DJ Craze

Saturday, December 17, Cervantes' Masterpiece Ballroom, 303-297-1772.

There are two types of DJs: battle DJs and club DJs. Usually, the nimble-fingered scratch junkies who spend months perfecting precise battle routines are either uninterested in working clubs or don't have the ear for matching up tracks. Miami's DJ Craze, a three-time winner at the DMC world DJ championships, is an exception. Though his latest mix, Miami Heat, would probably do better with fewer rapid-fire scratch salvos, it doesn't suffer much. The transitions between tracks are even smoother than those on Craze's debut mixed release, 2000's United DJs of America, Volume 16. By carefully synchronizing the pauses, bass drops and breakdowns of consecutive tunes in a way he didn't before, Craze effortlessly slides out of one track and into the next. He also keeps things moving along quickly, playing an average of less than two minutes on each track. This efficiency keeps the mix from getting stuck in any stagnant material; it also allows Craze to explore a fairly wide range of styles, starting with hip-hop-flavored jungle and working from heavy mash-ups into more soulful territory before ending on a ragga-flavored note.

 
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