Stereo Pictures


Balkan Beat Box


Balkan Beat Box is an American world music duo consisting of ex-Gogol Bordello member Ori Kaplan and Tamir Muskat of Firewater and Big Lazy. As a musical project they often cooperate with a host of other musicians both in the studio as well as on stage. Their current live crew consist of Tomer Yosef, Billy Levy, Ben Hendler, Itamar Ziegler, Dana Leung, Eyal Talmudi, Jeremiah Lockwood, and Peter Hess. Amongst their other collaborators are Victoria Hannah, the Bulgarian Chicks, Uri Kinrut, and gnawa player Hassan Ben Jaffar.

Balkan Beat Box establish their own unique sound by fusing the musical styles of Jewish, Mediterranean and Balkan traditions as well as the cultural influences of their home turf of New York City with some tints of electronica.

They cite Boban Marković, Rachid Taha, Fanfare Ciocarlia, Manu Chao, and Charlie Parker amongst their musical influences.



September 18, 2007 Posted by | other stereo pictures | Leave a comment

Mighty Timber!


Peace Dj Timber. Please introduce yourself to the audience.

My names Timber aka the Grand Supreme Timber Machine. I’m down with the Mighty Zulu Kingz, Bad Taste Crew, Horsepower DJ Militia, Belfast City Breakers & Flava Squad. I grew up in Belfast, Northern Ireland & moved to Manchester, England in 2001 where I’ve been based ever since. I was born in 1982 and I am 6’4″ tall.

When did you started Djing and what inspired you to do it?

Well, I never really intended on becoming a “DJ”, I started getting into rap music when I was around 14 / 15, I started listening to Wu Tang, Rakim, Fugees, KRS-One, Erick Sermon, Biggie and anything else I could get my hands on really. I loved the ruggedness and the energy of the music, I can’t count the amount of times I’ve listened to 36 Chambers!! I used to play basketball for a local team and I met an Australian guy (Luke) there who used to pass me tapes & CD’s. My early music collection was all on tape. Then I started going to Luke’s house, listening to music there and one day he and his bro bought turntables, I had a go on them once and that was it, haha. I guess I started buying records in 1999 and by 2000 I saved up enough money to buy my own turntables and a mixer! My friend JP won the Ireland DMC’s in 2000 and sold me his Technic’s because he won a new set! I guess those are lucky turntables, hahaha.

Was it hard for you to get into the whole Dj culture? Who teached you your first things on the turntables?

Well, nobody ever taught me anything technical about how to do it, I learnt off trial and error, never read any books, did any workshops or watched any videos, lol. My greatest inspirations for DJing are Sconey & the Madden Twins from Belfast City Breakers, I met them in 1999 when I first started b-boyin, I used to see them at clubs and then we’d go back to their houses and sit up all night drinking, singing, DJing, dancing, joking, cooking food & eating it! I guess they taught me how to drink to, haha. They really schooled me about breaks, digging, b-boyin, they’ve been dancing since 1983 in Belfast, they’ve never stopped and well, they are amazing people!! The schooling they gave me was more “give a man a fish & he can eat for a day, teach a man how to use a fishing rod he can eat for ever” kinda thing and I will forever be grateful for that!

When I moved to Manchester, I met Mouse & he used to come to where I lived and dance around my room, up the walls and on the ceiling to the records I’d play him. He taught me a lot about how to promoting myself and about understanding my value. He helped me get a lot of gigs then (and still does) as he was becoming the best b-boy in the UK then and everyone knew him. He has been one of my main inspirations, both for DJing and b-boying, and has watched out for me from the moment we became friends.

Since you’re also a Bboy, what is your breaking background? When did you start bboying and who introduced you to the dance?

I remember seeing b-boying as a child, my parents told me I was about 3 or 4 and I was just stood fixated on it, they couldn’t distract my attention. It had always been at the back of my mind however I never really thought of trying it until I was about 14 or 15, the beginning were VERY slow, no videos, no internet, no books, no teachers, just me and my imagination!! Then someone introduced me to a guy called James Donnelly in late 1998, he had a copy of BOTY 95, he was instantly my new best friend, I used to cycle half an hour to his house every day to watch that video then we’d go in his garage, put some cardboard down and roll around the floor. In mid-1999 we went to Belfast City Breakers Anniversary party, I thought they’d be rubbish, but they were amazing…as good as anyone I saw in BOTY! I met Bad Taste Crew there for the first time to, they had just started but they were still good! BCB were mostly training when I was in school and I didn’t have enough money to get the bus over there so I stayed in school and practiced with them once every couple of weeks in the evenings. Every time I saw them they taught me something new, I was practicing a lot at home in my living room, I spent a lot of time learning headspins with a helmet on carpet, lol. Information was hard to come by and I guess that really gave me my thirst for the culture. I remember dreaming about the day I could go somewhere and see 20 b-boys, never mind a b-boy event, thats why I moved to England, because I’d heard there was a scene there.

In July 2006 I twisted vertebrae in my neck doing headspins which nearly forced me to stop dancing completely, it took about 5 months before I could dance more than once every two or three weeks. I’m back now, but I know I’ll never be able to do what I used to but that’s OK because I’ve adapted and come back stronger and better! I’ve had more than my fair share of injuries over the years but nothing stops my love or passion for b-boying. The way I see it is there’s me, the music & the floor and nothing else really matters!

You’re reppin’ many crews like Mighty Zulu Kings, Bad Taste Crew (Ireland), Horsepower and Flava Squad. How did you get down with all these crews?

Before I get into that, I’d like to point out that first and foremost I am my own man, I make my own decisions, I stand on my own two feet and its for those very reasons that all those I consider my family are my family because I know that whatever I do they have my back!

Belfast City Breakers are Godfathers of the Irish hip hop scene, the only thing they asked me to do is carry the torch for them and I am proud to say I’m a student of theirs and even though they are my teachers they are still students themselves – never stop learning!!

Bad Taste Crew hail from Omagh, Northern Ireland, it was originally a graf crew, however a couple of members started b-boying & they to got much of their early schooling from BCB and although we grew up in different places we’ve always been tight. I feel like we help carry on what BCB started, keeping Irish b-boying alive and do our best to continue on their legacy! I’m really proud of everything the boys have achieved and continue to achieve! The crew is now based in Newcastle, England

Mighty Zulu Kingz: The first time I met Alien Ness I was DJing in Leeds, I guess he liked me then cus he carryed my box of records down the street for me (why does nobody else do this?? hahaha). He heard me DJ another 3 times and he really liked my DJing. Then we went to Croatia for Circle Prinz South East Europe 2007, we’d talked before but we’d never really chilled, we were staying at the same spot for the whole weekend so we had time to kick it. I took his workshop out there, then the next day was Circle Prinz, I had talked to Ness about the way he judges battles and I got inspired because of the way he was talking and he see’s things the same way I do! They had 29 pairs of b-boys down to enter, so that gets eliminated down to 16. After round 18/19 I said to Atomic from Croatia (who was hosting the event and was the only person I knew there) “you wanna enter this” and he said “yeah” so that was that, we did the first round, got through the eliminators, I was splitting DJing the rounds half and half with DJ Woo-D from Slovenia, so then we got through the top 16, then won our quater final battle, then I had to DJ the next battle without any break which was the first semi final and dance in the one after that, I was wrecked & we got beat in the semi finals. I DJ’ed the whole of the next day at West Coast Istra Battle, after the final Ness & Pepito came up to me and asked me if I wanted to be down with the family, they said my DJing was fresh, my dancing was fresh and I have the same love & perspective for b-boyin as them so they when they asked me to get down it was a great honour!

Horsepower: I used to joke with Lil Lean, he asked me once on MSN “what’s that break?” and I told him it was Horsepower. I used to have the default picture of the two horses on MSN and the name stuck. Lil Lean’s done a great job with recruiting some really great DJs to the crew & promoting all the members. I guess it kinda started cus we started it cus we were sick of hearing wack DJs at events and on videos so we wanted to give promoters a kind of seal of approval.

Flava Squad also came through Lil Lean, its basically like minded talented people

So do you ever get the chance to spent some time with all your crews?

Not as much as I’d like, we all have things to take care of but I know when we do meet its family time! I got made redundant from my job at a record shop 3 months ago and since then I’ve been so busy I’ve hardly even sat down. I guess it was a blessing in a way because I’ve not been receiving unemployment benefits I’ve worked my ass off doing whatever I need to make sure the rent and bills are paid, there’s food in my belly and I got some money to buy new records! I don’t really see my crew’s as crew’s, they are more like family, you can see em once a week or once a year and you know its all good!

Do you sent out your newest tracks to all of you squad members? How do you keep in touch with all of them?

With most people in my crew’s I say to them “I’ll give you my mix-CD’s cus its important to me that you have them but if you got the money for them then give it to me”. Everyone gives me the money unless they are really broke because they know & understand how important it is to support each other & they appreciate what I do. They know that if everyone gives a little it means a lot! I know one person who gave me money one year after I gave them the CD, haha

When you’re working on a new Mix, how is your working process? How do you create a Mix?

Normally it comes from boredom at training, the whole reason I started really buying records was dancing. I’ll make a mix every once in a while to practice to and keep ideas from the mix and think about ways I could incorporate them into a proper mix-tape. I try to keep music varied but have themes running throughout a CD to keep it interesting cus too much of one thing means your attention drops. So i’ll have a soundtrack bit, then some rock breaks, then some funk breaks, then a latin section, whatever helps the mix flow. To be honest, its one of the few things in my life that I do willingly that really irritates me, I kinda hate doing them because I’m a free spirit and I’m also a perfectionist and there’s so much room for error especially playing breaks, but I understand the importance of having something tangible to share with others. It amazes me the places my CD’s travel to and I just do my best to put a fair representation of myself on them.

Since you’ve travelled a lot within the last years, what were your favourite events and your favourite moments on these trips?

There’s been so many amazing memories in such a short space of time, I remember the first time I met Storm in Germany, he’d been doing a 2 week workshop and my friend had organised an after party. I turned up he had no idea who I was, I chatted briefly to him at the end of his class & he’d told me he hurt his leg and he couldn’t really dance, I told him, “nope, you’ll be dancing tonight cus I’m DJing” and sure enough he came down and didn’t stop dancing the whole night. That was a real honour to spin for him and to see the big fat smile across his face when I was spinning.

Spinning at BOTY German Nationals 2005 was special to, because it was in the Pavillion in Hanover, the same place at BOTY 95, that had a special significance for me.

I just got back from United Styles 3 & Floor Lords 26th Anniversary in Boston, we (Zulu Kingz) won $1,000 at the cypher battles at FL 26th Anniv, that was my first time playing in the USA…and to enter the cyphers with my Zulu fam was a real special feeling, I’d never met any of them face to face before but what Ness had told me about everyone in Zulu Kingz having the same outlook and hunger for b-boying was really confirmed for me. We all worked overdrive in those cyphers, we all stood together like a family should…plus it meant I could go on a last minute record buying spree in Boston on Monday morning before I left, haha

I’m sure you got to know most of the Break Dj’s out there. Who are your favourite Break Dj’s?

Well…I am a b-boy first and foremost so anyone that makes me wanna dance is OK with me!! My favourite DJ of all time has to be Leacy (RIP), he was…and forever will be…the greatest! He changed so much in the b-boy scene. I practice to his mixes more than anyone else’s!

And which are your favourite tracks to dance to personally? How would you describe the “perfect beat”?

I always said my favourite record is a record I never heard before. You can’t beat THAT feeling! For me, there’s two types of music, good music and bad music! I LOVE JAMES BROWN. If I had to list some of my favourite classic tracks to dance to I’d say The Grunt, Hot wheels (if the DJ cuts it up it right!!!!), Lovomaniacs, Cloud Nine, Super Bad, Sex Machine, Turnit Loose, Funk To The Folks, If You Don’t Work, You Can’t Eat, Get Into Something, Tighten Up and anything with nasty drums!!!! If you wanna know what I like buy my mix-CDs ;-), hahaha

Do you also Dj at clubs or any other kind of events except Bboy jams?

Yeah, I do lots of stuff, I’ve never played music I consider cheesy or corny or played anything I didn’t like. I know I could make decent money easily on the side playing pop music but to be honest, I’d rather get a job at Tesco’s!! I record hour long ‘radio’ shows and stick em up on my myspace every once in a while to give people something different to listen to, I just play a lot of music on them that I like in the hope that others will enjoy it to!

What are you newest projects you’ve been working on? Where can people order your mixtapes and how do promoter can contact you?

I’ve just released two new mix-CD’s “Super Bad” & “Live From The Timberdrome”. I’ve been working on Super Bad for a couple of years now and it feels great to have finally finished it, Breakin Bread ( ) have released it on their label, its got loads of shout outs on there from the likes of Ken Swift, Alien Ness, Storm, Mouse, Ata, Pharoahe Monch, Supernatural, DJ Noize, Trac 2, Born, Focus, Dizzy and loads more. The “Live From The Timberdrome” mix was done live start to finish, I did it for my own b-boy training sessions & liked it so much I decide to do a limited release of 200 copies. Both CD’s are available through where I can also be contacted or you can e-mail me at

Thanks for taking the time Timber. Any last shout outs?

Yes! Shouts to my families – BTC, MZK, HP, BCB & FS. Special mention to Mouse for all his help, guidance, teaching and encouragement over the years! Fresh Jive, Breakin Bread, Floor Ridaz, Explosomo, Pointman, Tuf Tim Twist & fam, Storm, Hooch, Renegade, Doy Travel, Pogo, Style2ouf, Manchester, Floor Lords, The Craig, Soul Maveriks, Spin, La Familia, Getlow Pirates, Laci Strike, Reveal, Fantastic Superheros, Atomic, Ox Roc, Time-1, Lajony, Teknyc, my family, BOTY, Ill Boogz, Andy Madhatter, Vox Pop, Concrete Kings, Spaghetti Face, Gabor (Enemy Squad), Flying Steps, Raw Edge and everyone who has supported me!



September 18, 2007 Posted by | interviews | 1 Comment