Lustralboy interviews DJ Michael
Lustralboy is getting its head around creativity. Anton has shared with us his multiple inspiration tools. Our recent entry into the music scene with Lustralboy Compilations got us wondering what inspires the DJ to mix the sounds the way he does. So we interviewed DJ Michael. Here’s what he told us.
Lustralboy: Let’s talk about the compilations later. Say you’ve got a gig coming up. Where do you start?
DJ Michael. It depends on the event. Does it have a theme that means I need to source a ton of older tunes to create a mood of nostalgia? Or is the event built around a single genre, like dubstep, trance, techno, garage and the like? Is it in Berlin or San Francisco or Singapore that have their own take on what’s hot? And, more importantly, what’s not? Is it mainly my show or am I just one of a gang? Once I’ve thought my way through all that, it’s time to plot the narrative.
Lustralboy: What’s that?
DJ Michael: It’s the concept, the theme, the structure you plan to generate to inspire your audience. You’re taking them on a journey. You want to move the mood around, you know the audience mood will shift and you need to have the tunes available to keep them wanting more. So the narrative is the backdrop and the foreground is you spontaneous track selection. The simple truth is that the true DJ just has to know what to play and when to play it.
Lustralboy: With all the advances in technology, do DJs actuallydo anything anymore? Sometimes, it doesn't look like it from the crowd.
DJ Michael: You need to be on top of the technology, because that has moved on a few light years from the simple slap-on-a-disc and press play. A good DJ will take bass lines from one track, high hats from another, vocals from yet another, all to create a seamlessly evolving set. Beat matching is the easy part, a skill that anyone can master with a little practice. The art and deeper skills lie in the selection of songs by matching the key, timbre, and sourcing some eclectic material.
Yes, there are some venue where you will mainly see the knob-turners who have nothing but 100GB of pirated music and a beat matching program. These people are not DJ's. They are jukebox programmers. The AVB's, Oakenfolds, Moby's, and Bukem's of the world do most of their creation in the studio. But they’ll also mix live as well.
Lustralboy: So the top DJs are also music producers?
DJ Michael: Exactly. As the technology made production so much easier, the boundary between producer and DJ disappeared. Indeed, the popularity of a DJ, his desirability for a gig. will be determined by his recent music output. That was the MySpace phenomenon, of course.
Lustralboy: Do the same issues drive the creation of compilations.
DJ Michael: Yes, many of them do. The need for a narrative is arguably greater, since the spontaneous element is absent. Then it’s all about track selection and the transitions from one track to the next. Smoothing the mix, getting a clever transition, maybe by reversing a sequence or entering a tune at a point where the instruments match, it’s all part of getting it perfect. But, for me, the magic is in the track choice. I love to surprise. Maybe it’s a well-known artist and an obscure track, or an artist known for huge beats showing a soft side. That’s the buzz.
Lustalboy: Give us an example, then.
DJ Michael: Okay. Take Tongue, the opener of the Poolside Mix. Underworld have one of the funkiest cannons of dance electronica, full of huge industrial beats and stabbing synths. But they also sometimes soar into realms of ethereal wonder. Not everybody has spotted that.
Lustralboy: Great. We’ll insert that onto the page so visitors can check it out. They can, of course, download the whole compilation just by clicking right here.
Join our mailing list
- December 30th, 2016
- December 1st, 2016
- October 29th, 2016
- October 1st, 2016
- August 31st, 2016
- July 23rd, 2016