by Jody Colley
Thumping beats on the DJ Stage in the heart of Jack London Square this year will be the Oakland Faders, consisting of DJ MERE, DJ ZEPH, and DJ PLATURN. The light effects will be on, the dance floor down, and the audience hopping.
In the DJ-saturated Bay Area, it takes a lot to be able to stand out from the crowd. And there’s no better example of standing out from the crowd than the Oakland Faders.
The crew has been around for a decade and has grown to be 8 members deep. Every single member—DJ Platurn, DJ Spair, DJ Mere, Joe Quixx, Ammbush, DJ Enki, DJ Zeph, and DJ Icewater — is at least 15 years deep in the DJ game, and each one showcases the diverse skills and musical knowledge that have become the Faders’ calling card. From glitzy clubs to grimy underground spots, radio shows to b-boy throwdowns, funk 45 nights and electro parties, the Faders cover all the bases.
There is also diverse radio experience within the crew, not the least of which being Joe Quixx’s tenure as the DJ for the world-famous Wake Up Show. The Faders have also appeared on 106 KMEL, WYLD 94.9, AOL radio, XM Radio, college radio all over the Bay Area and through the U.S. and even pirate radio, and they currently hold down an online radio show on Alldayplay.fm on the first and third Fridays of the month from 5-7pm.
Besides the years of DJ experience, you’ll also find plenty of production and engineering experience in the crew. From DJ Ammbush’s work on the Grammy-winning Lucy Pearl album to DJ Icewater’s work as producer and engineer at Cornerstore Studios to DJ Zeph’s highly acclaimed solo albums and production work with MC Azeem (some of which has shown up on HBO’s “Entourage” and in Pepsi ad campaigns) to Joe Quixx’s production on the B.U.M.S.’ gold-selling LP, the Faders exhibit talent not only in spinning music, but in creating it as well. They’ve added scratches to countless hip-hop songs, they DJ for acts like The Pharcyde and artists on the Quannum Projects roster, and among the eight of them, they’ve released more mixtapes than can be counted, from DJ Mere’s series of mixes for the Hieroglyphics crew to concept mixes that are acclaimed around the world.
And then there’s all the awards the Faders have garnered over the years. Winners of the Scion Free Up Your Mix competition (topping 600 competitors nationwide) and mixtape competitions from URB magazine and Mixwell. Dubbed the best DJs in the Bay by the East Bay Express as either individuals or an entire crew every year since 2003 and recognized on the other side of the Bay by the SF Weekly.
All this acclaim has lead to the Faders working with and sharing the stage with artists like Z-Trip, Q-Bert, Raphael Saadiq, Parliament/Funkadelic, Tower of Power, The Beatminerz, Jake One, Zion I, Crown City Rockers, Xzibit, Team Canada, and the Triple Threat DJs, among many others. Various members of the crew have contributed material to or been sponsored by companies like Digidesign, Rane, Turntablelab, Pandora, Iceland Airwaves, Red Bull, the Golden State Warriors, Adidas, ESPN, BBC, and Sony.
The Faders aren’t content to just rest on their laurels, though. They’re all striving to keep pushing music forward, keep rocking crowds of all types, and keep the art of classic, well-rounded DJing alive. If you get a chance to check any of them out, take that chance—you won’t be disappointed.