One who uses the phonograph turntable as a component to make music as well as an instrument to literally "play" music.

There are three DJ crews in particular who are known as the premier purveyors of this new hip-hop variant: the various members through the years of the San Francisco Bay Area group known as the Invisibl Skratch Piklz (notably Q-bert, Mixmaster Mike who is now in the Beastie Boys, DJ Shortkut, DJ Apollo, and DJ Disk amongst others), the NYC based X-ecutioners (f.k.a. the X-Men, who include Rob Swift, Roc Raida, Mista Sinista, Total Eclipse), and the Beat Junkies from L.A. (DJ Rhettmatic, DJ Babu, and J-Rocc, and Shortkut who remains affiliated with Beat Junkies as well as being a Pikl). Other individual turntablists of note are DJ Shadow, Peanut Butter Wolf, Cut Chemist and Nu-Mark of Jurassic 5, and Kid Koala.

What does it mean? It's been refered to as the Renaissance of the DJ in hip-hop--Disc Jockeys taking center stage, mixing records with no rappers involved (except those who are heard on the records they mix). The instrument is the turntable, the styles they use incorporate a wide variety of scratching techniques {there's a ton of Scratch DJ Terminology} and mix together all types of music with athletic dexterity, into a delightfully dynamic stew of sound. This is (IMNSHO) some of the most innovative music being made today.

Important precedents include Coldcut, DJ Premier, and BDP amongst many others.

Recommended albums: the first two Future Primitive Sounds Session recordings which feature 1) Cut Chemist meets Shortkut and 2) DJs Z-Trip & Radar. Also the Return of the DJ series on Bomb Records which are incredible compilations. There are solo records from Rob Swift, Q-bert, Mixmaster Mike, and Roc Raida, which I'd also recommend. As well as the X-ecutioners cd, which has original rap on it as well.

The best though is to see this stuff live. It will blow your mind.

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