Filipinos are party people, and for a period, starting from the
late seventies all the way up till the early nineties, they rocked
the hardest parties in the Bay Area. Getting busy at the center
of it all were the mobile DJ crews, friends who had come together
for a single purpose: to rock the houseor wherever they
happened to be at the timethe garage, the high school, the
church hallanywhere people wanted to dance and have fun.
Curator Melanie Cagonot
and DJ 8-Ball.
Tales of the Turntable,a new exhibit organized by Melanie
Cagonot currently on display at the San Mateo County History Museum,
takes an historical look at this mobile DJ phenomenon with a focus
on the Filipino-American DJ culture in the San Francisco Bay Area.
During the mobile DJ scenes heyday, there were over 100
crews in existence, all battling for control of the dance floor.
Kicks Company, Images, Non-Stop Boogie, Sounds of Success, Ultimate
Creations, Unlimited Sounds, the Legion of Boom, and Sound Sequence
are just some of the countless crews that have contributed memorabilia
to be displayed in the museum. These artifacts include photographs,
flyers, costumes, audio equipment, and other pieces of nostalgia
celebrating the Filipino Americans passion for party rocking.
Back then it wasnt about who had the fastest cuts. Rather
it was all about who had the best sound and who could get the
crowd moving the fastest. Lighting, stage props, and other visuals
played equally important roles alongside the DJs mixing
Just as popping and locking predated breaking and hip-hop on
the west coast, so too did the sound clashes of the mobile DJ
crews. Before the DMC and ITF battles, there were competitions
sponsored by the likes of Imagine, AA Productions, Just 4 Fun,
Expressions, and MC Fly Productions. Latin freestyle and electro-funk
records filled the crates and battle breaks were still far away
from being invented, much less accepted.
By the early nineties, scratching had begun to take hold of the
turntable culture in the Bay Area and the mobile DJ scene started
to die out, but not before turning loose some of the most technically
skilled DJs that would soon lead another musical revolution: turntablism.
Included in the exhibit are sections devoted to some of todays
top turntablists including DJ Qbert and DJ 8-Ball, both world
champions that started out as mobile DJs, back in the day, running
from party to party
The exhibit will run through February 25, 2002.
Tales of the Turntable:
Filipino American DJs of the Bay Area
SAN MATEO COUNTY HISTORY MUSEUM
777 Hamilton Street
Redwood City, CA 94063
10:00am - 4:00pm
Tuesday - Sunday
$1.00 Seniors & Children
650.299.0104 ext 32