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Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: History of DJ (The DMC Story Part 2)

Posted by Billyjam, August 12, 2014 10:34am | Post a Comment
           
The History of DJ Part 2: The DMC Story (2014)

Just finished in production and finally published yesterday is the above anticipated second part/sequel to the excellent premiere in the The History of DJ and the continued story of the UK founded DMC as told by DMC founder Tony Prince - the former Radio Luxembourg DJ/founder of the British company that would become synonymous hip-hop DJ/turntablist battles - even if DMC initially (and still does) stand for Disco Mix Club. It was so named since initially it was all about the mixing end of the DJ but soon morphed into the scratch area of the DJ as is outlined in this second part of the documentary above when some participants in the contest took offense to the (then) new direction in the latter 80's that the battle was taken - upon its cue from the scratch-themed Superman battles at the annual New York City convention the New Music Seminar.  Tony Prince formed the "Disco Mix Club" in 1986 as an offshoot of his Disco Mix Club Show radio program that he began in 1981. The above second part is a great history lesson that covers a lot of ground in the history of both the DMC and of the DJ. It returns to some memorable moments such as Philly DJ Cash Money traveling to the UK in 1988 to reign supreme in the competition, 1989 DMC World champ Cutmaster Swift doing a live routine on the high profile Terry Wogan television program, and Germany's DJ David winning the world title in 1991 when, in the final dramatic 15 seconds of his six-minute routine, he wowed the judges with the ultimate body trick of palm-spinning his entire body around on top of one of his turntables. However many (justly) argued at the time that the judgement was unfair and based on his purely eye-catching, visual body trick rather than on his turntablist skills and that runner up DJ Qbert should have in fact won. But such are the debates surrounding any competition that carries as much weight as the DMC does. Upcoming in this year's DMC battles are the 2014 DMC US Finals taking place in NYC at Webster Hall on August 23rd (look for a full review of that battle here on the Amoeblog shortly after that date), followed by the 2014 DMC World Championships in London at the Forum on October 5th. Below is the video of the winning routine by last year's champion - DJ Fly from France.

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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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