a The Transit Lounge: Scratchin About

Back in the Day: I had a quarter life crisis, headed to Osaka, Japan for the unknown–only to discover that a passport plane ride are not necessarily a ticket to escape. Some Years Later: Settled back in Oz, the man of my dreams ended up in Tokyo for work–which is how a passport and plane ride showed me home is where the heart is. And Now: Well as luck would have it, we are about to embark on Japan Mark 3, with a baby in tow and another on the way...

Thursday, July 20

Scratchin About

Whooh! Just rattled off an entire email in Japanese - it has been a while since I have had to do that. The last time was probably a thank you letter to Ko Kimura after he gave me an interview. Which is why I am on the Nippon-email track again. Not for Ko, but for an journalistic endeavours.
I forgot to mention that I had one of my most amazing nights here in Japan on Monday of last week. I guess with all the sayonara bizzo, Old Skool hooplah, and Sun Fun Action it kind of got pushed to da edge of the memory bank.
Due to a combination of genius timing and sheer luck (not often these two attributes collide in my world. Actually that's not true), I got to spend an evening in the home of Hi-C and Yasa, also known as Kireek, two of Japan's best scratch DJs. Only Yasa wasn't home, so I got a sneak preview of the DMC show Hi-C performed last Saturday night at Triangle for the Osaka DMC Scratch Champion Final (though the youtube link I just put up is a few months old).
Even for someone who does not know so much about the Scratch sector of the spin world, I knew enough to realise I was a part of something special, extremely lucky to be invited into this household and witness what most upcoming DJs of any genre would give their entire record collection to see. Particularly because this unit is notoriously tight - they don't let just anyone in to ask questions and poke amongst their set up - especially when it comes to foreigners.
Hi-C was extremely friendly and eager to show off his skills. And skillz. And then some! This young man was frenetically fresh and so energetic when he stepped up to the plate, well the turntable anyway, that I had trouble focussing on the speed at which his hands and fingers manipulated the mixer. It was also a first for me to see some other techonology come into play such as the Chaos Board and a DVD-J mixer (I saw one of these being used about a year ago in Osaka just the one time, they are famously expensive) amongst other things while he scratched, tapped and rapped going back to back (2 for 2 I think) with another friend of mine, Will Spin, who got me the introduction and is a bit of a Drums'n'Bass master himself. For a Monday night, it was incredibly explosive. As a matter of fact, for any night, it was...powerful. I kept thinking how I would have given anything for 2 particular mates to have been there with me as apart from Will, they are possibly the only 2 people I know whose appreciation factor would have been as high as mine.
What Hi-C was doing at the decks was an art form itself. To have such control at such a speed requires exact knowledge of your equipment not only in set up but in capabilities, as well as the music you are setting it to. Will was dishing up the DnB behind him and it was an awesome combo of DnB Scratch. Or Scratch DnB if you will cause Hi-C was the one controlling it all. The feeling it created was intense, yet all I wanted to do was get up and dance. (the layout of the room was awesome - the opposing walls lined with turntables, mixers and an assortment of all kinds of electronic equipment including laptops and leads, with thousands of records stored underneath both counter tops, as well as in the middle of the room. In true Japanese style, amongst all the technology were incense, power rangers, transformers and World Cup phone tags for each country).
One of those wonderful nights - unassuming, out of the blue and totally unexpected. The way all good nights are.


Blogger Miss Riz said...

SO I am interviewing Kireek next Wednesday with the help of DJ Monkey, a fantastic DJ about town, who is going to act as translator. Yay!

4:37 pm


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