The story of the hip-hop DJ from the birth of hip-hop to the invention of scratching and "beat-juggling" vinyl, to the more recent "turntablism" movement. Underdogs and virtuosos who have radically changed the way we hear and create music.
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'Lee' George Quinones,
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A feature-length documentary film about hip-hop DJing, otherwise known as turntablism. From the South Bronx in the 1970s to San Francisco now, the world's best scratchers, beat-diggers, party-rockers, and producers wax poetic on beats, breaks, battles, and the infinite possibilities of vinyl.Written by
In the DVD commentary, director Doug Pray says that he was having a lot of difficult arranging interviews with many DJs, until DJ Qbert signed on. After Qbert's interview, DJs started calling Pray volunteering themselves. See more »
Apologies and respect to the many great DJ's and others who we were unable to be included in this film. See more »
The omission of Jazzy Jeff, the creator of the chirp and transformer scratch, raised a few eyebrows, but it's good to see he made it to the extras of the DVD after all. With SCRATCH, Doug Pray, who previously chronicled the grunge phenomenon of the '90s in HYPE (1996), made an excellent documentary about the world of the hip-hop DJ and the evolution of turntablism. His latest documentary, INFAMY (2005), explores contemporary American graffiti culture. After a couple of viewings four years ago, my DVD had been gathering dust ever since, but recently I watched it again and besides the subject material, I was surprised how well-shot and edited this documentary actually is. An immensely enjoyable soundtrack as well and not just talking heads, but lots of music, old school footage, parties, break dancing, you name it. One of the best things about the film, is that it mainly examines where the art of turntablism is today (in 2001 that is), without disregarding the pioneers of course. Good stuff.
Camera Obscura --- 8/10
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