DJ Czech at Capitol Music Club on July 12 in Saskatoon
I first heard DJ Czech perform back in 1996, at a Saskatoon party called The Temple. While I had been listening to electronic music with great interest for a few years by then, it was the first time I really connected with what breakbeat music was, and the first time I had knowingly heard a DJ play an entire set of it.
By and large, most of the music in main rooms at events back then was house, trance and techno – tracks characterized by the consistent “four on the ﬂoor” kick drum pattern that most people associate with dance music. Czech’s set, however, was something else entirely.
I heard drums that sounded more like how actual drummers play, and a high energy DJ that was actually scratching over his set. It was funky, infused with hip-hop elements with a playfulness that the rest of the music I heard that night didn’t possess. I was intrigued, to say the least.
Czech has been performing as a DJ for over 25 years and has become a mainstay at clubs and festivals all across North America. It’s not surprising, since his music is extremely crowd-pleasing and his cockiness and party-animal persona are well suited to this profession.
While most sets I’ve heard him play have been focused around breakbeats, hip-hop and funk, he sometimes switches it up entirely and plays house and electro if the time slot is better suited to something a little more aggressive. It’s not easy to carve out a unique personality as someone who, by and large, plays music recorded by other people. Suffice to say, he’s done a pretty good job of it. When you hear his sets, you have a pretty good idea who mixed them.
Even better, he shows no signs of slowing down. DJ Czech still releases his own music and tours around the globe constantly, with two stops coming up in Saskatchewan.