[chat question=”Open Letter to Radar from a DJ”]
I have been DJ’ing for close to 20 years and played all over the country as an artist as well. And it is with great concern, that I’ve read about you’re latest concept – very inappropriately titled “Radar Open DJ”.
In the genres and style of music that I play, both as a DJ and as an artist, it is very important to have a DJ between acts at a venue. It’s been in our rider and if we can we bring our own, if not the venue just plays some random music that isn’t mixed and in a whole other genre – just as you did the last time I played there with my band and which was so unfitting. It could be worse of course; sometimes they just put on a dancehall CD at a hiphop concert or something even more unsuitable.
However, you’re new concept completely undermines both yourself as a respectable venue and the art and industry of DJ’ing. A DJ is as much an act as a musician and as a regional venue you have responsibilities. Especially when you describe your mission as focusing on electronic music!
There are several problems. First of all: the title. You calling someone who puts a song on a playlist a DJ is deeply offensive to every DJ who has spent many years perfecting their skills and craft. And this is not even the typical EDM and button-pushing, playlist-DJ discussion, but just you calling everyone a DJ. Do you also call anyone who cooks themselves diner a chef or anyone who has mended something a craftsman? What next, people playing Guitar Hero instead of concerts or just simple playback?
The other major problem is you simply not wanting to pay for a DJ. Or so it clearly appears. Especially when you write that “it is very important which music is played before, in between and after the concerts”. That is clearly not the case. If it was, you would have hired a DJ to play and mix song that have been submitted to the playlists. A good musical experience – as you yourself call it for me consists of music mixed, without the breaks and that fit together. Not just a shuffle playlist. Why should you even leave your home to listen to that?
And still, you have someone censoring the playlist, making sure that the music being played is what you would call suitable. How is that not substituting the DJ?
And wouldn’t it be more interesting for the audience to be surprised by something good they haven’t heard before than just the same music they listened to at home before the concert? I know a lot of other places, not venues, but bars though, who tried what you are now doing and utterly failed. It’s not a new concept and it’s still not a good one.
The problem as well is you hollowing out both the roles of the venue and the DJ and removing all the respect for you as a serious venue and from the business of DJ’ing.
It’s been a sad sight some places for a long time. For example when V58 was having people play a playlist from their iPod and describing them as a DJ. It has gone from skilled vinyl-DJ’s to CD-DJ to digital DJ’s who just press play and can’t even count to four and can’t mix. Often because they will play for free. And now this!
Other venues seem to get it, even rock-venues have DJ’s playing music between acts and it’s a must for any urban concert. If there is no DJ playing – you have not done your job as bookers I would say.
And it’s not because of lack of DJ’s – not even in Aarhus. There are plenty and very skilled ones as well as young up and coming turntablists. And a good DJ will put on a show and entertain. I don’t play much right now due to venues like you and this open letter probably won’t help my case. But the last time I played at Train as a DJ, when M.O.P. was headlining, I made a video-DJ show with music videos to each track being mixed live on a big screen with my turntables. You can do a lot of things with a DJ. It just seems you want to avoid paying for one.
I know you may not have meant it this way and maybe choose the wrong word – ”DJ” – in your new concept, but this just triggered me and I see this day as a sad day and you, Radar, are actually making me want to stop doing what is one of my biggest passions – DJ’ing.
// A Local DJ[/chat]