As you may recall, Calvin Harris recently did an interview with the BBC in which he appeared to be A-OK with DJs prerecording their sets before taking the stage. He has since threatened to take legal action, claiming that his words were taken out of context.
Longtime DJ and EDM historian Bill Brewster notes that “like wrestling in the 1970s, there’s always been an element of knowing subterfuge in dance music.” We know the DJs aren’t actually physically performing the tunes on stage, but that’s not what matters – according to Brewster. What counts is making a real connection with the audience. “Without the ability to change the mood, change the tempo, change the style, you’re nothing more than a jukebox that needs a toilet break every so often.”
Struck by how “surprisingly dull” the raves were that he attended on Ibiza a few years back, Brewster says the mark of a skilled DJ is the ability to truly interact with the audience. “It’s what marks them out from a ninny with too many tattoos playing a CD.” Now who might that refer to? We’ll leave you to ponder that one on your own.
The DJZ/10 is a collection of ten DJs that we think you should know about now. Some of them are already familiar to you, others you may have never heard of. The list is not based on (1) a secret computer algorithm, (2) social media popularity, or (3) payola. Every month or so we get together to decide if somebody from the broader A…Z directory is about to break out and should be included in the DJZ/10, or if somebody already on the list, for that matter, is “phoning it in” and deserved to be replaced by another DJ who is more worthy.×