DJ Akshen Wins Red Bull Thre3style Regionals

Categories: Needle Exchange

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Tavit Daniels/Red Bull
DJ Akshen in the midst of his winning set on Saturday at Monarch Theatre.
Say what you will about the power of positive thinking, but it has helped some some folks people succeed now and again. e. For proof, look no further than DJ Akshen, the Valley turntablist who won the Red Bull Thre3style regional qualifier this past weekend at Monarch Theatre.

Akshen bested five other locals -- including previous regional Thre3style winner M2, Power 98.3's DJ Javin, and Scottsdale club regular Jeff Metcalf - with his 15-minute set at the competition to earn his victory on Saturday, February 14. And believe us, he did earn it.

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Local DJs Battle for Supremacy at the Red Bull Thre3style on Saturday

Categories: Needle Exchange

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Maria Vassett
DJ M2 competes at Red Bull Thre3style regionals in Scottsdale in 2011.
When it all comes down to it, DJs wield a certain degree of power -- and we ain't just referring to all the money, fame, and influence that comes with the job. Instead, we're referencing their talents at controlling the energy and driving the dance floor at whatever gig they happen to be working, be it at a nightclub, hip-hop joint, or some enormous festival. And no less a source than the illustrious Kool Herc can back us up on that.

According to the legendary hip-hop pioneer and turntablist icon in the 1998 tome, The Record Players: DJ Revolutionaries, any deejay worth his or her weight in vinyl has the ability to set the tone and amp up an audience. "The power of the DJ? It's to motivate the crowd, man," Herc states. "It's to have the insight to motivate the crowd, to have the crowd at your fingertips, to control the crowd. That's the best fuckin' power, man."

And its something that the selectors, turntablists, and mixmasters that will duke it out at the Red Bull Thre3style Regional Qualifier on Saturday, February 14, at the Monarch Theatre had better have down pat if they hope to triumph during the high-profile DJ battle.

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Six Phoenix DJs, Including Pickster One, Named the Best in America By the Chicago Sun-Times

Categories: Needle Exchange

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Aaron Wallace
DJ Pickster One
It isn't any great secret that cats like Pickster One, M2, Chris Villa, and Liquid Stranger are some of the biggest and best DJs in the Valley, especially among those in the know.

After this week, however, they're also considered to be among the top DJs in the country, at least according to the folks at the Chicago Sun-Times.

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Beastie Boys DJ Mix Master Mike to Perform at Scottsdale's BLUR Nightclub on Saturday

Categories: Needle Exchange

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Copeland Entertainment
Mix Master Mike
Michael Schwartz has boasted more than a few titles in his day. Over the last couple of decades, the venerated DJ has been referred to as a "serial wax killer," a turntable guru, a three-time DMC world champ, and the (unofficial) fourth Beastie Boy. And if his legal name doesn't ring a bell, perhaps you've heard of his better-known moniker: Mix Master Mike.

And in case his DJing C.V. isn't already impressive enough, here's a few other highlights: Schwartz has also been a member of significant turntablism collectives the Rock Steady Crew and the Invisibl Skratch Piklz, starred in the landmark 2001 documentary Scratch, and has been an influence to countless wax workers worldwide, from A-Trak to Z-Trip.

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Motown on Mondays Phoenix Launches Tonight at Crescent Ballroom

Categories: Needle Exchange

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Motown Records
Stevie Wonder performs with the Funk Brothers for Motown Records.
If the sum total of your knowledge of soul, funk, and especially Motown music is limited to either Urban Outfitters' pithy vinyl selection or what you heard on the Get On Up soundtrack, you're in desperate need of enlightenment. And some of the Valley's best turntablists would love to help clue you in during the Phoenix edition of Motown on Mondays, which launches tonight at the Crescent Ballroom.

Described as a "convergence of soul music and dancing," it promises a different sort of vibe than most other DJ nights in the Valley scene, and not just because its taking place during one the slowest nights of the week.

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8 Must-See Memorial Day Weekend DJ Events in Metro Phoenix

Categories: Needle Exchange

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ultramusic.com
Lil Jon is scheduled to DJ on Friday, May 23, at Maya Day & Nightclub in Scottsdale.

If ever there were a soundtrack to Memorial Day Weekend, it'd be electronic dance music. That's because EDM will be in abundance during MDW, whether it's in the dance clubs of Scottsdale, Tempe, and Downtown Phoenix or around the pools of the nearest swanky boutique hotel.

As such, some of the Valley's more prominent dance music promoters and venues are planning some big gigs over the three-day holiday, including bringing in some famous names and living legends from the DJ world to do their thing for the dance music masses.


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The Dap-Kings to Perform Special DJ Set at Stinkweeds on Friday

Categories: Needle Exchange

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Daptone Records
The dapper musicians of the Dap-Kings.
If you're familiar with the superb discography of Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, it goes without saying that the nine talented musicians backing up the golden-voiced songstress are vastly steeped in the realms of R&B, soul, and funk. Depending on whom you ask, possessing immense knowledge of various genres is one of the more important traits shared by some of the better DJs around.

And this weekend, members of the Dap-Kings will show off said expertise at Stinkweeds Record Exchange during a special DJ session on Friday, March 21.

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Legendary Hip-Hop Night Funky Cornbread Returns to Tempe on Thursday

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New Times archives
Z-Trip performing at Nita's Hideaway back in the day.
The folks behind The Blunt Club are going old school this week edition of the long-running hip-hop affair -- way old school. The turntablists inside the Yucca Tap Room will spin things all the way back to the early Aughts on Thursday, March 13, in order to recreate the vibe and swagger of bygone hip-hop event Funky Cornbread for one night only.

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