Amoeblog

2011 DMC World DJ Championships, Happening Today & Tomorrow In London, Generates Both Interest & Discussion

Posted by Billyjam, October 6, 2011 01:47pm | Post a Comment


Today and tomorrow (Oct 6th & 7th) one of the most important events in hip-hop and DJ culture takes place in London: the 2011 DMC World DJ Championships at the 02 Arena's Indig02 in which the top hip-hop battle DJs from 21 countries (reppin' the USA is DJ Vajra - full DJ battle details above) battle it out in this Turntablist World Cup in three major battle categories: DMC World Final, DMC Battle for World Supremacy, and DMC World Team. Additionally this two day scratch DJ event will present a bunch of great showcases including ones by last year's DMC World Champ DJ Ligone from France, the 2003 Supremacy Champ DJ Tigerstyle, three time DMC World Supremacy Champ DJ Switch (who'll perform the piece: Concerto for Turntables), plus an anticipated triple threat set from the revered X-ecutioners' Total Eclipse, DJ Precision, & Rob Swift.
 
This year's DMC battle comes at a time when turntablism or skratch music seems to be on a comeback in popularity on a global level. It's always been popular but after its honeymoon with the mainstream in the late nineties it seemed somewhat dormant (in actuality it had just gone underground). But lately there's been a noticeable increased interest in DJ battles like the DMC and turntablist events like Ireland's annual Community Skratch Games of the past few years or the recent Thud Rumble presentedFader Fest in San Francisco with the reunited Invisibl Skratch Piklz as trio (QBert, D-Styles, Shortkut) and showcases from the likes of US DMC representative DJ Vajra. There seems to be a flurry of new turntablist releases lately too including ones from DJ ALF, Teeko, DJ Needlz, ThatKidNamedCee, Jimmy the Hideous Penguin, and DJ Quest who is about to release this month his latest turntablist album Cosmic Parasite (a collaborative effort with the two former bandmates from his original DJ crew Bullet Proof Scratch Hamster (BPSH) - DJ Cue and Eddie Def).

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Easter Weekend In Ireland Is Synonymous With Hip-Hop's Four Elements: Amoeblog Report On The 2010 Community Skratch Games & The 3rd Annual All City Tivoli Jam

Posted by Billyjam, April 6, 2010 04:16pm | Post a Comment
All City Tivoli Jam 2010

For the third consecutive year, two excellent, true skool hip-hop festivals took place over the long Easter weekend in Ireland-- the DJ themed Community Skratch Games in Galway in the West of Ireland and the graffiti & b-boy themed 3rd Annual All City Tivoli Jam on the opposite coast in the country's capital, Dublin. Both were highly successful and relatively intimate-scale events, drawing a few hundred die-hard hip-hop heads between the two bi-coastal gatherings. Of course, having two similarly themed events taking place in a country as small as Ireland, where hip-hop happenings like this don't occur often, presents a dilemma for fans who are forced to choose one over the other since they happen at the exact same time on opposite coasts of Ireland. Hence, to properly cover this past weekend's two events for the Amoeblog, I hopped on a bus and headed cross country to Galway to attend the Community Skratch Games while my man, and frequent Amoeblog Irish reporter, Tall Paul Lowe, stayed in Dublin for the All City Tivoli Jam.  Community Skratch Games 2010

Now in its fourth year, the aptly named Community Skratch Games (CSG), which features several DJ based showcases and a scratch DJ battle over the long weekend, is truly all about community with a genuine emphasis on fun & camaraderie rather than on competition & seriousness. In fact, the prize for the winner of the CSG's annual DJ battle is not a trophy (a la the famed DMC or ITF battles) but a big bag of Irish breakfast meats (rashers, sausages, black pudding etc., all supplied by the local butcher) that the winning DJ traditionally shares with the other participants in a big breakfast cookout on "Skratch Monday" after all events are over. At this year's DJ battle on Saturday night (dubbed the "Community Skratch Open Freestyle Battle Royale"), ten turntablists went head to head, scratching for 16 bars each. To help mark the end of each 16 bars, drummer Tony Higgins dramatically crashed two cymbals together to the obvious entertainment of the packed crowd.

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SCRATCHING AWAY HIS US AIR FORCE PRESSURES - DJ ALF INTERVIEW

Posted by Billyjam, May 4, 2009 10:20pm | Post a Comment
dj alf
While every turntablist has their own individual story of exactly how he/she became a hip-hop scratch DJ musician, most seem to share a somewhat similar history. Typically this starts out with them first becoming bedroom DJs, practicing their mixing, cutting, scratching, and beat-juggling, etc., skills for hours on end to prepare them for the typical next step, becoming battle DJs, entering contests and going head to head with other aspiring scratch DJs.

Baltimore, MD area turntablist DJ ALF took a slightly different path, having never entered a DJ battle in his life. A self-taught DJ and producer who is currently putting the finishing touches on his debut album This Way Or That Way, ALF developed his scratching musical path while simultaneously serving as a member of the US armed forces.

In fact, practicing hip-hop scratch music while a member of the US Air Force (which he is no longer a member of) helped maintain ALF's sanity, especially while stationed overseas. He would "scratch away" his "pressures," as he reveals in the interview that follows.

Amoeblog: Pre DJing, did you ever learn to play any musical instruments? If so, how has that influenced your approach to DJing?

DJ ALF: I used to play the clarinet from 4th grade to the 12th grade. I remember some basic music theory, which has helped me some in my DJ career. Since I used to play in a marching band, concert band, and orchestra, I must say that alone has helped me easily figure what fits in terms of doing freestyle turntable orchestration with others.

Amoeblog: When/where was the first time you ever scratched?

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GALWAY'S COMMUNITY SKRATCH GAMES (IRISH HIP-HOP PART I)

Posted by Billyjam, April 8, 2009 10:16am | Post a Comment

Turntablism is alive and well on the West Coast-- the West Coast of Ireland that is-- specifically in Galway town where later today, April 8th, the third annual Community Skratch Games kicks off with a seminar and turntablist performance.

Running through Sunday, April 12th the Community Skratch Games is a DJ centric hip-hop event geared to educate via workshops, entertain via showcases, and generally promote the art of hip-hop with an emphasis on turntablism and sampling based production. And of course the Community Skratch Games, which are put together by Galway-based turntable quartet Vince Mack Mahon (DJs Deviant, Jimmy Penguin, Mikey Fingers and Tweek) along with such other dedicated West of Ireland turntablism heads as Johnny "Doobs" Lillis, will also feature several DJ battles. Run purely out of love for the art, the non-profit event is completely free to attend and draws DJs and fans from both Ireland and other European nations. 

The Community Skratch Games (High Rollers Bonanza), which premiered this time two years ago in the Bierhaus in Galway, states that Its purpose is to further the art of turntable manipulation and raise awareness of the hip-hop DJ culture and promises, as well as workshops, showcases, and battles, "a barrage of funk, hip-hop, electro and sweaty dancing folk." In addition to the West of Ireland Community Skratch Games, the organizers also co-produce the Community Skratch BBQ with their British turntable brethren in Brighton/London, UK in August each year.

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