Ten years ago, nearly every touring producer or DJ was mixing track-to-track, with Serato Scratch Live or Traktor Scratch. But times have changed, and now unique live shows are incredibly more common. There are many options for live performance using modern dance music technology, so for a fun Friday article we’re highlighting 9 videos of particularly inspiring or unique live shows.
Unique Live Shows
In this article, we’ve collected ten of the DJTT staff’s favorite unique live sets / setups / routines. The only guidelines are that the artist(s) had to be doing something that incorporated live performance or production with an entertaining final result. We’ve got turntablists, controller bands, live synthesizers, drummers, and even two throwback routines:
Bowser x Seniorr feat. Dr!ve
Cut Delivery 6 – Bowser x Seniorr feat. Dr!veSo much fun recording Cut Delivery 6 – DJ Bowser x Seniorr feat. Drive
Hope you enjoy! #cutdelivery
Posted by Seniorr on Friday, April 8, 2016
This episode of “Cut Delivery” by DJ Bowser and Swiss RedBull Thre3style finalist Seniorr (They’re joined by London’s Dr!ve) incorporates heavy turntablism, guitar, and talkbox vocals. These guys have a great collaborative vibe and we expect to see more from each of them as they continue to grow as artists.
La Fine Equipe
Marseille and Paris-based DJs and beatmakers La Fine Equipe are interesting performers because unlike most bands, they’re performing facing away from each other. Like most other live production bands, they’ve divided up into a few different roles based on the gear in front of them – from a Serato / Dicer / DVS setup, to a Launchpad / APC clip triggering setup, and of course some drums in a third position.
Kompakt Record’s Weval is an Amsterdam based duo (joined here by a drummer) who incorporate live instruments and synthesis into their live show. We heard about them and hooked them up with a Midi Fighter Twister – which make an appearance in this video!
Simian Mobile Disco
An electronic band that needs very little introduction, SMD have been putting on incredible live shows mostly based around modular synthesis for years. This KEXP performance captures them in a well-lit space which allows you to see more of what they’re doing than if you saw them in a dark concert hall.
Jimmy Barka Experience
Sometimes an interesting “DJ band” isn’t about incorporating complicated MIDI gear – it can be enough to just have a solid vibe. Two turntable DJs on Serato and an expressive drummer makes for something special in this video.
David August + Ensemble
You might have seen David August’s Boiler Room a few years ago, but this is very different. A drummer, a harpist, and a guitar player accompany David as he play a set on Ableton and three outboard synthesizers.
We’ve featured Robert DeLong on the DJTT blog in passing before, but he absolutely deserves a mention in this lineup, and not just because he uses a Midi Fighter 3D. Robert iconifies hybrid live performance for his heavy use of controllers to manipulate his vocals, trigger samples, and launch clips – but he’s also not afraid to jump on his drums and smash out a beat.
Throwback: Rank1 (in 2002)
Who needs the latest and greatest laptop and software to perform live electronic dance music? What trance artists Rank1 were doing in 2002 is arguably just as fresh as many of the other set ups featured here (skip to 3:20 to jump into the action and past the human disco ball acrobatics).
Throwback: DJ Nu-Mark Toy Sets
Nu-Mark (of Jurassic 5) deserves an award for this set based around noise-making toys. Watch him mixing their sounds together, sample triggering with sound cubes, drumming on a tiny toy drum set, and of course rocking out next to gyrating sax man. This classic version is my personal favorite – but you can also watch a more modern version shot at Amoeba Records LA in 2013 here.
Have a video you think deserves to be included in this article? Share them in the comments (one video per comment, feel free to leave more than one) and upvote your favorites.