Hey, Look At Shortee!

So I’m watching this Faust & Shortee video over the weekend, and when it was done I was like “OK, what the fuuck just happened!?!!”

Criminy, I’m just an amateur DJ compared to these two!!  I used to find comfort in knowing how the standard turntables+mixer setup worked…  Hell, I could watch (or even just listen to) a DJ and know what he/she was doing.  But now, with all of this new technology and software, I don’t understand anything anymore.  This shiit just boggles my mind!!  Here’s Shortee droppin’ science:

More on Shortee after the jump!

If you’ve never heard of Faust & Shortee, they’re a husband/wife super duo that have been in the game since the mid-late 90s.  They first got my attention during the early turntablism scene.  Their one love has always been hip hop, but they’ve recently branched out into drum & bass, electro house, and dubstep.  Here’s how Shortee got her start:

So you wanna be a DJ?

Over the years, Shortee has put out a couple of how-to DVDs, and you can watch some excerpts from them here.  This video was taken from “Shortee’s DJ 202” DVD (released way back in 2003):

And here’s a scratch session from 2006.  Practice, practice, practice:

Shortee’s skills and timing have vastly improved over the years, and it’s because of her mastery of advanced scratching and beat juggling techniques that she’s been able to push the limits of turntablism with new technology like Serato and Traktor (as demonstrated in the video at the beginning of this post).

About 6-7 years ago, I began to feel that turntablists were getting bored with what they were doing, and that shiit was getting stagnant.  It’s only now that I’m beginning to understand the reason for this… It’s due to the limitations of the technology at that time.

For many years, scratching sounded like “Rockit“.  This was because of the “primitive” DJ mixer technology of that time.  Then Grandmaster Flash came out with the Flash Former that allowed DJs to more easily do the transformer scratch. (Most people just used the phono/line-in pole switch on standard DJ mixers to do the transformer scratch).

Then DJ mixers started coming out with adjustable crossfader curve controls, which paved the way for new scratch techniques (like the crab).

Then companies started making things like the CDJ, which added new features like beat looping, time stretching, etc.  And DJ mixers went completely digital, with on-board effects like delay, echo, etc.  Which leads us to now…

With the incorporation of computers, DJ software, and new hardware interfaces, a whole new world has opened up.  And I feel that what Faust & Shortee demonstrated above is only a hint of what is to come!!

*BONUS*

Here’s the history of the scratch, as told by the greatest turntablist of all time, DJ Q-Bert:

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