The finals of Greater Lansing’s first Capital City DJ Olympics were held June 26 at The Loft. An eclectic group of local house, techno and hip-hop DJs played through an ambient haze of smoke and lighting, competing for the championship.
The contest began with nearly a dozen local acts the preliminary rounds, but the field had been reduced to a final three by Saturday, leaving DJ Space, DJ Skitz0 and DJ Amir to impress the expectant crowd.
DJ Skitz0 followed opening act Rachael P, mashing high-energy sections with some old-school trademarks of scratching and synthesized textures. His sonic soundscapes transitioned from hip-hop beats into modern trance seamlessly, with crowd involvement increasing as the room filled out.
DJ Space followed. It was clear that Space is used to playing a bigger set, with rapid changes between songs. However, his expertise shone through and he seemed to know when to step aside and let the music play to the room. A combination of tricky technical parts and popular song choices left the room wanting more.
The third finalist to step up to the stage was DJ Amir, opening with a clever scratch transition from Drake’s stolen Dead Prez lyric — “One thing ‘bout music, when it hit you feel no pain” — into the original. Highlights included Beastie Boys' "Intergalactic," which demonstrated Amir’s ability to mix technical competency with smart song choices.
It was difficult to tell whether crowd numbers dictated involvement, but either way DJ Amir got the most crowd involvement on the dance floor as it reached peak numbers.
Judges named DJ Space overall winner, taking home the coveted gold prize. A total of 13 trophies from four separate judging categories were handed out post-set.
Taking home gold trophies were:
• Creativity: Rod P
• Mixology: Rachael P
• Scratch Appeal: DJ Amir
• Crowd Control: Rachael P.