Wheels of Steel

Oct 8, 2018

Let's go back in time! To the year I got my first belt drive decks. It  was around 1993 and I remember them well. They came as a package with a 2 channel scratch mixer included and were manufactured by one of the cheaper electrical brands at the time, Soundlab. Anyone who's old enough to remember belt driven decks will know that they were almost impossible beat keep with and as for scratching....well you'd have had to have the hands of a toddler and the touch of angel to not have the needle jump all over the record. I don't blame my parents mind, to them this was just going to be another fad just the like electric guitar and Mongoose BMX that they'd forked out on in previous years. If anything, I think in the long run starting with belt drives made me a better more technical DJ.

I'd have been about 12 or 13 years of age at the time and I can remember that year fondly as a kind of a coming of age period. I mean I was starting to get well into rave music, even if I was a long way off being old enough to partake.  So I guess having your own DJ setup felt like not only a way in, but also had the feeling of being invested more deeply than the lads who were just buying tape packs and listening to Stu Allen on Key 103. 

Soundlab Belt Drive Decks

As cool as I (thought I) was for owning and being able to use decks at this fairly young age, having a cheap set of decks wasn't the coolest feeling in the world. So the first thing that had to go was the slipmats. In typical 90's style the provided set were loudly splattered with the Soundlab logo and we just couldn't be having that. People used to often opt for the famous black felt technics mats in an attempt to dupe lesser knowing pals into thinking they had a genuine setup. 

Classic Technics Slipmats

The Soundlabs served me well, in fact I stuck with them until 97' when I got my first wage slip and grabbed a set of Technics 1210 MKII from the back of a DJ Mag. They cost me £500 a deck and I recall having to write up my fist ever cheque to send with the order slip (old skool). From there the rest is...well...history. I still have and use the 1210's and I'd say they've been one of, if not THE best ever purchases I ever made. And they're somewhat priceless having not been produced for some years and hence still holding a hefty price tag for used units. 

Be sure to check out our collectable Slipmat Section. We are constantly updating our designs and even if you don't own or use a vinyl player they double up as cool wall art! They can be purchased individually or as a pair.

And don't forget, our Slipmats are designed by us. You won't find these anywhere else. 

 Double Good Strawberry Acid

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