LIVE HUMAN is a three member experimental hip-hop ensemble that formed in the fall of 1996 in San Francisco ,California.In the relatively short amount of time that they have been rehearsing and performing as a unit,this “pocket orchestra” has self-produced a highly successful debut EP,several live recorded demo cassettes,and performed in a variety of professional venues two of which were commissioned by out-state-event organizers,bringing the trio to play in Seattle ,WA and Phoenix,AZ.
The music of LIVE HUMAN occupies a unique niche in the genres of both free-improvised music and hip-hop.All the three musicians bring to the experiences playing and performing in diverse musical situations.Their live performance consist not of prefigured,invarient sets of written “songs” but rather they make use of what they call “live sampling” in which they freely draw from their original compositions in order to recreate and perpetually recontextualize their own music.
Carlos Aguilar(DJ Quest) a self-educated musician who grew up playing DJ to a host of rappers and hip-hop acts,has developed such a virtuosic style and level of facility on the turntables that he is able to use them,through improvisation to “speak” with the same degree of precision and expression as one would expect to hear from a master of a more “traditional” musical instrument. Albert Mathias,as strong and as at home playing hip-hop beats as he is any of the handful of styles he has performed professionally,his credits range from playing North Indian Classical music to performing and touring the United States with the dance group Contraband. Andrew Kushin employs his knowledge of the contrabass to bring the instrument up to date, so to speak, drawing on a compendium of extended technique to communicate in collusion with the turntables of Quest.In addition this combination of instruments provides for a striking image on stage. Prior to joining the eight members dance company, Kushin and Mathias performed together for several years with the free jazz ensemble, Thread. It is perhaps this tradition that Kushin and Mathias draw from most deeply in collaborating to create the music of LIVE HUMAN.
This is spontaneous improvisation without the utilization of overt jazz idioms.These musicians do not confuse the improvisation inherent in the jazz tradition with the “jazz sound” itself, and this is what separates their music from any “trip hop” or “acid jazz” acts that are so in vogue today. LIVEHUMAN, in their name, attempts to reflect the honesty of their musical intention.Subverting the old, impersonal sample, this trio takes improvisational hip-hop to its next stage reinstating the human element-the voice in the machine.