Mixing & Cutting & Scratchin 1986 Style


Welcome to WEEK 204 of 4T! (Video Episode #30) Mixing and Cutting and Scratching (1986) https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLfrAP6IL7DaUI0i1SyqqGnz-NctppiiLN

I love solving a mystery. These two 12” vinyls have been sitting in my collection for over 30 years, completely ignored. I assumed they were one-offs from local DJs looking to make a buck, that my DJ partner & I found at one of the many stores that catered to this stuff on Chestnut St. in Philly. NOPE. Well, yes, but NOPE.

These albums got way more circulation than I ever knew. They were both hatched in … anti drum roll cuz this is no surprise … NYC, by mixing teams looking to make a buck and get some kind of notoriety. I would bet thousands of DJs own(ed) these. And I’d bet they’re two of hundreds or thousands of albums of this kind. They were great for DJs looking to learn how it’s done, get ideas for their own mixes, and especially to fill in gaps in DJing sets with mixing done by the pros.

“Bits & PCs 86” was by The Dynamite Mixers. They are Carlos Berrios & Norberto Cotto, and not only did they release “Bits & PCs” from 1985-1998, they are still out there working, though it looks like separately. “Mega – Mix 86” was harder to track down. Some wonderful person put it on YouTube (which I coupled with “Bits & PCs 86” in my playlist above), and listed some song credits, but there’s no artist/DJ credit. So I did some further searching, and I’m pretty sure it was done by Deejay B@m B@m (not to be confused with the much younger DJ Bam Bam), apparently originally from Mexico. It might be a miscredit, but it’s the closet I could come to figuring this out. Cool that all of these mixers are Latino.

I listened to these – for the first time since probably 1986, and they reminded me of stuff I’d hear on Philly’s Power 99 FM: whole sets from featured DJs mixing and cutting and scratching. And it reminded me of my own DJing. I never got this good. Not with vinyl anyway. I went through a cassette mixing phase, where I’d record using three cassette players: two to play songs so they could overlap or I could punch in phrases/licks/beats over another track, and one to capture it all. I still have one or two of those efforts, and will def transfer them soon.

Me. DJ history. Dance beats. My music. You’ve heard it before. This is about as barebones seminal as it gets. The perfect example of this is … another anti drum roll … a mix I made of my funky tune output from 1986-2020:

“Funky Time Machine Mashup” - https://soundcloud.com/recarea/nick-dematteo-funky-time-machine-mashup

Have you ever done any mixing or DJing, or even made a mixtape or compilation? Do you have any obscure vinyl you’d love to track down? Discuss dammit!

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© 2018 by Nick DeMatteo

New York, NY