DJ Scratch [James Brown Tribute] / Kurtis Mantronik – Live in Brooklyn [30 May 2015]

It’s incredible to think how far weve come as far as scratchin goes, Flash being ‘Lucky enough to be here with you’ was a long ass time ago. But to think that DJ’s like Scratch are still tearing up clubs and parties, AND on air in 2017 is the key. DJ Scratch can be heard on WBLS every Saturday night, still ! As we are on that grown-man isht, we wanna send a direct thank you to Scratch for keepin fresh alive, and for representing the true innovative vibe of what Hip-Hop has always been about.

Distinguished and innovative DJs’ Scratch, Cash Money, Jazzy Jeff, Funk Flex, Stretch Armstrong, Shadow and a handful of others, are almost considered Hip-Hop deities because their live skills behind 2 turntables are so good*. PREACH ! Whether on air or behind a club booth, whether it’s a 7″ only night, or a Serato only session that sounds like a surrealistic loop-based version of a Latin Rascals broadcast. In 2015, the good good people at the RMBA [Red Bull Music Academy] ‘explored and celebrated’ a number of highly acclaimed Hip-Hop DJs that continue to be dominant within the game. They asked ‘Pioneering Hip-Hop Producer Kurtis Mantronik, EPMD’s DJ Scratch, Rap radio royalty The Awesome 2, disco missionary Nicky Siano, and Egotrip’s Chairman Mao to look back at influential label [Sleeping Bag] over the course of one night’.

As not all the performances are available on RMBA any longer, so we thought we’d honour the men and share both the DJ Scratch & the Mantronik set. Mantronik’s set is a lesson in mixing and music [with a few cheeky exclusive edits and version excursions thrown in for good measure]. It’s simply the King of the Beats, behind 2 turntables, something you don’t hear every day.

But DJ Scratch represents a purity in playing party sets and club DJing. He does refer to himself as the ‘Turntable Whisperer’. This display is an embodiment of a perfect set, arguably, exemplifying Scratch as the king of Serato Loops. He is a DJ’s DJ, we know that much. Who else utilises the loops on Serato sets like this one ? Remember, this is live set from 2 years ago FFS. He’s probably a monster in 2017 !!

In this mix, he effortlessly flits through classic James Brown breaks, as he did in the short clip below [from James Browns birthday set on WBLS from 2013]. He plays a few associated JB bits, he then destroys Funky Drummer [UNBELIEVABLY tight on the breakdowns & doubles]. Be prepared to nod ya head for about 25 mins of James jammies before he drops more breaks and good music by other iconic artists, starting off with doubles of Try a Little Tenderness !

FAO RBMA legal peoples, we are sharing these sets as a mark of respect, honouring the talent of these gentlemen while we can. To recall the pure enjoyment of the music for the ones that’ve heard the tunes before, and to educate the younger generation in exactly the same way that you folks have. We have a shared appreciation, so don’t go running and complaining to Mixcloud like someone just took your lunch money. Please.

*Over here, I’d vote for Mr Thing, MK, Deejay Mek & Aidan Leacy, but’s another story for another day…