The Dj The DJ About fifteen years ago a culture was born. In Europe a new type of music was being created. Something new, something fresh. A music fueled by throbbing beats over rattling bass. This is electronic music.
The mastermind behind this whole up and coming culture was and is the DJ. In the past five years have become more and more popular everyday. Some people who are not aware of this music or this culture might argue that being a DJ is not a serious profession for various reasons. Throughout this paper I will prove these notions false. As support I will provide the history of the DJ, what exactly it is, insight from various DJ’s and much more.
It all began about fifteen years ago. In towns in Europe people started throwing secret parties, small parties more of a social event to party and have fun. At these parties there would DJ’s spinning early electronic sounds and dancing. Not too long after that word started to spread and more and more people wanted to “party”. So the people throwing these parties sought out bigger places to have these parties that could accommodate more people. It grew so fast that secret information phone lines were created to prevent problems with the authorities.
Over the next few years more and more people grew to love these parties for the music and the overall atmosphere. Also more and more electronic artists started to surface. As popular as these events were the truth is without the DJ none of it would have been possible. In the early nineties this growing underground movement started to form slowly in the United States and other countries. These parties soon took on the name of “raves”.
In Europe these raves grew constantly. Soon there were raves being thrown with five to ten thousand people in attendance. Soon thereafter we started to see not only the growth of a music and culture but also a new industry. There started to be more and more electronic artists surfacing everyday. The technology increased very fast every year more new equipment allowed new creative boundaries to be broken. Soon the DJ slowly started to become more of the focal point of these “raves”.
DJ’s started to be the attractions of these raves instead of just a place to have fun. The DJ’s started to make names for themselves along with this came different styles of DJing. One of the first styles of electronic music created was house music. This music quickly moved into nightclubs and raves. Soon thereafter many different styles of electronic music were born. Such as, break beat, drum and bass, hard house, trance, progressive trance, big beat, and happy hardcore(www.clubdance.com). DJ’s started to specialize in certain types of electronic music. Some started to consider themselves not just as DJ’s but also artists. The music became more about expression and unity.
In a recent documentary drum and bass artist Roni Size says(Better Living Through Circuitry) ” When I step behind the tables at a party it’s more than just playing tracks for a group of people. It’s like my goal to take these people to a place they have not been before. To create a mix that is so unique and intense that takes the audience and puts them all into a new place together. It’s an art form!” As you can see by this statement these DJ’s take their jobs seriously. Soon DJ’s started to not only put out many mix cd’s but also they started producing their own tracks.
I think that this was a great breakthrough in this type of music. Over the past few years some of the best electronic albums put out have been by DJ’s. DJ’s soon started to go on their own tours, playing venues that rock bands play at. They were not only playing at these venues but also selling them out at the same time. Perfect evidence of this comes from a book The Ambient Century, ” Dance music exploded into a phenomenon that seemed to have no end. As the music mutated, new forms were thrown up by the year.
Ambient House and Ambient Techno were mind balming responses to the intensity of the club culture. Trip-hop and Drum and Bass were UK black variations of what was originally an innovation by black Americans. Rock music absorbed House and Techno, and DJ’s and electronicists began to tour and act like rock stars. As one century tipped into another, dance music was still a primary source of interest and creativity as Trance, a futuristic blend of technology and House and Techno, became a chart-topping, globe girdling sensation”( Prendergast pg 367). Another great more specific example of this is Paul Oakenfold as written in Last night a DJ saved my life, ” When Paul Oakenfold plays records in a club, every person on the dance floor will be facing him.
Just like they’d face a rock band on a stage. There’s not much to see: a baseball cap maybe, a studious face leaning into a pair of headphones, some minimal arm movements as he slides in another flawless mix. Occasionally he might throw his hands up in excitement, smile out in response to a particularly grand track, or share a wink with some energetic fan, and when he does, there’ll be a sea of hands aloft, a breakout of waving and grinning, an ocean of smiling dancers mirroring his every gesture. For he is a superstar”( Brewster pg 384). Along with these tours came annual festivals.
Huge festivals every year with sometimes over a hundred thousand people in attendance. Some of these are Love Parade and Gatecrasher( www.loveparade.com)&( www.gatecrasher.com). Just like any music industry this one soon started having conventions. The biggest one is the Winter Music Conference( www.wmcon.com). This usually includes anybody and everybody in electronic music.
A three day long festival including a showcase of the new gear and equipment and the best talent in the music performing. In Europe now DJ’s are becoming bigger than rock stars. They walk down the street and people flock. DJ’s like this are Fatboy Slim, Paul Oakenfold, Carl Cox and John Digweed( www.yahoo.com). So now that you have a brief background on the history of DJ’s you might wonder what different types of jobs are available out there for DJ’s.
Well first of all there is the kind of DJing I have been mainly focusing on that is the rave DJ. There are also many opportunities for work these days in night clubs all over the world. The night club industry now is becoming a very large industry. Some are saying even more so that the days of Studio Fifty-Four. Als …