All turntablists are DJs, but not all DJs are turntablists – a clear-cut lesson I learned at C2C’s show last Saturday at TLA. The lesson plan went a little something like this:
Four stoic French dudes appear behind a black rectangular block. Lights turn off. Lights turn on. Four stoic French guys become four animated ones, hands now in action, beats slapping, scratching, bumping, thumping, and setting the crowd off in dance. Their now lit-up rectangular block splits from one unit into two, then to four, and finally a vivacious two-on-two turntable battle erupts. We dance.
I could barely believe it. They were making all these sounds? No computers. No drums. Just vinyl discs on a turntable, a love for rhythm, manipulated samples, and an amazing showcase of musical teamwork. It reminded me of watching a pianist or violinist, fingers fluttering wildly and eyes down, but their shoulders punched to a hip-hop beat and our bodies punched right back.
I knew little about turntablism before getting the opportunity to check out C2C at TLA; turns out it’s an incredibly technical, funky, and fulfilling musical performance that’s equally impressive as it is fun.
C2C has won several international hip-hop and turntable competitions, earning them a reputation as one of the best crews in the world. If you’ll be at Coachella, you can check them out at 1:30 in the Sahara Tent to finish off their North American tour. Otherwise, keep an ear out for their latest album, Tetra, released in September 2012.