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Mstrkrft

Recognizing the Art

Turntablists at c/c stations struggle to be recognized.


Not many people would dispute that turntablism, particularly when practiced by a skilled DJ, is art. But who is the author of the work of art created; the DJ or the people behind the records (and increasingly CDs) that are the turntablist’s tools? Within the hip hop community the essential creative role of the turntablist DJ is well understood. Government and regulators have yet to recognize this and that creates a problem for many programmers at campus/community radio stations.

Turntablists at campus/community radio stations across Canada are poised to make changes to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s (CRTC) outdated turntablism policy. As it stands now, DJs practicing turntablism are struggling to satisfy the CRTC's minimum 35% CanCon requirement, despite creating unique music by using turntables as instruments to heavily manipulate existing recordings. As CFUV DJ Mike Warren says, "The majority of the content of my show is the manipulation of two or more records at once, creating an output that is not just one or the other track and involves creativity that is not recognized by the CRTC."

The problem is one that has plagued turntablists since the art form began gaining popularity in the '90s, but the CRTC has yet to catch up to the evolving practices of radio The majority of the content of my show involves creativity that is not recognized by the CRTC. - DJ Mike Warren DJs. Aiming for change, a motion was passed at the most recent National Campus/Community Radio Conference to have National Campus and Community Radio Association (NCRA) members work with the CRTC to redefine and widen the current definition of turntablism so it can be recognized as Canadian content. That initiative is underway; a groundswell of radio DJs are banding together to ask the CTRC to acknowledge the value of their craft.

The NCRA is interested in hearing from DJs, radio programmers and listeners about theirs views on this issue. To include your voice contact Joanne Penhale at joanne@ncra.ca, detailing how you are affected by current turntablism policy.

More info:
NCRA: www.ncra.ca/business/turntablism/ttindex.html
Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turntablism
HipHop-Directory.com: http://www.hiphop-directory.com/Deejaying/Turntablism/index.php

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