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DMC DJ Champs | Who’s Who

July 25, 2008 – 15:59 by John

A rundown of the DJs who will be battling for — well, a ho-load of cool prizes at the DMC DJ Battle Champs on Fri 8th August at Mercury Live, Cape Town.

DMC DJ Champs

NIFFTY (JHB)

After graduating at the Technics DJ Academy in Manchester, Niffty travelled the UK, collecting records and playing gigs. Thanks to this, he returned to Johannesburg and found himself a DJ residency at C3. Soon Niffty was honing his mixing skills at numerous venues like Carfax, Tempos, Truth, The Songwriters Club, The Armchair Theatre, London Calling, The Bassline, Zula Bar, Red Cafe, Roxy’s and many other top venues across the country.

Niffty has graced the airwaves on YFM where he won a battle on BadBoy T and Lee’s ‘Harambe Show’. He has also featured on television shows like ‘Shiz Niz’, ‘The O Boma TV Show’, Jip, Stook and GoTV.

In 2005 DJ Niffty and DJ Redwood formed The Idol Hands Table Band, one of South Africa’s most acclaimed turntable acts. Idol Hands won both the single and team battles at the African Hip Hop Indaba in 2007, which qualified them for the World DMC Finals in the UK. Here the duo put SA on the turntablist map by competing in all three international DMC events, letting the world know that South African turntablism is on the up.

Niffty has performed alongside names like DJ Craze (three-time World DMC Champ), DJ Woody (ITF and Vestax), Tim Westwood (London’s Radio 1 DJ), Wordsworth, DJ Krush and Killa Kella.

SHAMELESS(CPT)

DJ Shameless started his DJing career a mere three years ago. Only having access to a friend’s single turntable and no mixer, he practised constantly, even when watching television.

This determination saw DJ Shameless celebrating victory over some serious heavyweight competitors at the regional finals at Fiction in Cape Town on 12 July, to the roaring applause of wowed spectators. Amazingly, this is the young DJ’s first-ever entry into the DMC DJ Championships.

Shameless has played at H2O, Sutra and other major venues and radio stations across the country. He has performed alongside Ready D, C-Live, P-Kuttah and other industry greats.

His preferred implementation of his DJ talent is alongside other musicians in a band, rather than DJ sets. His influences include: The X-Men, Invisibl Skratch Piklz, DJ Craze, DJ A-Trak, Jazzy Jeff and Babu.

THE CUTT (JHB)

The Cutt has been at the round table for six years. He draws inspiration from international DJs like Mix Master Mike and DJ Q-bert, but admits that local DJs like U-looz, Tab the Tayper, Calculas, Soosh, Hamma, Shameless and the Scratch Trio (CPT), Ready D and DJ Easy from Johannesburg are the most influential.

His first time in front of a crowd came in 2003, at a DJ battle at club Insanity in Johannesburg. Here he placed fifth out of six competing DJs. Although not a huge feat, the overwhelming crowd response from his set inspired him to carry on practising. At the next battle he placed second to SA Champ, DJ Redwood.

In 2006, The Cutt delved into video and, together with DJ Hamma, created a viral magazine programme called Spindle, featuring local DJ s like Sibot, Nastie.Ed, Klinikal, E-2 and various internationals.

The Cutt has featured at many events, both in Cape Town and Johannesburg, and has played opening sets for DJ Jazzy Jay in 2007 and more recently for DJ Q-bert on his first South African tour.

He professes to be “down with DJ battles because they force people to practise and push the art form to the next level?”

Lance Liebenberg (DBN)

Hailing from Durban, 25-year-old Lance Liebenberg has been DJing since 2003 and has played at clubs like Bat Centre, Tiger Tiger, Joe Kools, 80s, Burn, The Winston, Frequency, Skybar, Playhouse, Songwriters Club (JHB) and Dirty Dubbin in the UK. Lance has played sets at festivals like Flux and Splashy Fen, both solo and with his band Lour Deluxe.

He started off playing at the Bat Centre for the Castle Inqaba and the “Bling Free” events, and also showcased on East Coast Radio with Trevor Williams and PaperKut on Friday nights. Other radio features include Coolfire’s show on Durban Youth Radio. He is Heineken Kwazulu Natal’s official scratch DJ and his battle history includes Battle of the Year runner-up in 2004 and Regional Battle of the Year winner in 2007.

He also formed one third of the hip hop crew “Fossil Occulists” with Raheem the Chidosylenz and DJ PaperKut. Lance has played alongside DJ Tigerstyle, DJ Friction, DJ Cause and DJ Mattman in the UK, and claims to have snuck into the VIP Room at Ministry of Sound to have a beer with DJ Babu.

OPTIMUS PRIME (BFN)

Regional Free State winner Optimus Prime comes from a pro musician family. He started playing the bass guitar at age six, then moved onto mastering the guitar and kit drumming. A strong supporter of scratching and turntable culture, Prime started messing around on the turntables when he was 15, thanks to his big brother being a DJ.

His influences include: Dave Weckl, Simon Phillips, Akira, Jimbo, Mix Master Mike, DJ Q-bert, DJ Babu, DJ Premier, Rob Swift, Total Eclipse, Roc Raida, Mista Sinista, Peanut Butter Wolf, Madlib, Ricci Rucker, DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist. In terms of local DJ talent he cites DJ Sirius, DJ AK-47 and DJ Hamma as his main influences.

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For more details and entry forms contact info@dmcbattle.co.za or Choice Records on 021 424 77 30.

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