS I had to
go through to get gear for that gig! I
remember dismantling my dad's amplifier
from the rest of its unit, taking his
speakers, turntable, and everything else
and having my mom drive me to the dance
w/out revealing to her that I had their
equipment! The worst part was midway through
the dance, the amp started smoking, leaving
me no choice but to stop the music.how
How did you end up in Los Angeles?
In 1993, I moved up to LA to finish my
degree @ USC. I had quit DJ'ing for about
5 years and was dying so I promised myself
that once I finished I would take it up
again.actually, I didn't get into med
school so I needed something to fall back
Do you currently have any residencies?
I have a residency with the almighty Funky
Tekno Tribe (hehe). I am also Barak and
Rebecca Sin's beee-yatch on www.wantickets.com
- buy ALL of your tickets there! And I
recently have accepted a residency w/
Spundae (LA), so I am really happy about
Do you currently have any albums
Not yet, it's still in the works. I did
work w/ DJ Rectangle on one of his Ultimate
Battle Weapon records a couple of years
ago; I believe it was UBW IV??
Are you in the studio now, do we
have anything to look forward to in the
near future, maybe some collaboration
with someone else?
Yes, yes, yes..I am currently collaborating
w/ (the female group) Tatu's keyboardist
(Sven) and guitarist (Troy) along with
my longtime friend Brian Vasquez on some
pretty cool, off the wall stuff; we call
ourselves The Congaloids; lots of monkeys
involved. I also have about 4 solo tracks
just about ready to go, keep ya eyes peeled
by the end of the summer!
What do you think about all this
mainstream techno on the radio these days?
Do you think it is good for the scene
or are you 100% against it selling out?
I actually really do like it, from DJ
Rap on the Twix commercial (it was kinda
funny too) to Roger Sanchez remixing No
Doubt, you know it's been around a while
anyway, people are just really beginning
to take notice, and it's all good. I really
don't care about the purists talking shit
about "selling out" like hip hop supposedly
did; yeah right, has Mos Def sold out
just b/c he has his own show on HBO or
is an actor now? Hell no, that guy is
still deeper than the Marianas Trench..
mainstream is just becoming more open
to underground culture.al.
What type of music do you listen to
when you are not spinning?
I love listening to jazz (Coltrane!),
also everything from Tina Marie to Hall
and Oates, old school "G" hip hop like
Above the Law (VSOP!) and RBL Posse, still
listen to Rush, AC/DC, real old school
hip hop like Big Daddy Kane, Kool G Rap,
Mantronix, and of course my heroes Eric
B. and Rakim! Can I keep going??? Okay,
I love The Cure, Depeche Mode, Modern
English, The Smiths, Stevie B., The Cover
Girls, Nocera, the list goes forever!!!!!
What are your thoughts on the scene
right now locally?
I think that the scene really needs to
isolate the DJ as its true rock star,
make nobody else more important, have
the promoters pay us more and give us
our own dressing rooms with strippers,
Mongolian midgets dressed as chimps, and
a bucket of paint. Of course I am serious.
Really. there's a local base so rich in
talent in so many genres; for this we
can give thanks to our local promoters
from your Neil Thomas' (Spundae) to your
guys @ RED (Howy, Henry, Kosho, Paul)
for providing a platform for us to express
ourselves regularly. Not only that, what
I really like about our local scene is
that we DJs are actually friends and really
support each other, never any beef involved.
That's such a great feeling when your
peers take the time to come out and support
you and vice versa! We have a lot of DJs
outta LA who will be making some noise
in the near future: Rebecca Sin, Kazell,
DJ Sol, Cody Lee, Justin Gourley, John
Do, Josh Abrams, Architects of Sound,
Nicholas Bennison, John Wander, Brandon
Meyers, Jayell, Jeffery Allen, straight-up
TOP NOTCH talent!
Do any favorite moments in your career
come to mind?
Slam dunk- when my mom and dad drove all
the way out to Remedy (OC) from Vegas
on a Thursday night to come see me play;
growing up, my parents hated the fact
that all I wanted to do was spin, especially
my father. To see him look at me and smile
when I was up there in front of all my
friends and family was the most rewarding
feeling ever. Plus my mom loves DJ Dan
(who played right after me); I think that
was the real reason for the visit!
In the many places you have performed,
which venue is your most favorite?
Spundae @ Circus, particularly Feb. 1st
2003 when I opened up for DJ Three and
Lee Burridge. I-N-C-R-E-D-I-B-L-E
Tell me about some of the bigger parties
or "One Off's" you have played to date.
Well, when I was DJ Rectangle's MC there
were a ton of HUGE parties from Denver's
Roofless parties to the SONA in Montreal.
The biggest party that I DJ'd was in Seattle
under some unfortunate circumstances;
Rectangle fell ill during his set and
so I took over w/ about 8,000 people at
the main stage. It was surreal and bittersweet.
How has your creativity changed over
the last 8 years?
Well, I started my DJ career w/ hip hop
and old school breaks, and then moved
onto House. What I always did maintain
was the "trickery" if you will; I just
started applying every trick I learned
from hip hop to house. I have noticed
that I have gotten ballsier when I play,
trying things that I have never done before,
but that's what is so fun about playing,
you learn something new every time you
spin. I am constantly learning from other
DJs, I love how everybody has their own
little style and I just enjoy seeing the
creativity come out from these people.
What is your current Goal as a DJ?
To enjoy it to its fullest, remember where
I am from, what I have had to go through,
and most importantly to remain humble.
What advice would you give to anyone
thinking of buying some tables and learning
Buy them! I would really suggest that
you save up and get the 1200s right off
the bat. The way I have always taught
my friends is to 1st get comfortable with
your equipment; buy identical copies of
a record (preferably with stripped-down
beats) and just keep matching the beats
over and over until they're super-tight!
Always learn how to scratch later!!!
Where do you see yourself in the
next 10 years?
I see myself driving a Dodge Caravan w/
2.5 kids, a dog named Millhouse, and my
beautiful wife feeding me grapes. Really!
What would you be doing right now
if you never bought that 1st record and
became a DJ?
Probably lancing a monstrous boil on some
What are your thoughts on the Rave
This is all I have to quote: "The federal
government can't even keep drugs out of
prisons, yet they seek to incarcerate
business owners for failing to keep people
from sneaking drugs onto their premises"
OK: The answer to the last question
was great, but I have one more for you
before I let you go. What, in your opinion,
is the greatest aspect of being a DJ?
Having the best view in the house of the
go-go dancers and free beef jerky from
the Spundae Mayor... no, really! Honestly,
hands down, the feeling you get from all
the happiness you bring to people; I love
putting on a show too, just being myself,
something I remember doing in front of
the mirror 18 years ago.
-- written by Annalee Stone
OFFICIAL OLIVER TWIST BIO
"Sick"- Saeed and Palash (Addictive)
"One of the best DJs I have ever heard play, straight up"- Jonathan Lisle
"Most definitely a force to be reckoned with"- DJ Dan
A disciple of the turntables since 1985, Oliver Twist has seen the art of
turntablism grow from backyard parties into a mainstream phenomenon. After
playing the trumpet and guitar in his elementary and middle school years,
Oliver found DJing by accident in his freshman year of high school. With a
dance-heavy peer group flourishing in breaking and popping, he frustratingly
spent weekends getting lessons. But he began gravitating, instead, toward
something else. "My friend Felix popped in this tape of the Rock Steady Crew
from back in the day, and instead of watching Crazy Legs, I ended trippin'
out off of the guys that were playing the music--Grandmaster Flash and Kool
Herc." Never having seen a DJ before, Oliver was convinced that this was
what he wanted to do. He went straight home, brought his tape player
downstairs, placed it next to his dad's stereo, put a record on dad's
turntable, and tried to scratch using a rotary knob. A DJ was born.
Years passed and, after graduation, Oliver earned a slot at a local teen
nightclub in San Diego, meeting and befriending what turned out to be one of
the largest influences in his DJ career, the legendary DJ Rectangle.
After a few years of spinning gigs and producing music together, Rectangle
continued to follow his DJing aspirations, while Oliver went to college,
studied full time and gave up spinning altogether.
After graduating from USC, he applied to medical school twice without
success. It was then that Oliver decided to take up the decks again, and
again he hooked up with Rectangle. Now eight years later, Rectangle
recruited him into his production team and assisted him on the production of
Ultimate Battle Weapon IV. In addition, Oliver toured North America with
Rectangle as his emcee, performing in Vancouver, Montreal, Madison (WI),
Seattle, Chicago, Denver, and Mexico. "I owe Rectangle a ton for
re-introducing me into the game. Oliver cites Donald Glaude as a
"slam-dunk" influence on his style of play. "I grew up purely hip-hop:
scratching, juggling, and all that kind of stuff, so when I saw Donald play
for the first time, fusing hip-hop skills w/ house music, in addition to
being completely blown away by his stage presence, I knew that I had found
my niche." Having a diverse and aggressive style of play, it is no wonder
why he also looks at Q-Bert, Cash Money, Jam Master Jay, DJ Dan, Steve
Lawler, and especially Derrick Carter as major influences.
With an admittedly hip-hop oriented musical sensibility, Oliver fuses deep,
sexy house with classic west coast funky house and often lacing his sets w/
funky tribal, tech house and techno; adding his scratching and beat juggling
capabilities to the table but is best known for his animated personality
behind the decks, often driving the crowd into a frenzy. 2002/03 has proven
to be a breakthrough period for Oliver, over which time he has spun at such
well-known clubs/events as Level (Miami, FL), Utopia (LV), Coachella (KROQ
tent) , Spundae(LA), UNION @ Montage (SD), Giant, RED (LA), Honey, and
Remedy. During this period, Oliver has honed his skills and reputation
playing alongside such heavyweights as Saeed and Palash, Derrick L. Carter,
Donald Glaude, Jonathan Lisle, Max Graham, Trendroid, Lee Burridge, DJ
Three, Christian Smith, Gene Farris, Jay-J, Julius Papp, and DJ Dan.
In addition to his residency with San Francisco's legendary Funky Tekno
Tribe, Oliver has recently accepted a residency with Spundae (LA), The World
Party, and Wantickets.com, not only to play his signature House but also
continuing to play Hip Hop sets, a dynamic rarely seen from today's DJ.