Wednesday, August 24, 2011
DJ Quest (Carlos Aguilar) was born in 1973 in El Salvador. While there are others using the name 'DJ Quest', Carlos Aguilar has most likely had the moniker the longest,. He is considered one of the most skilled and reputable DJ and innovators in the field of Turntablism. DJ Quest has contributed to the hip hop DJ art form by bringing power scratching to the battle scene. Quest, a battle veteran of the internationally known DMC, New Music Seminar and countless others has been crowned champ on several occasions.
Quest and his family moved to the San Francisco Bay area in the early 1980s where he was introduced to Electro or Electro Funk artist Nucleus, Kraftwerk and Afrika Bambaataa. He soon bought his first mixer, a Pyramid 4700 and accidentally hooked up the Turntables in reverse.
In a strange coincidence, Quest coined the term “Hamster style”, which refers to the reverse set up. While performing on the popular local hip hop show "Home Turf" in 1992 he demonstrated his skills. When DJ Kevy Kev attempted to use Quest set up and could not understand it, Quest blerted out that it was "Hamster style". This is the actual origin of the term and the switch that is included in almost every scratch mixer sold today. Today the term remains popular and is recognized by DJs worldwide, and ultimately led to companies like the Rane Corp. and Vestax including him in their DJ roster and list of endorsees.
Quest, one of the founding members of Bullet Proof Scratch Hamsters/Space Travelerz (DJ Quest, Eddie Def, DJ Cue, Eddie K,and DJ Mars) creators of “Hamster Breaks” (the first battle style record on the market), expanded his musical horizons in 1996 by forming the experimental jazz/hip-hop group Livehuman in San Francisco, California. Since its formation, the trio has self produced recordings for the British label Fat Cat Records, the Bay Area’s Hip-Hop Slam, Matador Records, and their own independent Cosmic Records. This new artistic outlet gave Quest the opportunity to display his abilities all over the US, Europe, Australia, and Japan. Highlighted performances include Roskilde Music Fest in Denmark; Montreux Jazz Festival, Switzerland; Transmusicales Music Fest in Renn, France, and the DJs For Life conference in the UK. Aside of his Livehuman expeditions, Quest has accompanied Quannum artist, Latyrx, The Bomb Hip-Hop DJ’s, Future Primitive Sound Session, Space Travelerz, and has toured the world as a solo DJ. In the summer of 2007, Quest joined Mike Patton’s Peeping Tom (band) as tour DJ for Australia.
More recently, Quest has come off a west coast tour as part of a DJ/MC duo with Apostle of Heavyweight Dub Champion. In his 20 plus years of DJ experience, Quest has also collaborated on recordings with artist such as Dan 'The Automator' Nakamura (Bear Witness II), Blackalicious, Rob Swift (X-ecutioners), Z Man, Sacred Hoop, Eddie K, Topper, DJ Zeph, DJ Q-Bert (Do It Yourself, vol. 2), Wide Hive Records collective “Variable Unit” and The DJ Project.
In the documentary Questosahn, Quest mentions finishing his full length album “Questolous”, an assortment of collaborations with various DJs and producers highlighting scratch diversity, due February 2008. Quest is also featured in the Doug Pray-directed documentary “Scratch” (Palm Pictures), and is respected as one of today’s most talented and versatile DJ/turntablist.