Author Topic: badassed d.j.s...  (Read 4580 times)

Offline bluntworks

  • Philmusicus Noobitus
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badassed d.j.s...
« on: October 03, 2001, 01:10:44 AM »
Dirty Techno aFnXd Three Deck Maestros
By Ian D. Elliott

   Progression has usually been marked in one of two ways when it comes to the electronic dance music scene.  Often, it’s due to evolution in production, whether from the appearance of new gear, programming, or simple creativity that stands above the rest.  The other less noted indicator is that of the d.j. that takes the aforementioned production and skillfully turns it on its ass.

As a genre, Techno is widely misunderstood, and is often assigned to somewhat narrow and restrictive definitions.  Yet it is also host to many of the d.j. world’s most badassed innovators, who combine a mind-bending selection of tracks that cross several genres, along with a dancefloor wrecking, ass-shaking combination of effects boxes, turntablism and playing on mutiple (three or more) turntables.  Here’s a guide to some of Techno’s top trickster jocks.

Bionic Minds/Bionic Hands

Claude Young ( ) – easily one of the top d.j.s in the world, period.  People refer to Monsieur Young as “THE MAN” (even women boom it like they’re suddenly from downtown Detroit) and “sick” – like the giddy, something-tingling-between-the-legs sick you feel on a rollercoaster ride or like in high school.  Originally from the Motor City, now resides primarily in the UK, is hardly ever at home.  Spends most of his weekends making people all over the world go completely insane with a twisting flow of Detroit Techno, Chicago Jack and European Funk, blended in seamlessly with a barrage of scratches, flexing, bubbling and echoing rewinds, using doubles of the same track and making it sound impossible, and jacking the crossfader back and forth with his mouth.  When he’s not buried in the mix, he always looks at the crowd with a huge grin on his sweaty face that makes everyone dance even harder.  In his spare time he likes to produce tracks on a host of labels that either make people feel extremely horny or like they’re nestled back in mommy’s womb.
Dave Clarke ( )– has said that he has no need to play on multiple decks, as he can do things on two that most other d.j.s can’t even do on three – on a good night, “Clarkey” can totally put ‘em to shame.  He’s been called arrogant and a lot of people think he’s a total prick, but he’s just British, highly principled and is comfortable with the fact that he can beat any crowd into submission with his oldschool Hip-Hop cyborg hands.  He’s known primarily for his Electro production, the Red series on label deConstruction, and his remixes of DJ Rush’s “Freaks On Hubbard” and trancemeister Zombie Nation's – “Kernkrafts 400” (trivia – what happened to one of Clark’s copies of Kernkrafts 400 when he was mixing up doubles at the U.K.’s Creamfields event in 2000?*).  Of course, the real treat is in hearing and watching him stutter-scratch in a machine gun rim shot at 128 beats per minute over a wonked-out loop and relentless bassline.  Very fussy – if the crowd isn’t into it or is too ****ed up, he’ll go “Dave Clark Light”, which isn’t half as much fun.

Jeff Mills ( )– ”The Wizard” first blew Detroit teenagers’ minds on the radio with his furious amalgamation of Hip-Hop meets Kraftwerk meets chunky Industrial, with a whole bunch of other rhythmic [gooey brown stuff] thrown in for good measure.  Founded the Underground Resistance record label with “Mad” Mike Banks in the early 90s, then started up his own stable of projects, of which there are now over a dozen (, production, multimedia, fashion, design and so on). Was worshipped like fine wine in places like Europe and Japan, and then went ballistic and knocked the world’s dancefloor on its collective ear in 1995 with a futuristic, 74 minute, forty to fifty records per hour set of hard Techno that was recorded live at the Liquid Room in Tokyo.  He’s never quite been able to surpass the rep he gained for the Mix Up CD and his mid nineties production (check Java, The Steampit e.p. and The Other Day for a taste of some of Mills’ finest), but he can still slice and dice with the best of them.

Vortex – ( )Up and coming Canadian who made the progression from Hip-Hop to Chicago Booty tracks to tripped-up Tribal Funk, which he serves up in both his production (with partner Adam Winick on their own Format label, which is so good that Jeff Mills was playing some of their first tracks during European gigs) and his stealth bomber at seven Gs three deck sets.  Makes little wannabe Techno jocks cry with his Zen like demeanor and fingers that could probably unsnap a three-hook bra in under a second.  When he broke out the oldschool “Hit It From The Back” Booty at my despidida in Toronto, people started making out in the corners.

Analyze This – The Craftsmen

Richie Hawtin ( )– Has done it all and then some.  Pioneered the Detroit rave scene and pulsing 303 laden minimal Techno in the early ‘90s when Derrick May and Co. were busy conquering Europe.  Will be forever known to many as Plastikman (his most recognized recording alias), but has been a chameleon producer and d.j. since way back in the day.  His sets used to run all over the map, with a mindwarping blend of minimal brainfry to 80s club hits such as Yello’s “Oh Yeah” (which he restyled as “Orange” on his M-nus label in 1999) and Nitzer Ebb’s “Let Your Body Learn” (which he still includes in his current sets).  Now d.j.s in what’s considered to be a more accessible fashion that includes chattering 909 drum machine solos, echo delay and filter sweeps from effects boxes, and which has also leveled accusations that he’s lost his edge.  Far from it, he’s still as subtle and crafty as ever, but the texture and refinement of four hours of  “Decks/FX/909” often ends up over the heads of less experienced crowds or lost in low grade soundsystems.  When he plays a rare set at home, people act like Dervishes, dancing non-stop for up to eight hours straight.  (more trivia – what was Richie’s d.j. name when he first started playing in Windsor and Detroit?**)

Marco Carola ( ) – Hardly anyone in Euro-NRG Italy knows who Marco Carola is, but pretty much everyone else in the world that has been to a Techno clubnight or party does.  The man from Naples always turns the intensity up to infinity with three deck sets of rolling, rumbling, funky and bella sexy Tech sounds, including his own Question series and Zenit releases.  Usually gets all three turntables going, faders up, within a minute or two of having started a set, and from that point on almost always has two records running hot at any given time.  Twisting the mixer volumes and gains, he creates three minute long buildups that leave most people wishing they had an oxygen tank handy.  Has been on the Housier tip as of recent, but still runs the signature “Carola sound” that tests soundsytems and sneaker soles to the hilt.

Algorithm – ( ) Lesser known, but rivaled only by “Hawtpants” Hawtin as Canada’s minimal d.j. numero uno.  Obsessed with mathematical structure (big architecture buff), Jeff Milligan crafts stripped down, rhythmic soundscapes of clicking, popping, resonating House on up to four turntables.  Constantly shaking his narrow, not-out-enough-in-the-sun, white-boy ass as he continuously tweaks and manipulates everything in sight, Jeff has an arsenal of tricks that has to be heard and seen to be believed. Perfectionist Temper-Temperus – if everything is not to his satisfaction (properly tuned equipment, the wind blowing the wrong way), watch out for flying shards of smashed vinyl. Highly under-appreciated in his own country, he now spends most of his time producing and loitering around with European gearhead geeks and playing to packed houses at legendary clubs like Tresor in Berlin.

Straight Up Tha D’ – Ghetto-Tech

DJ Godfather ( ) – Former DMC champ who gets mobbed when he steps off the plane in Japan.  Rips through entire boxes of wax, frantically remixing live on the decks with doubles of Juan Atkins’ classic “No UFOs” and other assorted Electro, Techno and Booty Bass gems.  He looks like a ballcap wearin’ punk from the suburbs, but the smooth drawl and casual attitude is right outta the Detroit ‘hood.  Godfather runs two record labels (Twilight 76 for Electro, and Databass for the fast-rising Ghetto-Tech sound) that are making waves all over, always brings his own custom mixer and needles when he spins and often ups the ante with an oversexed MC who shouts out hilarious, blunted come-ons to the “Hos in the house”.

DJ Assault ( ) – produces tracks with names like “Ass-n-Titties” and “Sex On The Beach”, then test runs them in downtown Detroit strip clubs.  Pitches the turntables up so that his sets run like a vibrator with fresh batteries, somehow manages to fit in upwards of sixty records in an hour and is probably responsible for more clothes being shed at parties than any other Ghetto-Tech d.j.  He has his own made up vocabulary that translates into stuff like “a rag mouth, ass person whose breath smells like butt and who also possesses a not-so-well-done ponytail”, and its been reported that he likes to surf on the hoods of cars down the Detroit highways when he’s not travelling all over the world.
God Bless!!!

Offline bluntworks

  • Philmusicus Noobitus
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badassed d.j.s... (cont'd)
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2001, 01:12:49 AM »
Waaay Out There

Murat – New York nutter, was busted for carrying pot seeds over the Canadian border and was subsequently banned entry into the country for five years.  At least he’s been busy playing in South America and Europe, as well as releasing tracky Techno on a slew of labels.  Manhandles three decks like a six year old on five cups of coffee, pogoing around like he’s in on some sort of big, interstellar secret.  When a record he was playing at a gig was bumped and skipped to the end, Murat simply dropped his next track and mixed it in over the “hissss-pop” of the needle grinding on paper.  So good that several d.j.s have refused to step up after him at parties.

Traxx – If passion is measured by the expression on a person’s face, then Traxx (real name, Melvin) must be experiencing the Rapture every time he spins. This is the man they refer to when someone starts talking about "dirty mixing”.  Chronic like Dré, bounces and bobs like Muhammad Ali crossed with Stevie Wonder, twists his head toward the heavens, rolls his eyes back in his head, drenched in sweat from start to finish – imagine how it sounds coming out of the speakers.  Traxx is pure, downtown Chicago basement party at 4 a.m., which means anything from classic 80s House to bowel shifting deep Techno, relentlessly and maniacally funked up into a heaving, panting, beautiful mess.  A true crowd-pleaser and all round deep, soulful visitor from another galaxy.

(Ian Elliott currently resides in Manila and plays Detroit Techno under the name Harmonika.  He needs to fix the pitch control on his third turntable and hopes to eventually invent tricks that other people will write about.)

  *Richie Hawtin pulled it off the turntable and tossed it into the crowd like a frisbee.  Clarke wasn’t amused.

**”Richie Rich”
God Bless!!!