This week’s San Diego Reader has an excellent cover story on the DJ scene in San Diego. A sort of triple profile on DJ Felt1 and DJ Pacman of the Sharpshooters and DJ’s Tu and Slim of Silly Entertainment, the story goes into the history of DJing and how these DJs have seen the San Diego club scene change over the years. It’s sort of a sad story, considering that technology is democratizing DJing to the point where DJ’s are getting more obsolete (in related news: Fat Beats is shutting down its doors). Check out a grab below:
Pacman is 32, a year younger than Felt1. But they both learned their craft long before the advent of mp3s and Scratch Live software, which came into use around 2005. These days, a DJ could conceivably work without a set of headphones to help him match the beat before making it live. He could, if he was lazy enough, content himself with simply matching the beat patterns streaming across his laptop screen. (Actually, if he was lazy enough, he could make his mix at home and hit “play” in the club, but that’s the kind of thing that will get you booted if you get caught.) Thanks to the computer, you can just pick a couple of tunes with similar beats per minute, line up your runs of bass and snare, and let ’em rip.
For someone who trained on vinyl, it can rankle. “I mean, it’s sort of like you’re playing Guitar Hero on Playstation,” laments Pacman. “You’re not a guitarist just because you can play Guitar Hero; you’re kidding me. That’s kind of how we see it. Because of technology, you have a million DJs in one city now. Microwave instant DJs, you know? But I’m not saying that it’s bad or good. Just that they won’t appreciate the level of skill as much as we did — or do.”