DJ Platurn brings his trademark old-school hip-hop and soul chops to The City on Saturday at Mezzanine in what will be a hot opening for headliners The Foreign Exchange.
“It’s definitely going to be a classic soul, classic hip-hop approach,” says Platurn, an Iceland-born, 18-year veteran of the Bay Area hip-hop scene who lives with his wife in El Sobrante.
“When I get booked to be part of a ‘show’ show, I keep it interesting. I don’t just show up and just play some cuts and just leave it at that. I always throw something in the mix, and try and do some tricks here and there to really put on a show and showcase a little personality.”
Platurn’s appearance at Mezzanine is somewhat rare, and that’s a sign he’s moving up in the world.
“I’m not a club rat anymore,” he says. “It’s a good thing. I’ve been working for a long, long time. I feel like I’m finally at the point where I can concentrate on a couple quality things.”
In 1983, Platurn’s parents moved their 7-year-old to the Bay. He got a degree in broadcasting from San Francisco State University and worked at Amoeba Records in Berkeley for five years before becoming a full-time DJ.
In lieu of original albums, Platurn has cut scores of 90-minute mixtapes of hip-hop legends such as A Tribe Called Quest. Platurn’s mixes have endured, playing a key role in the 2011 documentary, “Beats Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest.” He has opened for his heroes De La Soul, Pete Rock and DJ Premier.
In 2000, he co-founded the Oakland Faders DJ collective, and in 2009 he started “The 45 Sessions,” a vinyl 45-only party every third Friday of the month at Disco Volante in Oakland, which he says is taking off.
Platurn releases remixed singles and EPs weekly online, and he and his brother just scored the documentary “A Lovely Day,” which recently screened at the Grand Lake Theater in Oakland.
While some DJ peers have wandered off into different careers, Platurn says his stubbornness has served him well: “We’re still representing Oakland and the East Bay the best way we can. There’s no shine, there’s no glitter, there’s no foof. We don’t play Top 40. That’s why people respect what we do. They trust us to bring quality to the table.”