DJing: The State Of The Union
In an extensive survey of DJs from around the globe, the Big Shot blog asks what’s gone wrong with DJ culture and how can we fix it.
Whilst the overtly negative line of questioning and resulting answers are sure to get the biggest optimist down in the dumps, there are a few flecks of positivity if you search hard enough.
The list reads like a who’s who of electronic music past and present: DJ Sneak, Jesse Rose, Juan Maclean, Dave Clarke, Radio Slave, Ashley Beedle and many, many more – all of whom chip in on “what’s the most disturbing trend?”; “how are we going to make the scene better?”; and “where do you see DJ culture right now?” The former elicits comments ranging from the profound (Break Science’s “No trends really disturb us, because all trends eventually die.”) to the personal (Jesse Rose: “Diplo!”).
Negativity abounds. Everyone’s a DJ. Technology means anyone can make music now. Artists are more interested in the money and fame than the music. These three well-worn themes of contemporary dance music commentary pop up with predictable regularly throughout, making for a decidedly downbeat vibe.
Dave Clarke lambasts “PR people buying fake chart positions on online stores… so for a thousand euro or so [artists] claim a top online hit.” Radio Slave laments how “dance music and DJ culture is now becoming just a commodity” whilst Technasia goes one step further to suggest that the focus is “primarily on what artists look like and how they are marketed, and we get that current general state where music production becomes a completely secondary factor to the popularity of an artist.”
One of the stranger death knells comes from DJ Sneak who professes that “music died after 2000.” We wonder if he includes himself in that?
Assuming Sneak is mistaken, then there are things to be positive about. Jay Cunning of Kiss FM suggests that DJ culture is “in a very positive place. With the advancement of digital technology the tools for DJing have been opened right up from the days of two decks and a mixer… [the] additional tools it gives DJs to be creative is endless and, used right, can produce amazing results.” Maybe there’s still a glimmer of hope?
Check out the full article here.