Thursday, January 08, 2004


that's 80s sophistication for you

Frequently in my blog, I refer to my dissertation, mostly how blogging constitutes one helluva distraction from said dissertation. So what, exactly, is my dissertation about? I'm writing a history of the Filipino American mobile DJ scene in the Bay Area, 1978-1995. Contrary to most assumptions, I am not really focusing on 1) Filipinos in hip-hop or 2) turntablists/scratchers. It's not that I don't find either of those topics interesting, but I'm trying to learn what I can about the mobile DJ scene which was 1) embracing of hip-hop but was more oriented around uptempo, hi-NRG dance and 2) filled with mixers rather than scratchers, at least up through the early 1990s.

My history begins in 1978 when a bunch of guys at Balboa H.S. in San Francisco formed into the first Filipino mobile crew: Sound Explosion. And it ends in 1995 since that is the year that the Invisibl Skratch Piklz formed, thus marking the symbolic transition from the end of the mobile crews to the rise of the scratching crews.

Off and on, I'll be posting up more details from my research but for now, I wanted to hep people to DJ Slammin' Sam's "Classic Flyer Events Gallery" which archives over 30 fliers from the Bay Area's '80s party scene. It was a fantastic resource to find and hopefully, just represents the beginning of attempts to archive some of the rich visual material that came out of this scene.

If you are, or know of anyone who has a history in this scene - I don't need more DJs but it'd be great to find men and women who grew up attending these parties and events - holler at me.