October 24th, 2007
Studio A, Miami
Better Than: The fat lady singing on a gondola in Venice
All photos by Eddie Rosenstock
The Review: If you’re not familiar with Qbert, he is the best scratch DJ on the planet earth, zectar and any other distant solar system, period. If you think scratching is just a DJ making an annoying sound on the turntable, or a prop in a Burger King commercial, be happy you wasted your night watching the World Series.
Straight from San Francisco, CA, originally of the Invisibl Skratch Piklz, Q-Bert brought his record bag of tricks delivering heavy breakbeats for all the b-boys and wallflowers to rock to, before turning Studio A into scratch-heaven manipulating all the familiar frrrresssh and aaaaah sounds, and turning his turntable into a live drum, inviting a bunch of his DJ friends (both male and female) to jump on stage with him and cut a rug.
Before Qbert, Studio A was blessed with some of the top local South Florida talent, as DJs Immortal & Trippin of the Scratch Academy hit the decks to start the night with a tag-team set combining 90s hip-hop beats, electro, and sharp cuts.
Wrekonize and DJ I-Dee
MC Wrekonize was next as he had the dudes in the front row moshing to his live set, and hyped the crowd for DJ-champ and You-Tube celebrity, DJ I-Dee, who ran through some club music and a few of his funky routines, ending by manipulating the drums patterns and effects on Lady Sovereign’s “Love Me or Hate Me” into the next Scion commercial five years down the line.
As Qbert setup on stage, the half-full Studio A wriggled like 10-year olds on Christmas Eve as Q grabbed the mic and tried to get the heads dancing. Playing only vinyl, the Filipino-American, started off cutting up breaks from Bob James & James Brown, and as soon as that “Good Times” sample dropped, the scratch-fest ensued. Listening to him scratch is almost like hearing a great jazz trumpeter or electric guitar soloist as Qbert improvises by arranging and re-arranging the same sounds while keeping the listener in an up-rocked trance. The guy is fonky! -- Bernard Hacker
Personal Bias: I watch Skratch Piklz battles & Wave Twisters instead of Titanic & Fried Green Tomatoes
Random Detail: Turntables still outsell the guitar today
By the Way: Checkout Qbert’s own invention, the QFO. Bobby Brown videos may never be the same if these replace the shoulder-strapped keyboard.