Easy as 1, 2, Thre3style A DJ show­down primer

NOW Magazine - Mixer - - News -

Af­ter start­ing out as a Canada-only con­test in 2007, Red Bull Thre3style has grown into the largest DJ com­pe­ti­tion on the planet. This year the world fi­nals are in Toronto – DJs from 21 coun­tries battle it out all week in clubs around town.

The con­cept is sim­ple but chal­leng­ing, even for ex­pe­ri­enced mix­ers. Each DJ has only 15 min­utes to im­press judges, and must span at least three gen­res of mu­sic within that time. While com­peti­tors can use lap­tops, they aren’t al­lowed to use that handy sync but­ton to cheat and must use the sup­plied turnta­bles or CD decks to beat-match.

The for­mat forces DJs out of their mu­si­cal com­fort zones, which could make for some un­ex­pected jux­ta­po­si­tions of gen­res and rhythms. And the short sets mean com­peti­tors must cram a lot of ex­cit­ing mo­ments and tricks into a bar­rage of beats.

In ad­di­tion to be­ing scored on their mix­ing tech­nique, DJs are also awarded points for the orig­i­nal­ity of their track se­lec­tions, the cre­ativ­ity of their mixes, crowd re­sponse and stage pres­ence. Cus­tom ed­its, remixes and dub­plates are en­cour­aged, which can def­i­nitely help DJs stand out.

Play­ing along­side the com­peti­tors and closing out the nights is a who’s who of in­ter­na­tional DJ tal­ent, many of whom will ap­pear on pan­els and par­tic­i­pate in day­time Q&A ses­sions at the Thomp­son Ho­tel (550 Welling­ton). That means the public gets to pick the brains of big-name tal­ents like A-Trak (pic­tured) and DJ Jazzy Jeff, and also watch turntab­lists like Kid Koala rock the decks up close.

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