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-The Evolution of Turntablism and DJ Techniques- by DJ Rafik

  • Location: GRETCHEN / Berlin
  • Symposium: 2016
  • Event: Sample Music Festival
  • Topic: Turntablism

The modern DJ's role as a performer who creates a seamless and extended mix of music for a dance party or club atmosphere evolved from radio personalities who introduced and played individual selections of recorded music on broadcast radio stations. In 1935, American radio commentator Walter Winchell coined the term "disc jockey".

In the 1970s, DJs began to experiment with two-turntable and mixer setups to create new styles of song structure and original sounds. Pioneers like Kool Herc, Grandmaster Flash, and Grand Wizard Theodore pioneered innovations like quick-mixing, scratching, and phrasing.

The mid-1980s saw rapid advances in turntablism, leading to innovations like drum machines and samplers being incorporated into DJ performances. DJs continued to develop new styles, such as hip-hop and house, as the decade progressed.

The turn of the 21st century marked an explosion of DJ culture, as the Internet helped democratize the craft and spread its influence to new generations. This new era was marked by technological breakthroughs such as digital vinyl, controller decks, and an improved version of DJ software that could be easily mastered by beginners.

The digital era has enabled DJs to create new genres of music and remixes by controlling their mixers and turntables using MIDI controllers. DJs now have access to a wide array of state-of-the-art technology, such as time-coded media, Visualized habitats, and wireless control, to create unique sonic textures and rhythms in their performances.

Turntablism continues to evolve in the modern era, as new technology releases and updates, accessible production software, and inspired performers challenge the status quo and produce more innovative ways to manipulate audio. It’s an exciting future for DJ’s everywhere.

Revered across the globe for his immense skill and unparalleled knowledge, 6x DJ World Champion DJ Rafik from Germany enthralled attendees at Sample Music Festival 2016 with an engaging lecture on the evolution of turntablism and DJ techniques.

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