Northwest Regional DMC Turntablist Championship
Thurs June 14 at I-Spy, $15 adv.


The turntablist's is a sound of science, constantly being perfected by the nimblest of fingers. And there is actually an award for he who would be made professor of that science--a DJ with a DMC title.

Consider the DMC Turntablist Competition an education in the turntablist phenomenon, the progenitors of which can be traced back to the '70s. Or consider the competition itself a series of experiments in beat pastiche wherein hiphop breakbeats are sped up and down, tweaked and tuned, rendered fluid and seemingly nonchalant, elevated to a state of high art, and then, in the spirit of the competition, a state of supremacy.

Which brings us to the current masterminds: Swamp, and leader of the new school, DJ Craze. Like the Obi Wan Kenobis of East and West Coast DJ circles, these boys are regulars at masterfully cutting and pasting tracks. Swamp works the circuit as Beck's live DJ, while Craze shape-shifts under the name Ko Wreck Technique on underground hiphop label Chocolate Industries. Swamp adds to the validity of a camp opened up by the Beastie Boys, while Craze takes on not only hiphop, but the always misunderstood jungle form. The DMC competition also features DJ Spiktakular (Invisibl Skratch Piklz), MC Infamous, and DJ Suspence. But Craze and Swamp are the ones to watch, a couple of guys who possess a talent to match shit you never dreamed possible.

People downplay the use of two-turntables-sans-microphone as a means of art, but when you see these men in action, it's not only artful, it's science. Whether or not you can handle frenetic beats and the sounds of screeching vinyl up close and personal is irrelevant. Take a look from the outside and see what it does to the crowd. It moves people.

The energy that Swamp and Craze create is awe-inspiring, hence the awards. Of course, real laurels don't lie in the statuettes but in the minds of fans who appreciate the mad genius of these two competitors. For those fans, the DMC Turntablist Competition will be a joy to behold. For the uninitiated, you could be pleasantly surprised here.