The Philharmonic Turntable Orchestra is pushing past jump-cuts and scratches.
Scratching has always sounded cool, but how far can turntablism really go? Leave it to a full-sized orchestra armed with only Technics turntables and mixers—and featuring the legendary DJ Qbert —to showcase how relevant the technique still is. At a time when vinyl records and turntables are slowly becoming outdated, the Philharmonic Turntable Orchestra is effectively blowing all the medium’s expectations out of the water.
Pushing the capabilities of their humble setups, the group turns Mendelssohn’s Concerto In E Minor into something that sounds closer to twisted hip-hop and musique concrète. Live-sampling and manipulating snippets of the work while playing the turntables themselves like instruments—and even bouncing needles and intentionally scratching records—the group transforms the piece into something new with mind-bending technical proficiency and style.
Check out the video above, and visit their website to watch an interactive version where you can remix the piece yourself.