Troutski In Requiem 

Saturday I was attending a wedding for a long-time friend and musical collaborator in West Allis. I had my phone off for the ceremony. As is the custom there was a few hours between the ceremony and the reception and so it was I found myself at a Taco Bell staring at a message from a friend telling me Troutski was gone which I confirmed the way one does on social media. Colin-Michel Demgé was shot in front of his own house at around one in the morning. It was a gut punch to me and I know it had to be to many people in the Milwaukee music scene.

Guest DJ at the November Criminals CD release

Guest DJ at the November Criminals CD release

Troutski in his lab: Mastermind at Work

Mastermind at work

Somebody else will tell you all the wonderful things he’s done from Universal Minds to Kilgore Trout to Brew City Bandits AKA Bandidos to Fishpause he displayed his passions and knowledge of music in a way that made people want to participate as much as he did. He collaborated with people you would not expect and was always looking to hear something new as much as he was looking to make something new for you to hear.
I was fortunate to work with him on a couple of tracks for the first November Criminals album. In fact a good portion of that album’s vocals were recorded at his house! He even threw us a bonus track with a crazy time signature and dropped a hilarious closing verse. We called it Sausage Fest.

During the sessions I struck up a friendship with him as we discovered a mutual love of jazz. I played one of my favorite songs for him Red Clay by Freddie Hubbard and Colin’s enthusiasm for the song was hilarious “How have I not heard this?” It was what he was trying to do for so many others: make music that they’d never heard but needed to hear.

Troutski busts on the mic  @ 2013 CD release

Troutski busts on the mic @ 2013 CD release

 

He also had a mind to help with his talents volunteering to spin during a Hip Hop fundraiser for WXRW. Of course my personal favorite memory of him will be performing with him at our album release. It gave us a chance to step back and allow Bandidos (Spade One & Troutski) to spit their song B-Boy Stance while NTSC and I stood behind in proper B-Boy stances.

 

It will be a different music scene without him. So many DJs and MCs worked with him in Milwaukee you can bet the tributes like this one will be well attended and hopefully help us all heal from this loss. Milwaukee has a lot to overcome when it comes to gun violence. I earnestly hope this is a turning point in the awareness of those that worked with Colin and that from this we can have a discussion about where we as musicians fit in and what sort of stances we should be taking. I know where mine is. Let’s move forward together.

Rest In Power, Colin.

Better times with DJ Troutski

Better times with DJ Troutski