Live Review: DMC Championships WA State Final

18 August 2015 | 10:32 am | Sean Drill

"Those who did attend were treated to some of the best emerging turntablism the state has to offer."

Friday offered no less than four different gigs for Perth hip hop fans, resulting in a smaller than usual turnout for the WA DMC State Finals. Those who did attend were treated to some of the best emerging turntablism the state has to offer.

Rob Shaker opened the evening, his subdued performance consisting of mostly modern beats but complemented by some subtle scratches.

The night however really took off when three-time state DMC champion Midsole took to the decks. What followed was an intense 35-minute set consisting of a nearly constant barrage of turntablism finesse. You can see why he recently retired from active competition to give some other competitors a chance at the title. His skills behind the deck were without rival on the night, selecting tracks from the '70s all the way through to current glitch hop and dubstep tunes.

Finally it was time for the actual competition. First to brave the crowd was Base Kadet. Playing a safe mix of beats, his set started off a little shaky, with some dropped juggles, but as his set continued, he appeared to gather more confidence. Not a huge amount of crowd interaction, but he got the love of the crowd with a strong finish.

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Tom Drummond was up next. His set however went in a very different direction. Composed of classic funk breaks and samples from the film Blow, the set was indeed "Grade A, 100 per cent pure" (thankfully not "disco shit"). A much tighter set technically with fast cuts and juggles, great use of vocal manipulation plus some tricks like no-look and behind-the-back scratches added up to a crowd-pleasing set.

Anyone who's been to a hip hop show in Perth in the last decade would know the next competitor. Angry Buda opened his set with a very technical juggling routine and quickly followed with the kind of party-style set he's known for, only condensed into five minutes, ranging from MC Hammer to The Chemical Brothers, resulting in a huge crowd response. A significantly looser set with some less than accurate mixes.

DMC freshman DJ Wrxit then took to the stage. A mostly instrumental set with slower scratches and juggles followed by an unfortunate train wreck around the halfway mark were probably down to nerves. The crowd however was hugely supportive and once recovered, and confidence restored, he finished the set with a great Kill Bill-inspired routine. Although this was his first competition, he definitely held his own.

Defye started by recreating and extending on the opening to Run The Jewels' Close Your Eyes (And Count To Fuck) and continued into a very technical set of solid mixing, tight juggles and heaps of crowd hyping. Defye definitely had the largest crowd interaction among the competitors. He finished his set with a dubstep/D'n'B routine that seemed to really please the crowd. Although the set was technically inspired, it did seem rather soulless and didn't offer much excitement.

The final competitor, Benny Chill claimed that he put his set together only that evening. Opening by giving props to all the other competitors, he then proceeded to tell them, "Fuck YOU!!" Dropping into a classic Muhammad Ali "I am the greatest" routine, his set seemed to be more of a diss routine. This turned out to be easily the funniest performance of the night.

Zeke and Bezwun did some demonstration routines while the judges' scores were tallied. In the end, Angry Buda took first place and will be flying to national finals in Melbourne. Second place went to Defye while Benny Chill came in third.