Monday, January 30, 2006

DJ's where's the talent?

I have asked myself this for a long time - what's the point in DJ's or becoming an amateur DJ?

In my day an amateur dj was someone who wanted to earn a few extra quid putting on tracks down the village hall disco for someone's 13th birthday etc. How did it turn into a hobby? how come, when you can buy CD changers, or now have ipods with a selection of music on, even pre-programmable tracks. I can't understand it. Its not like the average DJ will take requests. They hide in the corner of a bar it seems to me, and play their CDs or vinyl or whatever.

OK there may be some skill in choosing music for the ambience of the bar, but I used to work in a bar and this was always carefully done by the brewery! who used to send a set of CDs to play religiously until it drove the staff mad.

To my DJs are like being subjected to some geek's record collection, and I may not disagree with it. I might concede that some 'artists' are very good and remixing and creating music by recycling other people's music, but this seems to be rare in the pub scene - its just geeks hiding in corners putting on obscure tracks - no-one really gives a f*ck about them or their music, they just seem to be into their own groove.

My question is this - why don't the p*ss off and do it in their own bedroom like most aspiring musicians do for a few years? eh?

But! I can see the point in DJs in nightclubs, and people who dig that can go to listen. But why do I have to listen to someone in a bar who seems to be merely putting music on with little interaction. Seems bizarre.

I recently did some sound engineering at a do where there were bands and DJs, and the DJs didn't seem to have a clue about sound. I was pretty clueless myself, but they seemed perplexed when I said that they should get off stage, get to the middle of the hall and have a listen. They seemed glued to their decks, in their own little world. The folks at the event didn't care, they just wanted to dance, and they would have danced to anything.

Personally - when I see the DJ in the bar I think of Bukowski's poem about the piano player.


Blogger John East said...

I think you've hit the nail on the head. The main role of the DJ, woefully ignored by most of them in bars, is to get the volume, treble and bass correct.

Volume is usually adjusted to just below the level of 90% total harmonic distortion. Treble is deemed to be too high when the customers complain of perforated ear drums, and the bass is too high when the customers internal organs are pureed.
Will they never learn?

9:59 AM  
Anonymous Drouble Marx said...

The point is to 'offer' working class youth some form of celebrity aspiration as step 1 of some kind of grand social re-integration plan.

I bet most of the 'facilitators' of this kind of 'inclusion' programme have NO idea how may DJs exist, what the need for them is, or what the potential economic worth they have from direct sucess and indirect inclusion in the labour market.

I think mot of these programmes of 'creative expression' are guilt-laden examples of the liberal-do-gooders offer the 'youth' what the 'want'. No lete me rephrase that. I know this for certain.

It is part of the same model of economic/community development that constantly surveys deprived neighbourhoods asking 'local' people what they want out of regeneration. Then they build new community centres and new shops (always a consultation favourite with the poor) and then they go into dis-use because actually there was no demand for them.

Kiwk-save will always be cheaper than a small shop on a newly revitalised parade. And the poor have less money to spend on the weeklely grocery bill. If you do some simple maths it is possible so see that there is no economic potential there at all.

This is the same as the DJ/Musician/Rap artist scheme malarky. There a re a few DJs who earn celebrity money. Most DJs also have 'real' jobs because buying records is expensive. It is an intensely competetive market place and there is NO shrotage of supply but a very limited demand model. So why put money into adding to the supply? It doesn't add up.

3:32 AM  

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