This is a really odd year to be exact for Turntablism & DJ Battles.
Imagine there was only one regional USA DJ final for the DMC before it leads up to the Grand Final in Delaware. Odd choice for a USA Finals, isn’t it?
What is commandable was that Roc Raida’s Gong DJ Battle invoke and substain the DJ Battle spirit which has faded over the years as new rules and technology created have dilute the culture as a whole.
Locally in Singapore, there is 3 DJ Battles at Zouk Phuture before leading up to the Singapore DMC Finals but after which interest totally died down with no events following up after that. Instead of relaying on DMC and paying ridiculous amounts of money for rights and royalty, can we instead start a local dj battle which is credible and appealing. Why relay on something global when we can start something local which can gain respect from our overseas peers?
Why is DMC getting mudane and boring? Although there are many reasons involve, here are some of the main ones involve although not ranked in any order:
1) Customise records. It seems that customise records took over most of the finalists in the World DMC Finalist with only the exception of Shiftee (World Battle DMC Champion) & Precision (4th Place DMC Showcase). Although routines comes off smoother and cleaner because of the arrangement of routine, I see most DJs’creativity being compromised and having them sounding all the same. Maybe it is for easy access & convenience sake so that the DJs won’t have to bring a flight case worth of records to battles or basically they want to complie their best 10 routines into less than 6 vinyls.
2) Ortofon rule. Self-explainatory.
3) Music Direction. With the exception of the USA DJs who have maintain the Hip-Hop sound & swagger in the routines, the rest of the DJs are moving to a Rave/Techno sound in direction. But what DJ Battles is about, is a fusion of musical genres together so this is a forgivable part and an exception.
4) Politics. Crewmates judging crewmates. Why don’t we have neutral DJs who are famous beyond the Turntablism relm to judge. For e.g: Mike Relm, I-Emerge, Kentaro, Scratch Peverts, DJ Craze, DJ Scratch, Evil Dee, Premier, Jazzy Jeff or even Q-bert. There seems to be alot of make-shift in the Judging panel even though it is understandable due to time contraints and logistics as well as $$ issue that the Judging panel seems rushed and not carefully selected.
But all is not lost, the Europeans alongside the Japanese are still maintaining their undying love and support for the culture which seems to have a stronghold to their life and pop culture.
Before I end, here are the highlights which made the headlines in Turntablism/DJ Battle:
Highlights which made the headline for Turntablism in 2007:
1) Skratch DJ of the Year: DJ Shiftee ~ Conquering the world battle stage without customise records and maintaing the unspoken rule of Turntablism by “flipping two seperate records into a new composition”.
2) Battle Record of the Year: Nervous Shock by Le Jad ~ Everyone buys and uses this break for the year for its furturistic sound and hard tech feel to it. Former notable mentions: Super Duck Break & Hee Haw (1998), Bully Breaks (2000), Gangsta Breaks (2001), Skratchy Seal & Y-breaks (2002), Bully Breaks (2003/2004), Audiocide (2005/2006)
3) Skratch DJ’s Producer of the Year: Le Jad, Runner-Up: Troubl & Netik. ~ Since Netik’s collaboration with Le Jad, every Skratch DJ wants to collaborate with him for the Euro-Tech House feel into their routines. He didn’t request for collaboration but every DJ wants him to customise and create a unique sounding routine and to be different. So he shouldn’t be primarily faulted for the sudden raise of customised records. Think about it, Super Duck Breaks & Hee Haw or any battle breaks in a matter of a fact are customised for the easy access and convenient use for DJs & Turntablist alike. I would hope that I-Emerge comes back and produce a dope battle break with a Hip-Hop feel just like he did with Audiocide. Inaugural Year Winner 2005/2006~ I-Emerge
4) Suggested Quality Skratch Mixers:
Ecler Hak380 & Ecler Hak360:
Rane TTM56 & Rane TTM57:
Pioneer DJM 909:
5) Digital DJ Tool: Rane Serato ~ Everyone wants to buy one to be a party-rocking DJ.