Thursday, June 9, 2011


Shorties, Shorty's, Short Tee's... however you want to say it or spell it, another series of 3 short beats has been uploaded for your consumption... these ones all date back at least 4 years or so.  I love Shorteez!

Raw Jazz


Wah Choo Want

Monday, May 9, 2011


Finally the sun is shining and nice weather is here (in Toronto at least)!  I am feeling inspired to create and also to get outside and enjoy nature and exercise and all that healthy shit that most studio people do not partake in.... do yourself a favor this season and get outside!!

My beat today has nothing to do with sunshine or exercise but it is kind of bumping.

Fall Back

Thursday, April 21, 2011

You And Your Smile.

I was working on a musical idea / rough beat one day in the studio and my friend Alonzo came into the room and starting singing this melody which was very familiar to me.  He then told me it was from 'Invitation' , a jazz standard originally written in 1952 by Polish composer Bronislaw Kaper.  From then I knew what to do with the track.  I got my close friend and amazing vocalist Sacha Williamson to come in and sing on the track, and my friend David Leitman to play the piano parts (he knew the song in and out).   I think of it as a Hip-Hop meets Jazz meets Latin/Brazilian track.. what do you think?  It was released via 7" vinyl and digital on WAH WAH 45s in 2009.   I have posted the Bill Evans version of the song so you can hear the original composition as well.

Alister Johnson - Invitation ft. Sacha Williamson
  Alister Johnson ft Sacha Williamson - Invitation by alisterjohnson
Bill Evans (w/ Eddie Gomez) - Invitation

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Day Job.

Though I do not work in this sort of environment, I gotta give it up to those who do and can actually avoid going crazy.  I did this remix in 2006 for Sunshine State, a group from Toronto consisting of James Mccollum (Philosopher Kings) & Aleza . I am not sure if they will be releasing new material, but I always liked this one...  Big shouts to Marc Rogers on Upright Bass, David Gouveia on Percussion, & Oliver Johnson (my brother) on Guitar.  Play the whole thing so you can hear my breakdown.. :)  enjoy!

Day Job (Alister Johnson Remix)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

82' Impala.

Yea, OK, this photo is not a Chevy Impala, but a's all I could find online.  Basically this is how I was riding around town on the reg back in high school. I had the blue version of this car (except an Impala, looks almost indentical).  One time I raced an old lady at a stoplight, totally left her in the dust. 350 V8 engine is no joke.  Even though I made this beat a few years ago (long after the car was retired), it reminded me of the feeling I had while cruising the mean streets of Peterborough, NH back in the late 90s.

82' Impala

Thursday, April 14, 2011


No, I don't mean addicted to something illegal or strange....  I am talking about music.   In my opinion, one of the best addictions one can have.  Today I am posting some photos from my studio setup and a bit of a rough cut/paste edit 'beat' that I made one day...thanks for your patience!


Tuesday, March 29, 2011


A message to those who get discouraged and think you cannot complete everything you set out to accomplish, remember you have your lifetime to work on yourself and your goals.  Stick with it, continuous Effort and Consistency is the key.


Sunday, March 27, 2011


Sometimes you feel like you're that one person who thinks a bit differently than others, or maybe you like to carve your own path, whatever it is I suppose you could be considered an outsider.  Obviously the dude on the left is doing things a bit different, and I respect that.


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Night Time.

Wow, it just dawned on me that I have been really slacking with this blog!  Sorry to any of you who were actually listening and checking in, I will make a concerted effort to be steady with it again.  This beat was originally made for a TV series a few years back, it reminded me of night time in the city... this is a shot of Tokyo.

Night Time

Friday, March 11, 2011

In Transit.

This track reminds me of riding the streetcar in the rain... originally created for a TV series a few years back.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Beat 23.

the master

This is one of my favorite Dilla beats.

Big up to Blaz for hooking this up waaaay back.  Respect!

Beat 23 (from 'Another Batch')

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Monday, February 21, 2011


I finally uploaded my Love remix to Youtube, I used some concert footage of the band performing 'Everybodys Gotta Live' in 1992, it doesn't line up but the feel is right...  Hope you enjoy!

Love - Everybody's Gotta Live (DJ Catalist Remix)

Friday, February 11, 2011


A mix I put together a little while back, now to share it with you all!!  Some of my favorites in here.. tracklisting on the Mixcloud page.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Change Up.

This dude in the picture is illustrating how to throw a 'Changeup' pitch, which is totally not what I am getting at today, but I felt that the photo works and also he has nasty hand hair which is rare to see.  This beat is from the archives, (2003) and I switch the styles up halfway through, just by chopping and filtering the samples that I started the beat with.  Don't be afraid to 'Change Up' , and that goes for anything, not just music.  If it feels right, do it.

Change Up

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Piano Breaks.

I am definitely not a fan of a broken piano, but I AM a fan of a section of a song where all instruments stop and piano gets it's moment to shine, and that is how I sampled this one.... also the drumbreak was helpful.

Piano Break

Friday, January 28, 2011


Wow, been a while since I've updated!  Sorry to keep you hanging, and that is if there is anyone still reading... : )   

Here is a remix of Billie Holiday's "Crazy He Calls Me" ,  uploaded to Youtube for your listening and sharing pleasure...   

DJ Catalist - Crazy

Friday, January 21, 2011


Smooth stones are awesome.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Fatal Flying Guillotine.

I found this choice quote from a user on talking about this film:  
"Firstly, let me say that this is a terrible film. Be under no illusions, it is really terrible. The picture quality is poor, the acting atrocious, the fight scenes turgid, the special effects primitive, the plot impenetrable."

I think it goes without saying, this is a film for all to cherish.  I have not seen it yet, but will be watching sooner than later!  I thought of the name because of the classic line from Wu Tang Clan Ain't Nuthin to F' Wit' :  'fatal flying guillotine chops off your fuckin head!' , pure class RZA!!  This beat has a Wu-Tang ish feel, kind of....

Fatal Flying Guillotine

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Today we're going to talk about drama. No, not a made for TV movie starring Richard Karn and Roseanne Arnold, which incidentally would be more of a comedrama (com - ma - drama), but rather music I created for a TV series library a few years back.  The file names are pretty arbitrary but you'll understand when you hear the music.....



Sunday, January 16, 2011


(click for full size)

Some words of inspiration today, words which resonate with me personally and I think all of us can take something from. This was scanned from the inner sleeve of Frankie Beverly & Maze - Self Titled LP (a classic record).  Follow this link to get the text version: Desiderata text .  To keep this post music related, recording artist Les Crane released an LP entitled 'Desiderata' in 1972, and it has some very nice drum breaks on it. His rendition of the poem comes off as pretty cheesy, but listen these drums from another track:  


Thursday, January 13, 2011

It's A New Day.

I put together a collection of photos to go along with my remix I posted a couple days ago, and now it is on Youtube for your listening (and viewing) pleasure.

It's A New Day

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

You Know How I Feel.

"It's a new dawn, it's a new day".......  Remix I created for Nina Simone's song "Feeling Good" , this one is from 2004.  Please listen and check out my Soundcloud page (where it is hosted) and give some feedback.

  Nina Simone - Feeling Good (Catalist Feelin' Remix) by alisterjohnson

Monday, January 10, 2011

Gotta Get It.

Yea, I posted a picture of Harry Potter reaching for an important item, so what?  You can't get what you want if you don't reach for it (with the exception of Yoda, who easily could make shit fly into his hand at will).

Get It

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Calling.

I heard something, so I listened.  You should always listen. 

The Calling (this is an edited version, originally from the Warning Shot EP by Louwop)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Ahh, that must be a nice feeling (the whole suspended in midair with your tongue hanging out thing).  The moral of today's post is:  Don't let a few barbed wires get in the way of your dreams.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Day To Day.

Music has a tendency to take us away from whatever else we might be thinking about and wrap us up in the moment, which makes it one of the most powerful ways to tap into human emotion and feelings.  Whatever your everyday life may throw at you, always remember that you can escape (even for just a few moments) by immersing yourself in music that you love.  Here is a rough song that was done back in 2003, the mix is a rough demo quality , I don't even know if I have all the parts for the beat anymore... : (    The song is an original by the magical Dave Leitao (keyboards & vocals written/performed by him).  special guest verse by Louwop.  Track produced by yours truly, on the drum/bassline programming, mixing etc.

Dave Leitao feat. Louwop - Day To Day (Unreleased Demo)

Monday, January 3, 2011


Time to get the distractions out of the way and get the grind on.  2011 is here and time is not slowing down. If you have an idea: Act on it.  If you have something to say to someone: Say it.  Today is the future that you thought about last week (or something like that).

Get Out

Sunday, January 2, 2011


This duo clearly knows how to expand their minds and sounds through the magic of flute & guitar.  I tried to do the same with this beat (from the archive)....


Saturday, January 1, 2011


Seeing as it is the first day of the new year, I figured I would post up my first beat I ever made.  It was created using drums that I played live and recorded using a crappy computer microphone, and then I layered a classical themed sample (from CD) on top, looped it in Cool Edit and there you have it.....

My First Beat