DJ Z-Trip knows that if most of us here in Colorado could ski or snowboard year round, we would.
But we can’t, so we throw closing parties when it’s time for the mountains to shut down. Z-Trip loves to perform live at ski-mountain closing parties because he’s “spinning for a bunch of people who are like minded.”
“There’s this sense of let’s go out with a bang, let’s celebrate,” said Z-Trip, adding that he loves to key into that vibe during his high-energy sets.
Z-Trip will perform at Buttermilk’s closing day, Sunday, at 4 p.m. at an event sponsored by Red Bull. Local favorite DJ Naka G will open at 2 p.m.
For those who haven’t seen him at one of his numerous Belly Up Aspen appearances — club owner Michael Goldberg is a personal friend — or at scores of other venues from Denver to Crested Butte over a career spanning two decades, Z-Trip describes himself as “the guy who does everything.”
“My thing is, I key into all kinds of music, but everything is done through a hip-hop filter,” said Z-Trip, who was born Zach Sciacca in Phoenix and now lives in L.A. “I absorb any kind of music — it’s all fair game.”
Z-Trip, who has been working with hip-hop legend LL Cool J on reinterpreting his entire catalogue, said he likes country as much as rock, folk, bluegrass and dubstep. Expect to hear pieces of all those genres in the mix when he plays live. Z-Trip is often credited with pioneering the “mashup” style of music.
The 40-year-old DJ said he’s now on his “fourth or fifth wind,” and that he is “really having fun playing again.”
He’s recently gone through a rough patch in his personal life, and beginning in late 2009 had a 14-month “residency” at the Rain nightclub in Las Vegas, where he performed every Friday night. That crowd wanted to hear hits, which Z-Trip said he played, but the reality was that it could feel like work.
But now, “something excites me again,” Z-Trip said. “I’m back into the art of DJ-ing and having fun.”
He said he’s in a “really creative head space now,” and is thinking about taking up a residency of his own in a Colorado ski town in a winter soon to come, as well as recording a new album. He also is an avid snowboarder.
“I just love Colorado,” Z-Trip said. “People say that all the time when they play live — ‘I love you Nashville’ or ‘I love you Chicago’ but I really do love Colorado.”
In Z-Trip’s estimation, people here are more laid back and open minded, and appreciative of all kinds of music.
“That’s why I like an Aspen or a Boulder show — I get to really go off the deep end, be abstract … because it’s encouraged.”
While “Colorado is running it” as far as the energy the crowds bring, there’s one other place where Z-Trip gets a similar vibe: Australia.
“You guys are like really abstract cousins,” he said.