Why Turntablism Sucks In '08

I was watching X-Play today and they did a quick story about the following video, by DJ I-Dee. Aside from the fact that the video is brilliant -- I love the video game motif, and you can tell the director has an authentic love of retro 90's gaming in the 8/16 bit era (I can't even tally all the references involved) -- it also touches on a point I've been thinking about recently. At the end of the video there's a voice cameo from (3-time DMC champion Miami-based) DJ Craze. He rhetorically asks I-Dee if he's "gonna revive turntablism," because "that shit is dead." And he kind of has a point. When I think back on it, turntablism reached a real peak around the 2000s, around the time Doug Pray's documentary "Scratch" was made. (Further evidence is that this is around the time I bought my first tables and started collecting vinyl). I imagine there was some kind of millenial preoccupation with futuristic digital technology that kind of kept the idea of the turntable in vogue around that time. Since then, there's been a slow decline of turntablist presence in the mainstream/popular culture, and this video is a nice shot in the arm to remind us (or, at least me) of the uniquely tactile performance art that turntables alone can provide. Maybe I'm reaching a little on that last point, and maybe the video is just some guy fiddling with a record on top of some SNES-type beats. Either way, enjoy the clip.

DJ I-Dee - Swollen Dome/1991

2 comments:

DJ I-Dee said...

You completely summed up what I was trying to do with the video. I'm only 21 and my generation is completely lost when it comes to turntablism. I appreciate the thorough post, it'll help me along the way as I try to figure out the best way to transcribe turntablism to the mainstream audience. Peace. -I-Dee

Jeff said...

Not much else to add other than to say I'm loving both the video and the song. Good shit.