14
Feb
09

DJ Craze: Still Basstastic After All These Years

DJ Craze with the Trouble & Bass Crew (The Captain, Drop the Lime, Betty Black)

Studio B Brooklyn – 2/13/09


The Trouble & Bass Crew rocked their second annual ‘Death Prom’ Valentine’s day party last night at Studio B in Greenpoint, bringing in Miami’s hometown hero and 3 time DMC World Champion DJ Craze.

DJ CRAZE

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Craze is like a Shaolin master of turntablism. He spent most of the late nineties letting the hip hop world know how ri-donkulosly sick he is at scratching and battling, but once you win the DMC World championship 3 times in a row, what do you do after that? It’s like Lance Armstrong- how many times does that guy need to win the Tour de France?

I had heard his sets can be anything from pure turntablism to Miami bass to drum and bass. And I must say, last night DJ Craze spanned genres to blend together all things bass-heavy. The first 45 min or so, he threw on a lot Baltimore & Miami Bass uptempo club bangers. Once or twice he couldn’t resist the urge to beat juggle the shit out of some club jams, but like a true jedi knew to keep the juggling to a minimum as the party people wanted to dance.

Then out of nowhere he entered into a pure dubstep bonananza for a good half hour. I must say that the Studio B soundsystem had my arm hairs vibrating and I kept on yelling ‘Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhit!!!!” over and over again. Then all my wildest dreams came true when he dropped vintage Barrington Levy dancehall ‘Murderer.’ No remixes, just the pure old school shit. That was my homies’ theme song back when we were 17- we’d throw Barrington on in a car with all the windows rolled up and the bass knob turned up to 11. So good.

Next Craze drops ‘Luchini‘ by Camp Lo, giving shout outs on the mic to NYC to a bunch of Brooklynites who probably had never heard of Camp Lo, but it was still awesome. Then he dropped ‘No No No‘ by Dawn Penn.  Joygasms. Had all my reggae dreams come true? I continued to yell ‘Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh Shhhhhhiiiiiiiiiit!!!!’ over and over again. Then he started playing Roots Manuva and I lost it. At some point I found a sharpie on the dancefloor and started making notes to myself on my hand about his set. My only complaint is that Craze would occasionally suffer from DJ ADD, where he would drop a track but only play 8 bars of it, then mix into something else. Come on Craze, just let the song play!

All in all, Craze is still rocking parties proper, spanning genres for skull rattling bass and making Miami proud.

DROP THE LIME (TROUBLE & BASS CREW)

Fronted by The Captain, Drop the Lime played a live set of truly genre bending music. Each song they played would span 6 different genres. It would start out kinda dance-punky, then they would go into thrashy metal stuff for a few meausures, then play a few measure of straight dub-step, then go back into the dance punky stuff, then rock and roll – all in the course of one song. There were moments where I wasn’t really sure what to do with myself from measure to measure, but for the most part they had the entire dancefloor rocking and gave a thoroughly enjoyable set. In a way it makes sense as the whole Treble & Bass crew is highly involved with XCLR8R magazine, so I am guessing they are exposed to a lot of different sounds on a regular basis.

Also, they were dressed as zombies, given that the theme of the night was ‘Death Prom.’ So they get extra points for zombie garb.

BETTY BLACK (TROUBLE & BASS CREW)

Playing early on in the evening, Betty Black gave a live vocal performance to pre-recorded beats. It was basically Portishead-y vocals over dubstep, but performed in this ‘air of mystique’ sort of way. The entire time she stood with her face in the shadows  and a spotlight on her lime-green tights. It was like dub step cabaret. Mystery! Excitement! Beats! Green Tights!

DEATH PROM?

Also on the agenda for the evening was ‘Death Prom’ which we took to mean, ‘come to the party dressed like a zombie.’ So we came zombied out with full zombie gear- fake blood, black eyes, white faces, etc. But, no one else in Brooklyn really got that memo so we spent the evening as ‘Those Guys.’ But I must say that I was digging the no bullshit, I-came-here-in-a-t-shirt-and-jeans group that graced Studio B with its presence, that came to dance and rock out. Yes Studio B. Yes.

–DJ Rex Manning Day

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