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Z-Trip Hop

Author: Cyclone
Friday, 28 September 2007
As an aspiring DJ, Zach Sciaccia abandoned his home in the arids of Phoenix to confront the glitz of Los Angeles where he quickly made his mark – all without jumping on the Hollywood circuit. 3D’s Cyclone probes mash-up pioneer DJ Z-Trip on his upcoming “side project” All Pro.

Zach “Z-Trip” Sciacca is popularising his own genre of anything-goes hip hop. The DJ, brought up in Arizona, of all places, has capitalised on his outsider status.

Sciacca has played glamour parties, but they’re not his style.

“I feel like once you go down that path, it’s hard to come back out of that,” he proffers. “My thing has always been about the music first.

“The majority of those people are scenesters and hipsters who wanna be seen and just really give a fuck about the latest and newest song – or whatever.

“I can do that, but I need to have three or four beers in me at that point because, if not, I’ll just get disgusted with it.”

In 2005 Z-Trip won acclaim for his premiere artist album, Shifting Gears, comprising Walking Dead with Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington. Now he’s talking up a new project, All Pro, which ties in with a video game. All Pro again bridges hip hop and rock, boasting cameos by Rakim, Slug and the alt-rock Deftones (on the same track as Dead Prez!)

Sciacca is at pains to stress that the “aggressive”-sounding All Pro isn’t the follow-up to Shifting Gears but “a side-project”. All Pro lies somewhere between a mixtape, an album and, with tracks licensed from friends, a compilation.

“It’s definitely not the official follow-up,” he says. “It was very specific to the video game that I did the music for – which was a football game. It was like a hybrid project. I produced it, but I also stepped back from the project and put it all together – I assembled it.”

Nevertheless, Sciacca was careful to ensure the vocalists didn’t write about football, “Because then it would have really become a little campy.” As such, All Pro stands alone.

The irony is that Sciacca isn’t even into football.

“I can’t say that I’m a total football fan,” he admits. “I think if anything, I’m more of a basketball fan. But I’m not really a sports fan as much as I am a fan of music. I always spent most of my time working on music, or listening to music, so I had a hard time going out to football games or participating in any sports. I did gymnastics for a little bit, but that was about it!”

And while he has contributed music to other video games, including Skate, Sciacca has no time to play them.

Curiously, Z-Trip has aired All Pro in its entirety on MySpace – unorthodox considering that, understandably, most artists dread filesharing. Sciacca is philosophical. The DJ reasons that this way he’ll retain control and, at least, cyber fans hear a quality version.

“If people hear it and they come out to the show, that’s really where I care,” he says. “I’d rather have more people be talking about it or hear it or interested and then come to a show than worrying about record sales.”

WHO: Z-Trip
WHAT: All Pro through Shock
WHEN: Out now