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King Kon
Crate digging with Bostonís finest; Grime on the Green Line
BY DAVID DAY

One of the secrets of Boston hip-hop is how many heads work in relative obscurity here at home, only to be heralded on other continents as heroes. DJ KON is one of those cats. Along with his partner Amir, Kon is responsible for the mixtape series and re-edit label known as On Track, which has been called out by everyone from Soul Strut to Jazzanova. Next summer, the internationally known UK beat-head label BBE, already home to a host of legends and their mixes, will release Kings of Digging, which highlights Konís extensive collection of breaks, beats, and bass lines. Closer to home, heíll spin Saturday at Future Classicís "Legends of Style II," a celebration of street style and graffiti at the Boston Convention Center.

For Kon, itís an appropriate setting: he got named from aerosol. "I started out ó Kon is not a DJ name, that was my tag," he says. "I used to bomb the trains back in the day, there were about 30 of us. Weíd go out to the train yard and bomb the Green Line. Me and this guy named Chronic got arrested one time on the Red Line. Caught for not doing anything of course," he laughs.

DJ Konís history goes way back to the roots of hip-hop: disco. In Boston terms, that means back to Spin-Off, the old Lansdowne Street roller rink where Jillianís pool hall now sits. "Iím a big disco head, I always have been. I used to go roller-skating over at Spin-Off. I won trophies, man, my mother won trophies. I used to roll with these Puerto Rican roller-skating cats from the South End, had a little satin jacket with my name on it and everything. They called me Skinny." Kon still loves disco. "But this isnít Gloria Gaynor-type shit. Anything with a sick bass line, basically. My addiction is really rare disco 12-inches. Iím in contact with all the other disco weasels out there, Kenny Dope and all those guys. Guys that are really nerdily into it." And for Kon itís an obsession rooted in more than music. "See, my mom passed in í93, and she was about to turn 38. So when I play that kind of stuff I think of her and those times."

Kon went on to produce a slew of singles for guys like Ed OG and labels like Rawkus and Fondle íEm. Somewhere along the way he became known as a legendary crate digger. "Dude, Iíve gone through sewage ó like literally piss and shit on records," he laughs. "If thereís records in there, I donít care. I donít stop until Iíve looked at every record in the spot." Kon spins disco and such every other Saturday at Middlesex Lounge in Cambridge. Other Saturdays, youíll find him at Aria. "That place is straight debauchery, man, I mean itís straight nutty. Iím working for my money in there. At Middlesex Iím doing what I want to do. Itís a blessing to have an outlet like Middlesex."

DJs G-Notorious and Jam-2 have recently kicked off OPERATION UNDERGROUND at the Kells in Allston every Saturday, spinning UK garage, grime, and underground beats of all stripes. This week their guests are the old New England raver crew Parallax Sounds . . . Meanwhile, UK grime and dubsteb originators PLASTICMAN and VEX'D are special guests at BEAT RESEARCH this Monday at Enormous Room. In addition to his production on Aphex Twinís Grime compilation last year, Plasticman also has an M.I.A. remix due out soon. Monday also serves as a release party for Beat Research honcho DJ Cís Boston bounce rework of M.I.A.ís "URAQT," which appears next to a Serj "System of a Down" Tankian remix on the b-side of "Galang í05," out this week . . . Local ízine and electronic news site SONIC HEART is linking up with the UNLOCKED GROOVE superteam to sponsor a new performance series that kicks off this week at a secret location in Boston. For more information, check their redesigned, blog-style site at www.sonicheart.com.

David Day spins Thursdays at Middlesex Lounge and Fridays at Enormous Room | circuits@squar3.com.


Issue Date: October 7 - 13, 2005
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