Mike Relm

One of the DJ/turntablist scene's major attractions, Mike Relm (born Michael Wong) became known for his amazing beat-juggling performances that cunningly incorporate visuals as well as genre mash-ups. At any given set, one can expect Relm, usually wearing a suit and tie with tennis shoes, to juxtapose music from Jay-Z, Nirvana, and Björk with excerpts from Office Space and Peanuts cartoons. Born in 1978 in San Francisco yet raised in Daly City, CA, Relm first developed his affinity for music through classical training from piano, trumpet, and, then, baritone lessons. However, when his brother introduced him to turntablism, he became enamored with the art form. Simply calling himself DJ Relm in high school, he worked various jobs to support his new interest and purchase DJ supplies. By the time he was a film student at San Francisco State University, he had graduated from DJ party gigs to national battle competitions. Relm won his first major championship in 1999, grabbing the U.S. title at the International Turntablist Federation competition (he earned second place at the worldwide level).

At the onset of the 2000s, Relm had definitely made a name for himself, gaining notoriety through live performances (solo and as part of turntablist ensembles), radio spots, documentaries, and also a number of scratch-heavy, mash-up 12"s, such as "The Adventures of Sperm Boy: Defender of the Uterus" (1998) and "Jugglin' Jawz" (2001). The turning point in his career came when the first DVJ turntable, equipment that allows the mixing of video just like vinyl or CDs, was released in 2004. The new development pushed Relm, who had always been obsessed with the likes of Quentin Tarantino and Danny Elfman more than any DJ or hip-hop icon, into becoming more a producer and artist, thusly prompting him to remove the "DJ" from his stage name and adjusting it to Mike Relm. In 2005, he released his first entire mix CD, Radio Fryer, as well as the DVD Suit Yourself, which chronicled his time spent as the official DJ for Gift of Gab's 4th Dimensional Rocketships Going Up tour. Throughout the late 2000s, he continued to build his credentials, racking up several magazine features, touring with the Blue Man Group, and sharing stages with likes of OutKast, Blonde Redhead, and Gnarls Barkley. ~ Cyril Cordor

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