The bedroom DJ has become a common commodity these days, the revolution kicking off in full swing in 2014. Aspiring DJ’s searching for that fast-paced lifestyle that we all wish we could lead.
However, if everyone and their mother are purchasing the latest CDJ’s in hopes of becoming the next Seth Troxler, there simply aren’t enough clubs for everyone. Yet 2014 saw an increasingly large amount of bedroom DJ pics circulating through Facebook and the like, ploughing on in spite of the laughs it provided everyone. BUT, everyone has to start somewhere right? And, it is always cool if you know someone who can DJ well for those inevitable house parties. Plus, they get all the attention from the crowd when a good tune is dropped.
There has been the odd genius that has emerged from their bedroom to grace us with well-produced music, Kaytranada being one. Route 94 and Cyril Hahn also pride themselves on the fact they started as bedroom DJ’s and worked hard to get where they are.
So, does the criticism of the bedroom DJ just add to the dance music snobbery that circulates? Some of it does of course come from within the industry. Swedish star Avicii caused controversy when talking about new album ‘True’, which he said contains elements of country music and collaborations with ‘real’ musicians (ie: not bedroom producers) and that he wouldn’t waste time associating himself with anyone else. There’s no pleasing everyone. If producers like Cyril Hahn, Route 94 and Kaytranada can emerge from their bedrooms to produce quality music then there is something going right within the four walls that the bedroom DJ is all too familiar with.
A big bonus of the rise of the bedroom DJ are all the cool gadgets they invest their time and money into. Thalmic Labs have released their newest technology called ‘Mylo’ which essentially allows the modern DJ to control the mixer or their light show by repeatedly fist pumping the sky through a muscle-controlled armband. And of course, the big EDM DJ’s such as Armin Van Burren have jumped at the chance to make their ‘performances’ even more elaborate. Although this looks like something you’d plug into a Nintendo Wii, the gadgets available to DJ’s makes the job all the more appealing. Are these gadgets a huge development for the modern DJ, or another sign that we’re becoming less interested in technique and heat of the moment track selection and more on what can make us ‘cool’?
Now the bedroom DJ doesn’t even need to be a bedroom DJ, they can be wherever they want with technology like Serato and Traktor, the apps that eliminate the need for CDJ’s and the like, all you need is some speakers and some headphones and you’re away. Is this just killing the virtuosity of being a DJ or producer? Surely the ultimate talent and speaker of the art are producers that create their own music using electronic instruments and synthesizers, the DJ’s that can mix vinyl perfectly, and decide the track based on the crowd and the flow of the music. That’s what people pay £20 (in London) for a good night want to see. Where is the vinyl at these days?
In Berlin, it’s left to the professionals, there is no attempt for people of the city to jump on bandwagon and there is certainly no attempt to create worthless nights with inexperienced DJs and badly mixed music, it would be a sacrilege. With Berghain being an institution, its hard getting in just to experience the music let alone being asked to play there! Smaller clubs like Chalet, Katerholzig and Renaté all have a string of loyal and much-loved resident DJ’s that aren’t giving their space up for anyone. Successful club nights at Tresor and Watergate have been running for years, with the top DJ’s fighting for a space to play at some of the most renowned clubs in the world.
So why has the bedroom DJ risen so much in the UK? Well they do have their own website after all, www.bedroom-dj.co.uk allows amateur DJ’s to have a go at the real thing and broadcast live to listeners across the world and these internet radio stations are on the rise. Even SoundCloud lets DJ’s share their mixes online, a tool used to by most that are into dance music. It’s all to do with the digital music revolution and the new founded portability that comes with it, allowing one pocket-sized hard drive to carry the equivalent of lorry load of vinyl.
Even though the bedroom DJ is fast becoming a common commodity, the numbers will continue to rise as dance and electronic music grows in popularity and that bandwagon is available to jump on. Let’s hope we see some hip shaking tracks and new producers coming to the forefront very soon.