Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Cam Jus Resuscitation by K. Scribe


Pronunciation: \-ˌhir-(ˌ)ō, -ˌhē-(ˌ)rō\

Function: noun

Date: 1917

: a fictional hero having extraordinary or superhuman powers ; also : an exceptionally skillful or successful person

In spite of his inability to fly and the absence of superhuman strength, DJ Cam Jus is a musical superhero of sorts. He possesses the amazing ability of rescuing top 40 hits from a cookie cutter sound by transforming them into unique aural creations. In addition, he snatches indie tracks out of obscurity and into a region that is somewhere between mainstream and underground. Cam Jus does so through a process The Glass House deems Cam Jus Resuscitation (CJR, not to be confused with CPR).

The first 9 min of Cam’s mix tape, Blast 2, star the great, but usual suspects in hip hop DJ sets-- Redman (typical), Ice Cube (typical), and Gangstarr (uber-typical). However, past that point, this tape morphs into an anomalous musical creation. We’ve all heard the amazingly infectious, “Addiction” by Ryan Leslie. In fact, the airways have played this track so much, it’s been rendered lifeless. This is precisely when the man of the post is needed.

Download - Blast 2

On Blast 2, a sexy, but overplayed track was resurrected through CJR and transformed into a flirty, light song by an infusion of Feist’s instrumentals (“Mushaboom”). Really Cam Jus? Ingenious, dude.

Cam’s fearless enough to flatten out the boxes in which we place DJs. Case in point, “Nothing to Worry About” by Peter Bjorn and John, meets Ron Browz. This collab sounds amazingly organic. Cam reveals the gap between indie and hip hop by showing how easily it can be closed. As an artist, his mixtures make us question our music taste exclusivity. Indie-only lovers can indulge in the top forty tracks without guilt. In addition, top-forty lovers can absorb Indie music without a feeling of being force fed. In true superhero fashion, Cam Jus blends “Unstoppable/Swag On” ft. Soulja Boy and Santogold, “Year of the Lover” Lloyd ft. Plies/Rob 3 of Brick Bandits, and of course the remix of Wale’s “Nike Boots". His blends/remixes exhibit a desire to take listeners down an auditory tour of what the think they’ve heard many times before, only to show them how many different ways music can be reinvented. This is Cam Jus Resuscitation at its best. It sets him record stacks apart from average DJ’s and distinguishes him as a talented artist. The magnetic thing about these blends is that they completely dismantle your idea of what top 40 or indie is “supposed” to sound like, as one track bleeds into another.

DJ Cam Jus’ flawless track transitions contribute to the ease of digging whatever he dishes. He uses Young Jeezy’s “Circulate” to announce the arrival of his upcoming Go-Go set. Jeezy raps, “I’m a start off so slow, yeah I said so slow. They love me out in DC, just like go-go, go-go, said go-go, just like go-go, ” and Jeezy’s voice seamlessly transports us into the world of Rare Essence, What?, and the Reaction Band. It’s an extremely clever example of a muse (Cam Jus) using Jeezy as a muse. Blast 2 is full of aural nuances like those.

The remainder of the tape is peppered with brilliant “DJ diction” in Camu Tao’s “Plot a little", dancehall tracks, “I'm So Special—Unfinished Business Riddim” by Mavado, Serani’s “Playing Games—Unfinished Business Riddim”, and M.I.A.’s “Boyz” (Warrell Philliams Remix). However, I’d be remiss not to mention the importance of the Baltimore club mix included on the mix tape. DJ Cam Jus’ inclusion here speaks to the ever increasing respect and acknowledgement being given by DC DJs to Baltimore’s music scene.

As a writer, I feel a certain connection with DJ’s, because in effect, we’re both trying to tell a story very intentionally. We hope our readers and listeners are moved in some way by what we write or play, respectively. Cam Jus attempts to do this by relying on technique, but I’d be intrigued to hear him do a complete themed album without the intentional train wrecks.

Blast 2 delivers an incredibly diverse compilation of tracks to move us mentally and physically. I have no doubt that once Cam Jus injects his sound into a space, the dance floor begins to represent his taste in music—diverse and eclectic. He’s a DJ..err superhero, that sees music as pliable sources of sound that can be reconstructed and revitalized (and I don’t mean gentrification). In short, his blends are my Kryptonite. And though I’m no kitten in a tree, I eagerly await the next Cam Jus Resuscitation (CJR) mix tape, because just like superheroes, DJ’s have been known to save lives.

K. Scribe

Keeping the cursor blinking and the pen bleeding…

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