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But if there was a way to remember such a good friend, it would be making one of his dreams—the label—a success. All of Ancheta's DJ friends got caught up in the struggle, too. "Would Rosario be feeling this? That's always the ultimate test," Ancheta says of any music they consider putting out. And everyone understood, even the all-important moneymen.
There was Louis Yakich, a 27-year-old computer programmer and college buddy of Mumbles. He met Ancheta through Burns, who designed business cards for several of Yakich's small businesses. Yakich also pulled onboard Chanshine Nabangxang, a Thailand-born 40-year-old Broadcom manager.
Carlin later signed on as a Sound In Color partner/producer/engineer. He gave the label use of his 5,000-square-foot studio/warehouse complex the Lion's Den, but only after he saw that this was a rare company where everyone was on the same page. "I knew for a fact Jon was trying to hustle this thing really hard, but I gave him the benefit of the doubt," Carlin says. "It's when I met the artists. They all sounded different. That's when it got interesting."
Ancheta estimates that Yakich and Nabangxang invested $150,000, a sum others have said was low. Much of that money goes to their lavish album cover designs. Sound In Color's next release, Scetchbook:An Introduction to Scratch Music, by turntablists Ricci Rucker and Mike Boo features a dense 88-page sketchbook, complete with labyrinthine musings from the musicians and art-gallery-style photography. More money goes to what Ancheta says are handsome advances for their artists.
"One-quarter of our producers were homeless," Ancheta jokes. "Now we're all fat. I think we're five steps ahead of the game."
Diego Carlin deejays at Diggin' Deeper at Memphis Soul Café, 2920 Bristol St., Costa Mesa, (714) 432-7685. Every Fri., 10 p.m. Free. 21+.