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.

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week Ending 04.22.12: Record Store Day, Amoeba Hollywood Top Five, New Gangrene EP, Cash Money DMC Interview, Ice T's Hip-Hop Doc, David Banner + more

Posted by Billyjam, April 23, 2012 08:30am | Post a Comment
As you probably already heard/read, Record Store Day Saturday was off the hook everywhere across the US including at the three Amoeba Music stores. At the Berkeley, San Francisco, and Hollywood stores it was the way a record store should be: supercharged, intense, energy from music fans celebrating music and music collecting. 

Among the music fans that happily packed Amoeba for Record Store Day were a lot of DJs and a lot hip-hop music collectors who  were digging for such Record Store Day 2012 exclusive releases as the 3 sided, 10" Rhymesayers picture disc, or the James Brown live at the Apollo  7" single, the Childish Gambino red vinyl 12" single, or "Bizzare Ride II The Pharcyde: Singles Collection 7" box set, and a Shabazz Palaces live at KEXP 12." According to hip-hop section specialists Rob and Trey at Amoeba San Francisco the hottest item was the Pharcyde seven inch box set.  "We had ten and they went right away," reported Audra from the Haight Street Amoeba.  E-Lit who was kept mad busy all day Saturday at the Berkeley Amoeba store reported that, "Record Store Day was busy as all hell once again this year! Lines around the block, customers clamoring for the exclusives, and lots of happy faces. 30 minutes in and the Pharcyde "Bizarre Ride II" 7" boxes were sold out (we actually have a few more coming in, shhh...). The Rhymesayers Atmosphere/Uncluded picture disc was the next to fly out of stock, followed by Danny Brown's XXX LP with Record Store Day exclusive 7," Death Grips' "The Money Store" LP and Childish Gambino's 12." Lots of awesome buddies of mine stopped by to shop around as well. It was an awesome day!"  For full in-depth Record Store Day reports at Amoeba, including lots of photos and videos of all the craziness and fun for what was the biggest and best Record Store Day to date, check the series of Record Store Day 2012 Amoeblogs here.