Amoeblog

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.

NYC's Ultimate DJ Battle Weekend: DMC US Finals, Roc Raida Memorial Gong Battle, & Stylus Sessions

Posted by Billyjam, August 3, 2012 04:47am | Post a Comment


In New York City this weekend there's a real treat in store for scratch DJs and fans of scratching and hip-hop DJ battles. Tomorrow (Saturday Aug 4th) the 2012 DMC US Finals National DJ Battle is taking place at Le Poisson Rouge in the Village. The winner of this anticipated DJ battle will go onto London, England next month to represent the US in the 2012 DMC World DJ Championships on September 28th. This Sunday (Aug 5th) in New York at the same Bleecker Street club will be the 2012 Grand Master Roc Raida Memorial Gong DJ Battle - bearing the name of the much loved X-ecutioner DJ who began the event years before he passed on in 2009. And to top things off for this NYC DJ weekend, that is been dubbed Ultimate DJ Battle Weekend, later today (Aug 3rd) will be the DubSpot Stylus Sessions # 2. Curated & produced by turntablist scholar John Carluccio this event will be video streamed live from the West 14th Street DJ school's headquarters.

At tomorrow's big US DMC battle, where competing DJs from all round the nation  will include DJ Sol Rising who won the 2012 Bay Area DMC Regional Battle back in April, the host will once again be the ever funny & entertaining Lord Finesse (of D.I.T.C. fame) while the Bay Area's DJ Snayk Eyez,  who is the 2001 DMC US Supremacy Champion, will do be among three DJs doing a special turntable routine performance. The others will be legendary 1986 DMC World Champion holder DJ Cheese, who after a long absence is back performing and recording over the past couple of years, and DJ Total Eclipse of The X-ecutioners. Meanwhile DJ Spictakular of the legendary Allies DJ crew will be doing a long partyrocking series of sets throughout the day long event that begins at 2pm and ends by 930pm tomorrow.

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week Ending 06.29.12: Amoeba Poster Sale, Top Five, Oh No + MF Doom, EL-P, Battle & Scratch DJ News + more

Posted by Billyjam, June 29, 2012 08:00am | Post a Comment
The Beastie Boys, Run DMC, LL Cool J, Whodini, and Jam Master Jay solo set all on the one bill? Wow! What a line-up that was for that historic hip-hop show at Philly's Spectrum Stadium back in July of 1986. This cool collectible item (a reproduction poster 14" by 22" that is printed on heavy cardboard) is just one of the many posters for sale from Amoeba - both in store and online from the Amoeba.com shop. Click here to find out more about purchasing it and click here for listings of more posters to buy from Amoeba's online store. The numerous posters on sale at Amoeba include rare, vintage, and current posters and include many genres of music including lots of rock and soul.

Rap/hip-hop artist posters at the online store include a cool 2Pac 1971 - 1996 poster, a 2Pac and Snoop poster, a Drake poster, an NWA The World's Most Dangerous Group poster, and both a Notorious B.I.G. commemorative poster and a BIggie Ready To Die poster. Please note that the amount of hip-hop posters online at Amoeba.com is relatively few in comparison to the range available in the three Amoeba stores.

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DMC NYC Regional & US Supremacy Titles Won by DJs Precision & Esquire, but the Real Star of the Show was Host Lord Finesse

Posted by Billyjam, June 24, 2012 08:41pm | Post a Comment
At last night's prestigious DMC Battle at Le Poisson Rouge in New York City, DJ Precision was the winner of the DMC NYC Regional DJ Battle while DJ Esquire took the 2012 DMC US Supremacy Battle title. But as hip-hop legend/DJ icon, /creator of the scratch Grand Wizzard Theodore noted during his brief onstage appearance on mic last night, "All the DJs are winners" considering the endless amount of time each puts into tirelessly prepping for DJ battles like yesterday's in the Big Apple. "It's one thing to be a DJ in the comfort of your own home," added host of the night Lord Finesse, stressing the difficulty of trying to remain calm and repeat that same routine in a packed club/battle setting. That statement was one of the few completely serious ones made at the DMC by Lord Finesse who was the real star of the day-long DJ event that ran from 2pm until almost 10pm. The host had the crowd cracking up with his ever-entertaining, quick-witted on-mic banter. The DITC member/hip-hop legend, who has a career awaiting him as a stand up comic if he wants it, was cracking jokes at a rapid rate and keeping the battle moving along nicely even during the down moments of the event. On top of this, Finesse - known as both emcee and DJ (he has a new solo album dropping in late August) - broke out an impressive, impromptu scratch routine at one point in the evening.

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