DMC Phoenix DJ Battle to Take Place Saturday; Ordinary Club DJs Need Not Apply

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The annual worldwide DJ battle, which has been put on by Britain's Disco Mix Club since 1986, features regional qualifiers in more than a dozen cities around the globe.

Whichever local DJ claims victory during Saturday's battle at the Monarch will earn a berth at the U.S. finals in early August it New York City. The winner of that particular competition, taking place at Hell's Kitchen venue Stage 48, will then move to the DMC world championships later in the year in England.

The eventual winner will claim the honor of being the best DJ on Earth, as well as a custom-built gold-plated Rane Sixty-Eight mixer (pictured above). The list of DMC world champs includes some of the more legendary names in the DJ biz, including Duck Sauce's A-Trak, the Rocksteady DJs -- known individually is Mix Master Mike, Q-Bert, and Apollo -- DJ Craze, and Cutmaster Swift.

Last year's winner was DJ IZOH, a Japanese scratch fiend who practically lit the decks on fire as he blazed through his set.

DJ Akshen, one of six local veteran selectors, both local and national, who will judge the Phoenix regional, says that the it's "like the Olympics of DJing" for turntablists and hip-hop DJs.

"The DMC is the oldest and most prestigious DJ competition in the world," Akshen says.

As such, the pressure is intense, as is the competition. Competitors each get six-minute sessions to impress the judges and the time goes quickly.

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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.