Craze - FABRICLIVE 38 CD
Craze's life is a legacy of rags to riches, geek to chic, no-name to world fame. He never had it easy - from fleeing battle in Nicaragua at the age of 3 to a geeky adolescence to Hurricane Andrew hitting Miami in 1992 - nor did have ever have any coattails to ride; his is a story that's an uphill battle, but a story that ends right at the top. "My mom always taught me I could do anything I put my mind to. So when she asked what I wanted to do with my turntables, I told her, 'Be the best DJ in the world,'" Craze casually laughs. And that he proved - 3 times at the DMC World Championships, an unprecedented record, and a title that no other solo DJ has yet to match. While Craze is regarded internationally and unquestionably as one of the best scratch DJs in the world, it's still astonishing to see his overwhelming number of titles on paper: Craze has won first place for the USA DMC Championships in 1998, World ITF Scratch Off Championships in 1998, ITF Western Hemisphere Scratch Off Championships (1998, '99), Winter Music Conference Scratch Off Champion (1996, '97, '98, '99), East Coast DMC Championships (1997), East Coast Rap Sheet Championships (1996) and Zulu National Championships (1995, '96), to name but a few. Additionally, DJ Craze claimed 2nd place in the first DMC Team Championship with his Allies' crew (which included fellow champions A-Trak and Infamous) in 1999 - and then in 2000, the Allies' won the Team Championship title, taking it from the previous year's winners the Scratch Perverts.
"I wanted more of a club sound. I'm mixing up a lot of styles - I have some freestyle tracks on there, some bass tracks on there, I'm putting "Ho Fo Sho' on there, I've got some hip hop tracks on at the beginning...I wanted to also big up Eli from New York, he's really dope right now, doing a bunch of remixes. His sound is like - well, I describe it as old school freestyle meets house. I wanted it to be a dance, club, mixed up sound - but not mashup. It's just more fun club stuff, some Klever stuff in there, some of Sinden's stuff in there...and it's ALL scratched up. I'll try to do the whole turntablist thing. I can't do a mix where it's just tracks playing." Craze
On top of his untouchable turntablist skills and scratch champion showmanship, the world has also recognised that Craze is a second to none club DJ - he has toured the globe over, from Jamaica to Australia to Japan to Iceland to France to the country he was born, Nicaragua. All DJing aside, Craze is also a world- renowned producer, releasing wildly successful drum'n'bass records with labels such as Virus, V Recordings and Undiluted, and other hip hop inspired productions with the likes of DMC Records, Ninja Tune Records, OM Records and K7 Records. It's the respect from both DJs and audiences alike that has paved Craze's seamless move between hip hop and turntablism to drum'n'bass - both serious subzero clique/cult scenes the globe over demanding much of any artist trying to peddle their wares worldwide; to what now sounds like club-style Miami bass, formed with the technical love of hip hop with clean cuts and ridiculously dextrous scratching, but a mix up of straight up rap, ghettotech, raw booty house, old-school electro, Baltimore/Miami bass crossover and sweaty lo-end dancefloor music, making it all but impossible to keep still. This is Craze - the man who arguably defined his hometown Miami turntablism scene, only to return now to reinvent this take on the Miami sound; a neo-genre of his own special blend of every which way club codes from the ghosts of discos past, present and future.
FABRICLIVE 38 is no exception. A rally ride though 74 minutes of no excuses dancefloor joy, shamelessly laden with guilty pleasures and block rockin' renegade styles from one of the most skilled DJs ever to stand before two turntables. Taking cuts from current darlings of the hour like Cool Kids, Bangers and Cash, Chromeo and Kid Sister to stalwart sounds from N.O.R.E, Coldcut and Tuff Crew to licks less likely from Earth, Wind and Fire, Armand Van Helden and The Chemical Brothers, this is a mix'n'blend masterclass.