If you're not a DJ or an MC I fully expect you to be bored to tears by the end of this....
Quite a few years back when The Plastic Soldiers were still entering battles - Oh yeah, you probably don't know what I'm talking about already.....Start again.
Plastic Soldiers was the turntablist (dumb word, sorry) "Crew" I was a part of with Taz (who has vanished from the face of the earth...) and Shanks (who still cuts and is still exceptionally tasty at it).
So yeah, when we were doing the battles/shows etc we were always trying to think of new and weird crap that had never been done before.
Taz would try to steer our routines towards the kind of more accessible "party" type stuff whereas I would sit firmly at the other end of the spectrum and just want NOISE and blood - I figured if it's a battle then treat it that way and let's have a good old fashioned punch up.
I actually did manage to REALLY offend some people I went up against - apologies for that.
Shanks was great because he always sat somewhere in the middle of all this and balanced us out.
Plus he ALWAYS came up with something truly nuts.
I still like that classical, static, label/needle drag thing we came up with.
Note to self - need to dig out the 4-track tapes at some point.
So yeah, anyhow, Shanks told me he was trying to learn to beatbox through his headphones (turned around and clamped to his face) and cut at the same time. I could be wrong but I think he saw someone awful trying to do something similar - and failing miserably.
Shanks wanted to make it far more complex (as usual) and was trying to actually cut normally while doing the beats himself - which is tough as hell.
I can understand how to do, I dunno, stabs or something while you beatbox but anything beyond that is ridiculously difficult. It's like you need two separate brains.
Seriously - even if you can't beatbox at all get on the turntables and try it out. See what I mean???
I haven't seen anyone do it to any degree of "wow" yet and I'm guessing it probably won't happen.
But that's Shanks.
It did make me think though and to be honest, I don't think I would have learnt how to do this (down there) if it wasn't for his weird little brain.
I started trying to learn how to combine MCing with beat-juggling on the turntables a long, LONG time ago.
Way before I saw Buck 65 live and way before Edan had came out.
I'm just putting that one out there before I go any further.
My first attempts were absolutely dreadful of course and I pretty much gave up on the idea for a while as I couldn't figure out a way of doing it live.
I picked up the straight backspinning and rhyming thing the first time I tried it - It's pretty basic to a certain degree. Then I remembered the old "clamp the headphones to your gob" thing and started to think about taking it further again.
I eventually nailed it and then tested it out live one Halloween - and then forgot about it until I saw the Edan video that someone posted on Youtube on his behalf.
Now not everyone knows what beatjuggling is which is fine (obviously) but dope as that video was, it did read "Edan Rhymes and Beat Juggles Live" - which he's not.
It's backspinning the break with one hand while the other holds the mic.
Still fresh as hell though and they both kill it. Severely.
That's why I swiftly recorded this little clip here.
I start with the backspin/rap thing and various quick cut variations on that before I slow it down to a beat juggle and keep it going that way.
I've searched quite a bit to see if I could find anyone else that does this (and I'm sure there must be?) but I haven't found anything as of yet.
Post this wherever you like.
Just so you know - I'm really not as much of a nerd as I sound right now.
Generally I don't care about the geeky, dull world of scratch fiends. Honest.
This was recorded in our ex-flat on Brighton seafront.
Our landlady was a Voodoo priestess who couldn't cook for shit and collected fire hazards to leave on the stairs.
Glad to be shot of it. I love our new house.