Beginning of the End?

30 01 2007

Old article I found about DMC and how a DJ felt abt it as a whole:

DMC UK Finals 05 review – Published in Undercover Magazine, 2005 – Laurent

This is quite possibly the best review I’ve ever written, not necessarily based on penmanship though. It’s also the only review to ever get me ‘threats’ by the subjects of the review.


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DMC UK Finals 2005 – Sheperd’s Bush Empire

What a night… the UK has a new champion… and DMC has lost the last shreds of relevance it so desperately has been clinging onto.

Let’s get the good stuff out of the way first. Muzzel is the new, deserving DMC champ. Having pulled off a flawless set on the night, he came out on top of all the favourites. As one of the most underrated DJs and tablist in the UK it’s good to see him win the trophy and hopefully you’ll be seeing and hearing more of him in the coming months. If he can capitalise on his win the way Blakey did last year the future should be pretty rosy for him.

Now for the not so good… Firstly the Technics argument. How can a competition claiming itself to be at the forefront of this scene after 20 years still require its competitors to use mixers no one actually owns or uses for any other purpose than to train for the DMC and turntables that while legendary and true workhorses of the DJ scene are by far and large irrelevant to the new generation of turntablists? Is DMC a tablist competition as it claims to be or nothing more than a glorified hip hop DJ contest?
Secondly the relevance argument. How relevant are DJ battles these days? By and large not a lot. Battles are still widely insular in their fanbase and let’s face it they’re hardly the ideal night out for your average Joe. As for how relevant battles are to turntablism as a whole, the answer is the same. With the advent in the last 5 years of a more musical movement that has been keen to detach itself from the battle roots of the artform and regular comments from past winners on the staleness and similarity of contestants it’s hard to feel excited by what’s happening at battles unless your boy is competing or someone tries to do something that is actually different (which hasn’t happened since 2002).

Thirdly the judging argument. DMC has been plagued for years by claims of biased judging and unfair decisions and this years’ event hasn’t done anything to alleviate this. With people like Big Ted on the judging panel, who alongside Mr Thing and Harry Love placed Asian Hawk and Phat Kev (the 2nd and 3rd on the night) above Muzzel you really have to wonder what the fuck is going on? Ultimately reactions to judging decisions are bound to be personal, but it’s hard to feel that the judging isn’t a joke when you have some of the finest talent in the land overlooked in favour of two people who, as someone put it, ‘would have sounded old in 96’.

The saddest thing being that all these claims are hardly new. Yet no one seems to be listening. So I’d like to leave you on an upbeat note, unfortunately I can’t. Instead I’ll leave you with the fantastic news that the world finals to be held in London this month will feature a 7 year old turntablist prodigy paraded on the world stage by his parents, in a move that is as bizarre as non-surprising for DMC. Let the freak show roll into town…

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