Once upon a time, there lived a talented young girl. Twenty minutes away lived a talented young boy. About 20-some years later, the two met and like all fairy tales, they lived happily ever after. The girl is DJ Shortee, the boy is DJ Faust and the fairy tale is Faust and Shortee. The world's first married, tag-team turntablists' story began in '95 when Shortee, aka Shannon Burke, used to clown on scratching until she met her future husband, Faust, aka Bobby Bruno. Shortee had been playing the drums for about 15 years before she crossed a fader. But her natural rhythm just burst through with the help of Faust's 10-plus years DJing experience, and since that fateful meeting the two have been unstoppable with limitless plans ahead.
"We both wanna do scores for movies--we are working towards that," Shortee said in a recent interview from her Atlanta home. "We do a lot of licensing for our tracks. We would like to do whole movie scores. That would be a lot of fun. We've licensed stuff to a lot of people, like the Scratch movie, ESPN, the World Cup and The X Games for a few years. The Tony Hawk Gigantic Skate Park Tour, stuff like that--we do a lot of skater stuff."
A Faust and Shortee show can consist of anything from hard house, techno, progressive house with effects, to just funk and soul 45s. Keep in mind that regardless of the music being played, it will be coming from four turntables. "On Oct. 1 we're doing hip hop, old school hip-hop beats, a little bit of funk and soul, but mostly hip-hop beats, rare breaks, and Supasition, who is an emcee that we're working with," she said of their upcoming Cat's Cradle date. "He's promoting his new album, Seven Years of Bad Luck. We'll be backing him up and we'll do a set of our own.
"Oct. 1. is my birthday so I am psyched," she said. "And it's a Tuesday; we rarely play on Tuesdays, so it's really cool that we get to play. I was bummed. I was like 'My birthday is on a Tuesday,' but now we get to play, so it's cool."
Not only does Shortee have a fall birthday; her one-year wedding anniversary came up recently. "Married life is really cool," she said. "I recommend it. It's a lot of fun. We lived together for like seven years before we got married. We just celebrated our one-year anniversary. We're really happy. We like working together. We don't really get tired of each other too much."
They compose their music together and separately. Faust has his two solo albums Man or Myth and Inward Journeys (which have already gone down in the DJ history books). Shortee isn't far behind with her solo debut, The Dreamer (which made her the first female turntablist to put out a full-length album), and an exciting upcoming project.
"We are working on a movie script for my next album," Shortee said. "It's presently untitled; we're working on that with some screenwriters--that's in the future--but no definite dates on it 'cuz it's a long term project. But it will be all original music. This will be my second solo project."
Shortee said this new project morphs together parts of their solo projects and their work as a couple, like last year's Digital Soul album. "It will be a fusion of both," she said. "There'll be scratching on it. It will be more like a story; it has a concept and obviously the movie. Digital Soul was more like a loose concept, more just like instrumental tracks that DJs could play out in clubs and be able to mix--instrumentals that could go behind certain visual productions."
Digital Soul isn't the dynamic duo's only doubled up project; Satisfaction Guaranteed is their second album. But that's just the beginning folks.
"We're working with this poet/emcee Christopher Longoria (www.christopher longoria.com)," Shortee said of their next joint venture. "He lives in San Francisco, our group is called the Naturals, and it's the three of us. Four turntables and Christopher. That's coming out pretty soon. We are working on all of our show and our tracks for that. It will be hip hop-esque, but it's loosely based on hip hop. It's more poetry and artistry. Different stuff. It will be cool; we're excited about it. The three of us get along really well. We have the same view."
Shortee noted some other things to watch out for. "I just finished Shortee's DJ 101 DVD/VHS. You find that online at www.faustandshortee.com or at www.eyekiss films.com. Basically it's like a DJ instructional DVD/video that features Faust, Craze, Danny the Wildchild and Phantom 45. It teaches you how to hook up your equipment, how to mix, how to scratch, how to beat juggle and tricks of the trade. It talks about choosing a DJ name, digging for records, sorting your records, finding an agent, promoting yourself and making mix CDs and mix tapes. You know, the whole nine. It has a lot of animations in it too. I did some animation for it with my partner--he's a film producer. His name is David Moore; he's Eyekiss Films. We decided to release it together, so this is like the first time I have ever released a project, and not just given it up to a label. It's my pet project. You'll be able to find it in stores and everything."
The DVD has mucho distribution and can also be found in the Tribal Gear catalog. It's sponsored by Triple Five Soul, Stanton and Shure.
Too good to be true? Well, maybe. There doesn't seem to be anything on the surface that will stop the two, but there is, so listen up.
But if you scroll down to the bottom of Faust and Shortee's home page, you will notice two electronic petitions. The petition against the Anti-Rave Law and the petition against the RAVE Act (Senate Bill 2633). The Anti-Rave Law states that "there can be no party that holds 100 or more people with a DJ. If you are caught, you as a DJ, property owner, or promoter can be fined up to $10,000 and/or possible jail time." This isn't a joke. The proposed federal RAVE Act (Reducing America's Vulnerability to Ecstasy Act) isn't any prettier.
The site has "Some Points to Make" when stating your case against the law. "Electronic music is a part of our mainstream society. Corporate entities like Volkswagen and Gap Inc. are currently featuring this music in their commercials." This led straight to another point that electronic and hip hop are in our face more then ever. But Shortee's not too worried about commercialism. "People are like 'commercialization, blah, blah, blah,' but I am like whatever, 'cuz it gets it out there, it exposes more people," she said. "To the average 7-year-old that is impressionable and watching TV and watching someone scratch that burger on the Burger King commercial ... it sparks their interest, where they wouldn't normally be exposed to something like that."
And she is absolutely right. You go girl. Scratch that burger!