Williamsburg was bumpin’ when iconic DJ A-Trak hosted his third annual Goldie Awards — a worldwide competition for amateur producers and scratch artists to put a spin on hip-hop and house music — the evening of Thursday, Oct. 17.
Named for his Brooklyn based record label, “Fool’s Gold,” A-Trak and an esteemed panel of judges — Armand van Helden (A-Trak’s collaborator for their Duck Sauce project), Just Blaze, Busy P, DJ Craze, Alison Wonderland, Take A Daytrip, UNIIQU3 and Kittens — spent about a year narrowing down the field from roughly 300 contestants to 18.
Brooklyn Steel was packed for the long awaited main event to see the mix battle between the contenders split into two categories — “beat production” and “live DJing.”
What’s the difference between the competitions? Beat production contestants had to come prepared with a pre-made, five-minute sound cut which was required to feature an A-Trak-selected heavy rock sample while the DJ battle was a live, five-minute scratch and mix contest.
That beat competition featured globally diverse producers Astrallbass, Coby, HypedUpReese, Lionclad, Lord Drucifer, 14-year-old rising star Moore Kismet, Sayan and Buck Rodgers, who had won 2018’s competition.
The Brooklyn crowd roared when South Korean, female producer Lionclad defied the five minute timer, continuing to mash her beat until being told stop. The fans went wild when Columbian producer Astrallbass pulled out a hand-held synthesizer and literally gave the audience a live mix.
Both Lionclad and Astallbass were selected to move on to the final round, but Lionclad won with her unique, two-minute mix.
On the other side of the crossfader, the DJ battle featured finalists: DJ ADMC, DJ ANREV, BEAST MODE, 12-year-old scratch ace Brandan Duke The DJ, DEEJAY T-JR., downtown Manhattan’s Dwells, LL COOL DJ and fellow 12-year-old prodigy DJ RENA.
It was when the Australian BEAST MODE mixed some iconic Jackson Five with Brooklyn’s own Notorious B.I.G. that the place went completely bonkers in the first round.
He was voted onto the finals along with Pittsburgh’s ADMC who had cleverly mashed up the Chili’s “Baby Back Ribs” jingle into his five-minute set along with some other laugh out loud samples.
ADMC emerged victorious when the two went head-to-head in the finals, winning over the crowd with his mash of Lil Wayne’s beat, “Uproar.”
When all was said and done, A-Trak and Fool’s Gold awarded the two champs with some equally exciting opportunities — Lionclad gets to put out a track on the label while ADMC will spin at set at the Fool’s Gold Day Off Festival in 2020.
More than that, the night showcased a tremendous amount of amateur DJ talent that isn’t inked to a label or yet as viral as they should be.