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Portablism: Bringing the Beat to the Street!

Click here to check out the PT01 Scratch, add ons and accessories.

This weeks blog is written by Store DJ Richmond staff member Adrian. Adrian is a DJ and turntablist, he is one of the founders of the Melbourne chapter of the Skratcher collective and plays gigs around Melbourne regularly under the name "Ghostnotes".

In 1973 a company in the US released the "Electic Banana" portable turntable, which was literally shaped like a banana, with a built-in speaker and shoulder strap for the hip youth to be able to play their favourite Beatles records down at the beach. Skip forward to 2018 and the world of portable turntables are back!
The difference nowadays is not so much hip snaking & malt shaking, but rather beat making & break scratching!

After nearly three decades of battle DJing, the scene seemed to take a bit of a drop in popularity during the early 2000's. This may be due to more and more DJs taking up CDJ or controller mixing, however there seems to now be a big resurgence in the popularity of the turntablist style, and I for one could not be more excited.

The rise of competitions like the Red Bull 3Style, Goldie Awards & Kama Classics (online) have helped revitalise the scene again and bought through a wealth of young talent, with kids as young as 12 becoming World Championship level DJs. Shout outs to DJ Rena of Japan! Another consequence is that this increased exposure has reintroduced the art of Portable DJing/Scratching or Portablism (if that's a word).

So what is "Portablism"?

With the release of the very popular Numark PT-01, it has never been easier to take the art of scratching records over instrumental beats out of the bedroom, clubs or studios and onto the streets, where like-minded enthusiasts can meet up and share idea's, new techniques and showcase their skills. This battery operated, belt driven turntable (which retails for around $189) has its own built-in speaker, crossfader switch and RCA inputs (plus headphone input) allowing users to plug in mobile phones or tablets for the soundtrack on which to cut and scratch furiously over.

Adrian's Numark PT01 Scratch (with installed mini Innofader Plus)

But it doesn't stop there. The simplicity of the PT-01's design means it can be transformed into a more personalised setup and there is no shortage of bling around to help you pimp your deck!

With brands like Innofader and Jesse Dean designs offering lighting quick crossfaders, arcade style on/off switches and 3D printed carbon fibre Tone arms replacements (if your wallet is burning a hole in your back pocket) as a great alternative to the standard parts supplied. All offering you more accuracy and precision.

mini Innofader Plus installed with Reck.LA IF30 mount.


DJ Prolifix on his fully kitted out PT01 featuring a swag of aftermarket modifications.

So if you start to feel there's an itch that needs to be scratched, so to speak, you can definitely get the platters rolling at Store DJ, we'll supply all the goodies you need, from the Numark PT-01 turntable, Butter Rug slip mats, the high end mini Innofader scratch fader and Reck IF30 to mount it flush in the PT01, plus a good selection of limited edition 7" scratch vinyl! We also stock some pretty heavy duty UDG backpacks with loads of pockets to carry all the cables, headphones, batteries and other goodies you may need to pack for a scratch picnic. Regardless if you're a DJ veteran or new on the scene there are communities around the country that organise gatherings and scratch events using social media. For Melbournians, the Facebook page to look out for is the Skratcher Melbourne group who have recently started the first Australian Chapter in Melbourne with free events happening monthly, which can often play host to Australia's top competition DJ's and are a great way into the art of Turntablism.

May your cuts be quick and your flares be clean!

- Ghostnotes (Adrian)

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