ON THE RECORD: The Scratch DJ Academy Guide is an authoritative guide to the dynamic art of DJing. More than just a “how-to,” this is a sonic adventure, guiding readers through 40 years of music, creativity, and culture. From beat matching to body tricks, Grandmaster Flash to Fatboy Slim, the Bronx to Ibiza, On the Record is the definitive cultural guide to this art form. So whether you’re learning the ropes, considering going pro, or just want to tap your inner DJ, this book is for you.
“This book needs to be in your vinyl collection. It’s what every DJ needs to be in the game and every music fan needs to understand the game. I put all my producers and DJ’s on this ‘cuz it’s what’s gonna take them to the next level.”
“It’s time for someone to document the success of the art of DJing and where it’s going. We’re at that point where we need some kind of bible that covers every aspect of DJ culture. This book can do that.”
“ON THE RECORD is a blueprint for anyone who has ever thought about getting into DJing. It explores how we do it, but more importantly, why we do what we do. The old and new school masters break it all down here.”
“Having worked with many DJ’s in my life and being one myself, I can tell you that this book is a must-read. If you’re a battle champion, a club DJ, or just a music enthusiast, you will definitely benefit from reading this book. Every one of us is a DJ. This book just makes us better. It’s about time!”
-Darryl McDaniels of Run-D.M.C.
ON THE RECORD includes interviews and contributions from the following DJs:
About the Book
Despite the popularity and allure of the DJ, access to the art form, culture and lifestyle has been tucked away behind velvet ropes. Until now. The first book featuring Scratch DJ Academy, the world’s premiere brand in DJ education and access, explains how DJs are some of the most important artists in music and influencers in our culture today. ON THE RECORD: The Scratch DJ Academy Guide, gives readers an exciting peak into this dynamic world, ultimately challenging everyone to tap their inner DJ.
This book helps readers understand what to listen for in music, where to purchase it, how to perform it and more. Most books about DJs add to the DJ’s mystique, but this book brings them out of the shadows to show that they’re not very different than everyone else. ON THE RECORD is more than a how-to guide, and explains the DJ’s lifestyle, culture, and abilities.
The term “disc jockey” started out as an insulting term, assuming that the job simply entailed riding records in the radio booth. It was a daunting task to move from playing music on the radio to performing in front of live audiences, since people at the time were used to live bands and orchestras. But the DJ persevered, and decades later legends like Afrika Bambaataa, Grandmaster Flash, and Kool Herc introduced Hip Hop to the nation, while Larry Levan and Frankie Knuckles established the infectious roots of House music. ON THE RECORD takes the reader inside the radio stations, block parties, raves, and clubs where it all started.
ON THE RECORD delves into the reality of being a DJ and the culture that surrounds it. The book looks at the lives of celebrity DJs – how they got their start, their travel, and the bookings that keep them going. It includes interviews, useful tips, and fun anecdotes from the world’s top DJs including DJ AM, Z-Trip and Pete Tong. But these pros aren’t the only ones who can live the DJ life. The authors advise beginners on how to get going, from handling your first gig to getting a club residency and beyond. In the end, it all pays off. DJs not only influence the music you listen to now and will in the future, but also the clothes you wear, the TV and movies you watch, and the technology you use.
Musically, DJs do much more than just sling records and make people dance; they have to draw on their knowledge of song structure, rhythm, BPM and tempo and much more. Luckily, ON THE RECORD shows you how to listen to and appreciate music like a DJ. The book explains the old and the new equipment, the techniques and even explains the art of the mixtape. It also includes DIY exercises, so you’ll learn firsthand how to mix, scratch, and “drop on the 1”. And there’s even a glossary to define everything from cueing and sampling to beatmatching and beat juggling.
Whether you want to go pro, impress your friends at house parties, or just a music enthusiast, this is your book.
About the Authors
LUKE CRISELL started DJing at 17 and spent the following few years spinning records at clubs and bars up and down the South Coast of England. At age 22, Crisell left the UK behind and moved to New York to pursue an internship at NYLON magazine. Though he arrived in the city with nothing but a backpack, within weeks, Crisell’s internship had turned into a full time job, and four years later, he’s now the senior features editor at NYLON and NYLON Guys, and his freelance work has appeared in New York Magazine, Men’s Vogue, Monocle, Wallpaper, and the Independent.
PHIL WHITE is a contributing editor at Relevant and a frequent contributor to Nylon and Nylon Guys. His work has appeared in 34, Radiant, and Leader, and his business writing won a Public Relations Society of America PRISM award in 2007.
In 2001, ROB PRINCIPE, a long-time music enthusiast, co-founded the Scratch DJ Academy with Jam Master Jay of Run-D.M.C. He was mesmerized by the DJ, but realized that the barrier to entry for this dynamic art form was extremely high. As such, he set out to create an on ramp for the art form and help bring together a fragmented community through education and access. Principe is currently Scratch’s CEO.
About Scratch DJ Academy
Scratch DJ Academy is the world’s premiere DJ academy with locations in New York, Miami, and Los Angeles. Scratch provides students with access to celebrity DJ instructors, copyrighted curriculum and state-of-the-art equipment on which to learn. Legendary DJ’s take the students from the technical aspects to performance preparation and trouble shooting. Scratch DJ Academy isn’t just about technique though. A big part of any class is sharing musical passions, rare finds, and new ideas about mixing sounds and emotions on the decks. The academy has been featured in many major media outlets including the New York Times, USA Today, The New Yorker, the Wall Street Journal and more.