More on ‘What makes a DJ Great’ – professional opinions
Discussion of this piece: https://www.attackmagazine.com/features/long-read/what-makes-a-great-dj/
Summary of article: Varied opinions by some well-known DJ names. Their opinions are largely shaped by their history and status. Essentially, do what you want, as long as you’re doing it with passion.
Mr.G – link – background deep house
“believes in a track and wants to share it with you and struggles to get it into the mix. Then, when they finally gets there, what will it be? Will the crowd get it, was it worth the effort? It’s not about perfect, seamless, soulless mixing for me.”
Reinforces the primacy of selection, derides technology as a cheat but doesn’t think technical skills are crucial.
Dave Clarke – link – techno hero
To have your own sound and follow that, to not change for fashion but to create anti-fashion in a way, to have a heart and follow that. Aiming to please is the worst thing that has happened to DJs as much as politicians – by doing that you only represent your desire to have power and discard all integrity. The middle ground is a bullshit place, a place of emptiness and only self-interest, a place for reptilian chameleons that change colour to suit the environment so they don’t stand out and look non-threatening.
Goes on to rant about EDM showboats and the lower bar that technology has allowed. I take some opposition to his anti-crowd pleasing, but then he already is at the top of the game, and will still have a career if he just focuses on his art. In fact, being so established, he is looked to as a core player in the techno world. I’m fairly certain he’s still not averse to playing some dancefloor-filling anthems.
Mosca – link – bass, since 00s
“Some sets are great to hear and watch by yourself in the crowd – you can really get lost in them. Other sets or types of music are more social. Watching dancehall by yourself is shit, although generally the crowd might be a bit more open to talking to a stranger. Sometimes I’ve just been in the mood for, I dunno, some real straight 4×4 house and techno, blended long and fluid and seamless – other times I think that’s boring as hell. The ‘true art’ of the DJ is a meaningless construct invented by the media and the limits of our language, if you don’t mind me saying. But it’s still fun to talk about.”
More of a mid-career fellow and takes a bit of a middle way approach.
KRYSKO – link – hadn’t heard of him
“If a resident is warming up, it goes without saying that you’re there to initially ease the crowd in and to leave the headliner at a point where they can do what they want, with a crowd that’s primed for it. Then it’s up to them. That’s a more traditional view of a resident and headliner, though – nowadays many nights have residents and guests who are equally matched in terms of reputation and following, and that gives a much more dynamic feel to a night. When nobody is the ‘superstar’ there’s no differential.”
Argues for a modern diversity which allows for more dynamics in the way the flow of a night is structured. True in the sense that there’s more musical terrain, but the energy levels of the crowd are still a physical thing. Though, those are still subject to variations depending on the event: bar, afterhours or festival. I like that more energy levels can be played, but I’d be lying if I said I’d never made the mistake of playing too intensely early in the evening.
Also bits from Argy, Serge, Spencer Parker
Follow up to previous post here on the subject http://infinitezero.ca/?p=1092
What makes a good DJ? Crowd-pleasing vs Artistry