Amoeblog

DJ Traps Wins 2013 SF Regional DMC Battle

Posted by Billyjam, April 29, 2013 12:00pm | Post a Comment

DJ Traps working his winning routine @ last night's 2013 San Franciso Regional DMC DJ Battle

Proving that you really can make lemonade out of lemons DJ Traps - last night's winner of the  2013 San Francisco Regional DMC DJ Battle - shared during his acceptance speech that his personal life had not been going so good lately but that, via his craft, he had managed to turn all that negativity into something positive. "I been through a lot of shit recently," admitted the winner of the prestigious DJ battle without going into detail. "But I took it all out here," he said gesturing towards the two turntable and mixer set up on which he had just done his stunning six minute winning routine of the heated, high caliber DJ battle.

The competition - the second annual Bay Area DMC Regional in a row after a noticeable six year gap of any DMC battles in the Bay - was a fun and talent-packed turntable competition that was as much a DJ battle as it was a reunion and gathering of Bay Area hip-hop DJs of the past few decades. In addition to young DJ cats like Santa Rosa competitor DJ Lazy Boy (aka Gregory The Great) there were OG Bay Area DJs like DJ Apollo, Pos Red, DJ Quest, and QBert who all started out in the 80's as well as next generation DJs like Teeko, Snayk Eyez, and Golden Chyld who arrived on the scene in the 90's. The whole event, that ran from mid afternoon into the evening at Neck of The Woods on Clement St. in San Francisco, exuded good vibes and a shared love by all in the house for hip-hop DJ'ing and scratch music. DJ Lazy Boy, who placed third in the competition, said during his acceptance speech onstage with DJ Apollo - the MC of the night - that he had grown up listening to the Triple Threat DJ crew (the Bay Area supergroup featuring Apollo along with Shortkut and Vin Roc - another one of the night's judges) and that he used to practice his DJing to, using routines done by Apollo as his template, noting that "it was an honor" to now be onstage alongside his turntable hero.
 
Following a great warm up set by Mista B, who dug deep in his crates to spin lots of old school and golden era classics (Grandmaster Flash + Furious Five featuring Melle Mel, Run DMC, Audio Two, etc.) plus a bunch of throwbacks from the Bay Area including IMP/Cougnut and Rated X/C-Funk, the SF DMC battle started with the first round of each of eight DJs doing two minute routines.

"A Community Event" - DJ Cue on Sunday's 2013 San Francisco DMC Regional DJ Battle

Posted by Billyjam, April 25, 2013 11:45am | Post a Comment
The renaissance in the turntable arts and all it entails, including skratch music and hip-hop DJ battles, that began in the past couple of years - following a bit of a lull for close to a decade - continues its resurgence in San Francisco this weekend when, for the second year in a row after a noticeable six year absence, the prestigious DMC (now celebrating 30 years) DJ battle returns for a Bay Area regional battle. And considering that the Bay Area has long been viewed as one of the main epicenters of turntable culture and battle-DJing this is a most welcome return.

"We're excited for this one," said veteran San Francisco DJ/producer DJ Cue who as well as working behind the scenes will also be a special performer at the event. The 2013 DMC San Francisco Regional Battle takes place on Sunday afternoon/evening (April 28th) at Neck Of The Woods on Clement Street in The City. For his anticipated performance DJ Cue will be joined onstage by his longtime turntable crew partner DJ Quest who two decades ago, along with Eddie Def, formed the legendary San Francisco turntablist crew the Bullet Proof Scratch Hamsters (BPSH). At that time the BPSH crew made history by releasing the first DJ battle record, Hamster Breaks, something no doubt that will be on DJ Cue's mind on Sunday.
"I would say that this year marks a good twenty one years now that the Bay DJ's have been really solidly in the battle scene. Hamster Breaks came out twenty years ago. Invisbl Skratch Piklz won DMC twenty one years ago. And the DJ's from here have been strong ever since. Our history is strong here and we are together supporting the event and forward movement of the battle scene and to wherever it goes," said the Bay Area proud DJ Cue who is also one of the organizers of this weekend's event which he describes as a true group/community effort.

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The Future Is In Our Hands: NAMM 2013 Report by Shing02, Exclusive to The Amoeblog

Posted by Billyjam, January 29, 2013 05:46am | Post a Comment

Shing02's Amoeblog Video Report from NAMM 2013

Once again my man Hip Hop Slam correspondent Shing02 graces the Amoeblog with another in his ever informative digests in the ongoing exclusive Amoeblog reports (video above, text and pics below) from NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) - the annual DJ/producer/music-tech trade show that happens each January at the Anaheim Convention Center. This year's was held over the past week/weekend: from January 24th to 27th, 2013. Thanks to Shing02 and all of the folks he talked to for their contributions to this piece including DJ Q-bert, OP-1, Yoga Frog, DJ Platurn, DJ Quest, Mista B, DJ P-Trix, DJ A-1, Vestax Spin2, PDJ, Numark Orbit, Apogee Quartet McDSP, Stylophone, Elektron AnalogFour, Gittler Guitar, Chord Dice, Wheel Harp, and Koichi Sanchez aka Nightshift.





Shing02's Amoeblog Report on NAMM 2013

The NAMM Convention in Anaheim, CA proved to be on par with previous years as it featured hundreds of exhibitors showcasing digital and analog instruments,    complete with colorful participants who packed the convention floor. Despite the cloudiness for most of the days, the feverishly festive mood is an annual destination for music industry heads worldwide.

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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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NYC's Ultimate DJ Battle Weekend: DMC US Finals, Roc Raida Memorial Gong Battle, & Stylus Sessions

Posted by Billyjam, August 3, 2012 04:47am | Post a Comment


In New York City this weekend there's a real treat in store for scratch DJs and fans of scratching and hip-hop DJ battles. Tomorrow (Saturday Aug 4th) the 2012 DMC US Finals National DJ Battle is taking place at Le Poisson Rouge in the Village. The winner of this anticipated DJ battle will go onto London, England next month to represent the US in the 2012 DMC World DJ Championships on September 28th. This Sunday (Aug 5th) in New York at the same Bleecker Street club will be the 2012 Grand Master Roc Raida Memorial Gong DJ Battle - bearing the name of the much loved X-ecutioner DJ who began the event years before he passed on in 2009. And to top things off for this NYC DJ weekend, that is been dubbed Ultimate DJ Battle Weekend, later today (Aug 3rd) will be the DubSpot Stylus Sessions # 2. Curated & produced by turntablist scholar John Carluccio this event will be video streamed live from the West 14th Street DJ school's headquarters.

At tomorrow's big US DMC battle, where competing DJs from all round the nation  will include DJ Sol Rising who won the 2012 Bay Area DMC Regional Battle back in April, the host will once again be the ever funny & entertaining Lord Finesse (of D.I.T.C. fame) while the Bay Area's DJ Snayk Eyez,  who is the 2001 DMC US Supremacy Champion, will do be among three DJs doing a special turntable routine performance. The others will be legendary 1986 DMC World Champion holder DJ Cheese, who after a long absence is back performing and recording over the past couple of years, and DJ Total Eclipse of The X-ecutioners. Meanwhile DJ Spictakular of the legendary Allies DJ crew will be doing a long partyrocking series of sets throughout the day long event that begins at 2pm and ends by 930pm tomorrow.

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