Invisibl Skratch Piklz To Host Turntablist Conference

San Francisco event will showcase X-ecutioners, Beat Junkies, DJ Jazzy Jeff.

San Francisco Bay Area scratch-DJ crew Invisibl Skratch Piklz have allied with multimedia Web site iCAST.com for what they're calling the first global turntablist conference, Skratchcon 2000.

"Just imagine if you could get Miles Davis and John Coltrane at the peak of their careers and have them actually talk about their insights and techniques firsthand — Skratchcon is going to be the scratch equivalent of that," the group's Yogafrog said of the event, scheduled for July 1.

The event will feature lectures and performances by scratch masters from the past decade, with seminars on topics such as beat juggling and the art of scratching. Participants will include members of New York's X-ecutioners and the West Coast's Beat Junkies. Also noted participants are 1999 DMC World Champion Craze, 1999 Vestax World Champion/1999 ITF World Champion A-Trak from the Allies, and DJ Jazzy Jeff of DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince. Skratchcon 2000 will take place at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in downtown San Francisco. Tickets range between $100 and $300 and are sold at www.skratch.org.

The Piklz, widely considered the planet's premier DJ crew, are also now members of a newly launched section of iCAST.com called the Booth. "You can pick our stuff up at certain indie stores and merchants like Virgin and Tower Records, but as far as having the whole world see us firsthand through streaming live video, iCAST is opening that up for us," Yogafrog (born Ritche Desuasido) said.

Yogafrog said he is enthusiastic about the projected library of scratch tracks and streaming-video DJ battles that iCAST plan to incorporate into the Booth, which also features reviews, news, and how-to topics pertaining to electronic, hip-hop, and scratch-DJ music. "Every crew in the scratch world will be on the Booth," he said.

iCAST will broadcast live streaming video of Skratchcon 2000.

Bill Golden, public relations manager for iCAST, said the partnership between iCAST and the Invisbl Skratch Piklz exemplifies the Web site's mission "to empower artists you don't see on TV or radio and give them airtime on the Web."

Although other Invisibl Skratch Piklz members QBert (born Richard Quitevis), D-Styles (born Dave Cuasito) and MixMaster Mike (born Mike Schwartz) will be involved with the iCast partnership, but Piklz member Shortkut (born Jonathan Cruz) will not. He recently left the group to further pursue mixing, said group publicist Tiffany Deang. He will relocate to Los Angeles and become affiliated with Los Angeles scratch crew the Beat Junkies.