Posts from 4th July 2000

4
Jul 00

Hmm, I sounded like a hip hop snob there

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Hmm, I sounded like a hip hop snob there. I am a hip hop snob, but I’m also a pop snob; it’s not just the fact that it’s Robbie Williams who’s ripped off the tracks. I think it’s just that I think his new song’s pretty bad and people would be much better off listening to “Ladi Dadi” or “Can I Kick It?” to find out if they prefer the originals to Williams’ watered-down versions.

I HATE DJs

I Hate Music23 comments • 2,006 views

I HATE DJs

Every one of them. From your great-uncle who tries to spin Rush’s “Tom Sawyer” over Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love” (the unholy din created being only marginally better than the originals), to the big international brandname DJ’s and their coke-stained slipmatts, to the guy you went to school with who’s changed his name to “Mike-E-Blunt” or something equally ridiculous so he can pull chicks (Yeah mate, I remember you from school, and the cologne you’re wearing doesn’t hide the fact that you still smell).

There’s no art to being a DJ, and there’s a craft only in the sense that some DJs are less actively insulting than others. They talk about “taking listeners on a journey”, but they really mean that they’ve created the musical equivalent of cheap air-travel: no breaks once you start, no choices about the “entertainment” you’re given, no escape from the unpleasant people jammed in around you and a vague suspicion that the guy at the front smiling down at everyone and making weird arm motions is demonstrating the use of a life jacket. They wax poetic about “educating” their listeners, but all you really learn from one of their sets is that drugs will make anything bearable, and that thirty quid is seriously too much money to have to pay to see a man who can’t even play an instrument. They talk about revealing something of themselves through the records they play, but I’d like to see one of them have the guts to spin their favourite Journey record and reveal their geeky adolescence. And they are all geeks – the “jockey” in their honorific is accurate insofar as they are all short and whiny, and they all ride to glory on the back of a winner created by someone else.

Almost worse are the silly fools (drugfiends and journalists mostly, although that’s really just one category) who rave on about some wanker’s ability to play two records at once: “He was like liquid lightning, maaaaan! His hands were unleashing musical metallurgy to alchemise the blood of his willing captives!” If ecstasy is the happy drug, why do all these crank writers sound like they’ve been party to some awful voodoo ceremony gone wrong? I’m sorry, but the truth is that beatmixing – ie. playing two records, both in 4/4 time, both with four beats to the bar, simultaneously – is as easy as falling off a log. It’s almost as easy as catching a nasty STD from one of these guys (I once had a friend who went down that sorry path. She now spends her entire time in a bath tiled with sandpaper). As for turntablists, well, if I wanted to hear meaningless snippets of songs lost in interminable stretches of irritating noise, I’d just keep flicking the tuner on my radio and save myself the bother.

The only thing that stops me popping off the lot of them right now is a slight case of indecision. Which is worse? Those who make the crappy records or those who spin them together so that the terrible noise need never end? Perhaps I should pack some extra rounds of ammunition…