The Most Iconic DJ

WashYourHands

Cat Malogen
Simon DK could blend pinnacle of choon selection with the odd mix wreck then commence straight to cutting in next track. Decay/disco king

He could also nail harmonics, tune after tune on his own, for 10 hours

It’s all cliched in that Danny Rampling is never going to stand up to any degree of criticism is he. I can imagine him and Jeremy Deller at a bbq, spraffing over cliches and Rampling offering Deller an o.g white dove, get right on one matey and they turn out to be duds
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
part of the problem with that rampling mix though isn't the sloppy transitions but sloppy transitions married to some of the shittest baitist dance crap from that era. pete tong hurp durp. Rubbish, it really is.

I didn't listen to the mix but yeah that's obviously gonna be a bigger problem.

I'm not a natural house dj so I don't mess about with harmonic blends. I'm dissonant by nature, I like the bizarre tonalities in hardcore and mixing discordant techno/industrial.

I can mix house but even then its bound to be vocal free and/or vocally dubbed out, because that makes for great cutting up.

When I was dj-ing in Porto this guy I was playing with was laughing at me cos of the way that often I mix one in and then instead of slowly and carefully taking the other one out bit by bit so it's seamless, I just kinda rip it out when I feel like it... put the fader down to zero in one go or even just stop on the turntable. To him that is wrong, I suppose he thinks that the dj should be aiming to hide any evidence of a transition happening.

But I like it that way cos - obviously - the beat carries on and people can dance along, but at the same time you have this kinda rough change, instead of just a continuous thing you know something is happening, there is an ugly noticeable thing happening to get your teeth into. I don't feel that the aim should necessarily be to create one really long bit of music that ends up sounding like one song, the music I play tends to be raw and spiky why do I have to create smooth transitions for it?
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
I guess it's a bit like a punk band... to what extent does the band sound like that cos they genuinely despise virtuosity and technique, and how much of it is down to the fact that they are shit musicians and they made up that story to excuse that?

I mean, for me I know for sure that I would never be able to be some kind of machine whose every mix is completely flawless and executed exactly as planned for hours on end. Luckily I do genuinely prefer (for myself) a very raw kind of mixing that doesn't require that level of technical ability - I don't tend to hold them together for ages and I like it if it feels somewhat aggressive. Even just to bang it straight in sometimes, I really don't want the whole set the same speed so every four or five tunes I switch the tempo completely.

I guess I realised that I was never going to be some kind of mixing virtuoso about ten seconds after I first bought decks, it was something that I really truly wanted learn how to do and I put loads of time into it, I was between jobs at the time and I would spend all fucking day trying and trying to figure it out - and then my girlfriend would just roll in from uni and have a quick play on the things ("what does this do?) and make more progress in those ten minutes than I had all day.

But, so be it, I try to make that into a virtue. But to be clear @WashYourHands I'm not at all saying that's the only way. I got another friend here who is from a kinda house background but he's had a sort of punky (for want of a better word) awaking and now he's suddenly militantly against long blends... I'll never be like that. Big part of the fun is that there are so many ways to do it. Weirdly the other day I started talking to my dad about beat-matching and we sort of bonded over it for the first time in like twenty years, he obviously had no idea at all about any of this stuff and I had to give him a kind of potted history of dance music or dj-ing and he actually got quite into it. Cos I suppose, if you've simply never thought about it before, as far as you're concerned it's just guy putting records on and then you ask a few questions and you learn all this stuff that was completely new to you about beat-matching, scratching, twelve inch singles, breaks etc etc it can be a rabbit hole that is fun to fall down I suppose.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
There are few things more boring than a Dj set that‘s a couple of hours of unbroken 4x4 beats with bits of tunes drifting in and out. You need breakdowns, teasing intros, clangs
That's what I reckon and I reckon that if you have one record playing and you mix the new one in, on time, all done correctly... and then just press stop say on the one that is going out it's the best of both worlds in that you're getting this roughness but you are preserving the beat.
 
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IdleRich

IdleRich
I've seen DJs saying stuff like "I really like this tune but it's too slow for me so I can't play it" - I think, yeah you fucking can you twat. Just fucking play it, the sky won't fall in if you don't match the beats. Cos surely beat-matching is a tool that you use to make your set better, it's not the aim in itself. In fact, I always think it's something you have to be really careful about - letting the mixing rule the selecting too much. I certainly found that when I practised and got better at beat-matching there was a danger that I could start thinking about it too much and letting it rule what I played. And I've always thought that people who like what I play (there are a few of them out there!) like the way that it's varied and rough and if I was not careful I could lose that by gravitating too much to the same tempo and smoothing out the very thing that hopefully made me interesting*

Cos if you've totally figured out beat-matching then it's just easy, you can just put on tune after tune on without really thinking about what you're gonna do. But with Liza, say, who barely mixes at all she thinks of a different way of combining every record that she puts on, so she is constantly facing a challenge of how to make the new record work with the previous one at every transition. And I think she's really good at doing that and it's cool to see and it would be a shame if she ever stopped doing that.

*and then I would be tending more and more towards being an approaching competent workaday DJ with less and less interesting tunes, who wuld want to see that?
 
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IdleRich

IdleRich
Do we know Paris Hilton's mixing style by the way? Is she one for super long smooth blends on her rotary mixer? Or does she brutally slam in the new tune in such a way that it just crashes physically into your body, forcing you into an irresistible hypnotic techno trance? Certainly I do remember reading that her favourite tune was Walk On Bass by C-Tank.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
I see that said quite often these days. And it's quite a weird thing cos for years a load of people made out like it was really important and ultimately almost the most important part of dj-ing and, from where we are sat now, it kinda looks like they were talking bollocks doesn't it? Or maybe they were just mistaken, I'm not saying there was any particular intent to mislead going on, I don't know either way. But honestly if you go to a club about half the people there won't even notice if it's mixed or not, and if it is I don't think people give that much of a fuck about it, when was the last time you were dancing in a club and someone said "Wow that was an incredible mix!" - that never happens does it? I do remember a few years ago in fact chatting with one of my friends and he said that he thought that in a few years mixing would totally fall out of favour and that people would look back at this era where people would go to a club and dance all night to essentially the same tempo, as a kind of weird collective madness. That it would be seen as this strange aberration in the history of music. And I wouldn't say that he has been proven totally right yet, but it does feel as though things are moving in the direction that would lead to him being right.

Historians and sociologists will look back at it and I can imagine a documentary on the subject, in fact I can already hear the voice over in my head "it might seem very strange to us now but in the 90s and early 2,000s....."

Or at school "But sir, didn't they get bored after hours and hours of this stuff? How come they kept dancing for hours?"

If you're a dj you do sort of wonder what the point is in doing it, if you're doing it well no cunt notices apart from some sad fucking geek from dissensus or something, yet, if you fuck up and do a proper trainwreck every single person there will notice, where's the upside? How many things are there like that where if you do it right most people without some kind of expertise can't even tell, but at the same time, if you fuck up, even the dumbest person there will hear and will probably point at you and do some annoying gesture.

One thing though, it is fun, it is satisfying when you get it right and do one you're happy with, I reckon that that was what happened, djs just really liked doing it and they spread a rumour that you can't enjoy yourself in a nightclub unless there is loads of mixing and they swap the basslines around for some of songs.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
I see that said quite often these days. And it's quite a weird thing cos for years a load of people made out like it was really important and ultimately almost the most important part of dj-ing and, from where we are sat now, it kinda looks like they were talking bollocks doesn't it? Or maybe they were just mistaken, I'm not saying there was any particular intent to mislead going on, I don't know either way. But honestly if you go to a club about half the people there won't even notice if it's mixed or not, and if it is I don't think people give that much of a fuck about it, when was the last time you were dancing in a club and someone said "Wow that was an incredible mix!" - that never happens does it?
Actually, maybe it does depend on the type of music here. I kinda had house/techno or something like that in mind - they are scenes where obviously mixing has been deemed an important part of it since its inception, but it's not quite central like with hiphop turntablism. And I feel that I go to hear that kind of music played i's pretty rare for people to talk about the technical ability of the dj... or, I'm not saying it right, at the end of the night they might go "He was tight" or "her mixing was fast" or whatever, but I rarely hear in the moment "oh that mix was so cool" or anything like that.

And you know turntablism type things, if you go to a night to see them doing a scratch battle type thing... well, you're obviously a complete moron so who cares what you think.

But with stuff inbetween like DJ Assault maybe you do get people at the night going "wow that was fucking cool" or "How did he get that bit where he kept saying pussy to synch up so beautifully with the other voice going motherfucking bitch?"
 

WashYourHands

Cat Malogen
there’s loads of software, fling anything on/together, call it art

for all its many flaws DJHistory had a few riotous threads on this subject, over focus on clubs, Mark Fell performance wank, was Mancuso a bit of a cunt, was Alfredo secretly in league with Sheffield Utd’s firm, why are the first 90 seconds of nearly every house track formatted the same, was Weatherall at The Orbit against the spirit of balearic, what even was Balearic
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
Actually that is another point I completely forgot, why bother learning to match beats by ear when you can get the software to do it for you?
Just to be clear, that may read as sarcastic but it's actually a genuine question.

Although I did have a friend in London who decided he wanted to be a DJ and he bought a controller and then, what he'd do is, we'd often end up at afters at his when a club finished, and he'd kinda encourage people to put tunes on youtube while we all sat there doing lines and (I can't remember specifically but I assume) having really interesting, witty and deep conversations ranging over all sorts of topics such as politics, art, philosophy (the real kind, not what Ollie dismissively labels "pillosophy" which arises when foolish hipster types take ecstasy and talk bollocks) and so on. Anyway, he saved all the tunes that people put on and then he would DJ using all the tunes he hoovered up from his mates at afters and with the machine putting the files together for him. That didn't seem quite right to me somehow... I mean that really was putting the absolute minimum amount of work into the whole thing.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
It's a doggy dog world

Indeed it is, but I dunno how much dogigng he did with his low quality download collection of random selections from whoever happened to pass through his house and stick something on youtube...

In fact this guy came to visit us in Lisbon. His visit coincided with a night that Liza and I were doing at a venue called Eka Palace. It's a kinda dodgy place with a sort of squat party vibe, and at that point it was the main carry-on type venue in Lisbon in that every Friday and Saturday it had two nights, the first would be midnight until six and the second was from 6am to 1pm or so. And basically everyone who still wanted to party in the morning in Lisbon would tend to rock up there. It had three rooms; one was a dark space with the turntables and a space for dancing, the second room was the bar, and the third was pretty much used for buying, selling and taking drugs as far as I could tell.

Anyway, we had somehow managed to wangle a night there despite being new in Lisbon, but we had the first night, from midnight until six - and it was really a bit of a waste of time cos people only saw this venue as an after-party venue and, although the latter party was pretty much guaranteed packed out, almost no-one came there during the night. But in another way it was kinda good cos people would start rocking up for the latter party from about four or five am and cos we were still in charge at that point and we took the money from the door until six am it was actually quite lucrative for us.

We only did it a few times but what happened each time was that we would get there about midnight and just sit there putting records on in this pretty big empty club for several hours with almost no-one there at all except the odd friend. From about four am people would start dribbling in and for the last hour or so it would actually be a lot of fun, there were a load of drugged up nutters wanting to party and it was kinda cool to play somewhat left field music to these guys. And also, the place was big enough that we usually ended taking four or five hundred euros on the door.

So it was a strange night that in a way almost made me feel guilty as we did no real work, had fun playing to a crowd that wasn't ours and took a ridiculously high sum (for Portugal) on the door. Of course waiting in the empty club for four hours or so at the start was kinda boring of course, but we always had a few friends there and had a few beers, it was ok.

And then, like I said, our friend came to stay with us for a few days. And we said "Oh, by the way, while you're here we're doing this night at Eka Palace if you wanna come along" and he said "You know what, I just happen to have brought my controller with me, do you reckon I could do the warm up?"

Just happened to bring your controller eh? That is literally the least surprising thing that has ever happened in my entire life. And in fact from this point every single thing is entirely predictable. He wants to do the warm-up, I don't really give a fuck, like I say no-one is there at that time, what does it matter who plays to an empty room? Liza is of courser much more resistant, she thinks he'll still find some way to fuck it up. Whatever, in the end we say "Look mate, you can do the warm-up, you can play from 1200 until 0300, but honestly, there is gonna be no-one there, no-one. That's not an exaggeration or a figure of speech or anything like that, it's just me telling you that there will be no-one there until 4am, so if you want to you can play until three... just keep it chilled and don't piss off the bar-staff. And the thing is right, at the end there will be an hour, maybe ninety minutes when some people come and we're gonna be playing then. Cos it's our night and we wangled this venue and did the posters and whatever, all the work involved has come from us and there is gonna be a small amount of fun to be had at the end of the night. At that point we're gonna be playing so please don't ask to play, no emotional blackmail about how there was no-one there when you played, none of that I've got this one tune that will really kill it now business, just please don't ask me to play at the end."

And so he's like "Yeah, great, I won't let you down guys" - and straight away I knew it was gonna be a problem of course. I'm saying "Honestly mate it's not like that, there will be NO-ONE there while you play, don't think about it too much, it will be a waste of time, please, just relax".

But by now the damage is done, I cannot get any sense into him, in fact for the next few days until the party it's impossible to talk to him cos he's wrapped up in his laptop with his headphones in, meticulously crafting every single beat of his three hour set. I can fucking see it in his head, this one will win the crowd and this one draw them to the dancefloor and then a bit of drum n bass will be a curveball for them... and I keep saying that there is no point doing this, no tune will make the venue magically fill up. The only thing is just keep it chilled out, whatever you do don't play loads of boshing stuff cos it sounds stupid when there is no-one here, please just play three hours of chilled out music, have a few beers and then watch us play and have a dance, I dunno, just please relax. But nothing penetrates now he's totally in the world where he is a superstar dj and he has to make sure this set is perfect or his career could be destroyed. He barely talks to us "Sorry guys, should go to my room and work on my set" - it's really mad that I can't get through to him, he's nodding to say he understands but I know h'es gonna be surprised when there is no-one there and he's gonna be upset when I won't let him play at the end when he inevitably asks despite promising not to...

So, predictably enough he tries to play a boshing dancefloor set which we have to tell him to slow down... several times. Obviously he's both surprised and annoyed that there is no-one there for his set, and when he sees how busy it is for the last hour and a half and how much fun it is to DJ he asks twice if he can play for "just half an hour" which pissed me off for a real in fact.
 

thirdform

Well-known member
there’s loads of software, fling anything on/together, call it art

for all its many flaws DJHistory had a few riotous threads on this subject, over focus on clubs, Mark Fell performance wank, was Mancuso a bit of a cunt, was Alfredo secretly in league with Sheffield Utd’s firm, why are the first 90 seconds of nearly every house track formatted the same, was Weatherall at The Orbit against the spirit of balearic, what even was Balearic

lol tried to look on archiveorg for the balearic threads. No dice. is riotous flamenco balearic?
 

catalog

Well-known member
Indeed it is, but I dunno how much dogigng he did with his low quality download collection of random selections from whoever happened to pass through his house and stick something on youtube...

In fact this guy came to visit us in Lisbon. His visit coincided with a night that Liza and I were doing at a venue called Eka Palace. It's a kinda dodgy place with a sort of squat party vibe, and at that point it was the main carry-on type venue in Lisbon in that every Friday and Saturday it had two nights, the first would be midnight until six and the second was from 6am to 1pm or so. And basically everyone who still wanted to party in the morning in Lisbon would tend to rock up there. It had three rooms; one was a dark space with the turntables and a space for dancing, the second room was the bar, and the third was pretty much used for buying, selling and taking drugs as far as I could tell.

Anyway, we had somehow managed to wangle a night there despite being new in Lisbon, but we had the first night, from midnight until six - and it was really a bit of a waste of time cos people only saw this venue as an after-party venue and, although the latter party was pretty much guaranteed packed out, almost no-one came there during the night. But in another way it was kinda good cos people would start rocking up for the latter party from about four or five am and cos we were still in charge at that point and we took the money from the door until six am it was actually quite lucrative for us.

We only did it a few times but what happened each time was that we would get there about midnight and just sit there putting records on in this pretty big empty club for several hours with almost no-one there at all except the odd friend. From about four am people would start dribbling in and for the last hour or so it would actually be a lot of fun, there were a load of drugged up nutters wanting to party and it was kinda cool to play somewhat left field music to these guys. And also, the place was big enough that we usually ended taking four or five hundred euros on the door.

So it was a strange night that in a way almost made me feel guilty as we did no real work, had fun playing to a crowd that wasn't ours and took a ridiculously high sum (for Portugal) on the door. Of course waiting in the empty club for four hours or so at the start was kinda boring of course, but we always had a few friends there and had a few beers, it was ok.

And then, like I said, our friend came to stay with us for a few days. And we said "Oh, by the way, while you're here we're doing this night at Eka Palace if you wanna come along" and he said "You know what, I just happen to have brought my controller with me, do you reckon I could do the warm up?"

Just happened to bring your controller eh? That is literally the least surprising thing that has ever happened in my entire life. And in fact from this point every single thing is entirely predictable. He wants to do the warm-up, I don't really give a fuck, like I say no-one is there at that time, what does it matter who plays to an empty room? Liza is of courser much more resistant, she thinks he'll still find some way to fuck it up. Whatever, in the end we say "Look mate, you can do the warm-up, you can play from 1200 until 0300, but honestly, there is gonna be no-one there, no-one. That's not an exaggeration or a figure of speech or anything like that, it's just me telling you that there will be no-one there until 4am, so if you want to you can play until three... just keep it chilled and don't piss off the bar-staff. And the thing is right, at the end there will be an hour, maybe ninety minutes when some people come and we're gonna be playing then. Cos it's our night and we wangled this venue and did the posters and whatever, all the work involved has come from us and there is gonna be a small amount of fun to be had at the end of the night. At that point we're gonna be playing so please don't ask to play, no emotional blackmail about how there was no-one there when you played, none of that I've got this one tune that will really kill it now business, just please don't ask me to play at the end."

And so he's like "Yeah, great, I won't let you down guys" - and straight away I knew it was gonna be a problem of course. I'm saying "Honestly mate it's not like that, there will be NO-ONE there while you play, don't think about it too much, it will be a waste of time, please, just relax".

But by now the damage is done, I cannot get any sense into him, in fact for the next few days until the party it's impossible to talk to him cos he's wrapped up in his laptop with his headphones in, meticulously crafting every single beat of his three hour set. I can fucking see it in his head, this one will win the crowd and this one draw them to the dancefloor and then a bit of drum n bass will be a curveball for them... and I keep saying that there is no point doing this, no tune will make the venue magically fill up. The only thing is just keep it chilled out, whatever you do don't play loads of boshing stuff cos it sounds stupid when there is no-one here, please just play three hours of chilled out music, have a few beers and then watch us play and have a dance, I dunno, just please relax. But nothing penetrates now he's totally in the world where he is a superstar dj and he has to make sure this set is perfect or his career could be destroyed. He barely talks to us "Sorry guys, should go to my room and work on my set" - it's really mad that I can't get through to him, he's nodding to say he understands but I know h'es gonna be surprised when there is no-one there and he's gonna be upset when I won't let him play at the end when he inevitably asks despite promising not to...

So, predictably enough he tries to play a boshing dancefloor set which we have to tell him to slow down... several times. Obviously he's both surprised and annoyed that there is no-one there for his set, and when he sees how busy it is for the last hour and a half and how much fun it is to DJ he asks twice if he can play for "just half an hour" which pissed me off for a real in fact.
Part 2 of this story pls
 

catalog

Well-known member
One of my favourite "clang" moments about 20 mins into this


There's this fizzing build release thing going on, then he drops in the seemingly totally random plink plonk sound and then it all come together again with the pounding kick drum.
 
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