June 28, 2013

15 stops on the turntablism timeline

The history of turntablism actually begins from humble roots.  It was never the technology first; it was usually the misuse of an instrument that created scratching, which eventually became a culture in itself.  In the early days of DJing, when DJs simply mixed music together, the creative DJs found that the cueing of their record that they usually did in their headphones only, actually sounded alright if done using the right technique.  After baby scratching came the chirp and then the flare, but this was decades down the road.  Before this landmark was reached there were others to be reached.

The concept of looping had to be achieved the hard way before it could be done with processors and machines.  A DJ took two copies of the same record and was able to either spin back the cued record to the same spot each time, or had the painstaking task of trying to drop the needle exactly on the same spot.  Both were extremely difficult to do back then, using crappy mixers and a shoddy turntable – and today the method is no easier.  The only difference now is that we have gear and technology that gives us training wheels to make it all happen.