Remember When DJing Used To Mean Something?

doctor djDavid Guetta is one of the world’s most popular DJs. He ranked # 7 last year in MixMag’s Top 100 DJ poll (down from 2 the year before). He’s #2 after Calvin Harris in Forbes list of top earning DJs, bringing in an estimated $30 million in 2014. When it comes to actually doing the Disc Jockeying, though, he seems to be a little rusty….

In a recent interview, he complained about having to go through his USB sticks for his Coachella set choosing each track to play individually, rather than just relying on a pre-set playlist.

DavidGuetta2014WEBGuetta’s got the high-profile hook-ups, too. On the first weekend, the Black Eyed Peas made a cameo to debut a comeback track and close it out with “I Gotta Feeling.” Meanwhile, on weekend two, Beyoncé watched from the sidelines, while Nicki Minaj sauntered out for “Hey Mama” in a tartan skirt, Run DMC singlet and a crown made of feathers.

Not everything went smoothly behind-the-scenes, though, as the DJ recounts. “Something crazy happened to me on the [first weekend],” he says. “I’m using Rekordbox and Pioneer to play, and before I saved my playlist to my SD card, my computer crashed. So I just had to put all my music in a random order on USB sticks at the last minute, doing it really old school, scrolling to look for the records I wanted to play next.”

He goes even further, revealing that he got his manager to download “I Gotta Feeling” for him off iTunes and he just played that as part of his set, with Fergie “live” on stage – lip-synching, perhaps?

The Black Eyed Peas’ surprise appearance also threw a curveball. “When Fergie decided to come last minute, it was like, OK, but I don’t have ‘I Gotta Feeling,’ because I don’t play it any more. I called my stage manager to go download ‘I Gotta Feeling’ on iTunes so I could play it. It was just completely crazy, but I loved it. And actually the set went amazing, and in a way the stress adds to the adrenaline.”

I thought this story must have been from Wunderground Music, but sadly, it’s an interview he did with Beatport, where he had the #7 track last year. Put it down in the truth is stranger than fiction category.

In the fiction is truer than truth category, Wunderground reports on the new art of miss-mixing, DJs making deliberate mistakes in sets to show they are not just pressing a sync button…something I really believe some of them do.

The latest craze, known as miss-mixing, is proving very popular amongst digital DJs as a way of highlighting that they are actually manually mixing tracks rather than using the sync button.

Michael Briscoe, also know as DJ Whopper, spoke about miss-mixing with Wunderground, “Flawless mixing is now a thing of the past, especially for any up and coming digital DJs. You just can’t afford to mix without mistakes these days or you’ll be labelled as a ‘sync button DJ.’”

“I learned how to mix on vinyl years ago so naturally I’m pretty tight when it comes to matching beats,” continued the resident DJ. “I swapped to digital format a couple of years ago because it’s convenient, now I spend more time practicing making mistakes than I do practicing actual mixing. [Source: Wunderground Music]

Now THIS is some old-skool DJing:

This DJ explains Why Old School DJs Are Complaining, And You Should Too

ghetto blaster

alien dj

Image: Dominique Bray/Photo Bucket

Image: Dominique Bray/Photo Bucket

16 comments on “Remember When DJing Used To Mean Something?

  1. I am really old old old school. Use to DJ at radio stations. Pulling records, taking requests, que said records, sometimes segue from one to the next sometimes announce records or back announce. DJ at a university student owned station was great back in the late 60’s-70’s. Use to know which records had the F bomb. and played them. And now DJs are paid millions???????? ( shake head )

  2. Reno Sculpture Fest is Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Sculptures are by The Pier Group whom constructed Embrace and the awesome Temple of Transition, Aric Shapiro, Jeff Schomberg and mates whom constructed Believe and Love, and other Burner artists. A Reno Gazette Journal story in regards of the most burnerly arts festival

    A principle of Burning Man is Communal Effort. ‘Our community values creative cooperation and collaboration. We strive to produce, promote and protect social networks, public spaces, works of art, and methods of communication that support such interaction.’ In the manner of this principle, one might promote and discuss the works of art, of our awesome artist mates, and the Reno Sculpture Fest, on social networks.

  3. An awesome article on Further Future festival of Robot Heart discussing of it in terms of Burning Man.

    In addendum, Ross Asselstine posted an update on the site, upon their labours for gaining a fair contract for the awesome artists. All artists must read his site, most especially, new artists. Penned by Ross (emphasis added):


    You can help yourself as an artist and or artist you may know.

    A lot of great artists took negotiations this far and you may need to get creative to be able to Make the Burning Man Art Grant Contract More Fair. Please get the word out for change.

    We sense a little movement, but it needs a little public push to get it done right once and for all. Ring someone, write someone, post on social media, tell your camp and crew what is here and see if there are creative ways to finish this effort. The hearts and minds closed with the doors at Alabama Street and they need to be reopened.

    Look for other links here in the future.

    Ya know, it would be great to just get back to building art.

    ( I have posted modified version of a letter of appeal for change that takes crew and individual names off of it. My name is there, and others may approve that I make their names visible in the future)

    If you read anything in either document, see the bottom of the third to last page. Good people that want to remain mostly anonymous. The pressure to stay quiet is real, and the negotiating table was not level and the process: inequitable and absent of a neutral third party.

    Thanks for reading, I keep trying. What a crazy thing huh? It could have been simple.

  4. First there was actual live DJing

    Then there was “recorded and “played back later”” (pressing a sync button) DJing **

    Then there was miss-mixing where DJs made deliberate mistakes in sets to show they are not just pressing a sync button

    Now there is “recorded and “played back later”” “miss-mixing” DJing to make it look like they are not just pressing a sync button (but actually they are just pressing a sync button)

    Next there will be NO MORE DJs as people will demand that if someone wants to get paid HUGE AMOUNTS OF MONEY for playing music then they better play instruments and play them live, not just pushing a button to play back sounds that were recorded earlier.

    And thus history will repeat itself, as it always does.

    ** prerecorded” is a redundant word 😉

      • I don’t know what she is saying but she is so hot, I would totally be her groupie. I could totally plug into her. Will she be playing in America soon? I love her hair color. Now I am hungry for some sushi.

        Dōmo arigatō, Mr. Roboto

  5. It is not just DJing, remember when concerts were live and not lip synced? When singers weren’t auto-tuned to death? When musicians actually played their instruments? Everything seems to be recorded, airbrushed, packaged and sold.

    I love electronic music and dancing to a great DJ in a local club but I am not sure why anyone pays to see these “big name” act play a pre-programmed and canned set. Is it the bigger sound system, the communal experience, something else?

    I’m waiting for the day when a DJ does a set from some remote location (like their house). There is no real reason for them to be there in person so why bother?

  6. DJ schmeejay…
    These dorkJs will be remembered as one of the great cons of the early 21st century, along with banksters and their too big to fail but qualify for bailouts BS.

    People will look back from 2030 and say WTF?
    People will ask… They did WAT?? And they got paid how much??
    The people of 2030 will laugh at how all the dumbfuk millennials happily paid to see dorJs wave their arms around as they used thumb drives to play rave crap sounds…. and laugh at how millennials defended dorkJs as true artistic geniuses to anyone who made a post like this one saying things like “THERE IS MORE TO IT THAN JUST PUSHING BUTTONS AND WAVING THEIR ARMS… THEY ARE GENIUSES”… “THEY MAY NOT BE ABLE TO PLAY ANY INSTRUMENTS, BUT WHO CARES!!! ELECTRONICA IS THE BOMB!!”

    Mark my word, once rave/club drugs (which I guess are required to appreciate this crap) move on down the line, no one will “get it”. And I guarantee there will never be sentimental listening to rave crap and thinking “sigh… yeah… those were good days”.
    It will be more like…. “Turn down that over-bassed-crap/noise, that shite is so 2015!!!”.

    If anyone thinks making fun of 80s hair metal bands is fun… just wait until the 7-10 year olds of today get aholdof and start making fun of dorkJs of today.

    yeah yeah… I know…. get off my lawn 😉

    • Most people are too afraid to say it’s all shit. Instead, they bop their heads whenever someone plays the latest set from DJwhoever. No one wants to seem uncool and that’s more important than suffering through the then nails on a chalkboard.

      Whenever I did ecstasy (and I did it A LOT) I’d like a little music in the background and a mellow vibe. Then for some reason we had to all go to clubs and trip there. It was fucking horrible – you couldn’t hear a damn thing anyone had to say so you had to literally scream in someone’s ear to be heard. So along with the hangover the next day, you’d also have a terrible case of tinnitus.

      • :)indeed
        THE KING IS NAKED!!!… he has no clothes on AT ALL!!

        “But he hasn’t got anything on,” a little child said.
        “Did you ever hear such innocent prattle?” said its father. And one person whispered to another what the child had said, “He hasn’t anything on. A child says he hasn’t anything on.”

        “But he hasn’t got anything on!” the whole town cried out at last.
        The Emperor shivered, for he suspected they were right. But he thought, “This procession has got to go on.” So he walked more proudly than ever, as his noblemen held high the train that wasn’t there at all.

    • Indeed, Pooh was always a class act, a really cool bear and he had the best honey.

      sorry to go off topic, but have you seen my tail?

  7. Miss mixing, what a joke. I feel bad for real DJ enthusiasts who cannot see a live set by say a Derrick Carter…going HAM on 2 1200s and 2 cdjs and rocking the funk out of the dance floor-circa 1995 to 2005ish. Not hating on edm, I love to listen to say Zedd or diplo,production is at another level but the art of djing has taken a back seat.

    Peace, love, music n dance!

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