various artists :: Turntables by the Bay :: Hip Hop Slam
as reviewed by John Book

The title for this 10-song album is "All That Scratchin' Is Makin' Me Bitch". This is a part of Hip Hop Slam's new DJ series, which follows the tradition of "Return Of The DJ" in exploring the psychotic and peculiar world of the vinyl manipulator. The DJ. Turntablism. It has many names, but it's all about the wikky-wikky.

As DJ Stoic scratches in his awesome "3PM Migrane", the music on this LP (vinyl only for now, thank you) is all about exploring "the culture" of vinyl manipulation. "Turntables By The Bay" highlights DJ's whose roots are in the Bay Area, a mix of well known record masters and new names that are sure to gain attention with this album. While most of these tracks have been released in some form, most of them make their vinyl debut here, which will please those who have been wanting to scratch these tracks for years.

D-Styles & DJ Flare share flares and looped snares with "Turntable Circumcision", which comes off as a hi-pro practice session but the liner notes say that it was done in one take, uncut. Mixmaster Mike has done so much work in the last few years that it's hard to keep track, but here he donates "Battle For The Mind", showing us his distorted state of being from back then, preparing us for what he has in store in the future.

Hip hop, hard rock, and pause-tape mixing comes into play in "Killer Cali Cut" by DJ Marz, where he allows the listener to witness the strength of ugly vinyl knowledge. Eddie Def battles DJ Killahoe by going old school and beyond with "All That Scratchin' Is Makin' Me Bitch", a track that is sure to make a lot of new DJ's want to practice for hours on end, over and over. Peanut Butter Wolf's displays his affection for hip hip in his classic "The Chronicles (I Will Always Love H.E.R.)", the sounds of which are literally the soundtrack of our lives.

DJ Shadow fans were already on standby when they heard he would have an exclusive new track on this compilation. He does not let down anyone with "Flashback", a throwback to some of his Solesides work, and even further back to his early demos. The analyzing phase of the samples within begin now.

This project could have easily been released as a 2LP set, but many fans who will pick up Volume 1 will probably get the next chapter anyway. I've seen this album priced as low as a high priced 12" single, so there is no excuse not to buy this. "Turntables by the Bay" not only represents the DJ's in the Bay Area, but the hip hop scene there, and basically the area's musical creativity and community as a whole. "Vinyl is dead," my ass!

Music Vibes: 9 of 10 Scratch Vibes: 9 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 9 of 10

Originally posted: February 13, 2001