Unfortunately it’s not just the rise of the producer/performer that has deflated the art and craft of djing, and it’s not just in electronic music. Highly recommended reading, from the perspective of a veteran hip hop DJ.
I’ve been lamenting the loss of parties headlined by actual DJs. Not producer/performers who do basic eqing to blend cds of their own tracks together. Actual DJs. Who pick music specifically for you to dance to, for that venue, for that time, for that vibe, and who play the sickest shit no matter what genre or tempo. Yeah sure Mr. Producer I might love your releases. But why on earth would i listen to you string them together with some tail-end mixes? PFFFFFFFFT. I don’t care how much time you spent making your shit. If you don’t spend as much time perfecting mixing, track selection, programming, or even better, live remixing and sampling (like Eskmo or Bassnectar), don’t call yourself a fucking DJ. I’m not there to be in awe of your hotness, amazing stage presence, physical prowess, or gazelle-like coordination when it comes to knob twiddling and fader pushing. As one of my best friends (one of the mildest mannered men I have ever met) explained to trainwrecking dj years ago: “Dude. Go home and practice. You have a social contract with the dancers to make them dance. Don’t fucking DJ if you’re not going to fulfill your end of that contract. Go home and try again.” For the past 5 years, I’ve been asking myself this at every party/festival/event. Sorry, but why are you up on a brightly lit up pedestal? What are we watching exactly? Some dude with his hand in the air behind some audio equipment? You and you are equipment are not much to look at, you CLEARLY have not spent years perfecting your physical appearance or dance moves so get the decks back on the fucking dance floor where they belong so I can trainspot your records while dancing my face off. That is a fucking DJ.
If you happen to have a stack of 5000 vintage hard-to-find disco records you want to give me, I will drive anywhere in North America to pick them up. Just pm me