First Australian DJ to be signed to a Major label – First Australian signed DJ to appear on Commercial radio and TV as a DJ Scratching.
The year is is 1992 and Sound Unlimited Posse had taken to the Airwaves, i remember first seeing the ‘Kickin to the undersound’ video clip on either rage or Video hits. The intro is quite possibly the first sample arrangement sort of battle break in itself in Australia – but when you hear Flavor Flav on the intro shouting out Sound Unlimited that certainly caught your attention as Puiblic Enemy were huge at the time.
As soon as i heard the intro the pause button was off and i was dubbing my first Australian Hip hop music video with Scratching included, If you were lucky at the time you might of had a VHS dubbed with ‘Buffulo girls’ or LLs ‘BAD’ or even ‘Fight the power’to get your fix of scratching or DJing video for a split second in this country at the time, some OGs might mention some other moments.
He had some really cool scenes in that clip and i was really impressed with his showmanship and set out to mimic his movements on my own set, i will also add a disclaimer here – i developed perhaps my first crush on Tina from Sound Unlimited as she was like a rap goddess lol, but which 13 year old red blooded teenage boy wouldn’t, but i digress..
Fast forward to The Metro (Melbourne) 1993, and the Sega national championships are on and im ‘battling’ for my first time at The Metro, first of many battles unknown to me then, and Sound Unlimited are performing on the night.
I found myself overlooking Vlad on the stage from those cat walks they had and from memory he had 1x 1200 in battle mode with what i think was a Numark DM1180 mixer, and i studied that shit, instrumentals must of been DAT from memory. I went home that night and i think i moved my Megadrive out of the main spot and replaced it with my CDC decks and QTek mixer which was soon replaced with a brand spanking new Gemini PMX-12 Scratchmaster mixer.. Game on..
Now Fast Forward to 2001 or 2 and i find myself DJing for the original Tsubi clothing crew – Ben and Dan at the Civic Basement in Sydney and im cutting up doubles and full party rock mixing, focused on keeping the party hype and clever mixing rather than scratching. I look up to see a whole heap of people dancing on the bar and at the end of the bar is DJ Vlad aka BTL and my eyes opened wide up!
He was clearly enjoying the mix which made my energy levels hit maximum so i went into a faster quick mix mode, i also remember seeing my fellow ITF DMC entrant Shake n Bake aka James De La Cruz dancin around loosing his shit as well it really was a wild party with high profile actors, models and whos who of the socialites at the time. The place was rammed, and when the party had died down i got a moment to connect with Vlad and he was the nicest dude i had ever met from Sydney at the time. He told me some amazing stories and information which i hold in high regard,
Thanks Vlad for helping me put aside Sega Megadrive to get my scratching in focus lol and showing this 13 year old what can be made possible if you 1. are passionate 2. stick to it.
Salute to Vlad aka DJ BTL – Jarrod Fox
BTL, Dee Jay B.T.L. A.K.A. Yakkety Yak, Vlad DJ BTL