New MusicNews

This DJ Shadow mix was “too future” for Miami

on January 02, 2013, 3:40pm

dj shadow too future e1357141729949 This DJ Shadow mix was too future for Miami

Way back in December 2012, underground legend DJ Shadow was booked to play Miami’s Mansion Nightclub as part of his “All Basses Covered” DJ tour. But as the story goes, the promoter of the venue didn’t think DJ Shadow’s mixture of trap, backbeat, and glitch-hop was appropriate for the venue and asked him to end his set early.

“I’ve waited a long time to play here, but they said this shit is too future for y’all,” DJ Shadow told the crowd. Later, he wrote on Twitter, “I don’t care if I get kicked out of every rich kid club on the planet. I will never sacrifice my integrity as a DJ… ever #AllBassesCovered”

The promoter has since apologized to DJ Shadow, citing an error in judgment. “We have learned a lot from this error and made changes within our organization to ensure that Mansion’s vision, and the vision of our guests, will never be compromised again,” the promoter explained in a statement.

Over the weekend, DJ Shadow’s team uploaded the controversial set to SoundCloud, which you stream in full below. In the description box, they wrote: “Beginning in the Summer of 2012 with his Low End Theory guest spots, DJ Shadow’s ‘All Basses Covered’ set has morphed and evolved to incorporate as many different contemporary genres of urban and electronic music as possible. From hardcore rap to footwork and juke and beyond, Shadow has combed the web to curate seamless and dexterous blends of the most progressive sounds bubbling up from the underground. ‘Too hard?’ ‘Too future?’ Or just too raw? As always, DJ Shadow has provoked crucial flashpoints of discussion about the discipline of DJ’ing that have defined our turbulent times.”

8 comments

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richard
January 24, 2013 at 12:21 pm

this track is awesome.. that club is run by a bunch of morons

next time hire beiber

patroklos
January 11, 2013 at 11:46 pm

Ultimately it’s the promoter’s fault, or the club’s fault if the DJ was booked through the club. That being said, DJ Shadow has it all wrong. It’s the job of a DJ to understand a crowd, and to understand the venue in which he is being booked. In these days of bottle service and pop-dance, a mainstream club is going to want mainstream music played. Don’t take the gig if you don’t want to pack the dance floor. He wasn’t hired to prove a point, he was hired to entertain. And trust me, he wouldn’t have been asked to surrender the turntables if he had been holding the dance floor. Being a great DJ requires, among other things, preparation and an ability to read the dance floor. If he wants to be a producer, that’s fine, he can push whatever envelopes he wants. But if he wants to be an entertainer (i.e. a DJ), then he has to entertain. The relationship between the DJ and the dance floor is dynamic, it’s give and take, and if a DJ wants to introduce progressive material, he has to know how to do it properly.

Danny Collins
January 24, 2013 at 1:27 pm

It’s a mindless entertainer’s job JUST to get the crowd moving with familiar beats. It’s an artist’s job to introduce them to new sounds and take risks. Can a DJ not be an artist?

patroklos
January 24, 2013 at 8:55 pm

The DJ should be an artist AND an entertainer. It’s a rare combination that few DJs actually possess. Anyone can pack a floor if they play hits, and anyone can put together an experimental set that clears the floor. That being said, I agree that it is absolutely an artist’s job to introduce new sounds and to take risks. And sometimes, you’ll take risks and lose your floor. But if you’ve been playing all night and almost no one is dancing, what’s the point of being in a dance club? A great DJ, as opposed to a a mere producer, needs to have an intuitive, organic, almost shamanistic relation with the crowd. He or she has to know the crowd, has to be prepared, and has to know when and how to take risks. When the connection is there, the energy exchange between the DJ and the dance floor creates a dynamic that can be transcendent (though I doubt that happens very often at the above mentioned venue).

Jordan
July 24, 2013 at 9:22 am

He kept his integrity which was the best thing anybody could ever do in any art form. His art was aimed squarely at a particular audience. The group on the edge, the early adopters. It was never intended for the masses. The masses are usually idiots anyway.

The result? People are now talking about it. The set is being shared. His reputation as a trend setter has grown. The music even has a small cult following now.

I would never go out of my way to download or stream a club DJs set after hearing it in a club, but I’ll make sure I listen to this set.

DJ Shadow has made waves by knowing his niche, creating his art and shipping it regardless of the feedback. Marketing genius at its greatest. Lets see what the crowd does now.

The question is this. Would you sacrifice one night of crowd complains for this amount of publicity?

patroklos
July 24, 2013 at 7:41 pm

Jordan, I wasn’t there. If there were a few complaints, then to hell with the idiots. If there was an empty dance floor all night, the DJ has failed. I’ve made my position clear in the posts above. It’s possible that the promoter may have misrepresented to DJ Shadow what he was getting into. If so, that’s a shame, though it’s hard to believe that DJ Shadow didn’t know how things were going to go down at that particular venue.

A DJ is a a live entertainer AND and an artist. A producer may or may not be an artist, but is not an entertainer. These terminologies have become confused since the proliferation of commercialized EDM and the blurring of the lines between the two disciplines.

As for your assertion that DJ Shadow represents “marketing genius” at its greatest, I would argue that this is a bit hyperbolic. But insofar as it’s true, it makes him great at marketing, not as an artist. Deadmou5 has a great marketing schtick too. A great artist? Not so much.

A great DJ takes risks every time he steps behind the turntables (or their equivalent). That’s what advances the art. But when people pay money to be entertained, a conscientious entertainer takes that into account. Even on the fateful day that Dylan went electric, he still pulled out the old acoustic guitar and gave the crowd a few hits to mollify them.

In closing, to answer your question, I try to avoid gigs if I know that my music isn’t going to be appreciated by the patrons of the club (or, to use your words, idiots). If I had been playing that night, I would have found a way to weave my aesthetic into a mix that kept the crowd on the floor. Or at least I would have tried. Nothing is more difficult, and to do it successfully is the mark of a truly great DJ. DJ, not producer. DJ.

Did you listen to the set? No one could reasonably have expected that set to work in a mainstream club with bottle service, no matter its artistic value. Similarly, Yo Yo Ma playing Bach, no matter how sublime, would not have worked in the club either.

Tahoe R. Kamman- Nevada
January 4, 2013 at 9:50 pm

“…to ensure that Mansion’s vision, and the vision of our guests, will never be compromised again.” In other words, we (Mansion) will make sure we ONLY book “mainstream” DJ’s/producers from now on. Fuck ‘em!

Priyanka Moondra
January 3, 2013 at 3:01 am

The future is where it’s at. The only thing controversial about this set is the underlying assumption that music straying from the norm is considered faux pas. I think we can all agree this is a really dope mix. Props to DJ Shadow for standing up for good music and being an inspiration for originality. Miami, you got played. Peace.

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