"There are two kinds of music," Duke Ellington famously said. "Good music, and the other kind." While the jazzman may have been oversimplifying for the sake of a great quote, it can just as easily be said that there are two kinds of deejays. Turntablists, and the other kind. Mike DeWitt, aka DJ Gravity, falls squarely into the first camp. With two turntables and a crateload of scratch-worthy vinyl that can range from '70s krautrock to obscure dub to god knows what else, he's never needed to rely on CD mix-decks or Macbooks full of Beatport downloads. There's something to be said for skills.
Gravity is also a remarkably prolific performer, which you wouldn't necessarily expect from his quiet, unassuming demeanor. During a late-night hip-hop showcase at the 2013 Indy Music Awards fest, a who's-who of local emcees took turns freestyling at the mic while Gravity and bassist Charlie Milo provided some 90 minutes of nonstop hip-hop accompaniment. He's also the third member of Mad Trees with emcees Earsiq and Jayoin, and ventures into more avant-garde terrain alongside Milo and guitarist Animus Invidious in the "experimental hip-hop supergroup" Flodignatic.
POETRY IN MOTION
When not manning the decks with any or all of the above, Gravity has also been the long-standing deejay for the local community's Word Wednesday event, where spoken-word artists ranging from Idris Goodwin to the late Natasha "ItsreaLight" Spence have bridged the gap between poetry, rap and spoken word. There's also something to be said for versatility.
Second place: Animus Invidious
Third place: Tevin Draft