A Conversation for Disc Jockeys (DJs)

DJ's R' Destroying Dance Music

Post 1


I've gone to clubs of all sorts, Hip/Hop, House, Jungle, Disco, Goth-Industrial, Rap, Techno, Electronica, 80's, Alternadance... you name it I've probably sampled it!

I note that the DJ Mix Techno-Electronica influence is invading and destroying the other genres and dance music in general. Except for the rare excellent Techno song I basically classify this music as to how many beats per minute it has. The sound is so boring that I easily get bored after the initial fifthteen minutes of hearing it. Nothing is less inspiring to dance to than six hours of repititve beats and snazzy percussion based sounds. Now, before I continue let me say that I think Techno and Electronica are great for driving or reading or doing some sort of repititive work. For me, it doesn't cut the mustard when I when I want to let my body move to the music.

You see however, every DJ now-a -days won't just play good songs whatever the genre. They have to screw with the songs. Due to the inroads of techno and this DJ mistique, everything is mixed inorder to have this boring loud back beat that destroys the subtlties and grooves of the original tune. Artificial sounds are destroying the organic chemistry of oridinal dance music. I guess if you don't do that you're not considered a DJ! It becomes about posing and the scene and not about the music and the inspired dancing that the scene should be about in the first place.

But a really good DJ, like a good chef, doesn't destroy the music/dish by adding too many ingredients or too much of one. Dance songs should be from the genre and retain all their original recording qualities taken from the recipe that some band or musician took the time to iron out and create. If one song doesn't follow another perectly then get better at the fader and make at least one beat or two match before transitioning. The DJ should be in charge of the feel, flow and scope of the dance scene and do as little changing and mixing of the records as possible.

Don't you just hate it when you know a good song and want to dance, but then it's been changed- pitch, bpm, mixed with another song or looped over a back beat (or all the above) so all you get is a tease taste of what you really want to dance to? I wish DJ's would stop ruining my favorite songs while trying to get me to dance to their boring ill inspired assembly line beat mixes. Any fool can get the right equipment and make boring dance music. I'm not impressed by most of the current crop of boring beat DJs out ther pretending to be cool. Stop ruining the dance scene for me.

Until they make a DJ Instrument ( say a keyboard, beat control and effects or whatever) that a DJ can Play from intuition like a guitar and people can dance to the Perfromance of the DJ, then I think all mix DJ's simply suck and are ruining dance music.

There is more to dancing then just moving to the beat. The beat is just a skeleton framework. Dancing only to a beat inspired song gets boring really quick. You CAN move to the rhythem of a guitar or step to the notes of a synth melody. How about the bass funk bringing in low knee bends and hip movement. And most importantly, what ever happened to voice? Twisting to an excellent voice and the visual dance style due to the lycrics or the songs messege are crucial elements to enjoy dancing. Try dancing to one of the instruments in a song besides the main beat sometime and see how much it frees your movement and makes you feel wonderful! Try it. Dance to the melody, not the beat. The melody goes with the beat so everything will be in time. Of course you'll have to find real dance music at a real club to do this. Good Luck.

The trouble is, this DJ mix thing has invaded all styles. The only protection left, and this is also quickly eroding away, is gothic-industrial, disco and 80s dancing. However, I'm hearing disco songs being stripped of their groove and mixed to techno beats. 80s songs (not as often) being mixed with a fast bpm. And, even gothic-industrial is slowly going techno electroinic and only beat inspired.

Please, if any DJ's read this. Consider taking a more elegant approach and allowing recordings to reatains some of their organic fabric. Think about flow... Maybe work a good techno beat in and then let it go and play a good song pure, choose dance songs with vocals and a theme. Open up your ears to some music that at first glance you wouldn't think are good dance tune. ("All We Need From You" by Boys against Grils for instance... or "Common People" by Pulp) These are dance songs that let you become part of their theme on the dance floor.

Being a DJ is like being a Lover. Don't just do the missionary position and just vary your speed, try different positions. Move the people on the dance floor through different songs and emotions. The worst DJ is like a guy with no control. Just BBBBBBand and done. A good lover is not one dimensional.

Maybe I'm old school (A decade and a half of clubbing) but take some wisdom from me and maybe you can create a whole new scene. Oh and by the way: If anybody can invent a DJ instrument similar to playing guitar and create dance songs live- THEN ILL CONSIDER YOU A REAL DJ IN THE MIX GENRE. Otherwise- Kick it pure style or get off the decks!


DJ's R' Destroying Dance Music

Post 2


I agree!!
I like clubbing and dance music. But I know exactly what you mean when a sample that you really like gets screwed up into some sort of crap new mix that isn't half as good as the original. Saying that though, I have heard some wicked tracks that sound better than the original. (Pure pleasure seeker and anything else by moloko allways sounds good when mixed. I haven't a clue why)

DJ's R' Destroying Dance Music

Post 3


.....free partys, hard edged underground dj's ripping out twisted
techno for lets face it, drug users, where theres ecstacy there will be the need of the "swimming pool" of repetitive beats for all the chemical heads out there, in fact even in the realms of so called vynbal butchers there are some very tallented dj's sculpting the sound and making something MORE out of thier white labels.....have to stress in this brief message that i do not listen to j-jools or p-tong....I am a free party raver, sound systems, generators etc.....each to his own mate.....You obiously havent been stomping since castle morten like me, original; raver since 85' south circular partys....f.s.o.l etc.....and as an old skool raver thats worked and played in the industry i find your views very anal.....nine.bar.

DJ's R' Dance Music

Post 4

Shallow Thought

As A DJ I sympathize and understand your assertion that DJ's are screwing the atmosphere up more than they contribute, all of that excessive mixing and headphone clutching can be more than a little irritating when the DJ has just stomped all over a perfectly good song in the hope of impressing the inebriated young lady to his left.
There is a new breed of headstrong DJ creaping up through the ranks, I dont believe we have been pigeon holed with some naff name yet, but the basic idea is to play music that stands on its own. The days of excessive mixing are numbered if we have our way, mixing is a pre-requisite for any proffesional DJ but it is not what DJing is about, or shouldnt be. I believe the majority of the club hopping public would be far more pleased with a DJ who concentrates on the music first and the mixing second. These are my thoughts and I think I may be onto some thing. The people who hear me and my co-conspirators play frequently become firm converts to the DJing that gets back to the music.

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