We are honoured to speak to multiple World Skratch Champion (WSTC, Vestax, DMC, ITF/IDA) DJ Unkut straight out of Germany from the Exodus crew. Check it out as he sheds light on future projects that he is working on as well as whether is he competing in any DJ battles soon in 2008.
1. Tell us about yourself, age , place of orgination
– Well i’m 24 years old and i was born and raised in Germany as a son of turkish emmigrants.
2.How did you came about with DJing and Hip-hop?
I think it started when i started to go out into clubs, thats when i saw Dj’s for the first time and from that moment i was just amazed of what they do . I remember that i was the only person in the club that didn’t dance mostly , i was just staring at the Dj’s and the Turntables. After staring and staring i decided to do it myself , mainly because i wanted to listen to music i would like to hear as a party guest as my ,,hardcore” taste was not satisfied very often when i went out in clubs. So i got myself one technics and a f+++++ up Gemini Mixer , the only thing that was workin on this mixer was the phono/ line stick , but i was really happy with this. After two years i could afford my second technics and a vestax mixer. To that time i already heard of turntablism , but didn’t really knew what it’s all about. A friend of mine came over with the the ’99 Usa Eastern hemisphere Video and i remember i couldn’t stop watching it. I was really fascinated i didn’t ever think turntables could do this. So i didn’t care about mixing records any longer , i wanted to scratch and the rest was just training , keeping myself motivated and focused.
3. DJ Battles ~ are you retired from Solo Competition since you have won like every major Skratch DJ tournament like WSTC, ITF, DMC & Vestax?
Well, battling will be something i will always love , because i really put a lot into it , but you just have to think about what you wanna achieve and where you wanna take it with your music. Battling is always a very good way to spread your name ,but battling all the time only doesn’t make too much sense.I don’t wanna say that you guys will never see me at a Battle again, but for now there’s nothing left but a DMc title . My Crew’s trying to motivate me for the Team Dmc’s this year again, but right now i’m not interested that much but maybe i’ll change my opinion when it’s about to go down , who knows…
4. Tell us about Exodus and how did you came about with it.
Exodus was basically founded for the Team DMC Worlds , as we all know each other for years now and we just thought ok , we are hanging out , we scratch , we talk bullshit , why don’t we just try our luck and represent Germany again , as there was not really much left since Lordz of Fitness and Noisy Stlyus retired from battling. I think i know AKd for 6 years now and i met Rob & PRO at the German Finals in 2004. We are all cool with each other and that was the main reason we did it. To that time we were practicing, Rafik was working on his 6 Minutes for Dmc with Le jad, jad told him that he really would love to produce for a team as he never made this experience before. Rafik just told him that we are working as a team for the Dmc’s and it was just an e-mail and a phone call. We had Jad with us , and we were really happy about this , we went to Jad’s place and did 60 % of the routine, the rest was done via Internet and a LOT of Uploading sessions 😉 . Right now there’s a really dope video of our Team routine to be made by Arnie 500 , the dopest graphic and Video dude i know! Should be finished by the end of this month. Right now we are organizing the team thing a lil bit more which will include, Team stuff, Solo Showcases, and Party Djing.
5. DJ battles have shifted in a direction and is less exciting as it should , even though it could be a platform for being known
Hard to say…. Well, first of it depends on what you describe as less exciting. Is it because people miss Body Moves, Hip Hop sounding Routines , or whatever ? I think there was a time between 98-2002 when there was such a big hype about battling , i think everybody loved that era. It was based a lot on hip hop as the audience was too, so i think people maybe could just understand it better, because it was the same music they were listening to. Nowadays there are a lot more genres and you don’t only hear hip hop routines, but to me that doesn’t makes it less exciting, it makes it even better.It’s not the battle scene, but I just saw a concert of Birdy Nam Nam in Paris in the net, it was crazy!!! People were yelling the melodys and lyrics as if it was a Rap or Rock Concert, they were totally into their music and were waiting for certain patterns and parts in the trakks. This is something so dope for the art and the movement , even though it’s no hip Hop music. I have to admit that there are a lot of routines that sound the same , but this is nothing that bothers me or something. Everybody should just express hisself as good as possible and have fun.
6. Tell us about the Wizard of Ahh contest you are organizing with Zeiko and the rest of your group. How does it differ from IDA/ ITF , Vestax, Dmc ‘n such
Ok , i mainly organize it together with Akd, Pro And Rob will be there for judging and showcasing of course.
Basically it’s a pure skratch battle, no routines , no scratch lines , nothing prepared. It’s all about improvisation , the competetors will skratch on random beats we have chosen and they have to prove that they can skratch on any tempo , style etc. So it’s nothing to compare with a regular battle like ITF or DMC . We did it for the first time last year and it was a great success as it was meant to be a national battle, but there were so many requests from Europe that it turned out be a european Clash. We also don’t organize this battle for money reasons, as we didn’t make much money last year, it just developed because we wanted to give Skratch Dj’s in germany a platform like they do in France too for example. There are a lot of good scratchers , but no competitions for these guys. This year we hope to have the same variety of competetors.
Further we will perform a Exodus Showcase with Visual Effects to it on a screen right behind us , B-ju , soular & teddi will perform as ,, Interplay” and we will have a local electro live Band called ,,Comping” . we hope to have a great event at least like last year or even better. We would love if you guys from singapoure who read this right now would come over to compete, i know it’s far away tho 😉
7. Given that Serato is a main Staple in Turntablism, mixing in Dj battles. Do you foresee a Serato battle coming soon?
Well these battles are going down already , when you take a look at the Experimental Class at the IDA Worlds last year in cracow. I think competetors could use a Mpc, Cd Players, Laptops with various Software running like Ableton, Serato… etc. So it’s going down already and to me it looks like a really cool development as long you don’t let the computer do it all for you. I think this is one of the most discussed topics in the Dj game since 2 years and i can only say, using serato or custom records, whatever, doesn’t make you a better dj , you still have to flip vynil , a crossfader and Turntables. And if someone is faking with the help of software or laptops, these guys won’t make it far you know, as we all have a clue what is possible to do and what a computer only could do for you. So it’s always pretty obvious if the Dj is really working with his hands or not.
8.What is your current playlist, do you party rock? If so what genre?
Hmmmm, i listen to tons of music, so it’s really hard to mention only a few ones but okay i’ll have a try. Right now i really like that Equinox Sampler , with artist like Bju. Vangel, Aqua Luminus and many more! Really dope music!! I like that new Styles P Album, SebastiAN , Edit from Usa, Sinuhe a local rapper from my hometown, ohhhh man , and a lot more, this would be too much right now… When i play i prefer playing raw hip hop, Electro and funk.
9. What are your upcoming projects and stuff you are working on?
i’m workin on my eP right now , which mostly will include Trakkz But in general it is supposed to be a Turntable Album or Skratch Music however you wanna call it. Should be finished in a few months. After that i’ll work on my Battle break. so these are my main projects i will take care of , and beside that i’ll still work for vestax, do Showcases solo & with Exodus, play at clubs , work with band musicians and skratch my ass off 😉
10. What is your current tools for djing and production
For Djing and Production i use 2 PDx 3000 Turntables, Vestax 08, KORG ZERO 4 as soundcard and Interface, Korg Midi Keyboard, Laptop running with Serato, and as sequencer Software i use Cubase Sx, FRuity 6, Ableton 6.0. But there are still a few things i need …. hmmmm!!
11. Is it worth it to practise 6min in a year jus to enter dmc to win it? Becus djs such as paul oakenfold, steve aoki, tiesto and such have made without entering dj battles?
Of course it’s worth it , but it’s not a must or neccesary to make it or make a good living out of djing. You can also be succesfull without battles of course. It’s a lot of of stress and pressure as we all know, if you take it it’s worth it if not… well , it always depends how you deal with it.
But mostly, it’s not that dj’s working for one year for a certain battle , they just work on routines, they can use for showcases , gigs and battles. Then they have material and decide what they use from this material for the battle. And honestly i’ve never worked one year for a battle , the longest time i ‘ve been practicing for a battle was the Team stuff with Exodus at the Dmc’s. It was 2 months. for my solo stuff i mostly need 1 1/2 month to come up with 2 or 3 good routines. I also do think that you just have to have a lot of dedication, ambition, talent and discipline to be succesfull in this aspect of djing, as it takes much more preperation than goin to a club and spin music of course. So it’s hard to say if it’s worth it , i can speak for myself only , and it was worth it to do it, although it’s still ridicolous when it comes to the financial aspect for Battle Dj’s. It’s really cool already you get10.000 Bucks at the DMC’s but this is still not enough compared to how muchwork Dj’s put into their sets for only one evening basically.
12. And if you did enter dmc but lose due to politics. What would do or say after that?
Beat up the judges!!! HAHA!!.
Actually when stuff like this happens , the competition is always a little discrediting itself and the reputation they get among dj’s and the audience wouldn’t be too good i think. But this is no security for wrong decisions as this stuff happens every year and dj’s don’t have that much oppertunitys rather than competing at those more or less bad reputated Battles. So there’s nothing you can do about it, you just have to be that good , that there’s no doubt about it you should win. You have to see politics as another invisible opponent you have to beat beside the DJ you’re battling against ;-9
13. Shouts , disses ?
I’d like to give a shout to my crew Exodus, my boys from wu-Tal, my girl ‘n my mum, Le JAD (no.1 pervert producer in the Gayme ),Kid Fresh, Rafik , Eprom , Tigerstyle, Vestax Japan & Germany, Zoo York Germany, and Skratch TV for the interview. I hope you guys enjoyed reading my interview and watch out for my Ep.
Ps: Come over for the Wizard of ahhh!!!!!!!!!!!! Peace & much luv from