Preview: DJ Yoda at the Big Chill, King’s Cross


YodaYoda - Credit: Archant

For a globe-trotting turntable legend like DJ Yoda, life can be a rather tiring whirlwind of festivals, flights and furious parties.

And coming off the back of a week with five shows in the three different countries, that’s why the Islington-native is excited about next Friday’s show at the Big Chill House, in Pentonville Road, so much.

Not only will it give him the chance to flex his considerable scratching skills in a more friendly and intimate style than when rocking main stages, but the King’s Cross venue is just a (quarterback-worthy) stone’s throw from his Archway home, without a tour bus in sight.

“I’ve played at the Big Chill House before and I’m really looking forward to it,” says Yoda, real name Duncan Beiny. “It’s going to be a straight DJ set. At the big festival shows I have been doing the audio visual stuff, which is a whole different thing.

“I like to balance it out and to do Dj set at a nice cosy venue like that, with a good crowd, will be great.”

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It’s been a hectic 12 months for the 35-year-old; as well as taking his DJ and video shows on the road, he has also found time to tour with the Trans-Siberian Marching Band and put out two new releases.

“It has been a very busy year,” he said. “I am playing five different festivals in this week alone. And apart from the solo DJ Yoda stuff there is the big brass band. We cover hip hop classics and it’s really good for festivals. We’ve done Glastonbury and we’ll be doing Bestival next.

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“Then alongside that these is my solo album Chop Suey and the latest How To Cut and Paste. We’ve given up on numbering them so this one is called the Asian edition.

“It’s lots of different types of music, but all inspired by Asian samples. There’s hip-hop, funk, drum and bass. I like to do a bit of everything.”

All this seems a far cry from the north London schoolboy trying to perfect a burgeoning technique on his parents folks’ player.

“I started Djing when I was at school, “ he said. “I was messing around really, pretending to scratch because the music I listened to had scratching in.

“I used my parents’ high-fi. Then when I broke that I bought decks. I started doing these mixtapes and selling them. I’d copy 50, the 100, then 1,000 and it grew like that.

“The Cut and Paste series came when a guy from a record label, who had been buying the tapes, approached me to do a CD.

“I started when I was 15 or 16. 20 years ago. It all started more like a joke. I never thought I would be doing it all these years later.”

Catch DJ Yoda at Big Chill House, Pentonville Road, King’s Cross, on August 31, then at Village Underground, Holywell Lance Shoreditch on November 1.

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