What turns you off/on about DJs at Burning Man?

What turns you off/on about DJs at Burning Man?

Postby Corbin » Mon Aug 08, 2011 1:46 am

I'm curious what turns people off about DJs (and large scale sound camps) at burning man? and also, What turns you on?
I've been cruising the ePlaya and there are lots of snarky comments related to DJs and especially DJs looking for sound systems to play on. It seems like a discussion worth having, if not a discussion, then maybe a troll fest of sorts. See... I'm a DJ and sometimes I'm at odds with my fellow DJ brethren out on the playa.... You think playing other peoples music would be simple and easy to figure out, but I guess it isn't.

What turns me off:
- Poor level control - It sounds better when you can actually hear the music.
- Rock star DJs - Yes it is burning man, yes you're probably awesome... can you and your ego go away?
- Acoustic instruments can't compete with amplified sound - It scares musician away. But whatever, I'm a DJ.
- Too much electro-glicth-dubstep last year, it was everywhere - look at me and my judgments!
- Too many DJs trying to "hit me over the head" with their sound - Its okay to warm people hearts, and soothe their souls.
- Knowing a DJ didn't buy their own ticket - poo-heads!
- Laptops - If there are no discs... you're not a DJ. You're an FJ (File Jockey).
- Wait? So there is more to BM than raving every night?


What Turns me On:
- Being able to hear music I wouldn't normally listen to - I guess this could go above too.
- Fireballs being shot into the air synched up to the end of breakdowns - thanks pyro peoples!
- DJs on Mutant vehicles loaded with soundsystems.
- DJs Playing non-electronic dance music.
- The DJs on BMIR! You are loved!
- DJs on Function one subwoofers
- Mirror balls! Not that the dj is responsible for that, but I love em.
- Hearing a DJ perform well & play good music; and I have no idea who they are or what songs they played. thank you.
- The thought that one of you might make a sign saying "NO MORE SHITTY TECHNO" and walk around with it to all the sound camps.


I'll try to keep the shitty techno to a minimum, but beware of my friends and their penchant for banging german-techno at sunrise.
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Re: What turns you off/on about DJs at Burning Man?

Postby jobi » Mon Aug 08, 2011 8:32 am

LIKE:
Seeing the open Playa when you party.
Still has an "underground" feel to it, which is becoming hard to achieve these days.
Cool installations with fire.
Artcar soundsystems setting up near large art pieces. (although this is a fine line)
Unheard of DJs having the best night of their life.


DISLIKE:
Too much dubstep.
Too much law enforcement.
Too many tourists.
Keep it away from the Temple, please.
Superstar DJs that are jetlagged from their flight in from Kuala Lampur.
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Re: What turns you off/on about DJs at Burning Man?

Postby Captain » Mon Aug 08, 2011 9:23 am

What's wrong with djing from a laptop?
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Re: What turns you off/on about DJs at Burning Man?

Postby Simon of the Playa » Mon Aug 08, 2011 9:29 am

oh shut the fuck up and have another banana.

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Re: What turns you off/on about DJs at Burning Man?

Postby AntiM » Mon Aug 08, 2011 9:59 am

Turn offs include:

Djs playing to empty dance floors. Just sad.

Loud during the few cool quiet hours people can grab sleep in the morning before their tents are ovens.

Mutant vehicles blasting their music in the inner city, without regard as to what camps are nearby. Potty stops are especially egregious.


What I am waiting for is the DJ with the nerve to do the Inna Gada da Vida/Truckin'/Smoke on the Water/Rainy Day Women set. Love for the old hippies!
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Re: What turns you off/on about DJs at Burning Man?

Postby jella » Mon Aug 08, 2011 10:07 am

AntiM wrote:Turn offs include:

Djs playing to empty dance floors. Just sad.

Loud during the few cool quiet hours people can grab sleep in the morning before their tents are ovens.

Mutant vehicles blasting their music in the inner city, without regard as to what camps are nearby. Potty stops are especially egregious.


What I am waiting for is the DJ with the nerve to do the Inna Gada da Vida/Truckin'/Smoke on the Water/Rainy Day Women set. Love for the old hippies!

+1
Does this mean I was raised by hippies :shock: hehe
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Re: What turns you off/on about DJs at Burning Man?

Postby AntiM » Mon Aug 08, 2011 10:08 am

You don't actually have to have been around then to be an old hippie. I missed the decade by about ten years myself. :P
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Re: What turns you off/on about DJs at Burning Man?

Postby junglesmacks » Mon Aug 08, 2011 10:17 am

On: Prog house

Off: Dubstep
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Re: What turns you off/on about DJs at Burning Man?

Postby Packoderm » Mon Aug 08, 2011 10:20 am

I just find it difficult to get excited about somebody playing somebody else's recorded music and calling that an art form. Commit to an instrument, take lessons, get blisters, learn to cooperate with other like minded musicians to form a band, practice, find your own sound by appreciating who came before you and appreciating the various genres, take a risk by flying your musical flag in front of an audience, in short - become a musician. I'd venture to say that this is a ten year process, but I know how it is with young people these days.
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Re: What turns you off/on about DJs at Burning Man?

Postby jella » Mon Aug 08, 2011 10:22 am

AntiM wrote:You don't actually have to have been around then to be an old hippie. I missed the decade by about ten years myself. :P

we need to find some of the good stuff and go dancing my dear :)
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Re: What turns you off/on about DJs at Burning Man?

Postby Dr. Pyro » Mon Aug 08, 2011 10:34 am

I am in complete agreement with Packoderm. Some clown playing dusty discs with no talent of their own with regards to actually composing and playing the music is not art, it's repetition. And boring. It doesn't take talent to play records, it takes talent to be the musician on the records. As one who plays the piano, playing the piano takes talent; playing an old Tom Lehrer album does not.
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Re: What turns you off/on about DJs at Burning Man?

Postby AntiM » Mon Aug 08, 2011 10:42 am

jella wrote:
AntiM wrote:You don't actually have to have been around then to be an old hippie. I missed the decade by about ten years myself. :P

we need to find some of the good stuff and go dancing my dear :)


I often do the cool aging beat/hippie/rocker/hipster thing.... casually leaning against the wall in the back, dark glasses, boppin' head nod, snap of the fingers, and the occasional toe tap.... ah crap, face it, asthma and arthritis have forced me to be chill. But a little dancing couldn't kill me faster than gravity already is trying to do I suppose.

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Re: What turns you off/on about DJs at Burning Man?

Postby junglesmacks » Mon Aug 08, 2011 10:43 am

See.. this is the thing.

We must all be careful not to ridicule or belittle that which we do not understand or care for. Say that you don't like it.. fine. But to start judging what is art or talent and what is not.. well.. that's just plain ignorance.

Electronic music is most definitely an art form.. albeit one that takes engaging and understanding to appreciate. The mathematical perfection of rhythm and tempos and being able to not only manipulate on an immediate basis, but to form a great movement over time is something that is incredible and does take talent regardless of how much you care for the end result. It's far from just "twisting knobs" of other people's music.. it's understanding rhythm and being able to manipulate it to the nth degree.

I mean.. why don't we get monkeys to stand up there and strum those guitar strings up and down? That doesn't take any talent, does it? That stupid accordion.. all you do is squeeze it in and out.. that doesn't take any talent.. does it? Drums.. bah.. drums.. all you do is beat things with sticks, right? Who needs talent for that?

Art? What's art? Who needs talent for art?


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Re: What turns you off/on about DJs at Burning Man?

Postby jella » Mon Aug 08, 2011 10:44 am

To the good stuff
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Re: What turns you off/on about DJs at Burning Man?

Postby Packoderm » Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:06 am

junglesmacks wrote:See.. this is the thing.

We must all be careful not to ridicule or belittle that which we do not understand or care for. Say that you don't like it.. fine. But to start judging what is art or talent and what is not.. well.. that's just plain ignorance.

Electronic music is most definitely an art form.. albeit one that takes engaging and understanding to appreciate. The mathematical perfection of rhythm and tempos and being able to not only manipulate on an immediate basis, but to form a great movement over time is something that is incredible and does take talent regardless of how much you care for the end result. It's far from just "twisting knobs" of other people's music.. it's understanding rhythm and being able to manipulate it to the nth degree.

I mean.. why don't we get monkeys to stand up there and strum those guitar strings up and down? That doesn't take any talent, does it? That stupid accordion.. all you do is squeeze it in and out.. that doesn't take any talent.. does it? Drums.. bah.. drums.. all you do is beat things with sticks, right? Who needs talent for that?

Art? What's art? Who needs talent for art?


Live and let live and let create. Judge not lest ye be judged.



Touche.

I think I'll edit this. I liken learning to construct music from scratch to professional motocross. There is not a soul on Earth who can jump on a bike and start winning championships within a year or two. If you put a complete rookie on the motocross track, he or she will look extremely foolish going so slow and falling down all over the place. I liken DJ/Rap to professional drag racing. You can put a complete rookie who's been coached for about a week in a top-fuel dragster, and he or she will go down the quarter mile at a reasonable clip appearing to non-experts as a competent race car driver.
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Re: What turns you off/on about DJs at Burning Man?

Postby shroom » Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:32 am

AntiM wrote:Turn offs include:

What I am waiting for is the DJ with the nerve to do the Inna Gada da Vida/Truckin'/Smoke on the Water/Rainy Day Women set. Love for the old hippies!



I do enjoy the techno for the most part , but this would be awesome!
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Re: What turns you off/on about DJs at Burning Man?

Postby junglesmacks » Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:40 am

Packoderm wrote:appearing to non-experts as a competent race car driver.



Yes, I will give you that. You can teach someone to simply blend beats together.. ESPECIALLY with modern mixers with beat counters and synchronization within an hour.

It is though.. a tougher issue first of all when you stretch that mixing into more than just a couple records. Here's a dance floor.. go keep it filled and people going nuts for 3 hours straight without trainwrecking. That's not easy.. and that's just beginning skills.

Then add to it more complex mixing skills such as rhythm compression, multi-source sampling and looping on the fly, multiple sources, etc.. and then again that's just for that one track. Link ALL of that together throughout the night to not only perform at that exact minute.. but choosing music and layering it all to form one, giant, long movement for your set complete with long term build up and cool down.. THAT takes talent. Seriously.

"Big name" DJs are "big name" for a reason. If you understand and appreciate what it is that you are listening to, they will blow your fucking mind. Forget drugs. Witnessing someone like John Digweed or Roger Sanchez or a multitude of others play in front of you live on a system that allows you to hear the intricacies and layers of rhythm that you may not hear or notice otherwise.. well.. there's just no words. I swear to god I've had some experiences where all I could do was just stop dancing.. just stand and watch and listen and say WOW. wow.

..all in the eye of the beholder and appreciator. It may sound like an old shoe in a dryer to you, but that doesn't mean that to me with my ears that appreciate and understand and love rhythm and the raw emotion that it can create without uttering a single word that it isn't anything but pure, beautiful art.

YMMV
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Re: What turns you off/on about DJs at Burning Man?

Postby Packoderm » Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:53 am

Thanks for the thoughtful discussion JSmacks. The techno sounds good enough for me to dance given my casual involvement with it. I do remember the music at the rave parties on the playa just feeling very formulaic and similar. I guess the same thing could be said about a guitar solo placed in a song, but I could tell the difference and be able to identify who's playing what if you were to blindfold me and take me to a concert. I wouldn't be able to do that with techno, but maybe you could. There was/is quite a bit of difference in the sound between the Grateful Dead, Iron Butterfly and Joe Satriani. Anyway, I guess somebody who's heavily into classical music could tell us that both of our music tastes is just simpleton diversion, and we're both full of crap.
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i like lamp.

Postby Roberto Dobbisano » Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:00 pm

i love Polka.


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Re: What turns you off/on about DJs at Burning Man?

Postby Captain » Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:14 pm

Dear HATERS,

Djing isn't easy, I can teach someone to play chords on a piano in 15 minutes, doesn't mean they will play the right ones and sound good. Who ever said the physical mixing of two tracks had to be difficult? As in any art form there is so much more to it, which is why there are bad djs and great djs.

You're just repeating the same crap your parents probably tried to tell you about the guitar.

Stop the hate and enjoy the music.

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Re: What turns you off/on about DJs at Burning Man?

Postby Corbin » Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:15 pm

What's wrong with djing from a laptop?

Nothing is wrong with it, except the vernacular of course.... I guess you could be a "Digital Jockey"
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Re: What turns you off/on about DJs at Burning Man?

Postby Captain » Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:26 pm

Ah but really one could say the plates of a hard drive are discs. ;)

With that said my music is on a SSD which doesn't have discs so your previous notion still stands. :(
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Re: What turns you off/on about DJs at Burning Man?

Postby Dr Jet Sinister » Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:34 pm

AntiM wrote:Djs playing to empty dance floors. Just sad...

Worth a repost. There's nothing wrong with turning it down a notch either, especially if you aren't at 10 or 2.

We play music from the 40's in our theme-y theme camp and you can only hear it when you are *right* in front. I would like that to be the norm for all the camps that aren't at 10 or 2, but wishes are for fools.
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Re: What turns you off/on about DJs at Burning Man?

Postby Roberto Dobbisano » Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:36 pm

one nation, under a groove.
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Re: i like lamp.

Postby Eric » Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:39 pm

Roberto Dobbisano wrote:i love Polka.


Working on it. Though they may all be on CD. Who's got a CD player?

Even though I'm one of those who jumps on people when they say "I'm a DJ!" as if it's some rare talent, I do have mad respect for a good DJ- fuck, my campmates are DJ's & promoters who make a living off it with parties on 4 continents.

The thing that people are missing when they bash (good) DJ's, and some of what JS was alluding to, is that they DO play an instrument- the audience/dancers.

A good DJ can manipulate the crowd into a frenzy, stop them on a dime, have them fist pumping or pogoing and then take them back to a mad party place in their heads. That's what separates a "super star" or club-filling DJ from AntiM's empty-floor DJ. Most of the people who walk around boasting "I'm a DJ" are probably the empty-floor kind; the good ones don't have to tell you, they're known for it.

Original Question:

Dislikes:
-Same thumpy shit from every large sound camp (sorry, that's what it sounds like)
-The crowds who gather at the large camps thinking that's all the BMan is.
-All the litter from the above people
-Fucking party barges becoming the only art cars out there.
-Party Barges at the Temple.
-Party Barges blasting in the back street. I really want an EMP emitter to blow their systems, but that would be mean.

Likes:
-The sound of that thumpy shit I hate up close heard in the distance from Deep Playa
-Music with words. One of the large sound camps played Bohemian Rhapsody with their 30 foot video wall flashing and had the crowd going crazy.
-Live music
-DJ's playing something I haven't heard before
-DJ's playing something I haven't heard forever
-DJ's slipping in something unexpected in a set (see Bohemian Rhapsody above)

An aside on CD's/Vinyl vs. iPod/Computer dj-ing: in the middle of a white out you're much better off using your iPod set-up; less moving equipment to get wrecked. Modern systems can get a couple of tracks ready to be blended & you wouldn't know the difference (with a good dj) unless you watched them.
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Re: What turns you off/on about DJs at Burning Man?

Postby Simon of the Playa » Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:41 pm

eric, the bohemian rhapsody was brought to you by none other than jefr Tale....of Root Society.


yeah, old fucks can rock out with their cock out too.... :twisted:
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Re: What turns you off/on about DJs at Burning Man?

Postby Eric » Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:52 pm

Simon of the Playa wrote:eric, the bohemian rhapsody was brought to you by none other than jefr Tale....of Root Society.


yeah, old fucks can rock out with their cock out too.... :twisted:


Should'a known it was your camp. We were walking out to Deep Playa and just hit Root as it came on. One of my favorite memories from last year!
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Re: i like lamp.

Postby Dr Jet Sinister » Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:55 pm

Eric wrote:Likes:
-The sound of that thumpy shit I hate up close heard in the distance from Deep Playa
-Music with words. One of the large sound camps played Bohemian Rhapsody with their 30 foot video wall flashing and had the crowd going crazy.
-Live music
-DJ's playing something I haven't heard before
-DJ's playing something I haven't heard forever
-DJ's slipping in something unexpected in a set (see Bohemian Rhapsody above)

+100
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Re: What turns you off/on about DJs at Burning Man?

Postby Savannah » Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:58 pm

Eric said it so well I hardly need post. I too love the new & different, and the unexpected use of classic things . . . and it would be nice to have lyrics sometimes.

And I have seething hate for art cars that blast in more residential areas at 3am. Such people are not there to entertain, they're there to torment people who can't sleep in the daytime, and that is some creepy overstepping of boundaries right there.
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Re: What turns you off/on about DJs at Burning Man?

Postby Ugly Dougly » Mon Aug 08, 2011 1:07 pm

Captain wrote:Dear HATERS,

Djing isn't easy, I can teach someone to play chords on a piano in 15 minutes, doesn't mean they will play the right ones and sound good. Who ever said the physical mixing of two tracks had to be difficult? As in any art form there is so much more to it, which is why there are bad djs and great djs.

You're just repeating the same crap your parents probably tried to tell you about the guitar.

Stop the hate and enjoy the music.

- with <3 Captain


Just curious. Are you a musician, Captain?
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