It would be insulting if I even pretended to know a damned thing about the DJ scene in Portland, as I moved here two months ago for the infamous Indie Rock Scene. Still, there is a scene here, and not just one that revolves around giving drunken San Francisco Yuppie transplants something to listen to while they are "closing the deal."
I called DJ Seoul Brother #1 at his day job. He's been spinning for 10 years, and getting paid for it for the last four. His origins as a radio DJ in Southern California have led him to an open invite at several clubs in the area, as well as a DJ spot at Jezebel's on Tuesday nights. Talking to him, he indicated that the DJ community here was pretty tight ("I know at least 80 percent of the working DJs in Portland," he said, ringing up sales at Everyday Music. "We're all family."). So, no talking some slanderous smack about fellow turntable engineers?
Mister DJ said that the MC Cool Nutz was probably the most influential and prominent member of the Portland MC/DJ/hiphop culture, as he is a producer that puts on PoHop, Portland's Annual Hiphop Festival. In my attempts at "the lingo," I asked if he wanted to send "props" to anyone in his "crew"; He asked me to please stop talking like that. He did recommend DJ Gregarious' "cajones," saying that he would mix up anything: glam, rock, hiphop, house, soundtracks, whatevah. One might go to Lola's or the Matador to check out those said cajones, or, if one is anti-social and into making bootlegged tapes, might listen to KBOO on Wednesday nights. DJ Seoul Brother (#1) has an open invitation to the tables there.
Although the DJ says he likes to listen to the Freestyle Fellowship, Living Legends, and the Cuff, he lamented the lack of local artists on vinyl. He also admits that there is a large drum 'n' bass scene to be found, although he isn't personally involved with it.
My final investigative question was to ask what a DJ would have to mix together smoothly to truly impress him. He thought he'd like to hear some drawly country with some obscure soundtrack. I, in turn, recommended the Muppet Movie Soundtrack with The Coup: "Why are there so many songs about rainbows, and what's on the other side," with "Have you ever hurt from your back, ducked from a rat-a-tat-tat, seen your momma on crack, lived in a Pontiac, drank Baby Similac, so you can have protein, just for enough energy so you can hustle up some more green?" Don't even front.