Our latest internet radio broadcast:
The below was our last internet radio broadcast from the blissfactory loft. These were going on for about 3-4 years and happen more sporadically these days and happens mostly on a whim. Usually this is when there’s a lack of a party during a certain month and a need to ingest copious amounts of beer and chinese food. This one features a visit by south bay techno innovators Haptic Synapses and a stellar full moon tech house set by DJ Alixr. Also featured: an interview with Haptic Synapses by Sean Ocean.
The Last Time DEF was on KZSU Toro Toro and Disconnect headed up a jacky all vinyl set in promotion for our last event featuring Bryan Zentz. In an interview with Holt Sorenson, Sean Ocean aka Disconnect Spills the beans on his favorite Zentz tracks and his motivation for continuing to promote techno in the Bay Area.
More Audio to Follow:
Sean Ocean’s Audio content wooU-woooo.
move along here nothing to see.. jk, jk, DEF has thrown some dope parties.. eventually when lazyness subsides or the itch gets too bad there’ll be more in the future. currently the focus of DEF is virtual since it doesn’t cost more than hosting fees and lasts longer than 1 night. so there could be something in the works but stay tuned.. you never know when there’ll be that need to scratch that itch…
here’s some our past events:
DEF provides featured articles based on current events, editorials, people and places within the west coast techno community. Look here for interviews and content from the people and events shaping the west coast scene.
editorial: There’s a lot of words going around on the younger generation’s view that the spirit of rave and the cooperation that goes along with it is dead, but can it truly be?
Jeremy Bispo, there seems to be no stopping one of San Francisco’s busiest and most influential promoters . When you look at his As You Like It events, there seems to be no direction to go but up.
The Killswitch heads Tim Dcoy and David JV8 spill the beans on the on the inception and origin on one of the bay area’s most favorite tech house weeklies and underground party outfits.
Derek Scott is one of the original members of the San Jose techno scene and continues to shape the techno sound of the bay area from the 80s till present day.
DEF takes a look at the major players in the scene who brought techno to the South Bay earliest on.
DJs Solekandi and Disconnect interview Fanon Flowers on his career and music insights, and why he calls Southern California home.
Join us as we politely interrogate one of the many faces behind Kontrol. We get inside the head of Greg Bird on his origins in the scene, views on DJ politics and trying to keep it all together..
Death of the DJ Superstar
what you got is a culture of people thinking clubs and raves are rock venues cause the cultural delivery of rock music is familiar to people who have been alienated by the majors and indy culture; looking for a new alternative. the djs at the hacienda in the late 80s/early 90s found out they didn’t need the band to be there in order for the audience to enjoy the tracks, they start giving props to the dj instead of the artists they play. this eventually leaves the DJ as a rockstar. it was all well and good for many a year. nobody knew what the dj did (i heard many people say they thought a mixer was some kind of sampler when i was a wee young raver) and they’re superstar gods. but after a fashion, that wore off cause everyone knew the secret, the door to the dj booth was left wide open, instructional videos and every company in the world trying to cash in on, “you too can be a dj!”
for awhile this worked and the companies raked in the cash, then bought and sold the mysterious allure of the dj cult to the masses. now everyone who wanted to be one, was a dj. so after awhile really good dj’s couldn’t get booked cause the audience was expecting a rockstar.
the promoters knew this, so they stopped going after just djs alone. all the while the agents were saying to the djs,
“hey buddy, nobody’s going to throw down airfare for you to play 24 records and leave unless you produced some tracks of your own.”
so this leaves poor mr./miss dj with no other recourse than to pirate a copy of ableton and get cracking. for a time it worked as well. people were looking at these really interesting new producers coming on the scene, flying them out to do tours. these new producer’s new perspective was great and a breath of fresh air to the music scene as a whole. suddenly it hit, more and more people jumped on. great producers that have been around since the beginning of this still produced great tracks, but it was harder for younger people to find them under the mountains of newbie trash flooding beatport in a vain attempt to rape the top ten popularity contest. saturation sets in. there are so many tracks on digital download sites and torrents, the tracks themselves become worthless. good producers have to work doubly hard to even get a bit of recognition or even a paycheck.
as a result, the only way to be a recording artist is to ironically play other people’s tracks as a dj. but there’s so little time to produce that what get’s produced becomes a quick throwaway promotion in order to get back on tour. since if nobody’s heard of you and you’re not in people’s faces with new music, you don’t get to dj/ perform. but if you dj all the time, you don’t produce. that’s an EDM catch 22. there’s no room to produce and obsess over a track for a month for your album cause when its done, the genre has changed ever so slightly and your lovingly crafted track might even sound dated even a year from the time of release.
then the popularity of the laptop dj made it easy to play other people’s tracks in a rapid succession with much less skill, and, should you choose to do so, mutilate the tracks beyond recognition through controllerism. but if you look at the whole concept of being a controllerist, it’s just a bunch of wankery when the audience really just wants to hear some good music. not some glitchy ego trip through your record collection that was never designed for such fuckery. so then there’s people who turn those tracks into a live PA version of other people’s tracks.. that’s cool, but then again, why not just play your own stuff? that’s who the audience came to see (amirite?). so that leaves people who just want to dj, i mean just put 2 records into each other and share a splee with their friends, in that regard we’re now left only with vinyl, cds or the newcomer, the thumb drive. which is great cause nobody wants to see the dj’s dumpy butt setting up their serato-ableton-traktor while the last guy is still rockin’ solid. the heralded thumb drive also eliminates that whole cd dj thing where the dj just is totally dissing the vinyl tone arm with their beer soaked cd case. seems as though a happy medium may be in sight, but that sort of goes back to the idea that, “hell, anybody can play thumb drives.”
so we’re now back at: saturation in the market, touring is the only way to make a living as a producer, people still want rockstars, promoters still think they can only book rockstar talent and the state of djing is in chaos.
so what’s next? well, let’s not count out playing live. the machines for producing good electronic music are coming back to their 1980s equivalent in sales, more and more producers are tiring of the laptop as their sole source of production. it seems that maybe the only solution for wannabe rockstars is to pick up a synth and actually become good at it, maybe taking a few music lessons and learning how to make your own damn tracks and play them live on your kit. since everyone’s idea on how to do this is different, more and more sounds and styles will be different. the music coming out will be more interesting and unique. people who collaborate with each other in their own home towns will start to develop their own sounds, -maybe even whole cities will start to develop their own sound, due to saturation in the market. Cities start making their own styles like they once did in the early 90s, the sheffield style, the london, the rotterdam, the chicago, the detroit, japan etc.. more people might try to be weirder than the next guy or try to do something more outlandish than the next since they can’t easily tour with their gear, they might stay home more often. or do regional tours as bands used to do. the live pa experiments become more solid and polished ideas in the bedroom studio. maybe people start making full albums to heads to just hang out with at home once more?
that one totally nuts producer from kansas is probably tearing it up right now with some as yet unknown form of electronic music. in the future, people might bring him or her out to shanghai where there’s a whole scene based on the kansas style, where they love kansas _insert weird genre here_.
this i feel is possibly here it could go, i have some great hopes that with so many people making music that maybe good music will eventually win out over the rockstar mentality and people will just make music for the hell of it or for the love of it as many people do now. heads get paid for their live pa work much as bands do out of the bar. and as with so many people making music there will be superstars and great new swaths of interesting genres will crop up to inspire new ideas and people to come up with something radically different in opposition.
it’s an interesting future and totally hypothetical, but it’s kind of one where there was only one person to blame.. the audience that sees the performer up there as some god. but with everyone making the music, the playing field might be leveled, or if there are better musicians than others, they will advance and some company will try to market their music to a larger audience. i wonder what, then?
in my mind i thought that we turned away from bands to electronic music because we had had enough. there was too much emphasis on the whole rock’n'roll ego trip, instead of the faceless lone producers who we’d probably never ever get to meet that were locked in the grooves of some mystical ancient medium. those anonymous heroes possessed the uncanny ability to make you lust after tons of their tracks on vinyl no matter what the cost. maybe that’s a decrepit indie 90s fantasy where the rockstar mythos should be scorned in favor of music with heart and artistry, but it’s still a romantic notion i hold dear. djing to me was my way of saying “these are my heroes and let me show you how much i love them. here let me be still and speak with these records that hold onto my emotions. they say more than i ever could.”
whatever happened to that, i may never know, but maybe a healthy dose of that with the coming tide could be something that we really need to see. i welcome the change i see as inevitable but i sincerely hope we don’t repeat anything if time has made us blind to it.
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