Amoeblog

Author Mark Katz Discusses "Groove Music: The Art and Culture of the Hip-Hop DJ"

Posted by Billyjam, August 8, 2012 03:08am | Post a Comment
There's already quite a number of books out there on the subject of DJs and/or DJing but Mark Katz's recently published Groove Music: The Art and Culture of the Hip-Hop DJ is a most welcome addition to the book shelf of any fan or student, or practitioner of the art of the hip-hop DJ. The 333 page Oxford University Press published  book exhaustively explores every aspect of the hip-hop DJ from an academic perspective with an emphasis on the history and development of scratch music - delving into technical & cultural areas.

In the book the Associate Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a DJ himself, goes all the way back to chronicle in detail hip-hop's beginnings in the Bronx from hip-hop godfather DJ Kool Herc through Grand WIzzard Theodore (creator of the scratch) and all the way up through the years of this (relatively) new art form to the present. He spends a lot of time on DJ battles and includes interviews with countless DJs and folks affiliated (myself included) with his subject along the way. 

Recently I caught up with Katz to talk about his book that no doubt will be required reading for a long time to come for students of the modern musician that is the DJ


Amoeblog: What was your personal initial introduction to turntablism and when?

Mark Katz: I first encountered turntablism in 1983 when I heard Herbie Hancock’s “Rockit” with Grandmixer D.ST on the decks. I was 13 at the time and that wicki-wicki scratching sound just blew my mind. As I learned when I wrote Groove Music, some of the greatest DJs of all time—Rob Swift and Qbert, to name just two—had that exact experience at about the same age. Now if I could only scratch like they can.

Continue reading...