Alain "A-Trak" Macklovitch's resume is as eclectic as it is extraordinary. Currently Kanye West's tour DJ and go-to guy for studio turntable trickery, the Montreal native won his first title as the DMC World Champion at 15--the youngest to ever do so.
He went on to become the first guy to win all three major DJ championships (DMC, ITF and Vestax), and the first to win five world championships, before he retired from battle at the age of, ahem, 18.
He and his brother Dave (of synth-pop duo Chromeo) founded Audio Research Records in 1997 as a showcase for the burgeoning Canadian hip-hop scene. After retiring Audio Research earlier this year, A-Trak started the new label Fool's Gold with fellow DJ Nick "Catchdubs" Barat.
"Kid Sister and Cool Kids [both rap acts from Chicago] are our flagship artists right now," says A-Trak. Also lined up are several one-off 12-inch releases from Chicago juke producer DJ Gant-Man, San Jose slap star Trackademics, and cinematic electro auteur Kavinsky.
"We're also gonna be working with Sinden, and that whole hip-hop-influenced London house scene," says A-Trak. "We're approaching people we feel are among the best in their niche, and exposing our audience to them. From a DJ's standpoint we all saw a lot of the musical styles converging, and the labels are really slow to catch up. There wasn't anything reflecting the general tastes of a generation of DJs that's becoming more and more significant--DJs who will play anything that makes sense in a set, regardless of what category they find it in at the record shop."