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DJs of the Seventies
Related: Larry Levan | David Mancuso | DJ KoolHerc | Walter Gibbons RIP | Kenny Carpenter | Ken Collier | Nicky Siano | Afrika Bambaata | Francis Grasso | Tee Scott | Frankie Knuckles | Francois Kevorkian | Ron Hardy
Last Night a DJ Saved my Life (1999)
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"In the seventies, when clubs only needed one DJ, that DJ was in a position to make waves. And in cities where the clubs were usually soundtracked by jukeboxes, those waves could become a storm. "
As a DJ, Larry Levan had an impeccable sense of style and taste and his landmark work in the studio led to the first whole album concept where the DJ/(re)mixer gets top billing over the original artist. Larry has mixed around 80 songs for 15+ labels. Quite a number of today's most successful producers and DJs credit their first exposure to Larry's music at The Garage as a moment that changed their lives forever and inspired their whole careers...
But before Larry Levan there was Kool Herc who by most accounts was the first DJ to buy two copies of the same record for just a 15-second break (rhythmic instrumental segment) in the middle. By mixing back and forth between the two copies he was able to double, triple, or indefinitely extend the break. In so doing, Herc effectively deconstructed and reconstructed so-called found sound, using the turntable as a musical instrument.
Ron Hardy When Ron Hardy, who had begun DJing in 1974 took over the decks at The Music Box on the south side of Chicago,he pioneered a different sound; Hardy's mix of disco, European electronica, industrial and alternative sounds was spiced with tape edits which he would manipulate and pause by hand. The Music Box became known as a rough, wild and hedonistic club it was here that the straight black crowds from the south side caught the bug.
Tee Scott Tee Scott was the first of modern DJs. He started DJing in the early seventies, the 12" record wasn't even around yet. Tee Scott got his break at New York club Better Days, where he installed his own sound system. He is often compared to and mentioned with his friend Larry Levan. Together, they laid the foundations of club culture and started a great tradition still carried on until today in clubs like the Loft, Shelter and Body and Soul
Francis Grasso: White DJ Francis Grasso invented the technique of `slip-cueing': holding the disc with his thumb whilst the turntable whirled beneath, insulated by a felt pad. He'd locate with an earphone the best spot to make the splice, then release the next side precisely on the beat...His tour de force was playing two records simultaneously for as long as two minutes at a stretch.
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