Earlier this week, the dance music industry was faced with controversy after a nightclub owner and DJ, Kenny Summit, declared a new rule at his club Cure And The Cause: "No laptops in the DJ booth."
This prompted those who felt so inclined, which was countless fans and DJs, to speak up and express their opinion on what it means to be a DJ, along with why it matters what a DJ uses. Purists praised the rule saying it was a way to keep the tradition of DJing alive and focus on the skill of beat-matching, while others bashed the rule for being "elitist" or "closed minded".
Richie Hawtin clearly wasn't a fan of the nightclub's rule, saying "Most ridiculous rule ever!Stifling creativity by limiting an artists own personal approach is a step backwards."
However, Seth Troxler had a different viewpoint, he said "I have to say I like it rich too many kids out there who actually don't know how to beat match." He went on to clarify how beat-matching is one of the most difficult aspects of DJing, "the hard part is beat matching. Even a lot of guys in our class.If the sync is on your an entertainer, not a dj."
With everyone weighing in on the subject, we reached out to Kenny Summit to further understand why he made the rule in the first place.
"The problem lies with the opening DJs (mostly)," Summit explained. "Many of them show up with a laptop and controller, and that's all they've ever used. That's a problem. They don't know what to connect with our Pioneer system; they have no clue what they're plugging in or what plugs they're taking out."
He went on to say, "It's gotten to the point where it's like an epidemic with these DJs who haven't bothered to go the full distance and LEARN how to set their shit up without interrupting the flow of the night. Midnight is not the ideal time to turn the mixer off, pull it out and start guessing which port to plug your Traktor into."
So it seems as though the main issue lies with inconvenience, which is understandable. It has nothing to do with creativity or being less-skilled, and it has everything to do with being able to use what's in the DJ booth. The industry standard equipment is there for a reason and it's best to know how to use it.
[Seth Troxler photo by Stephanie Smith]
[Richie Hawtin photo by Riva Sayegh]