HEY DJ!: July 10, San Francisco: Our regional DMC champ, St. Louis'DJ K-9:, matched skills with 14 other turntablists in the 1999 Technics DMC U.S. DJ Finals. A fire necessitated the relocation of the event to the entirely too elegant and opera-house-like Palace of Fine Arts, whose stuffy (though beautiful) interior seemed to repress the legions of normally rowdy hardcore cut-and-scratch enthusiasts, chaining them to their red velvet seats, rendering the decidedly un-hip-hop roof difficult to raise and, perhaps, intimidating a couple of DJs. K-9's routine lacked the showier aspects of his triumphant regional performance, and although the crowd showed much approval, our hometown boy failed to land a Top 3 finish. One can't help but think things might have been different had K-9 hit 'em with his regional-finals routine crowd-pleaser, the "scratching with the testicles" technique. LA's DJ P-Trix, as in "name in the snow," took top honors this year and will compete in the World DMC Finals this September in New York.
This was very much a Bay Area all-star event. Founding member of the legendary Invisibl Skratch Picklz and credited inventor of the "DJ band," DJ Apollo (appearing at Karma on Friday, July 23 l; see Sound Checks, p. 62), was inducted into the DMC Hall of Fame (along with Grandmaster Caz, old-school pioneer DJ, MC and contributor to Rapper's Delight), as crewmate DJ Q-Bert looked on from the back of the house, and San Francisco MCs Rasco and Planet Asia dropped some positivity. Members of the East Coast-based Gang Starr dropped by to plug a new record.
The true showstopper was the mind- blowing set by UK turntable duo the Scratch Perverts. Pretty fly for a white guy and another white guy, and the repressed headz left happy. In the immortal mix of Cut Chemist (or is it Shortcut?), "Scrscratchin': What is it? The greatest thing on Earth."
You can catch DJ K-9 with Wax Murderers crewmate DJ Charlie Chan every Monday night at the Hi-Pointe Cafe.
Send local tapes, tips, discs and detritus to Randall Roberts, The Riverfront Times, 6358 Delmar Blvd., Suite 200, St. Louis, MO 63130; or e-mail him at email@example.com.