Over the last few years you may of noticed the trend of DJ’s playing 45’s. Why it became so popular I don’t know. Personally a record is a record to me, but in this world there are a few people who playing 45’s means the world to them.
Take Diamond D for instance, Many years ago I got to work with him on a show in London where for the first time I saw him playing 45’s, it was jaw dropping performance. Later I was in New York visiting Lord Finesse. I put the question to the funky man, do you go for the 45 thing? Finesse replied ‘No Pritt, that’s not me, I have 45’s but that’s Diamond thing, that’s what he does and has done since he was a kid.
Diamond himself told me that this is something he has been doing since the age of 11, and if you have seen him perform, all that practice and real love for music and hip hop shows. Last week Diamond D returned to the UK and performed at Camden’s ‘Size Doesn’t Matter’. He gave me a call and asked to join him for the show. Little did I know that he would again deliver a real master class in cutting 45’s. Diamond was amazing his skills have improved where my first thought was if I cannot do this using Serato I may as well give up.
As big as Diamond D is he is ridiculously fast on the turntables, real fast. Light fingers and years of practice and knowing his music sets him apart from most DJs who are doing this 45 thing. He, 45 King, Evil D and DJ Scratch are in a league of their own. I was privileged to sit with him in the hotel room where we prepared the records for the set. There is a process and routine he goes through for every performance. He meticulously arranges his records into 3 groups. This is someone that takes his music very seriously.
In all my years following DJ’s and practicing my self, in my direct circle of friends, there are not may DJ who navigate through the records like Diamond, Jazzy J, P-Brothers and Pogo. I’m like most DJ who cut doubles on the 1, Diamond can go from any point in the track. He can go off the 2 or 3 bar of the beat, not an easy thing to do, if you don’t believe me, try it and play a set for 2 hours, his timing is perfect. Even more impressive is his ability to recover when things go wrong. I witnessed him have problem with his needles whilst cutting up a record and swap the needles and continue cutting up the record unfazed, he did the same thing when the record was jumping. He does not panic he just gets on with it.
In attendance on the evening where a number of London’s DJ’s who with respect are great DJ’s but like my self you could see it on their faces were astonished and taken back by Diamond performance, it was a true master class. I can not take anything away from DJ Thor and Bee Shiver who deserves much props, he is one of those out standing DJ who’s mixed where seamless on the night Here is footage from the night. Part 2 uploaded soon. If you are interested in Booking Diamond D, Jazzy Jay or Breakbeat Lou you know how to reach me. Pritt Kalsi.