The deejay scene has, for a while now, been experiencing a serious rift between scratch disk jockeys and Electronic Music disk jockeys. From this article’s title, you can probably tell my bias. However, I shall try my best to explain both sides objectively.
Scratch deejays have for a while now been feeling sidelined by EDM deejays, with DJ Magazine’s announcement of the industry’s top players striking the final nail in the metaphorical coffin. With it came a flurry of irate scratch deejays who had a lot to say using the #realdjing to vent and make their opinion known.
The main argument here is that EDM disk jockeys are not real deejays since all they do is “Push Play” as opposed to the hard earned skill set of scratching/beat juggling that their counterparts use.
I’m sure most EDM deejays right now are thinking, “We do not just press play! There are a lot of effects that we use and tracks that we select to ensure that the revellers have the best time on the dance floor. Some of us actually produce our own tracks and blend them with our own remixes!”
On the other hand, scratch deejays hear this and laugh. To them one simply has to go beyond the art of just mixing and matching music in sync. This is where Turntablism as an art form is introduced, where scratching is used as a language of its own. It takes a lot of time, concentration and energy to perfect Turntablism, and it is with this in mind that scratch deejays cannot even fathom the thought that the deejays who do nothing more than press play and sync tracks, are more revered and better paid than they are.
From a listener’s perspective, this must all sound like hogwash and cry baby business, so here’s a more accurate comparison. Real Djing is like driving a supercharged race-car with manual gear box, perfect shifts and drifting, compared to just putting the car on drive and stepping on the gas in your daily car. Both are indeed “drivers” but only one is worthy of the name.
Article by Olu Bang Bang ‘DJ Wabba‘
Featured image courtesy of Scratch DJ Academy