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DJ Traps Wins 2013 SF Regional DMC Battle

Posted by Billyjam, April 29, 2013 12:00pm | Post a Comment

DJ Traps working his winning routine @ last night's 2013 San Franciso Regional DMC DJ Battle

Proving that you really can make lemonade out of lemons DJ Traps - last night's winner of the  2013 San Francisco Regional DMC DJ Battle - shared during his acceptance speech that his personal life had not been going so good lately but that, via his craft, he had managed to turn all that negativity into something positive. "I been through a lot of shit recently," admitted the winner of the prestigious DJ battle without going into detail. "But I took it all out here," he said gesturing towards the two turntable and mixer set up on which he had just done his stunning six minute winning routine of the heated, high caliber DJ battle.

The competition - the second annual Bay Area DMC Regional in a row after a noticeable six year gap of any DMC battles in the Bay - was a fun and talent-packed turntable competition that was as much a DJ battle as it was a reunion and gathering of Bay Area hip-hop DJs of the past few decades. In addition to young DJ cats like Santa Rosa competitor DJ Lazy Boy (aka Gregory The Great) there were OG Bay Area DJs like DJ Apollo, Pos Red, DJ Quest, and QBert who all started out in the 80's as well as next generation DJs like Teeko, Snayk Eyez, and Golden Chyld who arrived on the scene in the 90's. The whole event, that ran from mid afternoon into the evening at Neck of The Woods on Clement St. in San Francisco, exuded good vibes and a shared love by all in the house for hip-hop DJ'ing and scratch music. DJ Lazy Boy, who placed third in the competition, said during his acceptance speech onstage with DJ Apollo - the MC of the night - that he had grown up listening to the Triple Threat DJ crew (the Bay Area supergroup featuring Apollo along with Shortkut and Vin Roc - another one of the night's judges) and that he used to practice his DJing to, using routines done by Apollo as his template, noting that "it was an honor" to now be onstage alongside his turntable hero.
 
Following a great warm up set by Mista B, who dug deep in his crates to spin lots of old school and golden era classics (Grandmaster Flash + Furious Five featuring Melle Mel, Run DMC, Audio Two, etc.) plus a bunch of throwbacks from the Bay Area including IMP/Cougnut and Rated X/C-Funk, the SF DMC battle started with the first round of each of eight DJs doing two minute routines.

Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 04.26.13: Ghostface Killah, Apollo The Great, Los Rakas, Hieros, DMC, Medusa, Streets of Rap + more

Posted by Billyjam, April 26, 2013 01:39pm | Post a Comment
        

Amoeba Berkeley Hip Hop Top Five Week Ending April 26: 2013



1) Ghostface Killah Twelve Reasons To Die (Soul Temple)

2) Kid Cudi Indicud (Dreamworks)

3) Trek Life Hometown Foreigner (Mello Music)

4) DJ Neil Armstrong Sweet: 10 Year Anniversary Box Set (Turntable Lab)

5) Kev Brown Songs Without Words Vols 1 + 2 (Green)

Special thanks to E-Lit at Amoeba Berkeley  for taking time to record video above and run down the latest new hip-hop arrivals at Amoeba which include goodies such as Mello Music's Trek Life  (Hometown Foreigner) and Kev Brown (Songs Without Words Vols 1 + 2). Then of special interest to DJ/turntablist fans are both the Beat Junkies Record Store Day leftover vinyl release plus the beautifully done box set by DJ Neil Armstrong (Sweet: 10 Year Anniversary Box Set). Speaking of the craziness of Record Store Day last Saturday, E-Lit reports that two of the hottest hip-hop RSD 2013 exclusive items at the Berkeley Amoeba were the Notorious B.I.G. vinyl reissue of Ready To Die and the GZA chess set - both of which were snapped up and sold out in record time. Continuing to sell well at Amoeba Berkeley and the other two Amoeba stores this week are both the new Kid Cudi (Indicud on Dreamworks) and Ghostface Killah's Twelve Reasons To Die (Soul Temple). And below is a video from this hot new collab with Adrian Younge.

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"A Community Event" - DJ Cue on Sunday's 2013 San Francisco DMC Regional DJ Battle

Posted by Billyjam, April 25, 2013 11:45am | Post a Comment
The renaissance in the turntable arts and all it entails, including skratch music and hip-hop DJ battles, that began in the past couple of years - following a bit of a lull for close to a decade - continues its resurgence in San Francisco this weekend when, for the second year in a row after a noticeable six year absence, the prestigious DMC (now celebrating 30 years) DJ battle returns for a Bay Area regional battle. And considering that the Bay Area has long been viewed as one of the main epicenters of turntable culture and battle-DJing this is a most welcome return.

"We're excited for this one," said veteran San Francisco DJ/producer DJ Cue who as well as working behind the scenes will also be a special performer at the event. The 2013 DMC San Francisco Regional Battle takes place on Sunday afternoon/evening (April 28th) at Neck Of The Woods on Clement Street in The City. For his anticipated performance DJ Cue will be joined onstage by his longtime turntable crew partner DJ Quest who two decades ago, along with Eddie Def, formed the legendary San Francisco turntablist crew the Bullet Proof Scratch Hamsters (BPSH). At that time the BPSH crew made history by releasing the first DJ battle record, Hamster Breaks, something no doubt that will be on DJ Cue's mind on Sunday.
"I would say that this year marks a good twenty one years now that the Bay DJ's have been really solidly in the battle scene. Hamster Breaks came out twenty years ago. Invisbl Skratch Piklz won DMC twenty one years ago. And the DJ's from here have been strong ever since. Our history is strong here and we are together supporting the event and forward movement of the battle scene and to wherever it goes," said the Bay Area proud DJ Cue who is also one of the organizers of this weekend's event which he describes as a true group/community effort.

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DJ Mixing and Scratching Without Turntables Or Records: The Art of the Tape-Jockey

Posted by Billyjam, January 7, 2013 08:08am | Post a Comment
        

These two early 90's video clips (above and below) explain and demonstrate the inspirational Soviet Union "tape-jockey" duo from Latvia featuring Pasaules and jeb Modris Skaistkalns known as Mr Tape. In the above 22 year old clip from the 1991 DMC Finals and introduced by DMC top man Tony Prince the two tape jockeys from Latvia (back then still part of the Soviet Union) demonstrate their craft. In the video below, from the same early nineties time period and produced in Amsterdam by Dutch TV, the two Latvian tape jockeys break down how they do what they do. Both loved techno house and hip-hop music with a passion. They also loved the concept of DJing (spinning & mixing beats, scratching, and beat-juggling etc.). The only problem was that, due to the market restrictions of their communist homeland, they literally had absolutely no access to the three main components that went into doing being a DJ in 1991:  Technics 1200 turntables, records, and a mixer. Most would give up at that point but not them. Instead in an inspired DJ McGyver like move they got two reel to reel tape decks, recorded songs onto individual reel-to-reels, and manually tweaked the tape machines to do some extra tricks: including building in a cross fader, and then then tapping their finger tips on the tape heads to get effects normally achieved on turntables and a mixer. In the DMC video they have no mixer but in the demo from Dutch TV they utilize a simple small mixer. I find this to be truly inspirational stuff because it proves that with a strong unstoppable passion for something coupled with a good imagination that you can overcome lack of resources and achieve your goals. 

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DJ Precision Wins 2012 DMC US Finals

Posted by Billyjam, August 5, 2012 02:47am | Post a Comment
The winner in the 2012 DMC US Finals DJ battle at Le Poisson Rouge in New York last evening was DJ Precision of the X-ecutioners, which means that as the new US DMC champion the New York-based DJ will travel to London England next month to represent the USA in the world DJ battle that was won last year by  American DJ Vajra.

Coming in second place last night was Virginia DJ I-Dee, while the third place slot was taken by Manwell, who was one of four California DJs out of the eleven contestants in New York last night to partake in the prestigious, long-running DJ competition that US DMC organizer Christie Z Pabon called "the best battle yet."

The other three DJs representing Cali were DJ Cocheze, DJ Lodus, and DJ Sol Rising (formerly known as Skwint), who represented the Bay Area after winning the 2012 DMC Bay Area Regional back in April and came in fourth place in a tie with New Hampshire's DJ Fascinate. All eleven turntable contestants delivered strong sets in a close competition that judge and 1986 DMC champ DJ Cheese called "the best I seen in years" and was rounded out by Florida's DJ Concept and DJ Immortal, Washington State's Waystyles, and Texas DJ Donnie Dee. The 2012 DMC World DJ Championships takes place in London on September 28th.
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