Roach Dad

Born in L/A and raised in Portland, Maine, R. D. cut his teeth as a lanky hip-hop DJ with a close crew cut and period appropriate Karl Kani sweats, giving up his 14th summer to flipping burgers so he could stack and cop a set of technic turntables and a golden Vestax mixer. He could’ve stuck with the beginner set he got one funky Xmas, but he knew from the jump off that having the right gear was crucial, second only to how you use it. Finesse comes to mind. The way he made those scratch records sing, there was something there beyond a fad. DJ Slouch had soul, taste and good timing, at one point finding himself as a last-minute substitute DJ for a Wu-Tang concert.

From here he became a certified crate digger, working at a music shop, having a table at swap meets, being part owner in a record store and even having actual wooden crates of Nigerian funk delivered exclusively. Even more unique than his knack for acquiring and collecting is his ability to absorb what he hears, playing full songs track by track in his head while silently twirling his now natty curls. Taking cues from local lords while building his empire, DJ-turned-producer again opted immediately for a very serious tool from the golden era, an SP1200. With the same vision and grace he hinted at on the tables, he cut and flipped only the rarest vinyl selections into lyrical boom bap that celebrates the subtle and reconstructs the recognizable, live tapping ten seconds of samples strewn across the Atariesque buttons into a living, jazzy jam on it.

Playing rap shows is fun, but after a decade he wanted to do something to facilitate that funky feeling and get these wallflowers on the floor. His drumming and programming at its most solid and polished playing side gigs as electronic instrument accompaniment in a jazz group that sessioned with a few legends in NYC, he was steady readying himself for something big. Meanwhile, the was young prince lurking on the periphery, only surfacing to ask Roach Dad for record recommendations, playing shows and occasionally working at the record store. That dynamic changed one fateful night when they were booked on the same bill. The afterparty is still going to this very day.