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Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by rickbass, Jan 24, 2002.

  1. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Last night, another band on the bill with us was fairly "nu metal"-oriented. They had a scratcher with a couple of turntables. All I could discern from what he was doing is making a "wiikka wikka weepa" sound every once in a while.

    I asked the band's bassist afterwards what the guy was guy getting paid. He said the scratcher was doing it for free and is trying to break in with a full time band.

    I've seen these guys with big-timers such as Incubus and the like (who can afford them). I don't really see any significant musical value to what they do. Yet, they consider themselves "musicians"....(like someone who only plays the triangle, in my view).

    To me, they are just a "fashion accessory" that makes a band look hip by showing their "black" sensibilities.

    The latest Bass Player sort of tweaked me because they have an ad for "Turntable Technique: The Art of the DJ" by berklee press. Um, I really don't see any "art" in being a parasite of the creative processes of true musicians who start with an inspiration and an instrument.

    To me, these guys are analogous to the pre-processed, pre-portioned, "meals in a minute" that busy people use to simulate real cooking.

    Please, no hip-hop/rap flame wars here guys. I just wondered how you all see it???
  2. even though i don't like rap, i do like scracthing, and even going as far as trying to learn it, and in the context, if a band sounds good with one (Eg: Incubus, Trip Turner, and dare i say it, Limp Biskit :eek:!) then i see no reason for them to not have one
  3. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
  4. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Shoot, jazz! My bad! I thought that's where I was posting it.

    My apology.
  5. Bryan_G


    Apr 28, 2000
    Austin, Texas
    I have very little respect for dj's. I have been to a few "parties" and don't realy mind the music. However as soon as they try to say they are a musician(it seems like the all do) its over. I have played around with turntables before, and unless your writing your own beats theres not to much to it. I'm not saying people who play in cover bands aren't musicians, at least they do something other than watch the record spin!
    I guess im a little harsh, but at first I thought that all those guys were totaly awsome and would come home and try to write some awsome beats in fruityloops. Then I learn that like 2% of them right there own stuff. So in my mind I did something that 98% of them didn't do..... Oh well. I guess they're people to. just my pennies.
  6. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    I'm not sure what line to take here... Sometimes scratchers do make some cool noises, but it is stretching it to call a record player a musical instrument...

    Incidentally, in 10 years I'm gonna start a new trend... I'll be the very first "CD Skipper" :rolleyes:
  7. Brendan

    Brendan Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    I am by no means a fan of DJs, Rap, or Hip Hop...BUT Rickbass, chances are, you listened to a begginer, operating within the constraints of Nu-Metal. If you want to see what can be done, and why it's quicly becoming an "Art"...check out guys like DJ Shadow, Q-Bert, DJ Spooky, Chrisitan Marclay, and you can see the difference between those guys, and guys like DJ Chris Kilmore (Incubus), DJ Lethal (HOP, Bizkit) and DJ Homicide (Sugar Ray). Those guys are mediocre DJs...the guys above, are pretty damned good. And it kinda goes beyond scratching.

    (My friend Gabe taught me all this. Personally, I can't stand them)
  8. Hey!! The triangle is hardcore!

    Anyway, the whole musician thing is in the ear of the beholder. So, to me, if someone plays the triangle and it sounds good, he's a musician. Note that I said to me. So by that logic, he is not a musician to you rick, but he probably is to whoever think the noise he makes sounds good. Anyone else see my logic?
  9. 72beetle


    Jun 10, 2001
    Phoenix, Arizona
    On a side note, they now make 'scratchable' dj tables that work off of cd's - there's a pad on the top of the box thatyou scratch on, and the cd signal is treated appropriately.

    There's a lot of lousy scratch out there, but occasionally, you find some that is astoundingly good, and really benefits the song. The best example I can think of is the scratch solo in Mixalot's 'Testarossa' - that guy throws down a wicked melodious groove, it sounds like an octopus workin a theramin.

    There's definitely a niche for scratchers (good ones, anyway), but outside of rap and hiphop, that niche is very small and as an instrument (yes, it IS an instrument, anything that makes controllable tones is) it doesn't really have an effective place anywhere else. Yet.

  10. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Well, that's why I brought this up, Brendan. Thank you!

    You never know if your opinion is just lack of exposure or really valid. Country-Western can fool a person into perceiving them as a bunch of cliche'-players until you really check them out. Some of those guys give Eddie Van Halen a run!
  11. Gabu


    Jan 2, 2001
    Lake Elsinore, CA
    Hey Ricbass1,

    I am with you in that it's totally not my cup of tea. I remember when I first saw some guys scratching durring a rap song... umpteen years ago I thought it was so lame.

    However. I must admit, while at Namm I saw some fella doing this scratching routine on some new gear and man was he busy. He was going back and forth on three or four gizmos and he would jump from one to the other, rip for a few seconds... then move on. It actually sounded good for that kinda stuff. I never really saw anyone scratch up close until that. It did not look easy at all.

    So I guess I would say that like a lot of stuff, there are some good ones and some hacks.
  12. If these bands sounded good then maybe I'd give them some credit! :rolleyes: :D

    When I saw Tomahawk they had "DJ Swamp" open for them. It was terrible!
    The highlight of the guy's show was when he told us that the next, uh, "song" of his was featured in a VW commercial!
    Then he gave out a pair of Puma sneakers and asked the crowd "What other show can you go to and get free $200 sneakers?"...
    I shouted out "We could go to Sting, listen to "desert rose" and get Jaguars!"

    This also takes me back to an argument a friend of mine had with me. She was convinced that when she went to Raves; the lights made beats. I informed her that the lights are simply hooked up to a microphone that turns them on when a beat is made by the DJ.
    She insisted otherwise.
    Here I get stuck with my High School education and she recieved a scholarship to a nice college here in denver, a person who believes that the lights at Raves make music.
    She ended up dropping out too, maybe she needs more time for those Raves.

    Oh well, she was probably hopped up on X anyway!

  13. I like the scratching in Incumbus, Slipknot and Linkin Park because I feel that it adds nice background noise to the music. I don't like scratching on its own. It's as bad as drumming on its own. Yuck.
  14. Jarrod


    Jan 1, 2002
    Los Angeles, CA
    i see what you're trying to say, it all depends on what one's definition of music is....

    the "official" definition of music is "the art of arranging sounds in time so as to produce a continuous, unified, and evocative composition, as through melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre."

    i think it is possible for djs to do this, but most of them don't.... hence all the dj hatin' from traditional musicians: "hey, we took the time to learn a REAL instrument and we don't want no punk with a record player stealing our glory!!!"

    i could go either way, it just depends on the individual artist... the same kind of controversies occur in painted art too
  15. Jarrod


    Jan 1, 2002
    Los Angeles, CA
    isn't it amazing how someone can be "booksmart" and yet still be a complete idiot? i know a couple of those too
  16. Scratching does add texture to a song, but no more than say; a sample does.

    Drumming on it's own? Obviously you've never heard a Neil Peart drum solo!
  17. oddentity

    oddentity Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Rick, I highly recommend looking into DJ Logic. I was very skeptical of the "DJ as artist" until I saw him perform live with Club D'Elf (whose bandleader, Mike Rivard, is a KILLER bassist on both DB and BG).

    He has a few Project Logic CDs on the Rope-A-Dope label, and seems to tour constantly.

    I think the better DJs out there, when playing with a live band, will use their turntables to interact members of the band. For example, when I saw Logic with Club D'Elf, he would toss drum loops in that D'Elf's drummer would play off and around, or funky little vocal hooks that sounded great in an otherwise instrumental band...
  18. i feel the opposite way. usually in rock bands, the only way a turntablist can contribute without completely muddying up the sound is to do stereotypical "wikka wikka" scratch sounds (a good exception to this is deftones, whose DJ creates some very cool sonic landscapes).

    turntablism on its own, however, and performed by the cream of the crop, is INCREDIBLE. they play with the pitch, create entirely new, that's right, NEW, melodies out of scraps and samples, and can generally blow your mind, if it's open. please give a listen to DJ shadow, q-bert, dj rectangle.... the list of greats is massive. i do not hesitate in calling them musicians in the fullest sense of the word.
  19. Christian Marclay, Wild stuff.

    Just saw a segment on EGG about this guy, didn't know that a white guy invented scratching, although I don't know why this is a surprise. Some of his stuff was a little out there but you could see it had thought behind it. The piece where he Drags a Guitar behind a truck kind of made me wince but it was interesting. And the three peice records he made were very interesting sounds.
  20. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    There's lots of people that own basses that also claim to be musicians. Many of these people are wrong.

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