Peter, Pee-Pee, Peeps, Booms, Boomy, the Blue Stickman, Kid Boomerang Fidget. No matter who you knew him as, he was always a consummate gentleman. Kind, compassionate, giving, and humble, Peter was the person who all of us have aspired to be.
As the main inspiration for the formation of the Ambient Mafia (and a co-founder and steadfast contributor) Peter could always be found lugging sound gear, hanging decorations, or pushing a broom, all with a smile on his face with time to have a chat, a smoke, and a hug.
But it was Boomerang’s incredible MCing ability that was the cream that always rose to the top. His flows, laid smoothly atop his perfectly edited beats, brought many to ecstatic tears of joy and always had the room jumping and thumping, always wanting more.
Peter was taken from us all too soon. He was family to the Mafia, he was family to everyone. Boomy never half-assed it: if you were his friend, you were his friend for life.
Peter personified love: love for the community, for his family and friends, for the random person on the street. If you have love in your heart, then there will always be a piece of Boomerang within you.
May you rest in peace, brother. We miss you and love you.
On February 18, 2008 the Ambient Mafia lost a dear friend and member, Matt Jakes. Matt was a longtime supporter of us before he ever became a mafioso, but more importantly he was a sweet guy whose giving, engaging nature touched many, with a smile that was open and contagious. Many of you knew Matt as a DJ and promoter in the Bay Area for many years. For us, he was a brother, and we’ll miss him.
Actual Rafiq aka Skeltergeist was born in the future and raised in the past. He currently lives beneath the fault lines of NorCal in the Earth’s mantle. When not behind the decks, he can be found producing house music for DJ Denise’s label Mizumo Music, or co-producing & playing live drums with local glitch-hop duo Spekr Freks (new album collaboration on the way soon, stay tuned!)
Calamity Jane (aka Shelley Gehlbach) plays lazy music with a onesie on, holding a 4LOKO. That’s all you need to know.
DJ The Captain
The Captain has been passionate about electronica since he was introduced to his first 808State track back in 1989 while on a trip to the UK. In 1997 he became involved with the Bay Area underground rave scene and joined the Stargaze Family, a collective of trance and downtempo DJs. Later he would join The Ambient Mafia where he became a core members and is currently serving as a co-leader of the Mafia along with RedStickman and Mo Corleone. He’s also been involved with Friend and Family (FnF), the Mad Scientists, as well as several other groups and in 2006 co-founded The Chill Syndicate with DJ Skye as a commercial free outlet to promote Bay Area DJ talent via podcasting. He’s loves to spin downtempo, midtempo, bossa, acid jazz, and occasionally house, but his super secrete passion is electro(house) which someday he might even get up the nerve to try spinning.
The Captain so old that some say that he was DJ’ing before DJ’ing was even invented. Some say that he invented chairs. But most believe that his stuffed monkey collection is superior, and he causes all of the gnomes on the floor to get loose!
A link to his soundcloud page can be found here
Cubik and Origami
Cubik and Origmai are … Multi-instrumentalists. Manic dub mixologists. Kid’s records crate diggers. Unsatisfied staying in one genre, even within songs. Whipping keys, bass, guitar, and drums into a soul funk stew. Sippin’ sake in the studio like it’s going out of style. Bringing the danger back to downtempo.
Cubik & Origami’s eponymous 2nd album on Wide Hive Records blends funky downtempo, blunted jazz, electro, IDM, space rock and indie pop into a mesmerizing continuous-mixed experience that creaks, wiggles, gets down and dirty, sings, laughs, freezes and thaws.. I mean.. You just have to hear it. You can download from the iTunes music store and mp3.com, or buy it from Giant Peach.
A link to his website: http://www.myspace.com/cubikandorigami
Ambient Mafia founding member Olde Nasty started dabbling as a selector in 1995. while he’s notorious for mixing different styles and eclectic sets, his work with the mafia tends to focus on chunky midtempo and, more recently, roots reggae and rock steady/dancehall.
You can also have the Olde Nasty mashup experience at Bootie (DNA Lounge).
As one of the best kept secrets of the West Coast’s underground, DJ Unagi (formerly DJ Drumatx) has been moving crowds with his ever-evolving sound in San Francisco and beyond for nearly a decade. Before branching out into the Bay, his musical roots grew out of the mountains of Santa Barbara, where he became known for his sets at Word of Mouth Full Moon gatherings, which left an indelible mark on him. Fusing togethers layers of downtempo and nu jazz mixed with glitch-hop, distorted funk, and some old and new school breaks for good measure, DJ Unagi delivers an experience that is unlike any other.
DJ Unagi has played in such venues as 1015, Shadow Lounge, Soma Arts Center, Infinite Chaos, Supper Club, and events such as Santa Barbara Summer Solstice, Still Dream, RWB, Beats and Boardgames, Synesthesia and various outdoor parties. Currently, he mines for aural gems that sometime reach outside genres mentioned above and works on projects beyond music with aims to change the world in a positive way.
Ari went to his first underground in 1994 and became quickly obsessed and passionate towards audiogasms that make the booty shake and the heart skip a beat or two.
Having joined the Ambient Mafia in 2003, Ari is currently dormant as a DJ. Like a bear. Rawr.
When not meticulously obsessing about the removal of dust from obscure soundscape vinyl, Ari pays the bills by serving as a Director of Industrial and Interaction Design at a prominent and highly acclaimed Bay Area product development agency.
Brian Peek, resident DJ with Ambient Mafia, is no newcomer to the industry. Rocking prime size crowds in San Francisco for the past 10 years, Brian focuses on mixing the highest quality of tunes across his full range of psy-breaks, electro, tech house, glitch, midtempo nu funk breaks, and downtempo. Dance floors at clubs and undergrounds all over the city have been mesmerized by the special touches he incorporates into his mixes, often encompassing sounds that have dirty hard-hitting basslines, twisted sound design, bangin’ progressions, with sprinkles of chunk, glitch, and of course chill.
The inspiration for Brian Peek when exercising complete crowd control emerges from his passion for everything about electronic music culture, particular the technical complexity involved in the creation process. Like many DJs, he started as an event participant which led him to hosting his own weekly radio show on his college radio station. Soon after, he began promoting regular events with Thump Radio and producing those radio shows for FM, Webcast, and XM Satellite. Brian Peek is a true professional who takes his craft seriously and has provided performance support for some of the globe’s most well-known jocks, like Dylan Rhymes, Elite Force, Meat Katie, Ali B, D: Fuse, Roxiller, Fine Cut Bodies, Carbon Community, Future Funk Squad, Rennie Pilgrim, Hyper, General Midi, Uberzone, and Lee Burridge.
His first residency, with ThumpChill allowed him opportunities to share his love of his favorite music, while opening for acts like Hybrid, Jondi & Spesh, Garth, Michael Anthony. This caught the attention of Ambient Mafia which afforded Brian the experience he needed to reach new heights. Since then, he has held down residencies at community staples like DNA Lounge, 550 Barneveld, and Anu. In 2009, he was invited to join Opulent Temple, including a prestigious DJ residency and contributions to artistic metal fabrications for one of the most well-known large scale sound camps in Burning Man history. In addition, he plays a significant role as executive producer of popular web podcasts for both Below Zero and Opulent Temple. Without a doubt, Brian Peek as a DJ delivers the full package proper in skill, talent, and undeniable passion for his full range of electronic sound.
Redstickman founded the infamous Ambient Mafia in November of 1999, and they’ve taken over chill rooms in the San Francisco Bay Area by storm with their chunky and funky downtempo beats.
Known for his unconventionality as well as excellence in DJ ability, he can be found staggering behind the decks in random clubs from San Francisco to Japan, Bangkok to Malaysia. He has recently returned to the US from his 7 month Eastern European DJ tour.
In addition to downtempo, he also DJs techno and minimal as well as house and ghettotech.
His DJ mixes: http://waxdj.com/djs/1835/
DJ, Producer and “Missionary of Music”, Swami delivers a wide range of musical styles… from downtempo, trip-hop and dub to midtempo, breakbeat and psy. Swami bridges the gap between “Live PA” and “Mashup DJ” in his performances by bringing together classic DJ techniques with glitchy effects, live sampling and on-the-spot remixing. Melodic and beat-oriented… Swami’s music is spiritually uplifting, original and always thought-provoking.
A huge supporter of the NorCal Outdoor Festival scene, Swami can frequently be found at your local camp out crashing through the brush with a bottle of wine, shaking squirrels from their trees with bass or trying to perfect the art of corned beef hash on a propane stove…
A musician since the age of eight, Shane spent most of his early years learning how to harness the power of the tuba. By the time he graduated High School, he was proficient in seven other instruments and was ranked among the top five tuba players in New York State! Once in college he continued with music by becoming the singer in a garage band. Eventually, his band-mates showed their appreciation for his vocal prowress by handing Shane a guitar. Withing two weeks he had taught himself the basics and spent the next few years playing in a series of local indie bands.
After NASA brought Shane to the Bay Area in 1997, he eventually decided to go to a warehouse party to see what the hell everyone was raving about. Three months later he bought turntables, a ton of vinyl, and soon became a core member of several Bay Area collectives including Epiphany, Viberation and Friends and Family. An inaugural member of the Ambient Mafia, Shane looks forward many things, such as blowing minds, one banana at a time. He also likes mimosas, walks in the park, robotic death, driving fast and bacon.(Editor’s Note: Mmmmm Bacon!!!)
DJ Skye (aka Skyebaby) started spinning in 1997, focusing primarily on dark trance and jungle. And then she stumbled upon children’s records and nifty mixers with effects. Layers upon layers of ambient with twisted samples from anything under the moon (and above it for that matter). That led to downtempo, and her friend with no pants (aka Red Stickman) said, “Hey Skyebaby!” and she was all, “Hi.” Everything after that is a blur.\
A link to her website: http://www.skyebaby.com
DJ and producer of downtempo, midtempo, trip-hop, ambient house, techno, old school acid, and remixes. Spinning since ’89, he’s been with The Ambient Mafia since their inception and has done remix and production work with the likes of Rowetta from Happy Mondays, as well as fronting his band Hope Chest since 1992. Always melodic, always psychedelic, always groovy.
Squelchy has been making one kind of noise or another since arriving in the Bay Area in the mid-nineties. From psychedelic indie rock (Vaportail, Shimmer Kids Underpop Association, The Society of Rockets) – to improvisational madness (The Soapbox, Engines of Innuendo) – to electronica (Squelchy, MEDL) – he’s spread his love of music across projects that aim to wed the beautiful with the slightly bizarre.
As a DJ in SF in the early 2000’s he started the monthly Code Green eclectic/downtempo night, was a regular host of Beats and Boardgames and a frequent contributor to the Chill Syndicate podcast series.
Most recently he’s focused his attention on producing new work with The Society of Rockets and remixing friends and collaborators including Cubik and Origami, The New Slave and Amores Vigilantes – featuring Bay Area hip-hop legend Lyrics Born.
Skywise started his journey into the more laid back psychedelic sounds of downtempo over 10 years ago through his search for the smoother side of psytrance. With a love for flowing basslines behind floating melodies, he crafted his selection to find that perfect point between head-bobbing and body-melting. For Skywise a great set is about dynamics…the darkness and the light exposing all the intricate shadows in between and leaving a smile on your face.
Stephanie Luz has been DJ’ing in the Bay Area since 2003. She incorporates a sultry fusion of trip hop, ambient, cinematic, glitch and euphoric downtempo. Whether delivering a melodic campout set as the sun peaks over the horizon or a funky, dynamic mix at an art opening, she is in her element wherever people are open to experiencing music as a healing soundscape.
Jason Peace was finally inspired to try his hand at soothing the
minds of the masses while attending his first Woom party thrown by the
Semiconscious Liberation Army in 2000. He has been a member of SLA, Koinonea
and more recently the Ambient Mafia focusing his audio experiences on
more dubby, psychedelic sounds.
FieldsoeGood a.k.a Drekster, Triad, DJ Fieldsoe
Derek was introduced to ambient music when he was a senior in high school and by a whim bought a CD by The Future Sound of London titled ISDN. Previous to that Derek had only been listening to Chemical Brothers, Underworld, Prodigy, etc. That Future Sound of London experience was taken to the next level a year later in 1997 while at his first underground at Cyborganic in San Francisco. While there Derek heard a DJ drop one of his favorite tracks from ISDN. Since Derek was the only one in the chill room he talked to the DJ and learned that this zany guy went by the name of Boomerang. A bond was quickly developed and it was the honorable Boomerang who later brought Derek, then known as Triad, into the DJ scene by running the Quest chill room parties starting in November ‘98 through October ‘99. After that, while spitefully playing deep house in a chill room for Vlad a month later at Home Base, D.J. Fieldsoe met some whacky DJ who forgot his headphones and needed to borrow Derek’s sweaty phones. This drunkard was name Red Stickman; the same guy who was giving ambient mixes to Derek and Boomerang during Quest parties. Shortly thereafter Red Stickman and DJ Fieldsoe were spinning ambient sets on 7 utilities (4 mixers, 3 CD players) and 3 mixers. It was during these deep ambient sets that an idea of crew was developed. Immediately Boomerang, Drop (Olde Nasty), Harken and Speakeasy (and in all fairness Giles helped, too) were brought on board to plant the seeds to what would become a formidable entity. Derek is blown away every day to see how well it is has grown due to Red Stickman and continues to kick ass today under currently leadership. Currently known as FieldsoeGood, Derek spent the past 6 years living in Hawaii estranged to the Mafia but is now back on the mainland. You probably won’t see FieldsoeGood playing at a Mafia party these days but he is a sucker for Reunion Parties. Deep down, FieldsoeGood owes everything he’s got to Boomerang, Stickman, and DJ Jonas Robledo.