With DJ TechTools fast approaching 10 years online, I find myself often telling the story of how we got started and what events led to the creation of this website. Last week, I took some time and recorded the full history so everyone can enjoy it and understand why we began building this amazing DJ community online.
The Amen Break is a six second drum beat in the Winstons' song "Amen, Brother" performed by the late Gregory Cylvester "G. C." Coleman. Little did the members realize that this drum beat would be one of the most sampled loops - if not the most sampled drum beat - in history. However, the Winstons never have had much to show for their beat being sampled and never received any royalties. That is why DJ Martyn Webster, is trying to do right and pay respects to the surviving member of the Winstons for their legendary drum beat.
Tucked away on the western shores of India lies one of electronic music’s most storied towns. Anjuna Beach, located in the state of Goa, has developed a name for itself in the rave scene for their legendary full moon parties, but its musical history goes much further back. Today Akhil Kalepu gives a history lesson on Anjuna Beach and its influence on shaping the sound of Goa trance and the Goa scene.
While dance music certainly has taken on a whole new life these last few years with the explosion of EDM and its attendant festival culture, DJing as we know it (the style of mixing two beat-oriented records together for a seamless dancing experience) goes back at least to the '70s, in the age of disco—though, one could easily argue that it reaches back farther still. The point is, over the past few decades DJing has firmly established itself as both a creative cultural force and a viable career path—not some fly-by-night whim to be scoffed at. In that spirit, we decided to take a look at the life cycle of a professional DJ, from year zero to well past year 20, to get a look at what can change throughout the decades and how to keep that career sustainable.
Pioneer DJ has put out a new video celebrating 20 years of designing DJ technology - specifically focusing on the many iterations of the CDJ. Watch as Carl Cox, James Zabiela, Jazzy Jeff, Laidback Luke, Paul Oakenfold, and more all share their stories of encountering Pioneer's early CDJ gear and how they feel like it changed the state of DJing.
If you're even a passing fan of electronic music, it's likely that you know that one of its icons, DJ and producer Frankie Knuckles, died earlier this week at the age of 59 from complications related to type 2 diabetes. The "godfather of house music" was a true legend, the kind of artist to whom one could point as a real cultural lynchpin; without his influence, dance music in 2014 would likely be an entirely different beast. Having given birth to house music in Chicago in the late '70s and early '80s via his clubs the Warehouse and later the Power Plant, Knuckles (born Francis Nicholls in New York City) was a dedicated craftsman and inventor, honing his skills as a DJ by playing marathon sets to open-minded audiences and helping to make the remix its own art form by constructing extended versions of classic soul and disco tunes with a pair of reel-to-reel tape decks and a 909.
Technics introduced the SL-DZ1200 direct drive digital turntable in 2004, hoping to stake a strong claim onto the then-burgeoning digital DJ market. The Technics ultimately lost the race to Pioneer and Denon due to a number of hardware and firmware issues that plagued the units. But now, an independent gear modifier out of the UK is bringing new life to the SL-DZ1200s with a hardware modification. Learn about the history of the turntable and the new modification inside.
Much of the basis behind the current state of DJing and electronic dance music came from the first generations of raves. Starting with a Roland TB-303 in Chicago, growing to undergrounds in the UK, and creating all manner of subgenres along the way, the story of the rave scene and the DJs who built it […]