Pitchfork Says TechNo!, DJs Chime In

Hi there, I would like to share an article with you.

I was intrigued and encouraged by several of the responses received by Pitchfork writer Philip Sherburne who for his This Month In: Techno article inquired of 100+ DJs/Producers about the current state of dance music. I bring it up here at Live Exhaust because several of the responses imply that there is a growing disdain about the state of live dance music and the responses pose extremely interesting scenarios which would have a positive impact on the live music experience if they’re taking seriously.

I am also surprised (and encouraged) that Pitchfork posted such an article before a festival where the live techno/dance music rarely moved me or the audience at all. If this is a sign of things to come then maybe there is hope.

Here are five Live Exhaust-related quotes all from different DJ/Producers. And I do suggest reading the article if you’re at all concerned or care about how live dance music makes (or doesn’t) make you feel. And after reading this article I’m certain that much of my “disconnect” during the P-fork DJ/electronic sets is reflected in these responses.

Each DJ set must have at least one moment where it stops, goes to silence for a few seconds, and then starts afresh. Too many DJs play sets that are, conceptually, endless.

Live acts just using a laptop should be called “semi-live.” That’s already common in Holland.

The tempo of a DJ set should at least vary by +/- 10 bpm.

If you can’t do it in real life, don’t put it on a mix CD. I’m listening to a mix right now by a dude on Dialect Records. It’s so obviously an Ableton mix– one major bit of a record looped for minutes on end while he mixes two other records on top of it. It sounds great, but if you can’t pull that off at the club, don’t even bother.

7-Step Dance Music Production Honor System:

1. Try to emphasize content over form.

2. Challenge yourself. If it seems too easy, it is questionable at best.

3. Personalize all sounds, effects, and arrangements wherever possible.

4. Refrain from releasing or submitting any track that:

a. sounds like it could be the work of another producer,

b. sounds redundantly like other works of your own, or

c. only evokes the emotion of being in a club.

5. Treat every track as you would a loved one; support and encourage its individuality, and never misguide or manipulate it for popularity purposes.

6. Study and consider the history of dance music and make every attempt possible to carry on its creative and positive traditions while respectfully avoiding mimicking, re-treading, or capitalizing on its origins for content.

7. Honestly question your motivation and objective, particularly if your interest in dancing and dance music is a result of certain chemical experiences.


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