Flocks of vinyl junkies filled the Grand Star Jazz Club in Chinatown on Sunday and transformed the indoor/outdoor space into the Beat Swap Meet, a treasure-trove for record collectors.
Sunday marked two years since the start of the 12-inch and 7-inch record celebration and featured its first DJ battle as the premier attraction. After a slow process to narrow down the nine competitors to three finalists, DJs Yuji, Image and Etronik battled each other in 90-second rounds for the title. Judges Mr. Choc of the Beat Junkies, Pryvet Peepsho and Charlie Rock named DJ Etronik the winner of the $500 prize.
While the DJ battle took place in the upstairs area, crate diggers crowded the room below and the outside alley as they sorted through the vinyl collections and tested the merchandise on their portable turntables.
DJs outside spun a variety of music that included reggae, hip-hop, salsa and cumbia. Representing local underground hip-hop, East LA's Huskey Radio had a booth that inspired freestyle lyrics from MCs and dancing from the b-boys.
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Utmos, event coordinator, explained the entirely-vinyl motive, "Simply because anywhere else in LA you are not going to find something that is only vinyl. Even if you are using Serato now, it's our time to be like 'let's remember records for a second!'"
The Beat Swap Meet is free with a donation of canned goods, which are hand-delivered to the Los Angeles Rescue Mission. The all-ages, event takes place every three months and welcomes every music enthusiast looking to share in the love for records.