Scratch Perverts - FABRICLIVE 22 Digital
In 1993, Tony Vegas decided to quit his two jobs - full time in a solicitor's office and part time in Soul Jazz, a Soho record store - to visit Canada. He wanted to hunt down some rare vinyl and check out some DJs. Being anonymous - 'just a kid with long hair who liked Joni Mitchell and played guitar' - he could hang around on the scenes of each city without feeling intimidated; get to know everyone without taking sides. He went back and forth from London over the next few years - to San Francisco, San Diego, and Los Angeles - living, by his own admission, beyond his means. He daydreamed of putting a team together. A UK crew that could battle the ones he'd seen and become the best turntablists hip hop had ever known. He started a job at Mr. Bongo's, just down the road from Soul Jazz, and met a guy called Joel, a TV Editor who had made a bit of a name for himself at scratch events. Joel couldn't be arsed with it anymore. He felt cheated about a previous decision, wasn't up for it. And anyway, he was doing OK playing drums for jazz greats like Melvyn Sparks, Pharaoh Saunders and Weldon Irvine. Tony wasn't deterred. He approached some other DJs with his plan; sold his entire record collection to fund a part-share in a store, Deal Real; practised mixing every second he got; and began applying to enter international contests. In 1997 he was invited to the ITF's Eastern Hemisphere tournament. British DJs did not fly to New York and win turntable battles. But Tony Vegas did. Joel decided to give it a shot. He and Tony met every Sunday, inviting others along to jam. They called their collective Scratch Perverts; at one point there were eight DJs in it. After six months messing about they quit work. They entered every contest going, getting closer each time until they were named ITF Team Champions. Tony flew to San Francisco for the World Final in the same year, convinced he would win, but smashed the arm of his turntable on stage. He cried on the phone to his father. Two years later, they triumphed in DMC's first team event; Joel went to Hawaii to win the ITF's scratching title; and Tony wowed the crowd at the Shepherd's Bush Empire to become UK DMC Champion. By 2000, Scratch Perverts held six different titles at once. In 2001, Scratch Perverts - now a settled line up of Tony Vegas, Prime Cuts, and an Edinburgh-based DJ they'd first met at the age of 15, Plus One - won the DMC World title. They'd done all they could - even devising a twenty-minute routine using turntables for beats and feedback for bass - and decided to move on. They now have their own event, The Beatdown, where everyone has a laugh and the winning DJ makes some cash. It reflects their musical interest, attracting dancers and chin scratchers. Electric live action meets the hottest hip hop and rudest drum 'n' bass, while live bands battle funk DJs. They make their own music too, with the same level of independent thought that defines their turntablism. To Scratch Perverts, hip hop is a melting pot of styles - The Neptunes, Dillinja, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Squarepusher, Radiohead, Aphex Twin, and far more.
"These are some of the biggest tunes we've played at FABRICLIVE over the last five years. From rap to Radiohead, this is how we spend our Friday nights." Scratch Perverts
Listen out for the best UK talent, a run through some eclectic electronica, and a crazy throwdown of Clipz' 'Slippery Slope', played at three different speeds. Find three brand new tracks from the trio, including a remix of last year's Beatdown hero Ian Brown. London's Scratch Perverts are all about invention, humour, progression, entertainment, generosity, and mind-blowing, jaw-dropping talent. Hail three of the greatest DJs the UK has ever produced. And the best turntablists hip hop has ever known.