Weekend Recap – DMS, Pete Tong, Dj Sneak & DJ’s Faking It!

Lot’s of thought provoking topics today including Pete Tong sounding off on Big Businesses influence on House music and DJ Sneak’s twitter beef with Steve Angello. Find out how many viewers are “Faking It” and make sure you check out the new blog from DMS. Don’t forget to check out Dj C Flo and Jordan Laws videos, both up for the Vimeo Awards!! Watch below and vote HERE.

C.Flo’s – Chop Culture

Jordan Laws/Screenwerks – Movie Line Rhymes

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  1. In regards to Pete Tongs view on things, I agree with JD and Springs interpretation. Regarding the quote JD read, and as I further read the article myself, it seems not just Pete Tong, but as I’ve read over the course of a year or so, many House DJs and Producers who were/are instrumental in setting new ground within House and its sub genres, many fear that the Corporate “Big Businesses”, as they are refereed to, may skew and tarnish the genre when and if these House tracks become infused in commercials, movies, and just Pop culture in general.

    I mean, I can totally see both sides of the coin here. Many underground genres that eventually become commercialized mainstream, seem to lose a bit of its original glow as it had when it was once underground. Like anything, the minute a radio station breaks a new record on air, puts that same record into heavy rotation, soon everything that is so called “Commercial” seems to flock to that record, and wants a piece of it. Its like what we Remixers in the Remix game do when we get a hold of a very popular song, and then, like Spring has mentioned episodes back, “Want to put our on unique style on it”(paraphrasing there!) In other words, were all vying for a piece of it. 

    My thoughts and opinions on this matter: House Music was derived from the overly commercialized and overly saturated Disco era of the 70s. In any type of House music one hears today, that 4 on the floor beat of the drum track gets its groove from its sister, Disco. We all know how Disco rose and fell VERY quickly in mainstream. Disco, in its last year of mainstream success towards the late 1970s and beginning of the 80s, was so infused within Popular culture that no one in that era could escape it. Think movies, and you get the likes of one of the more well known classics, “Saturday Night Fever”. Disco, in my opinion probably fell short in its time do to the over saturation, combined with a lot of angry people who disliked the genre and wanted to see its demise. Disco, back than played a part of Popular Culture, because Big Buisness bought into the genre, and exploited the hell out of it. Fast foward to today, and House Musics’ utilization is quickly infesting Pop culture in the very same way. As of today, for any block of TV you decide to watch, you probably will see at least a handful of commercials for different products utilizing dubstep. Who would of though Microsofts Internet Explorer commercial would use a Dubstep track to sell their product?(By the way, that track is called “Too Close” by Alex Clare, AWESOME TRACK BTW)

    I think Pete Tong, and others that have been in the business a while, have seen these short comings, and now with the huge success of House in Mainstream these days, all though they are liking and reaping the rewards of it all, they are starting to get a bit worried that House will suffer a similar fate as Disco did in the 70s. That is, in other words, they see House has already become a bigger animal than they even anticipated. Once Big Business gets its hands on a once Independent art form, creativity goes by the wayside, as when something goes “Commercial” or “Mainstream”, You the Independant creator, now have to answer to the Big man in charge. Everything from Sensors, to time restraints, to creative work flow are noe determined by the Big man in charge, and your once Independant genre of House that you have created from the ground up over the years will slowly be transformed and consumed into what they think is right for the genre.

    Very quickly touching upon Big name DJs playing prerecorded material at their gigs and festivals, I agree with JD and Spring here. Just because you are making 6 figure money, doesnt mean one should get complacent and think that just because he or she has made it to the big time that he or she should scale back their work efforts.

    My personal opinion and how I feel about this: I would never want to do this, or even worse, I would never want to be called out for doing this by my peers. Besides being humiliated by your peers, just think about how much credability and respect you will lose virtually overnight once your cover is blown. All that time and effort(and money) you built up along the way to stardom, many, many years for some, could now be over just like that. Its like a band playing in a big festival concert. They love to play live, they want to play live, In fact their whole journey on the road to “We’ve finally made it” was to get to the moment where they can play live in front of hundreds of thousands of screaming fans. Look at mostly any Interview with a band, and they say something of that nature. 

    I don’t understand why a DJ would want to NOT play live. That’s the whole fun of it. I mean, of course, if your a big name, we the fans don’t necessarily expect you to wing a DJ set on the fly. We understand that you are traveling with a light show and possibly pyro that is set to your cues within your DJ set. We know just like any worthy club DJ out there, you want to plan a good portion of your nights set ahead of time to play LIVE once at your gig. We understand that it takes months and months of preparation before you step foot out on that stage, but on the other side of this token, I have to believe it is probably not so much the DJs choice at this stage in his or her game. 

    When you start earning upwards of 6 figures, you than become part of a different avenue within the DJ game. You are now some one elses property. Your decisions at this point, in some cases, are not entirely left up to you as they once were when you were a humble Independent DJ calling your own shots. The way management sees it, if we are going to pay you this grandiose sum of money, you will have to abide by what we think is in your best interest as a DJ or Artist of this magnitude. 

    They all have agents and management who call the shots. Some may feel a prerecorded set will just sync and work as planned within a DJs stage show which requires many, many music cues to set off lighting and pyro effects. However, even though this may be why some big name DJs management choose to go this route, I feel it is a cop out. Bands, and other Artists who perform live year in and out have these same, if not more lighting and effect cues set to the actual bands playing live, so either way, it can be done live. 

    However, having said the above, I don’t think lighting cues and effects are the main reason to why a DJ and his or her management choose to go the prerecorded route.  They all have their own reasons one way or the other, however as speculated by many, perfection reigns supreme once at that level, so getting it right the first time is usually paramount. 

    Its sort of similar to the thinking that Producers of Artists do when recording in a studio for a new album release. Music Producers and Engineers within the Industry usually don’t just have an artist sing to tape and print it to the album as is, I mean some may, but for the most part, even the most talented singers in the industry when put down to tape have vocal processing done to their vocal tracks, even if the Vocal sounds “Dry” with no effects, their may be things applied to the vocal to correct minor sharp and flat pitches within the vocal and other various intonations that these processors seem to be able to nail to the tee to keep that vocal sounding precisely on point. After all the CD or MP3 can be played and rewound over and over, so the last thing the Music Producer and Engineer want anyone to notice, is a subtle flaw, so these processes in the music Industry are usually applied when needed to allow for a perfect performance everytime you hear that track. Many artists when touring for 6 months, have to constantly save their voices for the next nights show, so instead of singing the high, high notes that are heard on the album, they tend to sing that same note in a lower register on the scale. And in some ways, one may think that that is blatantly  admitting to your fans that yes I am human, and I cant possibly sing that high on tape, Live each night for the 6 month tour duration because by the end of the first week I will have no voice to sing with. Its perfection first.

    So as I strayed off course a bit to show how Music Producers play with vocals in the studio that they know their artist cant possibly reproduce night after night without losing their voice, much in the same manner, you may have DJ management thinking in that same mindset of not being a live DJ/Artist, rather a DJ/Artist on tape, meaning if its on tape, it has to be perfect. Especially now in the days of Social Media, a festival is had, then You Tube is saturated with videos of that DJs performance, Twitter and Facebook are literally flooded with how the particular DJ did, and like JD and Spring mention, if most of the general viewing public are not in the know, those very same people will flood Social Media with their positive review of the DJs performance, and its a win win for the satisfied public who paid top dollar to see the performance, and management that rests assured that the DJ gig went without a hitch. But do I agree with pre recorded sets, No :)

  2. DJ Marcus Aurelius

    In an interview I did with Fatboy Slim, I asked him about his show and visuals (to a crowd of about 7,000). He said he knows the first song he’ll play and the last one. In the middle, he’ll wing it. He had visuals prepared for a lot of the other tracks, but he had to get a feel of what the crowd liked etc. He had a guy that could cue the right visuals for the right songs, etc. Now, his show may not have been as elaborate as a Deadmau5 show, but he’s also never considered himself a DJ.

    Playing pre-recorded mixes is WACK. Straight up and down. I mean, I know you guys are anti-segue, but I use them a bit for pop shows and they go down well. But that’s one song into another. If they are doing 10-20-30 minute premixes, it’s basically not even DJing any more. It’s just entertainment. I feel that if DJs are getting paid those big figures, they should not only impress with visuals, but also impress technically. Constantly work, re-work, remix those songs so that the crowd feels like they are getting something new.

    PS…Avicci came to Taipei three weeks ago and played Levels four times during his set and the crowd ate it up. Didn’t Jay and Kanye play Paris 11 times at their final show?

    PSS…someone tweeted during Swedish House Mafia’s show at Coachella that there were no more lazers in the world because they had them all…

    Keep up the good work guys

    • You have a good point about them not being DJ’s.  They end up just being entertainers.  I think DJ’s get upset about these pre-mixes for the simple fact that these acts are putting themsleves out there as “DJ’s.”  Most of the time they are simply producers, thrown into the DJ role.  Maybe we would all feel better if they stopped acting like DJ’s and just called themselves performers/entertainers.  

  3. Forgot to mention in my previous post, the two videos featured, production wise and all around are really good. You can tell a great amount of time and passion went in to them!

  4. thanks for the support guys!

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