Open Ears, Open Mind

So, what comes into your mind when I utter the word “DJ”? Yes, I know it’s not far from what comes across mine. There has been a stigma about DJ’s and I admit that I was one of those people that correlates DJing with flashy club goers and packed hard-to-breathe-and-talk atmospheres. Yet it could be merely the result of over-commercialization of electronic or house music.

However recently, I’ve been actively introduced and now a liberated person when it comes to this type of music and I say that my perspective is entirely altered for the better. It really is a joy to have an open mind because you can and will come out so much more knowledgeable.

From what I gathered is that these DJs refresh and insert a lot of charm into house music by collecting vinyl records. Then, they will somehow seamlessly mix, and match different tracks, matching beats of  different genres together like jazz, soul, funk, in creating incredible one or two hour-long sessions of a bloody good time.

They are therefore called “crate diggers” as they literally will search for records pretty much anywhere like flea markets. This I think is especially not only due to other DJs and producers but due to modern times as some stores might price these records really high up. Those two words alone makes me even more intrigued to explore as I realized how hard they will work to produce music and make a living off of art.

Above is an example of Motor City Drum Ensemble – represented by Danilo Plesslow from Stuttgart, Germany. His take on mixing, especially to new ears like mine, completely put me off guard as it still sparks some confusion on one’s ability to know which tracks will complement each other. Therefore, this fact alone convinces me that what they do is not just pressing buttons.

Anyways, it definitely delights me to move past a misconception of DJing and house music in general because of how easy it is to follow others’ thoughts. It might look like one is playing off of iTunes and changing tracks with the tap of a finger. But if you look closely, their knowledge of music is not subordinate to other musicians because we tend to forget that these producers and DJs appreciate and actually know music as much as they other guy. Furthermore, I am sure that they put as much discipline to the hours they spent exploring and preparing for shows.

Sure, they may not be making music from scratch, but I salute their impeccable ability to create a mood, an atmosphere, an energy to move people.