Many urban audiophiles will remember the art of scratch from the days before it picked up the k, when it ran down the arms of '80s DJs to frame the stylings of hip hop MCs across the nation. The peculiar sound -- the "wicky-wicky-wack" of needle across vinyl -- inspired later turntablists to coin the word "wack" as a derisive dig at their predecessors. But scratch music didn't go away; it merely retreated into the margins, where it continued to evolve into the skratch of today. This weekend it declares its readiness to face off with the new millennium at Skratchcon 2000, a conference and showcase put on by the Invisibl Skratch Piklz, a five-DJ team devoted to the elevation of skratch.
The Piklz and a host of guest DJs present demonstrations throughout the day, on topics such as beat juggling, battling, trick-mixing, and team skratching. Scholarships will be presented to promising young skratchers as part of the Piklz's mission, as they put it, to encourage skratch innovation "through educational, moral, and financial assistance." Other highlights include the screening of a skratch-inspired animated film, Wave Twisters, and appearances by surprise guest luminaries of the field.
Skratchcon 2000 hits the turntables this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater, 700 Howard (at Third Street), S.F. Tickets are $200-300, available online only, at www.skratchcon.com. For more information call the Invisibl Skratch Piklz office at (650) 401-6900.