Swedish Fish Mafia and the Sneak Attack

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We've seen the #FoodDJ's trend blow up (Pësto is still my favorite) and we've seen the war of attrition on Twitter between Madonna and deadmau5, but now the two have been combined.

Starting on March 27 on his Twitter feed, old-school house legend DJ Sneak got into a Twitter exchange with old-school house legend counterpart Junior Sanchez about the "fake ass DJs" at WMC. Here's one of the ones that began it all:

Sneak's reply was simply "medium" before it escalated into several variations of "Swedish Fish Mafia," "fish sticks" and talk of  sushi (?). Clearly some inside jokes here, but as soon as the above image hit the web, it was enough to garner some wider attention:

Sneak decided to escalate and post a video of himself, making a comparison to the now infamous video of Steve Angello mixing without headphones on what was purported to be either a pre-gridded, pre-everything set of tracks, or even more salacious, a pre-recorded mix:

Sneak was quick to point out that this wasn't the first time someone spoke out against SHM, referencing a pretty heavy diss by way of Crosstown Rebels' Art Department.

Eventually, Mr. Angello himself got wind of what was going down:

Sneak offered two replies:

What ensued was an exchange between Sneak and Angello about "real" DJing and "real" house music, with each receiving support from their respective followers. Sneak made it clear that he doesn't "hate Smafia," but he also doesn't "respect them for their lack of respect for doing all the fake performing." Meanwhile, Angello actually offered some reverence, calling Sneak a "legend" when wondering why he had to air out this type of dirty laundry in public.

But at its roots, this is the ever-growing debate about "real" house music vs. EDM. All of Sneak's fans from his 25 years of DJing (about 9K Twitter followers) came to the defense of "real" house music while the Angello fans (250K Twitter followers) pointed out that SHM is global and Sneak's prominence is minuscule comparatively.

Call it growing pains for dance music in general. Call it a debate that will never be settled. The best part to us is that 9K vs. 250K is immaterial in the world of social media. Regardless of who you like, we all were able to bear witness to the conversation as it unfolded and have our own resulting sidebars.

My $0.02: I've been a fan of DJ Sneak for a decade and have never once liked anything Swedish House Mafia has ever put out (and likely never will). But the one thing I do detest is people who deny the relative nature of music fandom. One man's Sneak is another man's SHM, and vice versa. I'm all for letting everyone know why you don't like a certain genre or artist, but qualify it with your own taste without condemning it as globally horrendous. Someone out there likes it and try as you might, you can never take that away from them.

As much as it pains some people to hear this, whether it's in the whole commercial vs. non-commercial debate, vinyl vs. digital systems, controllers vs. turntables, dubstep vs. techno...if you make people dance with music that you play back to back to back somehow, you're DJing.

Now if you get paid $25,000 to play a pre-recorded mix for two hours while throwing your hands up in the air, that's another story. And another can of worms. Maybe you'd care to open that one in the comment section, but for now, we're signing off.