DJ Sku: If you don't know who this guy is by now, you must not get out to the clubs much. But for those who do know, it shouldn't be a surprise that Sku made it to the finals. As a two-time winner by popular vote of the Pitch Music Award for best DJ, Sku may be the most lethal competitor in the whole deal. This guy's resident gigs are usually wildly successful. If any mere record spinner in the area deserves musician status, it's Sku.
J Fortune: First and foremost, J Fortune gets props for pushing the edgier sides of electronic music (grime, dub step, drum-'n'-bass) in a warm and fuzzy, house-dominated city. Fortune was picked for his knowledge of funked-up drum-'n'-bass, which would allow him to represent a different side of Kansas City at the UMF in front of some of the most die-hard dance-music fans in the world. When asked if his style was too hard for dance floors in KC, he answered that his music has groove and funk to it, just presented in a different way. Apparently, he has an ace up his sleeve for the spinoff finals at Skybox. We'll just have to wait and see.
DJ Shad: With more than a decade of experience, Shad has held it down in Chicago (his hometown) and St. Louis as well as Kansas City. This DJ's dedication and perseverance are peerless. With each varied environment you see Shad spin at (and turn completely out), you can't help but gain respect for what he does. In fact, Shad might be your favorite local DJ's favorite local DJ. Miles Bonny once referred to him as a "KC legend." Few deserve a trip to Miami more than Shad. Step yo' crates up.
Spinstyles: The only DJ who submitted a mix containing a hidden track, Spinstyles lives, breathes, eats and shits music. Baltimore club, electro and dirty house were all on display on his mix submission. Spin just came home from backing Tech N9ne on the decks all over the country. He even scratched on two songs for Tech's latest album, Everready. This DJ began spinning records in eighth grade, and on Friday he may well take some cats to school.
DJ Soap: As part of his mix submission for the contest, DJ Soap delivered one of the best house-mixes we've heard in at least a couple of years. His mix kicked off with a sample of a man saying "I do indeed have talent. I do indeed have talent." The last track was a tribute to the city of Miami. As winner of Scion's Breakthrough Emerging Artists Tour contest, Soap will perform this year at the 2007 Winter Music Conference (also in Miami). With clean mixing and a bubbling track selection, he's not called DJ Soap for nothing.
Starting at 7:30 p.m. Friday, these five finalists will spin 30-minute sets to compete for crowd control and the favor of a panel of judges made up of shady, club-hopping, half-drunk, beat-loving Pitch writers. To the DJs: Bring your fans, your skills, your charm and your most merciless mix. To regular dance-music fans: Come out for a fast and fun sampling of some of the best electronic music Kansas City has to offer.