Welcome to Battle DJ Store!
My name is French Chris and I’ve been DJing for about 16 years now.
For me, it all started with vinyls. I was still a student at that time and I couldn’t afford buying the decks so I registered myself for a DJ class at a local youth center. With the money that I managed to collect over the summer holidays, I bought my first 2 Shure M44-7 cartridges and 2 vinyls (yeah only 2 simple discs) to be able to drop by the center between the classes and to spin without having to wait for our tutor to bring his own. I chose “Shook One Pt 2” of Mobb Deep (that instrumental still gives me goosebumps when I listen to it) and a breakbeat vinyl from Q-Bert. At that time American hip-hop was all the rage and in my neighbourhood anyone caught listening to “dance music” would have been bullied and frown upon.
I progressively started learning the art of mixing 2 tracks together but I was far more interested in scratching. Mehdi, the DJ from the youth center was actually an ex convict and part of his sentence was to help at the youth center by teaching DJing to youngsters. We were only 2 to be interested by the class and that was great because it meant more time back-to-back on the decks. Mehdi taught us all the basics and advanced scratch techniques. Within 2 months we were pretty much left alone and started to compete with each others. Mehdi would lend us some VHS of Q-Bert and other scratch masters and we would work hours and hours to try to reproduce their scratch routines! I remember spending quite a number of evenings in the basement of the youth center, until the last people working there had to kick me out so that they could go back home!
On a Saturday afternoon, during one of the training, a rapper dropped by and asked me to play some instrumentals for him. I had been practicing for a few months already but playing for and with someone was a totally different world… and it was awesome! From that time, I’ve always been looking for jamming with singers and instrument players. At that time, I really loved the violence of the flow and of the lyrics of the French rappers and I worked for some local rap bands, playing instrumentals for them to rap on during battles and radio shows.
My first salary went directly into a full-fledged DJ equipment: 2 Technics SL1200 MKII, a Numark mixer, a 600-watts active sound system and a truss with gobo lights and a strobe. I added up a smoke machine and I soon realised that buying vinyls was not an option as it was way too expensive and to troublesome to carry around. It was the time when CDs were getting more popular and I got myself a CD-burner. I also decided to buy a second-hand double CD player so that I could offer my services for weddings and functions and start getting money out of my passion. This thought me a great deal of things, from reading the crowd to mixing totally different music genre. It also taught me the in and out of the equipment from sound systems to amplifiers and DMX controllers. As soon as I was able to get my driving licence at age 18, I started running my disco mobile as a business for about 2 years before having to move for my studies.
I brought my small collection of battle breakbeats and scratch vinyls and my 2 turntables pretty much everywhere with me and I started to play for radio shows and student parties in Paris. That’s when I started to get interested in electronic music. The rap was becoming too commercial to my liking and electronic music was becoming more and more reach and diverse. I especially liked the way some producers were blending ethnic instruments and electronic beats. I always found electronic music a bit cold and incorporating warm instruments was for me a perfect match! During that time I had the chance to play along David Guetta, Bob Sinclar and other world-famous Djs from whom I learned that playing music is not the only thing that matters when it comes to DJing ; the showmanship and the marketing were also a big part of the equation.
Soon after, studies and work brought me to travel to Asia and I had to put my DJ career on hold for a while as I was unable to transport my decks and my vinyls due to the limited luggage allowance. The MP3s format was becoming more and more available online and I decided to convert all my vinyls and CDs to MP3. It took me a few entire nights to get it done and to start testing the few mixing software available. At that time the most popular were Atomix and Virtual DJ. But that wasn’t great and using the mouse was not the best way to mix so I kept spinning in clubs in Bangkok, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur with MP3 CDs and CDJs.
Following the scene back in Europe through various blogs, I started to notice and increasing number of DJs using MIDI controllers during their gigs. People like Surking were using the Evolution UC33e and by the time I decided to get one, the Akai APC40 came out. I ordered one directly from the US and started toying with it. At that time I was using Ableton live for mixing and it gave me a whole new world to explore. But I kind of missed the flexibility of a normal DJ setup since everything in Ableton had to be warped and locked down.
As I was landing regular gigs in clubs around Kuala lumpur, I started to realise that most clubs were using lousy gear that was not well maintained, from beer-sticky cue buttons to missing knobs and faders. That’s when I decided to buy my first VCI-300 controller so that I wouldn’t have to worry about the setup in the clubs. And from there, MIDI controllers haven’t stopped to evolve and to get better and better.
So keeping up with the latest DJ equipment and buying new upgrades regularly, I noticed that the prices in Malaysia were way higher than what they were back home and that’s when I decided to open an online store for DJs with better service and better price.
More than just a place to find the best MIDI controllers and DJ equipment at the best price in Malaysia, I’ve always wanted to build up a platform to exchange ideas and tips about the different aspects of DJing, from mixing and scratching technics to culture, marketing and gigs in Malaysia.
Ultimately, my goal is to be able to open a DJ center where people could come and share the common interest and the common passion of DJing and exchange ideas, contacts, techniques and more. I am half-way there and I am now looking for a cheap store to rent to make it happen. SO if you know about any, kindly let me know!
I want this blog to be as interactive as possible so please feel free to contact me and to ask me to cover some hot topics that would grab your interest or any other question. I would be glad to answer you as soon and as thoroughly as possible so that everybody can learn from it.
I’m putting a lot of efforts into this website so I hope that it will be useful for you and that you will enjoy it as much as I do!