It's been a bit of a fiery week, to say the least; it seems that people have some firm opinions about DJing, DJ gear, bottle service and commercial vs. underground.
I'll start with the last bit and work my way back. When electronic dance music first hit the scene back in the late 80s early 90s at the House clubs and raves there wasn't much of a divide in regards to underground and commercial, it was all fringe. Rave culture and club culture had their differences for sure, but the idea was the same, one nation under a groove. There was always a strong understanding of peace, love, unity and respect, yes, that P.L.U.R. thing that has become so bastardized these days but is so essential to the ethos of electronic music culture.
Electronic music was something that galvanized different cultures and people from diverse backgrounds, races, and sexual orientation. I even remember raves (yes raves) where there were Hip Hop DJs, Rock bands, and techno DJs all playing the same bill, before Coachella.
As the "EDM" acronym took over and became the commercial term for dance music things started to get a little crazy and let's face it, the culture derailed a bit. America exploded 15 years late to the party, and all hell broke loose. SFX vs. Live Nation, too many festivals, terrible copycat music, and a general dilution of the core culture. It went from an incredible Cabernet to a watered down glass of Franzia on ice, sorry that's the best analogy I've got right now.
I'm not going to harp on the explosion; it's a good thing for dance music in the long run, and everything is starting to correct itself.
So we find ourselves getting in cat fights about DJ Booth policies and controllers vs. CDJs? I think it's good that we have clubs that want to do their own thing, Kenny Summit wants to preserve a little piece of the culture from the days of yore, the way he remembers it. He makes some excellent points in defense of his policy, but at the end of the day isn't it his club? If you don't like it, then just don't go? Plenty of people seem to be all about it. Should a small House club dedicated to the craft and the sound get so much shit? I think we have bigger problems, to be honest; that's just my two cents.
The equipment DJs use today has become incredibly diverse from controllers to DJ software to CDJs, it's a lot of personal preference based on a DJs particular style. It's all exciting because it's allowing DJs to take the craft to the next level but it's also allowing shitty "DJs" to enter the playing field, it's truly a catch 22. I think if you are going to be a professional DJ you should probably be familiar with the industry standard even if it's not your go to preference. Just about every club in the world has CDJs, and there is a reason for that, they work well.
This equipment preference will probably be a debate for years to come, but ultimately professional DJs will always use a mix of the two, so it's just like arguing over what toothpaste brand you like better, it's all personal preference, but it's fun to kick around.
Next up, another OpEd also entered the fray this week, the touchy topic of bottle service at nightclubs. Again there is no absolute right or wrong here, it just depends on the nightclub most of the time not necessarily the fact that they offer tables and bottles. Tyler makes some great points for sure, and the fact is there is some very harsh sentiment out there for the more Bourgeoisie type of establishments catering to people that don't care much about dance music but more about status and showing off.
The simple choice here is just don't go to those types of clubs as they weren't designed for that raw type of experience, they are a spectacle much like a Marvel comic book movie. There is nothing wrong with going out and getting a table in Vegas and going big, so don't beat yourself up about it if you've gone there, but the chances are that's not your normal routine anyway. YES, there are some terrible factors in many of those nightclubs but the good ones quickly fix the problems, and the bad ones eventually go out of business, it's the natural cycle.
A good example is Sound Nightclub in Los Angeles; they cater to a very music savvy audience but they also offer bottle service, no one seems to bat an eyelash because they do it right.
So that's my weekly column (maybe bi-weekly, we shall see) on the state of affairs this week or The Politics of Dancing. Until next time, I'm going to meditate to some of the music Moby is giving away, fours worth! Nice one. Ommmmmmmmmmmmmmm.
Peace, Love, and Techno,