The Art of Djing and Transgression to Digital Media Essay

Words: 3502
Pages: 15

Generally speaking, a DJ’s job is to present a series of records for the enjoyment of the audience. That applies to the radio DJ as well – they play music intermingling it with chat or some sort of comedic performance. The club DJ, on the other hand, does something much more musically creative – s/he presents records by performing them to produce a cohesive musical atmosphere. Songs are carefully chosen, strung together in an improvised story to make a continuous and flowing set. Whether the DJ chooses to dramatically juxtapose songs or unnoticeably overlay and mix them together, he creates new unique music that cannot be found anywhere else. To a large extent, it is possible thanks to the amazing advances in technology that DJs also have
They would completely restructure songs by recording them on reel-to-reel tape and then splicing the tape together as they wanted to hear the song. The DJ duo recorded the best parts of a song several times and pieced the parts together into once seamless mega-version. The legendary Larry Levan is often regarded the greatest DJ in history – not for his technical abilities on the decks and amazing song selections, but mainly because he understood his audience, what they were looking for at a club and knew how to establish a special, unique connection with the people dancing around him (Brewster 156-158). Today, DJing has become a multi-billion dollar industry and a successful and talented DJ can be even compared to the guitar heroes of the 1960s. Some of his devoted fans, even call Lerry Levan Jimmy Hendricks of modern day DJ craftsmanship (Souvignier 67). That is why it is important for a DJ not only to be a record collector who can seamlessly mix songs using clever tricks. He also needs to be a good selector of tracks, a showman and have a musical ear and a sense of rhythm. Hip-hop djing, often referred to as turntablism, even to a greater extent emphasizes the use of the equipment as a musical instrument. DJ Grand Mixer DXT first introduced rhythmic scratching of a record on the turntable. By altering the pitch of the song’s note, he was able to turn the turntable into a fully improvisational and performable instrument (Souvignier 120-122)