Monday, January 14, 2008

A winner is you.

During the initial conference call in which the Crate Digger Death-match came to life, I was offered one of two very disparate positions; as an “early adopter” of the project, I could either choose to be a participant in this initial round or I could aid in the judging. I opted to help out as an officiate first and foremost because I felt it suited my skill-set a bit better. I also thought it would be easier than trying to cobble together an album in half a day using only thrift store finds.

I was wrong.

Judging the Crate Digger Death-match is arguably as difficult as participating. It’s not a chore, mind you, but it is a weighty task.

Doc's new logoI guess I just assumed that, while a fair number of our participants would make it across the finish line, most would do so dragging atrophied and bloodied limbs behind them. I figured most of the guys would complete the mission, but that their submissions would show the type of road wear inherent in rapid-fire artistry. I imagined myself listening to the submissions and finally striking upon, perhaps, a single artist who had managed to beat the odds and pull off a real album; saying to myself, “well, such-and-such managed to polish a turd.”

Again, I was wrong.

What the other judges and I received from our seven finalists weren’t rushed pieces of ephemera, nor musical flotsam and jetsam connected by nothing more than happenstance. What we heard when we cracked open folders and zip files was unadulterated talent, pure and simple.

While I hate to get all cliché and say that everyone is a winner, I’ll be damned if it ain’t true. Each one of our Crate Diggers managed not just to complete a project, but to craft an album. A real album. With nothing but the barest of resources.

As I mentioned before, I was not the whole of the judging body. I was joined by a most impressive array of creative minds, and each found a number of submissions to be imminently pleasing. Famed nerdcore producer Baddd Spellah graded our submissions on production value, podcaster extraordinaire Tim (of Radio Clash fame) critiqued the albums’ listenability, and experimental musician Bart Hopkin judged on the nigh incalculable criterion of creativity. We each had our favorites – and widely dissimilar favorites they were – but we all agreed on one thing; D-Form and his submission Up or Down succeeded on all levels.

So it’s with great pride that I join Doc Popular in announcing D-Form to be the King of the Crate Diggers. He now wears the (totally imaginary) crown and wields all the (relatively insubstantial) power that goes with it. But in order to continue his reign he must again meander onto the field of battle. Tentative plans for the second round of the CDD place it in early April, and in order to retain the title D needs to come in with guns a-blazin’.

Sincerest congratulations to D-Form and to all of our ‘Diggers. And a most heartfelt thank you to my fellow judges. At the risk of sounded just plain silly, I honestly feel enriched by this entire experience. It has shown me that there is both a place where ingenuity and experimentation can thrive and be recognized and an ever-growing community of talented, supportive musicians with legitimate interest in capturing the fun and spontaneity of the creative process in their songs.

I am embiggned by you all.


antisoc said...

Congrats, D-Form, you earned it!

Also, I would like some candid feedback from the panel of judges, if possible. They can send it to my email, if they like.

Luzid said...

Haha, my buddy and (so far one-time, but we're working on more) collab partner pulled it off!

Congrats to DForm! Inglewood represent!

Snake Eyes said...

Well deserved, D-Form! Congrats!

dj empirical said...

good job all!

next time i'mma enter too!

D-Form said...

It's nice to actually win something for once. This was fun and extremely stressful from start to finish. It felt like I was trapped in a giant clock with the second hand banging on my brain for 12 straight hours.

I'll attempt to defend reluctantly, I'm thinking a double album made with records that my wife picks out.

Thanks again to whoever voted.

If you want to work with me just visit my site and email me. I'm free and have been for the past 10+ years.

Church said...

I couldn't get D's D/L to work (some weird looping action with Safari there.) So, I guess a loser am I...

D-Form said...

Yo Church you can get them from my myspace site too but the quality is a bit lower.

Z. said...

I'll see what I can do about rounding up that feedback, Soc.

Nice to see you support your boy, Luzid. :)

The judges had a lot of nice things to say about your album as well, Snake.

I can't wait to hear you on the next pass DJ E!

Congrats again, D-Form. You definitely earned it.

And, Church, I've got the higher quality zip of the album on my home PC. I'll get it to you tonight.

timbearcub said...

Yes it was very hard to choose - both the top 3 (well for me, not knowing the exact breakdown) of ECC, Snake Eyes and D-Form were really hard to choose from. They all were pretty good, it's a cliche but it was hard!

My personal favourite was Snake Eyes; but any of those 3 deserved to win - and we had the public vote too ;-)

Is there a breakdown of all the voting somewhere?