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 creating visual art & holding himself hostage for extended amounts of time and exorbitant amounts of ransom money, unsuccessfully... and also watching documentaries & 70's movies/TV shows.
Ammon is the love child of the guitarist from psychedelic rock band, The Sons of Champlin and a singer from the hippie street band, The Fairfax Street Choir. He grew up in the Bay Area, unintentionally following in his parent’s footsteps—sharing music with the counterculture and creating community.
During a stint as a full time raver/promoter/roadie in the SF rave heyday (90-92), Ammon began DJing in chill rooms and after-parties. Ammon was a co-founder and resident DJ of the SF weekly “Mushroom Jazz” (1992 - 1995), playing alongside Mark Farina, Thomas Bullock, Marques Wyatt, Julius Papp, DJ IZ, Felix da Dog, and many others.
Ammon is a founding member of “The Rhythm Society” (1995 - present) — a San Francisco-based music community.
Ammon's style can be generally classified as “chill” and eclectic, whether it be the chill room or the dance floor. African music sits at the heart of his love for music, and often weaves deep polyrhythms into his sets.
OG UG DJ from dee yay. committed himself in vinyl junkie rehab though still hasn't evolved with technology preferring to flip the stone groove of all waxy variety; downtempo, boombox beats, riddims, remixes, soul, latin, stuff found in 7in dusty bins with aim for the ass.
Start ur night with some heads and head nods to get sloppy. big sloppy
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 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.
Calamity Jane (aka Shelley Gehlbach) plays lazy music with a onesie on, holding a 4LOKO. That’s all you need to know.
The Captain has been passionate about electronica since he was introduced to his first 808State track back in 1989 while on a business 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. Eventually joining The Ambient Mafia a few years later, he became a core member and served as a co-leader of the Mafia along with RedStickman and Mo Corleone. He’s also part of 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, Funky House, Deep House, and Breaks. He resides in seaside town of Santa Cruz with his wife Megan and their Miniture Schnauzer ""Schotzie"".
The Captain so old that some say that he was DJ’ing on Wax Cylinders and early Victrolas. Some say that he invented folding chairs. But most believe that his stuffed monkey collection is superior, and he causes all of the gnomes on the floor to get loose!
DoctorBee loves to bring the funk. With a long background playing breaks and house, DoctorBee likes to bring that fusion of tribal and funky sounds to both his downtempo and midtempo sets. He's had the honor of rocking some of the biggest sound systems in the Bay Area and helped bring the underground sound of San Francisco around the globe making guest appearances in places like Mexico to Thailand.
EXOENDO emerged into the San Francisco music scene when Rachel Farinelli Vita performed her first DJ set in 2014. She brings her unique ability to take her audience on a voyage through sounds and genres, spanning the spectrum from melodic melodies to world tribal beats, deep organic house, dark spacey moody shifts of multi-layered delight, astro electronica, psychedelic goodness, sexy juicy bass, and soul expansive sunset downtempo. With her roots in music as a singer, songwriter and composer of music, it was when Rachel studied classical and Flamenco guitar the spark for world music ignited along with her travels across Europe and throughout India. She continued to tap into another layer of music when she worked with sound as medicine, creating the somatic musical experience called Transplant Journeys. In these journeys she leads guided meditations for her participants layered with music that she weaves together with sound healing frequencies for somatic and emotional release and activation.
Her happy place is serving up music at campouts, outdoor gatherings, on the Playa, and in venues throughout the Bay Area. With the shift that came with the global pandemic moving live performances over to livestream, Rachel encourages listeners to enjoy her sets while on long back road drives, viewing the passing sights or with headphones preferably in nature where the listener can soak up the benefits of being outside, steeping in the energy of plants, trees, sun, moon and stars.
A DJ resident with Strategik and now so honored to join the Ambient Mafia family, Rachel appreciates the platform to keep exploring her artistry and expressing through the different frequencies of music she weaves together.
You can check out her mixes and guided meditations https://soundcloud.com/exoendo/
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 Skye 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.
A long time fixture of the San Francisco underground scene, where he was also known as Stardragon and Star-D, Geo searches for sounds that stimulates the mind as well as the body. His chill sets reflect his love of ambient and tribal dub, trip-hop, and funk. On the dance floor, he throws down deep, organic, progressive, tech, and melodic house and techno. He currently resides in Vancouver, Canada
George Cochrane cut his teeth in the San Francisco underground rave scene at a high point for creativity and daring in music. Inspiration was everywhere, and he breathed it in.
Performing fully live electronic sets back when they were rare, George soon lit up the warehouses, back rooms, and dance clubs of the Bay Area. As part of duos Cubik & Origami (with fellow Mafioso Matthew Madrone) and DJ2, he released record after genre-expanding record.
Since then, he's put his ear to work as a songwriter and mixing engineer for the LA production scene, and brought new musicality to to the nu-disco sound with his multi-instrumentalist group Wild & Free. Lately, he's playing live solo dance sets once or twice a week on his Twitch, improvising hours of new music on the fly. Suffice to say, when in-person parties are a thing again, wild horses will be needed to drag him away from the booth.
Seasoned design leader by day, complete slacker and audiophile the rest of the time. Ari, AKA Hallucid, went to his first Bay Area underground party in 1994, and became instantly obsessed with electronic music culture and the humans that made it thrive. Having joined the Ambient Mafia ranks in 2001, he brings a layered arrangement of rhythm and sounds (and sometimes the lushness of bleeps and bloops) to share with others in hopes they will be moved in the same way that he has. Prior to taking a 10+ year hiatus to chase a shiny thing, He played downtempo and ambient in chill rooms and campout nights hosted by the Ambient Mafia, as well as blending house, techno, and progressive styles as a guest at Freebeats events (and the most raging bedroom DJ parties evar). Hallucid feels at one with the universe when making things, traveling near and far, and spending time with loved ones… and DJing music for you brings them all together.
IGGY, DJ/Producer/Founder of the BoomZilla Sound Collective.
IGGY started her music career on the East Coast (near DC) at the age of 15 as a lead singer and guitarist in a high school band. After a move across the country to Oakland, CA in 1994, Iggy bought her first dance track, making the plunge into DJing and digital production.
IGGY’s libraries of music expand across genres from reggae, trip-hop, funk, electro, disco, house, breaks, bass, trap, hip-hop, ambient, jazz and everything in between. Every set is packed with unexpected twists and turns, transcending genres to provide a unique and fresh musical experience.
Mary Sunshine Luna (yes that is her real given name) joined the Ambient Mafia relatively recently during 2020's shelter in stream days. She enjoys connecting people through music, art and technology both professionally and personally. Luna started DJing a year after her first Burn in 2009 so that she could play at her camp the following years. Since then, she has teamed up with Doctor Bee creatively and to juggle their two young kids. Luna's sound has been described as ""Goddess House Music"" but you can find her on the Ambient Mafia Channel playing a mix of genres made to make you feel good.
Maple plays music that embodies her imagination of the fantastic, expresses her emotions, and makes her want to dance with fire. It's not clear exactly where those inspirations will take her, but she is continually delighted by each opportunity for sonic world-building. Downtempo flavors include psychill, trip-hop, future garage and moody vocal tracks, along with midtempo explorations in bass music, progressive house and techno.
Musician, artist and DJ Matthew Madrone started releasing music in the early 2000s with George Cochrane (aka Cubik and Origami), ultimately producing several albums and EPs of downtempo, ambient and bass music released on Wide Hive Records, Dinner Party Records, and Folding Squares. Always driven by a love of improvised performance, he co-founded The Fingermonsters, which brought thunderous, barely contained chaos in the form of live techno and electro to clubs and underground parties around the Bay Area. Since then, he has continued to produce and DJ in solo and collaborative projects, along with forays into video performance which incorporate his original illustrations.
These days, his dual identity as a visual artist and musician, along with a long-standing love of speculative fiction and mythology, inform textural, hypnotic live performances that are cinematic in scope, and rhythmically grounded in a passion for hip-hop and dance music.
Past performances: https://www.twitch.tv/monsieurmadrone/
Mo Corleone celebrates the unpredictable. As such, her sets vary in style and speed, refusing to be pigeonholed. Psychedelic dub, Asian-flavored chill, and jazzy breakscapes currently dominate her crates, but the only thing guaranteed is music that will make you take notice.
Since 2014, Mo's production work has enjoyed worldwide release on multiple labels. Original material is increasingly integrated into her sets, offering yet another dimension of creativity with each performance.
Stay updated at www.mocorleone.com
Ambient Mafia founding member Olde Nasty (aka drop, aka steve0) started dabbling as a selector in 1995. while he was notorious for mixing different styles and eclectic sets, his work with the mafia tended to focus on chunky midtempo, roots reggae, and rocksteady/dancehall.
He was a great mentor to a lot of our new recruits: whether it be introducing them to the newest (or oldest) orb track, or making them listen to Pink Floyd’s Meddle on repeat, he was always a great source of musical knowledge. Everywhere we went, if it was an overnight hotel gig, we needed to bring our own soundsystem. It was his big thing - and he'd be DJing on it the whole time. We'd bring a small speaker system and CDJs and we'd have a soundtrack for whatever trouble we were getting up to in the hotel room. Usually it involved a bong and a whole lot of weed.Olde Nasty, steve0 - you'll be missed. Thank you for being you, and for making the Ambient Mafia a family.
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.
Check out his DJ mixes and weird art here: redstickman.com
Steve Wishman’s love for electronic music can be traced back to childhood attempts at remixing video game music with live drum tracks and creating mashups on loops of tape. One day his friend and guru pointed out that you can rearrange the letters of his name to spell SeventhSwami, and the missionary of music was born. Swami joined The Ambient Mafia in 2006, bringing with him an eclectic mix of emotional sounds, and is grateful to have been a fixture in the NorCal electronic music scene during the formative years of Glitch and Dubstep. In 2009 he released Here For Now on Muti Music, and in 2010 he released the Ghosts EP. In 2020, after a long break he released The Cosmic Giggle EP. A regular at Lucidity and Symbiosis Events, SeventhSwami has been fortunate to share the stage with with legendary artists, and has hosted the chill stage at Stilldream, bringing new faces and styles to the forefront.
After a 10 year hiatus to focus on family and career, SeventhSwami has at last returned to the stage with a renewed spiritual focus on his craft. Here again for NOW, Swami is a student of compassion, a devotee of the present moment, and a teacher of The Art of Letting Go.
Links to SeventhSwami music: seventhswami.com
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
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.
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.
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.