Trouble Ahead: The Official Troublemaker
Newsletter – June 2009
Please visit djtroublemaker.com/hope for more details and to find out how you can help bring artists and media to places in need.
The donation price is set at a minimum of 60 cents and all the money goes to the HOPE Campaign (minus 10 cents to PayPal).
Troublemaker’s Konkrete-era sonic experiments with such Celestial partners as rapper Phoenix Orion and junglist Hive fueled Kouzomis’s personal ambitions. Not one to miss a beat, he next enlisted E. Moss to form Backyard Bangers, whose eponymous debut track – a collaboration with DJ Z-Trip – is on 2002’s Constant Elevation compilation.
The album’s title typified the trajectory of Kouzomis’s career then and today characterizes Troublemaker’s professional advance and ascent. This DJ since then has steadily turned out remixes and commercial pieces true to his name, consistently causing the best kinds of diggable disturbance. Whether editing for the likes of Bonde do Role or Justice, winning the annual URB Magazine/Scion Mixtape contest, or re-working Linkin Park’s “Runaway” to beat out more seasoned studio mixers’ versions for a place on the multi-platinum Reanimation album, Troublemaker has proven himself both a master producer and DJ. With a diverse discography boasting works ranging from Johnny Cash Remixed and Good Charlotte’s Greatest Remixes to the Peter Bjorn and John remixes (now exceeding 20K downloads in the month it’s been out), Kouzomis has roused the audio rabble in-car, in-club, and even in-Capital: in January 2009, Troublemaker – alongside De La Soul, Santogold, and Shepherd Fairey – rocked D.C. at the Manifest Hope Inauguration Party in Washington.
While others are satisfied with the standard mix-and-tour, Troublemaker refuses to settle – or settle down. His first solo album, Maestro, features tracks like the alt/modern rock-tinged “All Night” and the hip hop/pop-appealing “I’m Famous” that demonstrate Troublemaker’s ability not only to produce and remix others but also to do it for himself. Maestro sets itself above and apart by including new up-and-comers. Their sheer diversity and Troublemaker’s motley musical skills together make this album new and unique. In its conception and in your ears, Troublemaker’s Maestro truly is the kind of aural showcase and body-moving rollercoaster that can’t (or won’t) be stopped.
True to form, Troublemaker continues plotting mischief both in-studio and out-. In addition to spinning for his Wasted Space residency at the Hard Rock Hotel Las Vegas, getting ready to play The Roxy on Sunset with Adam Tensta, U-N-I, and The 87 Stick Up Kids, masterminding remixes (Tim Armstrong’s Poet’s Life album for Hellcat Records; Matt and Kim’s “Daylight” for EA Video Games; Big B, Mastodon, Phoenix, and Zion I), and producing several new artists of various genres, Troublemaker is gearing up for May’s Hope Artists Festival in Kenya, Africa, as well as the brief European tour he’ll play en route to the States in June. He is also planning U.S. tour dates for July to promote Maestro, due for release on July 7, 2009.
Los Angeles native Josh Kouzomis – known in the industry as Troublemaker – began making his musical name in the early 1990’s as a college radio DJ and music director at Ohio University’s ACRN. His school stint was brief but critical, and resoundingly affirmed Kouzomis’s future lay elsewhere – specifically, Los Angeles.
Once home, Kouzomis joined punk/hardcore giant Epitaph Records first as a grass-roots marketing intern and then as a radio promoter, positions he capitalized on. He took what he’d learned firsthand about the indie music business and production during his Epitaph tenure to cofound Celestial Recordings, the acclaimed underground hip hop and drum-and-bass label, in 1998. Just one year later, Rolling Stone named Celestial-affiliated Konkrete Jungle (L.A.) 1999’s Best Dance Club.
Now that you’re educated on the HOPE cause and Troublemaker, what better way to conclude this post than with a track from Troublemaker’s new album that hits stores on July 28, 2009!
Troublemaker – “Work It Out feat. Naptron and Phoenix Orion:”