Turntable Technicians, BoogieBlind and DJ Radar are among those wrecking the decks...
The New York Regional for the DMC/Technics American Battleground & World DJ Competition is a victory for turntablism as a culture and art form. A scene often plagued by an increasingly insulated and intellectualized audience not always representing the broad, often more urban-inspired roots of the DJs themselves celebrate through a hugely diverse crowd of passionate supporters and performers. Accordingly the
night’s champion DJ Presyce actually hails from Chicago while the climax comes from Florida’s Marilyn Manson look-alike DJ Swamp. Combine with the united jaw drops of some 1,000 rockers, rappers and ravers and you have a
shade of history.
Both sport and musical form but ultimately a phenomenon, turntable culture, in the great hip-hop tradition, is clan-based. So while Presyce wrecks shop for himself versus the 7 other contestants in 6 minute “sets”, a large part of his swift fists are focused on glory for his “crew.” With the victory, members of his crew The Turntable Technicians, under DMC ruling allowing contestants to compete in any 2 states, will represent 5 states at the National Finals this August in San Francisco. Keepin’ it punk, Presyce adds that if he were to make it to the World Finals and win he would likely “piss in my pants, probably get the balls to move out of my house, know what I’m sayin!”
Just because Chicago takes home the crown does not mean that New York doesn’t represent. Harlem’s own BoogieBlind and Brooklyn’s Precision while hindered by brief but tense moments both deliver musically historical journeys cutting up everything from Prince‘s ‘Kiss’ to soulful classics from Nas. Boston’s Supa Dave reps Massachusetts fully but perhaps lacks in the charisma category.
Throughout the competition The Allies’ DJ Infamous keeps the crowd and contestants loose displaying a thorough gift for comedic exploits while Graff-legend Doze Green illuminate all with brush and paint on an 8 foot canvas. Judges for the competition are reigning 3-time DMC World Champ
Craze of The Allies, Roc Raida of The Ex-ecutioners, and Kuttin Kandi for
The 5th Platoon. Other notable DJ’s in the crowd include Beastie Boy/Skratch Pikl Mixmaster Mike, X-men Rob Swift & Total Eclipse, and 5th Platoon members Rholi Roll with Daddy Dog.
True mind-blowing experiences is delivered by DJ Radar and Swamp along with a tag-team scratch opera between Craze and P-Trix. Using only one
turntable Radar debuts a jeri-rigged turntable mixer with a synchronized sampler output connected to a guitar pedal under his turntables. Following this, DJ Swamp arrives as Infamous playfully announces “turntablism’s only
true rock star – I mean this guy is scary-lookin’!” Unfazed the jet-black long-locked technician proceeds to place two records on top of one another on one turntable then bends the back of the top one up, scratching it back
and forth then tossing the top record off in abandon only to have the needle safely rest on the bottom record in a perfect scratch.
Furious applause yielded a rare turntablist encore as 4 hours of sound deconstruction have proved continually monumental. One can only imagine the
gentle weep of lonely guitars suffering in envy of increasingly fondled turntables.