by Lissa Townsend Rodgers
I probably should have sent someone else to the 1999 Technics DMC World DJ Championships. Somehow, when I heard "DJ Championships," I heard "DJ" a little louder and thought it would be a party—a little dancing, a lot of yelling and applauding, audience and turntablists tearing the roof off the Hammerstein Ballroom. However, the emphasis actually is on "Championships," i.e. we're at a sporting event. Kids in baggy pants come from all over the world to stand and stare, fill out little scorecards and snap away with pastel-tinted disposable cameras. They were all very into it, but rarely seemed actually excited. At its best, DJ-ing is a combination of science, sport and art, and I have a feeling the third part escaped a few of these kids.

Australia's DJ Dexta was a crowd-pleaser who had a nice way with a beat and one of the few DJs to actually get people dancing a little with a good blend of hip hop and rock cuts. Given more than six minutes, he's probably a great house-rocking party DJ. Then, of course, I'm bound to like anyone who ends their six minutes with Frank Sinatra hollering, "It's up to you New York, New York." In fact, everyone ended with their own little scratched-out call for victory: Denmark's DJ Static ended with a neat cut-up of several phrases, concluding with "I got to take the title." Static did an impressive set with some slick juggling and high-speed scratching—still, I think it was, in the words of one of my companions, "a little too Euro" for the crowd.   >>>