The Beatdown

DJ Iz: The house jock who took the long way home

The story of 37-year-old DJ Iz (Joshua Michael) starts off much like those of other house jocks of his generation: "Growing up in Chicago, blah, blah, blah." But in 1979, Iz moved to San Jose, far away from the burgeoning house scene of his birth city; there, he soaked up the town's ska and punk revival and formed a band that included now-legendary DJ Doc Martin on trumpet. Some time later, on a Chicago visit to relatives, Iz was hipped to influential record store Gramophone and was told to introduce himself to a young employee named Derrick Carter; their instant friendship drew Iz back to his hometown, where he, Carter and the infamous Red Nail Posse lived together and developed innovative tracks. After buying MIDI gear, breathing Chi-town air for a few years and releasing tracks on Blue Cucaracha and Prescription, Iz moved back to the Bay Area, where he resides to this day, holding down the longest-running weekly gig in the city, "Bionic," and releasing tracks on seminal imprints Classic, OM and Seasons. On Saturday, Iz brings his well-traveled record bag to Zubar to spin his funky, Chi-Bay hybrid sound.

 
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