Editorial: Are You THAT DJ???

As you all know, remixes are COOL!!!  And FUN!!!   If DJs, including myself, didnt play them, this site wouldn’t exist.  Like I’ve mentioned before, most people expect DJs to play their own remixes, and of course, hot ones that other people have made.  I can’t imagine it’s possible to spend a night at a bottle service club and not hear the DJ play any remixes or party breaks which were made by either themselves or other DJs.  But is there a limit to the amount of remixes a DJ should play at the club??  Of course!

The whole “Burning Bible” thing became a very popular subject on twitter.  But discussion on “The DJ who plays too many mash-ups” is something I also noticed alot of on the social networking sites.  Therefore, I thought it was time to address this topic as well.  No one in their craft wants to be the object of ridicule by their peers — so what amount of mashes/remixes puts you into the category of “the DJ who goes overboard”??  It’s not very easy to define.

First off, not all remixes hold the same weight in this discussion.  Playing three “redrums” in a row is NOT the same as playing three DJ Scooter segways.  Playing three “Hype Intro” mixes in a row is NOT the same as playing three Bmore remixes of hip-hop songs.  So when I hear a DJ complain that another DJ at the club is playing nothing but songs off of CrooklynClan, I’m still not sure exactly how bad a situation it is.  There is definitely a limit of remixes one should play, but it’s a tough thing to specify.

I, myself, can easily play three remixes in a row without noticing.  A souped up version of “Calle Ocho” followed by Serafin’s “It Takes BMore” and then a remix of a hot song over the Eurythmics “Sweet Dreams” is nothing out of the ordinary for me.  Remixes are an especially good way for DJs with residencies to switch up their routine from night to night.  I do actually spend a decent amount of money on multiple remix sites.  I just bought a Victor Menegaux remix of “Bad Romance” over BEP’s “I Gotta Feelin” from StrictlyHits.  As Victor mentioned, “Now that both tunes are cooling off, this track allows you to flip the script on your crowd.”  I agree, and that’s why I bought it.  While I don’t play many remixes of one hot song over another, this one sounded real good together, so I ran it, and did get a real good reaction.

In addition to using remixes to switch up your playlist, they are quite useful in other ways too.  They can make songs sound UP TO DATE and just plain BETTER in a large club.  I play LOTS of rock redrums at my rock spot.  I also LOVE and constantly play Discotech’s version of “Dont Stop Til You Get Enough” at the mainstream spots.  Yes, it’s a “site” remix, but most people can’t tell its a mix.  Remixes can also add ENERGY.  We all know energy is a big part of being a good DJ, and I think everyone will agree that the remixes we mentioned of “Money To Blow” HERE have much more energy than the original version.  Danny Diggz version of Snoop’s “I Wanna Rock” over the “It Takes Two” beat has alot more energy than the normal version, and seems like a better choice for bottle service clubs.  Plus, when a song is remixed at a different tempo, it can allow you to play it with a different group of songs than you usually do.  I really like what The Stereotype DJs did with Timbaland’s “Say Something”.  Their remix is 100 BPM and now I can play it after “Tie Me Down” or other songs in that range.  Remixes can also make for good segues between different genres.  A rock of mix of a Biggie song could be a good way to go from your Hip-Hop set into rock.

Now that I explained why they can be useful, let me discuss the otherside.  We all know one of the cardinal rules of DJing is to play music people know.  Playing a mash-up or remix of a Lady Gaga song isn’t nearly the same as dropping a song off a cd that a no-name local rapper handed you and told you to play.   Obviously.  But remember, most people at the club love Lady Gaga and Lil Wayne!!  There’s a reason those artists are very successful.  People love their music.  So while remixes can help spice up the night, I think its important to play a good amount of regular songs throughout the night – and most people will not be disappointed by this.  Chances are they may be happy.  Remember, the request you got for Kesha by the group of 21 year old girls?? Well it wasn’t for DJ SoandSo’s mix of it from Crack4Djs.  Doesn’t mean they wouldn’t like and react to that mix.  It just means they aren’t expecting or demanding it.

So in conclusion, just use common sense.  Read your crowd (70 year olds don’t want electro remixes of the Beatles).  I’d also say that you are probably better off not playing too many of one style of remix in a row (Party Breaks, B-Mores, etc.)  And remember this, even though every girl in the club screamed when you dropped the new remix/mash of the hottest Lady Gaga/Kesha song at the moment, I guarantee they would have screamed if you had dropped the original instead.  So when you play a remix of a hot song, you are actually taking a risk, when the alternative (playing the original) would give you a 100 percent chance of success.   Therefore, while it’s good to spice up the night, just think of it like a fancy restaurant, where you are the server coming over with the parmesan cheese.  You start grating the cheese over the pasta until the customer says “That’s enough”.  I heavily recommend that you support the remix sites, your favorite DJs, and play dope mixes!  Just don’t be the waiter/waitress with no grater who just drops the entire block of cheese on someone’s spaghetti!!!!!!

–SPRING–

7 comments

  1. I totally agree with this post here. I love playing remixes, but people do not want to hear the latest and greatest remix of a song just started getting air time on the radio. On the other hand, i have a lot of remixes of the newest songs that i can play early when they are requested prematurely for example: Dj Dennis Blaze Tik Tok (got to be real)… That track goes over very well and allows me to save the original version for the peak hour set. At times that i have played a remix of a hot song, i usually get some girl telling me to stop doing that to the song…LOL. Knowing where and when to drop your remixes is more important to me than dropping a string of #1’s from the remix sites….It all boils down to reading your crowds and now your waves! =P

  2. Correction: Reading your crowd and “not” your waves.

  3. Wurd man. Cant tell you how many times I’ve heard this go down. But I wont lie. In the beginning I was the same way. 5 years ago when electro just started to make it on the scene in chicago, all i wanted to play were electro tracks. At times I knew it was wrong, but I just loved playing these tracks. But I learned that what I was doing was wrong. Nobody wants to hear that all night in less your at an establishment that plays 1-2 styles all night or somewhere that stays on the house music genera.

  4. I want share a good technique on how I use remixes and still give the crowd the original song. It’s pretty much a transition technique,because you will not be playing very much of the remix. The remix will be your bridge to get to the original song. Fore example .. I’ll be playing Snoop Sensual Seduction. The next song I will mix in is the J Espinosa remix of Sensual Seduction Vs Kardinal Officials Dangerous. What I do is.. sync the verse of the remix to the original “in my headphones of course” then right when the chorus comes in on the original ..bamm! I mix over to the remix. so now I have Snoops hook playing over the Dangerous instrumental which sets me up to mix Dangerous. Pretty neat right?

  5. very good post, i agree with alot that you guys have said, like when you are playing a hot track i think its better to let the eat play than play a hyped version, ppl r familiar with the og version, n once it dies out u can drop the remixes like u said, sexy bitch has fallen in that category, and theres alot of good remixes/edits out there.

    @spr1000 i get what ur saying, kinda along the lines, sometimes ill play the lalala-tiktok intro and the 1st verse, then when the chorus hits sync them ill let it play or even sync it to tiktok animal redrrum ( i think its called) that transitions down to welcome to atlanta, which is always a dope track that ppl catch on to. i like that transition because it lets the song ride for a bit before it trans down,

  6. Great post.. and seriously… noone wants to hear dumb-ass electro remixes of ANY classic song. I don’t care that DJ Sonofabitch totally electrocuted Earth Wind and Fire’s – September.. IT DOES NOT SOUND GOOD. I think a lot of younger dj’s start humping the paypal button next to any track that says “Personal Electro Bootleg” next to it.. (what up “DJ” Beatbreaker!!). Just because you have an electro synth kit for your pirated copy of Fruity Loops doesn’t mean you should use it. The sounds of Atari were a great novelty during the late 70’s and early 80’s. Let’s leave them there.. and I’m glad you found the studio acapella to Blah Blah Blah… now do something creative with it.

  7. I can remember a time between 2005-2007 where everything mashup was accepted. Those days started to change around 2008. I personally found myself deleting 1/2 of my mashup collection. I remember one day in early 2009, I had 16,000 mashups in one hard drive and I asked myself “HOW THE FUCK DID THIS HAPPEN?”… Its real easy to get overloaded with mashups, refixes and edits. These days, The best approach is to hit the crowds with originals, with a few mashups, remixes and hypes thrown in for good measure. SPR1000 explained a real great technique which I also use. A mix that I do alot that always works is… I play Kardinal’s “Dangerous” and mix in DJ Phase’s edit of Estelle – American Boy over Dangerous beat. When Kanye’s first verse kicks in, Im lining up the same verse off the original in the headphones and once it get to the hook, flip the fader and bam, WINNER. There is a place for all types of mashups and edits. Overloads of them never work and simply confuse people. If you play a popular Kesha track, You can get away with a HYPE EDIT before the main vocals. Other than that, You are taking a risk. I find it better you playing 1-2 verses off a very hot record then switching to a remix that you use as a segue to another track or another set of hits. There’s no wrong way to do this. Every DJ has his/her ways to stand out and still sound original.

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