Routine: Craze’s Response to #RealDJing

Shiftee and Enferno came out with a comeback to SNL about being a DJ. A-Trak is on a mission to separate the real DJs apart from the ones who just press play and throw their hands in the air. Today Craze released a new scratch routine using two Technic 1200s, a Kontrol Z2, and Maschine MK2 that demonstrates his turntablist skills and how he fits in as a DJ. The video is another drop in the bucket of professional DJs coming out to redefine DJ culture and change the public perception of a DJ. Watch Craze tear up the decks below and see how he responds to the #realdjing campaign.

A New Era for DJs

We all know that there is a lot more to DJing besides mixing one song at the end of another and pressing the play button all night. DJing isn’t easily defined due to different styles and technique but there is a universal understanding in the community that in order to excel as a DJ, it takes as much practice as any other form of music. Whether you are a controllerist or turntablist or any other form of DJ, you come to realize that it takes hours of dedicated practice time to perfect that perfect transition or mix. In my opinion, these routines and public statements from professional DJs are great. It is easier than ever now to become a “DJ” but the public should know what it means to be a professional DJ.

We want to know what #RealDJing means to you? Comment below with your own routine showing us your skills!

  • Engel Dirt Muncherdick

    Bottom line is DJ Craze if he wanted to could own the EDM scene I mean simply put the best DJ in the EDM scene what does he actually do, Hardwell, right? Well let’s have a look shall we?

    Well it’s all a bit of theatrics for the first 2 mins, starting off with a typically generic EDM track, he comes out with surprise, surprise, his hand in the air, then thinks he’s an MC and spouts on about how great it is to be back and then, generically once again, tells everyone to clap their hands, clap, clap, clap, twists a few knobs to look like he’s actually doing something, it counts down from 10, then then it’s time to start, meanwhile, not once does he actually mix anything, he just jumps in the air, looking like a clown.
    OK so it’s at the 3 min mark, he finally has headphones on, looks like he’s down to business but you wouldn’t know because the cameraman is too busy perving on the dancers by about the 3.50 min mark you think he might start to transit into the next track, no, all he does is, surprise, surprise, PUT HIS HANDS IN THE AIR! 4.30 mins it’s much the same garbage, he actually hasn’t done a single technical thing with the mixer and at this point the track pretty much goes back to the beginning it would seem by repeating that poxy count down! Finally at the 5min mark he starts to twist some knobs and make it look like he’s actually doing something, it sounds like he’s beat matching (whether or not he’s actually doing it live is another thing?) but it sounds like he halved the levels of the original track or killed the bass and buggered around with the EQ for what would seem to be a about an 8 bar mix, then he transits into the next generic sounding EDM track, so all in all, your pretty stock standard mix and not a great sounding one either with that first transition, that was enough for me to know that this entire mix would be the same the whole way through, just to prove it, I skimmed through the rest of it to where he looked like he was in the mix and it was pretty much the same thing EVERY TIME! In all honesty if he didn’t have the side show to go along with this, it would be really boring from a DJ’s POV, not a pilled up kid who would dance to anything at that point!

  • Jerry Alan Carroll

    you try scratching at a wedding and you may get thrown out. scratching is nice, but it makes one a turntablist, not a DJ. a real DJ can handle any genre and any location from a new years teen party to a Bar Mitzvah.

    • DJ Ollie

      When done in good taste in moderation, scratching and turntablist skills is actually preferred… Check out http://www.ScratchWeddings.com... Also, the reason why turntablists and “Real DJs” are highly respected is because they can demonstrate the most complicated mixing, scratching, trickery, etc. So when handling any genre and a location from a “new years teen party to a Bar Mitzvah”, is a most likely easy for them…

  • DJ Gerard

    That was awesome to watch and listen to. I love hiphop and scratch DJs! I just wonder what the crowd on the dance floor was doing after the 3 minute mark.

  • gunnga

    simply amazing… YHIS IS REALDJING…..must be anothe class for the press play guys…that different as DJ…..They arent DISC JOCKEYS…..They are something like BJ (button jockey) or (EDMers) something like that…… I am not a performance dj… but i like to learn new things mixing controlleris and turntablims… THANKS as follow https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Aye11BUeHM&list=UUdMh58og_dbLcY-GptCpI-Q

  • Acct

    he would have made his case/point much stronger by doing a manual mini mix with slow roast tracks 🙂 I really don’t think this does much to bridge the gap between folks who don’t care what sort of conduit the music comes to them thru, and the folks who do really care about the dj doing a live mix, or throwing in some technical skill.

  • allstar720

    This whole debate is wack. A-Trak’s campaign is much like as if Eddie Van Halen insisted that any other style besides killer lead guitar is not real rock guitar playing. I dug this routine but if I was in a club and was forced to listen to this all night I’d be angry.

    • Bigheadmikelove

      Your point about EVH being nothing but a ‘killer’ lead player is very much flawed, to paraphrase Leslie West – Eddie’s a good guitarist because of Eruption, Eddie’s a great guitarist because of his rhythm.

      • allstar720

        Eddie Van Halen is a f*&cking god and don’t ever, ever forget it.

    • DJ Ollie

      You should check out some of Craze’s club clips then… This short routine was an obvious specific message to the non-real djs…

    • DJ i!

      More like you’d be jealous because as hard as you try you will never be as good, I bet you tried for months upon end to try and learn how to scratch and beat juggle, failed and eventually gave up, like every other try hard DJ in here who gave up on a hip hop DJ career and switched to shit like EDM and trance, I bet 3/4 of the clowns commenting on here are scratching their heads saying “shit he’s right, we did do that”…… but will never admit to it.

      • You pulled that out of my comment? You are special. Can I suck your d?

        • DJ i!

          I had another that linked to this but it was deleted, basically I said your analogy was borderline retarded, much like your moniker and you shouldn’t be allowed to put the letters D & J before it, so yeah, you can suck my d after I beat you down with a record in each hand kid!

          • I’m a 40 year old man who likes to fist fight.

          • DJ i!

            AKA Paris Hilton, WTAF? You maybe 40 but I’m sure all you like is to be fisted, stick to Mixcloud fool, it’s about all you’ll achieve in life…..

          • You talk a lot of shit.

  • dj axis

    Thanks for posting this. I used to spin hard house got into electric funk and hip hop. Now all they do is press play and if you got a set of tits you can be a dj here in Vegas

  • If I was to describe #REALDJing it wouldn’t have much to do with what goes on inside the booth. Play music is the easy part.

    For a lot of us, it’s the endless hustle of promoting, party planning, music buying, making edits, designing flyers, etc that separate us from the DJ that plays a 40 minute set of the Beatport top ten tracks in their favorite genre.

    Many of my friends have told me that before they knew me, they had no idea how much behind the scene work goes into being a DJ. Lucky for me, I love the hustling aspect.

    • dreamlogicc

      lol, now i’m imagining a #REALDJing video showing the artist sitting at their laptop, sending FB-invites to 1,000 out-of-state ‘friends’ for their weekly bar gig, and replying to ResidentAdvisor articles with spam links to their new Mixcloud set 😛

      • DJ i!

        LMAO yeah same here, that’s their idea of marketing…..

  • Mutis Mayfield

    99% of the people taking care about what is #realdjing are turntablist djs or pissed of djs from other styles.
    1% of the people who listen music in the world are djs and these 1% in the best case is equal to first 99% descrived above.

    The fact: Only the total % of djs who understand this kind of skills will care about it.
    The % of people who doesn’t understand what is the difference between this video and Paris Hilton at Space Ibiza is so little to make it relevant for social discussion or commercial effort. That’s the main reason behind the turntablist culture lost but not the only one.
    Realdjs arguing against new technologies (first cdj, later dvs, more later controllers…) and keeping themselves real have contributed to the ghetto situation where few people understand the art which has become outdated and there is no commercial business possible around it (yes guys, DMC was a business (even profitable one) some time ago).
    Solution? More than a campaign about showing “the lost (and infravalorated) art of turntablism” why not to start flexibilizing the “rules” to recover the fluidity from the roots and the fresh air of some kids “scratching” with dad’s turntable and other irreverent “hacks” of the beggining…?
    Also some kind of “pedagogic” vids instead competitive vids could be more useful this time.

    #realdjsarefirsttruemusicians

    • kebzer

      Your opinion is true, but only from the side of an ignorant dude. This video is addressed to DJs, not facebook crawlers. And I strongly believe that anyone related to DJing got the message.

      • Mutis Mayfield

        That’s the point… People is mostly ignorant about this kind of skill and trying to bruteforce them with more an more skill never worked. Expect different results with the same premises is… Let’s talk again 5 years in the future?
        Anybody related to the djing (turntablism better said) known the message so it is a waste of time (and “look at me” childhood actitude)

        Nothing useful to increase the interest from other people than these who were interested always.

  • ….. stop treating us like we are a Juke Box

  • Maxey

    While I appreciate the sentiment behind this movement, I’m worried its just going to give grief to people who aren’t turntableists. Trance is my genre and Ill be the first to admit that its piss easy to mix but there is no way you are going to do scratching or anything clever like that in a trance mix because it ruins the flow. I would like it if there was more of a movement for the track selection side of DJing but of course you cant really show that off in a 5 min youtube vid.

    • Danegermagne

      Yeah man, I’m totally with ya. (And Same boat)- Not sure if you produce, but I try to take my custom synths-stabs, stems loops and samples from my tracks and utilize them(in my case via Remix Decks). There are also some great mappings for FX chains that fit nicely with some of my controllers. You can almost play the FX pads like you would a sampler or finger drumming. Or put your best Van Dyk forward and played live on a controller. On the fly mash-ups with well known accapellas work really well with …and if you expand down into the middle 120’s BPM wise…there is even more you can do. Trance/Progressive DJs get a bad wrap, cause you’re a hundo percent right -Trance is easy to BEATMATCH.(Let’s be real a lot of music today is period), but if you look at it as a melodic journey(I know that’s corny) and controlling the experience; it is NOT necessarily EASY to MIX. Nobody, even the biggest trance fan wants to hear 138 for 30 minutes straight. We live for the breakdown, and the buildups…and that leaves ton’s of opportunity. At the end of the day, it’s one big song, one big performance. Melodic mixing and Key transitions, and occasional opportunities to put your own spin on something…there is a lot you can do.( A lot more than some of the bigger DJs in the Progressive genre’s are giving credence too from a performance standpoint) and still be a #realdj…even if it’s not breakbeat or turntable friendly genres. The best thing I ever did was take gigs at more “open format” friendly places. I didn’t want to compromise myself, but obviously still play to the crowd. Def got me thinking outside the box more.

    • While you may be correct a turntablist is what the general public perceives a real DJ to be.

      Unless you are in the industry you don’t realize how far the technology has steered away from the traditional setup.

      In any art form you need to show that you have mastered the basics to be perceived as being a real artist. A musician needs to know chords, scales, inversions etc. to be seen as a real musician. A DJ needs to know the basics, beat matching, beat juggling & scratching.

      These are the foundations of DJing even if you don’t use them you need to have these skills or you’re not a #realdj.

      • Berrera

        Your so wrong, scratching and beat juggling were created after djing came about they are not the same as being able to beat match. I agree with you on beat matching being something you should be able to do. The sort of styles of music which suite scratching and beat juggling are very flashy scenes and they go hand in hand with showing off. Could you imagine John Digweed or Sonic Aura Scratching? It just wouldn’t sound good with a deeper form of electronic music. For a hip hop dj it is essential but for most styles of music it would sound shit, I know some jungle heads who hate scratching and I know a lot of four to the floor’ers who think it sounds awful.

        • Of course it would sound like shit. DMC style scratching is a technical masterpiece with basically no musicality. It is the extreme end of the scale, you can’t compare it to anything. Knowing how to scratch and doing a DMC routine are 2 different things. One is a basic skill and the other is a mastered artform.

          Saying that you don’t need to know the basics makes you sound ignorant. Your not going to mix trance or jungle for the rest of your life, your tastes change. I used to love gabba/hardcore when I was younger now I hate it.

          You evolve, you mature, you change and you need to have mastered the basics to be able to do anything you want to. To mix any genre you want to. Some styles of music aren’t made by computer and you need to scratch and drop instead of beat matching. But you wouldn’t be able to cos you don’t have the skills.

          I don’t need a day job I DJ/Produce/Engineer for a living because I’ve mastered all the basic skills in these fields and then some. I assume because you refuse to acknowledge the basics that you still work in retail/hospitality and only DJ in your bedroom.

          • Berrera

            Okay here’s the way I see it, in football ( Called soccer in America) you have a professional and then you have the ball juggler on the Mcdonalds adverts. As impressive as the guy on the adverts is at controlling a ball it doesn’t mean he can play football, it’s just a skill he has mastered. (sorry for the sport analogy) My point is what you are describing are just skills, not djing. Scratching is not even a basic skill, it’s a niche skill. I actually don’t know anyone in the industry or even just fans of the industry who even likes scratching, my friends cringe whenever anyone starts scratching.

            I do agree though that you should be able to beat match as how pathetic would a dj look if his sync button broke whilst playing fabric and he couldn’t mix. If you can beat match you can mix virtually anything. If it has (in my case never)natural drums, cuts and mixing when there is no beat would suffice. (that’s not including the other possibilities you now have with digital manipulation) Having said all this, I would like to learn one day the basics of scratching, purely for fun though.

            Okay i listened to your stuff on soundcloud your into, grime, r and b, hip hop. Because you have surrounded yourself with this kind of music I can see why it would seem to you that scratching is a basic skill because it is so engrained into those scenes, I doubt if you couldn’t scratch you would be excepted. You have to admit those scenes are very imaged based and that is what scratching is all about.

            As for you last comment, I have been traveling around the world for a few years now so I haven’t worked or done any djing for a while, so I cant say I earn money doing anything at the moment. I do have a big online following though, when I get back to England I will be back out earning money as a dj.

          • Sorry but you analogy of ‘it’s just a skill’ does’t make sense. Skills take years of practice and dedication to produce the results you see. I would take this over just pressing play any day.

            When I perform at festivals or in clubs I usually mix Deep House and my radio show is a mixture of Soul & House, I very much understand the 4/4 genres and I understand that scratching is not a part of the sound.

            I produce Hip-Hop, Neo-Soul & Electronica because I find it more difficult and stimulating than producing 4 on the floor. Even if you don’t use scratching in your predominate genre doesn’t mean it is not a basic skill to master.

            You can play rhythm guitar but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to learn notes and scales, just because you usually only play chords. Because that make you a crappy guitarist. It’s the same with DJing, just because you only usually use beat matching doesn’t mean you shouldn’t learn beat juggling and scratching, cos that makes you a crappy DJ.

            There are certain basic skills that you have to master in any artform for you to be taken seriously as an artist. Denying it doesn’t change that. You are only doing this to justify to yourself, your lack of skill in these areas.

          • Berrera

            Okay I used to play guitar and bass, and you have to learn notes and scales as chords are built around these. You also wouldn’t be able to improvise with out this very basic knowledge of your instrument.

            So to build on your example of a rhythm guitarist, scales and notes are in this case, beatmatching and knowing how your equipment works, essential. Were as just pressing play with a sync button is just playing a few pre learned chords, and a guitar solo is scratching. Just because you cant solo doesn’t mean your bad rhythm guitarist as rhythm guitarists don’t solo. It does mean though that you not a great all round guitarist (Turntablist).

            Then you have Slash from Gun’s N’ Roses a great guitarist, but you also have Andres Segovia an amazing classical guitarist (check him out fucking amazing skill), totally different styles and both great guitarists but neither could do what each other could do. It doesn’t make them bad.

            And that’s the point I’m trying to make to you. If say Sasha, who is the first major dj (I actually don’t like sasha), cant scratch or beatjuggle (I dont know if he can I have never heard him do either) even though he can move a crowd he harmonically mixes, smooth transitions, knows how to programme and has floorless EQing does that make him not a dj.

            That was your original point, ‘if you cant scratch/juggle your not a dj.’ I admire your passion for learning your craft, if only more EDM dj’s had your passion. But at the same time beat matching, track selection, programming, great mixing, and being able to take people on journey with your sets is really what it is all about any other skills is just a different style or way to approach the craft. And long may it continue, it’s great to have people approach it in different ways.

            I don’t think we are going to agree on this, you think it’s basic, I think it’s a different approach and not fundamental. Where will it end. I mean would you say a great turntabilist like the Scratch Perverts were not dj’s because they cant use ableton push or never learnt traktor?

          • We will have to disagree then.

            A great iTunes playlist can move a crowd. Automix can beat match. The only things a program can’t do for you is beat juggle and scratch. There are no short cuts with these, just years of practice and dedication. This is why insecure DJ’s say they are unnecessary, because they are hard work. Which means no instant gratification. You actually have to put time and effort into your craft.

            That’s why they are essential to the artform. Anyone who loves the art of DJing and is passionate about their instrument (turntables) will want to learn these skills.

            Every great musician that I know can play rhythm or lead. They can actually play anything you ask them because they are masters of their instruments. A great DJ is the same. But then again you can’t expect everybody to be great. Most people are just ok at the things they do. Greatness is generally only for the few who bother to put in the work.

          • Berrera

            You know I do agree with you to some extent, I understand where you are coming from. We all feel cheated by this software/hardware that has made dj’ing easier and robbed us of years of practice. Thats happening everywhere, graphic design, photography, producing. All these arts are being effected by people (capitalists) trying to make bigger profits by making things easy, so more people get involved and buy their products. Thats why we are all scratching our heads wondering what is real djing? Anyhow, I admire your passion, keep spinning em!

          • DJ i!

            Spot fckin on, you’ll notice that 95% of so called insecure DJ’s always say the same damn thing, “oh but can they read a crowd” of course they can, that’s the lamest excuse anyone’s ever used, I mean seriously any Muppet can throw on the Beatport top 100 or 20 anthems or chart toppers in a row and use an 8 bar beat match transition and fools will dance because that’s what they are, fools who don;t know any better, only about 5% of those fools would be DJ’s with an ounce of an idea, the rest are sheep, who dance to anything with Guetta/Aoki/Tiesto in the damn title and half the time those 5% are only dancing because there’s dumb ass fake titty bitches on the dance floor, tell me if this doesn’t ring a bell?

          • DJ i!

            Jesus your analogies are so off base it’s embarrassing, hitting the sync button would be the equivalent of hitting play on a juke box, there’s ABSOLUTELY NO SKILL REQUIRED, you let the machine do the work for you, I mean you clowns may as well load up a playlist on itunes and call that DJing, hell, a lot of you already do that, It’s a god damn crime that any of you are allowed to put those two letters, D & J before your shitty moniker, a travesty I tell ya!

    • I agree, while I am a turntablist, I understand and appreciate that there are many many styles of DJing. Yes there are some button pushers who rely on the technology 100% but that’s not everyone.

      • DJ i!

        Just 90% of the EDM clown shoes, who’ve never even touched or know wtf the +/_ are for 😛

    • bigheadmikelove

      I disagree very strongly that there isn’t a place for scratching or other traditional mixer skills (for lack of a term) in a trance mix. Sure full on routines may not be the thing, but what about crossfader cuts, scratching in vocal samples (the opening of the movie “vanilla sky” would be killer to me) and plenty of other fancy stuff. Also don’t sell the deep trance and progressive skills of programming and track selection short, that’s the foundation of #realdjing 🙂 As an aside, plenty of djs scratch over trance or trance like sounds (Sy comes to mind)

      • Maxey

        Oh don’t get me wrong. I firmly believe that track selection is the most important skill for a DJ. I just worry that this idea will get lost while people are acting like technical proficiency is the most important thing. I will check out vocal scratching with trance though, that does sound interesting.

        • bigheadmikelove

          Totally with you about people mistaking technical skills with being a good dj. Plenty of people out there that can do all the scratches but can’t read a crowd which to my mind is the artistry of djing.

          • DJ i!

            LMAO spoken like a fake ass DJ who can’t scratch or beat juggle, that’ the excuse all you clowns use because you never bothered to put in the hard work and effort it takes to learn how to do both, any fool can read a pinger poppin crowd at an EDM club/festival, all you have to do is whack (the operative word) on the Beatport top tunes for the month like EVERY other fake ass sync button pushin Guetta wannabe, they’ll dance regardless, they won’t even know the difference between an 8/16/32 bar beat match either because they’re too busy huggin each other and staring at the damn lazers, oh man this is exactly what Craze n co. are talking about, you’re a dime a dozen, ANYONE can play your shitty music, even a 5yo!

    • DJ Unknown

      Anything is possible when you have creativity. Just because it has not been done before doesn’t mean it’s not possible. It doesn’t have to be scratching. It just has to be original and creative. Do something new.

  • César Sánchez

    DJ EZ’s Boiler Room set. ‘Nuff said.

  • Jan Hansen

    He’s got great skills and this is fun to watch, but no one likes scratching or would listen or dance to this.

    • Matt

      I totally understand where you are coming from! I think something that killed turntablism was the emphasis on technicality over flow and groove. “Okay kid, cool tricks but where’s the FUNK?” …that being said, this routine is funky as hell and my lady and I were definitely dancing in my kitchen when I put this on. 😀

    • Swift

      Jan you have no idea what you’re is talking about. “No one likes scratching” tell that to all turntablists, A-Trak or any Redbull Thre3styles DJs.
      Scratching is an integral part of DJing, and can elevate sets to another level.

      • DJ i!

        Tell that to all the headz who attend DMC/Redbull etc. Plenty of us can dance to this, more so than the crap you clowns listen to, we don’t need drugs to have a good time either because seriously you need them to get through that crap you call music…..

    • Unreallystic

      You have to separate “condensed youtube video clip” from “hour+ long set”. A crowd WOULD get annoyed with an hour of straight scratching, but the point of something like this is to ‘showcase’ those set of skills, so the performance is distilled to a pure ability showcase. You might do a single portion of your set like this to break up any level of monotony, but for the most part, the various things showcased are going to be spread out thru out your set.

    • DJ i!

      Says the tard who probably “dances” like a chicken head to 150BPM EDM, of course you can dance to this, you can break and body pop n lock but I guess you don’t have the co-ordination or rhythm to do that, obviously!

  • benyourmoopi

    “it takes as much practice as any other form of music.”

    No… simply no!

    • Competition level scratch DJs regularly put in between 3-7 hours practice daily.

      • DJ i!

        more like 20, LOL 😛

    • Dean Zulueta

      DJing is a complex form of manipulating sound. Practice is about challenging the artist to continually learn more. That said, a person can spend a significant amount of time DJing just as they can learning music theory with an instrument. (Music theory is something that can also be practiced by a DJ as well.)

    • Unreallystic

      Depends entirely on where on the spectrum you intend to perform at – just like other artforms. I’ve been teaching myself to sing, but I haven’t been pushing myself with hours of practice a day, because I’m not ‘serious’ about it. I AM serious about rapping. I AM serious about production. I am serious about musical diversity. As such, I do consume at least an hour if not 3+ a day either actively practicing those crafts, or researching them to better myself. I am not a DJ, I’ve got DJ equipment so I can add ‘flare’ to my material, but its a rabbit hole man. If it’s something you want to make a living off of, expect to put in the same kind of hours you would trying to make it in another artform, planning sets, practicing techniques, and researching new music.

    • deejae snafu

      its really an individual situation… i practice piano less than i practice DJing, therefor i could argue that DJing takes more practice than playing piano.(for me).

    • DJ i!

      Pretty sure it takes 100 times more practice for a DJ to learn how to autobahn scratch with flow than it does to learn how to beat match and drop the next EDM track for 8 bars, dunno, just hazarding a guess their? LOL 😛

  • Sleepydog

    I wouldn’t mind watching more of that.. 🙂 Brilliant tallentz!

  • killmedj

    Thank god there’s still some real cats out there! Not to mention all you fine folks here on DJTT =)
    Nice one Craze!