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Since 1985 the Disco Mix Club’s annual competition has been battleground for the world’s greatest DJs. To study the tapes of these events is to study the evolution of turntablism. The winners’ list reads like a who’s who, with greats like DJ Cash Money, the Dreamteam (Qbert & Mixmaster Mike), Craze (winning three times in a row!), C2C, and DJ Noize all taking the art to the next level in those six short allotted minutes.
The DMC organisation, not short of a few money-spinning ideas, began recording these legendary performances early on and packaging them to devoted students of the scratch. Each year the winner left with the glory (and electrical goods of varying worth), but left behind a record of their boundary pushing skills.
The next generation could now pause, rewind and study their idols’ deadliest routines and table turning techniques from the privacy of their own home. It turned many a bedroom DJ into actual winners in just a handful of years.
You can criticise the camerawork for missing the action when it began, the creakingly unhip Tony Prince for clinging onto hosting duties for so long, or some of the completely ill-advised special guests (Pete Waterman: “I hope your needles get stuck up your arseholes!”), but the DMC World DJ Championships has crowned the best who ever did it, and showed the rest just how to do it.
Take a tour of the world’s best DMC champs through history here…