Part of the problem

Open format Dj’s ruined it for big house dj names at bottle service clubs. I’m guilty of it too. I sold the fuck out. Back in 97′ when I first put a needle to the record I was a house purest. Progressive house to be exact; and not the progressive house classified by today’s top 100 mp3 download sites, but legit progressive house from back in the day. Back then most clubs were playing house music and Dj’s like Donald Glaude, Carl Cox, Dj Dan etc., where appreciated by the masses for the unique records they carried in their crates.

Somewhere there was a shift. Because I was such a house music snob, of course I blamed it on the influx of hip hop to the LA club scene; but whatever it was, club goers got scared of the new. They wanted to hear the same shit in the club that they listened to pulling into the club in their car just 10 minutes before. I talked to some other Dj’s about it back then. There were theories about 911 affecting people’s lack of open mindedness to new music but in reality, who the fuck knows. All I know is that I needed to survive.

By this time DJ AM was in his prime and the open format dj style began to thrive. Quick mixing and a genre crossing experience were expected if a dj was to keep a crowd. Money was the name of the game so I did what any self preservationist would do; I bought a Mac. I learned the art of mixing any style of music flawlessly with smooth bpm transitions and all. I spent time to figure out the most effective way to organize my serato libraries and I played “hits”. I joined the cult of Dj’s that trained the LA ear to expect the ordinary.

Now, when the big name, REAL house Dj’s come to these clubs, people don’t know what to do with the unfamiliar. It’s as if it’s their cue to stand around and just stare at each other and forge materialistic comparisons. Tonight I heard a dope Dj at Supperclub. He’s a well known producer signed to a respectable label. Dude was dropping bombs in the club. Epic tracks. No “good feelings” or “finding love in hopeless places” or “feeling so close to anyone” and certainly no being “sexy and knowing it”. Dude just dropped bangers. I watched the crowd and it looked like they’d been coated in a blanket of “derrrrr”. They didn’t get it. I felt bad for homeboy because he deserved props for what he was playing and how he was playing it. But trust, come the weekend, your favorite skam artist dj will come in and personify your car stereo for you and you can feel safe again.

Mad respect to the Dj’s still about the journey, who never take requests, and who stay true to their sound.

Night.

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One Response to “Part of the problem”

  1. DJ Weatherman Says:

    a very interesting write, you made some very good points, and lately youve been having guys like Mark Farina being booted off the decks in Vegas for playing to much house music..? I suppose they expected to the house legend to play top40 mashups and radio play tunes>>?? Im very new to the game, but i know enough to know that the crowd has a VERY short attention span, and if they haven heard it on there fav radio station, they scoff, and here lies the problem in breaking new music, another story in itself.

    Thanks for the insight, I enjoy hearing about the progression (or DEgression) of the dj culture. Even though i haven’t been around long, i like to be educated on the history. Insights like these help me gain a new perspective and appreciation.

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