Who: Skratch Bastid & Camp Lo
When: Saturday, Nov. 28, 9:30 p.m.
Where: Savage Beagle
Cost: $12 in advance at The Circle, Billabong and Clubzone.com
Some people don't seem to understand the lure of the lone DJ; one guy (or girl) solely responsible for rocking a dance floor, drawing only on their musical judgment, collection of tunes, technical skills and ability to read a crowd.
But Paul Murphy (aka Skratch Bastid) is one man who truly appreciates the thought and effort that goes into any given DJ set.
The East Coast DJ has been behind the turntables for almost 11 years now, making a name for himself as one of the most talented scratch artists in the country.
"I was just really obsessed with hip hop music and I wanted to do as much as I could, so I wrote little raps and made little beats, and I was always making tapes of artists that I thought needed more exposure," he recalled.
He quickly evolved from making mix tapes for friends from tapes and CDs to digging through vinyl bins, looking for elusive old school treasures. And he hasn't stopped since; today, his collection numbers over 10,000 albums that span the genres of hip-hop, funk, disco and rock.
"Once I chose DJing as my thing that I wanted to focus on, in how I wanted to take part in hip hop, I just wanted to do it to the max."
At the age of 15, he saw a DJ scratching and was immediately drawn to the craft. But scratching isn't exactly the easiest skill to master. In fact, it's something Skratch had to work at. He set up shop in his parents' basement and after putting in a lot of practice at the turntables, was eventually encouraged to take part in his first competition. There, he made some connections with longtime DJs on the scene, like Buck 65, and he began learning scratching tricks and techniques from them.
"They would teach me little scratches and I would go home and learn them for a week and come in next weekend and have them down, and they'd be like, 'who is this little scratch bastard?'"
Which is how he got his stage name, Skratch Bastid.
He made a name for himself on the international stage through DJ competitions like the DMC, ITF and Cincinnati's Scribble Jam, which he won three times. Originally from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Murphy finally decided to jump ship, trying to tap into bigger musical markets in Montreal and now, Toronto.