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Live Human

Turntablist extraordinaire Carlos Aguilar (aka DJ Quest), double bassist Andrew Kushin, and drummer Albert Mathias formed Live Human in '96 in their hometown, San Francisco. Kushin and Mathias performed together in the performance group Contraband and the free-jazz combo Thread before hooking up with Bullet Proof Hamster-turned-Space Traveler DJ Quest. With a total disregard for all musical conventions, the trio began laying down the framework for a unique form of improvised percussive hip hop.

Their eponymous '97 debut long-player was released courtesy of Cosmic Records. Limited to 1000 copies and released solely on wax, the album generated interest from discerning underground music lovers, particularly Alex Knight and Dave Cawley at the Fat Cat headquarters in London. Later that year, Fat Cat licensed four tracks from the album and released them on an EP entitled Improvisessions. So began the legacy of Live Human.

Their second album, Monostereosis: The New Victoria Method, was released in Europe on Fat Cat in '99 and subsequently in the U.S. on Hip Hop Slam in '00. They recorded their third album, Elefish Jellyphant, in an Oakland studio with Kae Gregor, and it is mixed down with Christopher Forrest. For this album (from which "Elephants' Bliss" is culled), the group uses improvised overdubs so the album can play uninterrupted as a continuous mix. Once again, Live Human takes the old-school hip hop ethic of two turntables and a microphone one (big) step (for man) further.

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