Coinciding with the ongoing 2011 DMC World DJ Championships happening currently in London, England at the 02 Arena's Indig02 this is the second in a two-part Amoeblog series on the current state of turntablism/skratch music (here's yesterday's Amoeblog). Note that the results for the DMC World DJ Championship battles (which end by midnight Friday, Oct 7th, UK time = 4pm West Coast time) will be published tomorrow in the Hip-Hop Weekly Rap Up Amoeblog. As you know turntablism is a musical form born out of hip-hop by the DJ but not given an actual name until the mid nineties when DJ Babu coined the term turntablism to describe the DJ as a turntable manipulation artist - one as worthy of respect as any other musical instrumentalist. By that stage I personally had already been a convert for a good decade and a half to this infectious component of hip-hop music. In fact when I first heard hip-hop in its formative days I was drawn more to the DJ than the MC. And ever since I've been hooked on the sound of scratching and spellbound by beat juggling and all the other skilled moves that the DJ as mixer & turntable master so effortlessly throws down. To me this musical style, unique to hip-hop and whose pioneers included Kool Herc, Grandmaster Flash, and Grand Wizzard Theodore (creator of the scratch), has always been deserving of its own genre or at least sub-genre. And as a diehard fan and supporter of DJ scratching from hip-hop's earliest days when I first heard in the late 70's through all the years later up to and beyond including that point when QBert altered the spelling of the word from scratch to skratch, I have thoroughly enjoyed closely following its evolvement; warmly witnessing turntablim/skratch music's creative growth as it blossomed with a seemingly never ending array of new sounds generated by an ever-progressing arsenal of new styles and techniques been added to this vibrant art form.
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.