2002 DMC Winner
DMC Team Winner 2001, 2002, 2003 & 2004
Selekt also repped in the Battle for Supremacy in 02
Taking out the Australian solo DMC title in 2002, he went on, along with partner J-Red, to a highly respectable fourth position in 2003’s world team championships as the Dirty Duo.
First of all and perhaps inevitably, how did you get into djing?
Basically I was always into music. My parents made me have lessons and choose an instrument to be in the school band. That was good for basic music knowledge, but, playing saxophone in the school big band isn’t really that cool (or so you think), when you’re in high school. I was a fan/collector of hip-hop music, especially the instrumental dj/jazz stuff that was coming out in the Mo Wax records era. Pretty much the Dj Krush & Dj Shadow Mo Wax releases got me interested in djing. Then I bought a dj competition video (DMC best of the best – Roc Raida, Qbert MMM, etc) and saw all the equipment that was needed, saved up, and bought turntables.
What forms of music did you first get into, and who are your favourite Artists from all genres?
Whatever my friends were listening to. I hung out with the skaters in School; DJ Selekt was destined to be a pro skater until I knew my Ankles weren’t up to getting torn down steps! But, luckily for me, all the US skate videos we were watching at the time (95 – 97) had really dope underground hip-hop and beats. I based a lot of my first record buying on getting the tracks I remembered from skate video soundtracks: Souls of Mischief, Tribe Called Quest, Nas, DJ Krush, whatever! My favourite Artists nowadays are similar to when I started, however I do listen & buy music outside of hip-hop. Hip-hop isn’t as fun now that it’s blown up if you know what I mean? At the moment I like Jay Dee, Erik Sermon, Ghostface, DJ Spinna, Jazzanova, Grand Agent, Dj Cam & lots more!
You’ve supported a lot of highly respected artists, which one are you most happy about having played along?
You shouldn’t really get too psyched about big-noting who you’ve supported. Anyone can get a support if they try hard enough. When up and coming djs/artists bios have a big list of who they’ve supported it looks sort of tacky you know? But if I had to choose, I really liked the DJ Shadow tour. It was interesting to see how they organised all that live video stuff.
Why have you retired from solo battling?
Solo battling takes a lot of time and you have to be angry to battle. I’m not that angry nowadays and try to manage my time better. With solo battling I’m happy enough that I have an AUS DMC title, as well as 2 x quarter-place finishes in the world DMC supremacy comp. I took a last stab at battling to win the 2002 AUS Quiksilver Dj battle and won $5K! That looks good on the resume.
Can you explain the intricacies/logistics regarding the differences between solo battling and team battling? Do you prefer battling to just doing a trick set for the crowd?
It’s very simple, a solo battle is one dj competing. A team battle is 2 or more djs competing together. The Dirty Duo, myself Dj Selekt & Dj J Red are 3 x time Australian DMC team Champions, and, finished 4th place at the World DMC team competition last year. With trick sets I definitely prefer them in a battle setup, or , as the highlight of a show when you’re djing for someone. For general “djing” in clubs I’m not really into trick sets, and prefer tricks in the mix with fat beats.
How did you hook up with DJ J-Red?
We battled against each other in Melbourne DMC & ITF competitions. DJ J Red is the best competition I have ever had in any dj Comp, so it was an obvious choice for us to set up a team and fly the flag for Australia at the DMCs. Although things got a bit heated when we were still battling against each other in the solo’s while practicing for the teams! You would have to hide your solo routines at Team practice!
Can you tell us about any upcoming records?
Everything is still up in the air at the moment. I can promise some sort of DJ Selekt original material by the end of the year though. But, do not be shocked when you find out it’s not a turntablist style record.
Is the production side of things only a recent thing? A hobby you’ve decided to expand, a natural progression?
Yes a recent thing. I have always and regularly recorded scratches for MC’s; you can hear my cuts on a wide range of Australian hip-hop and some instrumental stuff. Some you might not even know it’s me! I’ve done some session scratching for TV ads once or twice. I’ve spun for a few overseas MC who’ve toured over the years as well. At the moment I tour with Mc Pegz & Plutonic lab doing all the cuts for the show live, and during the show myself and plutonic lab have a battle, dj versus drummer.
Any MCs (Oz or otherwise) you’d like to work with?
I’m still waiting for Rakim to call me about the 16’s on my new beats. (Pinch of salt people, pinch of salt.)
D’you think hip hop/scratch DJs get enough cred? In other words, ‘dance’ DJs can whip a fader across and earn stupid amounts of cash, scratch DJs have to bring a hell of a lot more to the table (excuse the pun), no?
Those that know…………know. You know what I mean? I roll with all sort of djs, and most of the house and Drum & bass djs I bump heads with know what time it is. They do their thing, but know what’s up with the scratch dj skill thing. Never underestimate the crowd too, they’re smarter than you think.
Could you say who the best overall DJ is? Best ‘party’ set? Best technically?
Because this dj thing is changing all the time, I couldn’t tell you who the best is. But, to be the best party dj, all you have to do is buy the hit records……………..right?
What’s the key to a good set?
A good set is mixed well, plus the sound levels are good and don’t jump Around too much. Hopefully you hear a few new records that you’ve never heard and want to hear again. I like sets with a dj using double copies and scratching. Not just playing the record but adding their own flavour while not overdoing it. If all that’s there and you don’t play too many classics I’ll be entertained.
Any predictions for the upcoming Australian DMC championships?
For the teams: Dirty Duo. For the Solo: Someone has to come out better than Staen-1 or he will win again.