Why is it that every time u see a dj playing music in Chengdu nowadays the vast majority are using computer software/hardware to help them mix tracks or should I say mix the tracks for them? Isn't this cheating? Can they not mix them manually like they did in the old days? Do we no longer care? I love music and enjoy listening to a dj mix both good and bad. Have lost count of the number of times a new song has been mixed and the dj hasn't even used his headphones. As a paying customer I feel cheated. Please discuss.
I can't stand 98% of the so called "DJ's" because the play always the same shit in the same way, even if they know how to mix in a new song, they do it in a very lame way, there is no DJ in the du with charisma or quality.
A other big problem is that there are no party people anymore in CD, and the bar owners at the moment are lame, there is no action.
A few years a go a friday night was good fun.
enjoy your boring nights in the bars/clubs ;)
btw, carrying a big bag of vinyl around is fucking heavy and it's very hard to get new records here in CD. Most bars don't have the right equipment to play vinyl anyway!
Mp3/CD works perfect, you just buy/download that shit from the web.
Well frank.. you're wrong.. There is indeed a DJ with quality in Chengdu.. which is me.. i play with cd's and i hate those guys with laptops thinking they're awesome.. The only problem is that these clubs make them play this way.. they can't chose for themselves.. they even get a playlist from the manager telling them which track to play at which particular time..
I've been back for about 12 days now after being here for over 6 months in 2010.. I've been able to play in some bars and clubs (including club one, and 88).. after bitching around for 3 months they finally let me play some of my own music as i was refusing to play theirs... just to give you an idea about how hard it is to express yourself as a dj in this town.. so don't hate the dj's, hate the club management..
Yes i know as a DJ in a chinese club u will have to play shit because they want you to, but now you are talking about clubs only.
I guess you didn't see the CD laowai nightlife from a few years a go, i can tell you this that it's SHIT now, it used to be MUCH better, all the real party people left CD.
Most bars now have a DJ and they think that's the only thing you need to have a cool party night. (they forget deco, lights etc...)
You also bitch about those laptop dudes who dj, and yes some are really bad, but not always. I don't care what kind of stuff they use to play music, as long it's good!
I organize party's for more then 15 years, and i've seen only rubbish in CD the last 2,5 years.
Good luck ;)
To all DJ's and bar owners: Be creative, there is enough mainstream shit!
So, getting back to the original topic of the post, laptop djs. Would you agree that the new era of dj software is having a negative effect on the music scene?
"I don't care what kind of stuff they use to play music, as long it's good!"
This was my point here.... am of the opinion that it does and should matter what they use. With an appropriate tracklist surely a six year old could get up and become a dj for a night and get some gigs in the bars in chengdu?
"they can't chose for themselves.. they even get a playlist from the manager telling them which track to play at which particular time.."
Did u mean they cant choose the way in which they play the music? Ie. software/ hardware? Surely, any self respecting DJ would tell them where to put their tracks and no performance would be worth doing if these were the bars conditions? I know I certainly wouldnt if I were a dj.
On a final note Id like to say that the comments about there being no quality Djs in Chengdu is wrong. There are quite a few good ones out there who actually play and mix good music and put thought and effort into their work. The music scene in Chengdu is changing fast, not necessarily for the better but hasn't this always been the case?
"I don't care what kind of stuff they use to play music, as long it's good!"
True. But i mean, my 4 year old sister even knows how to mix music using a laptop. That doesn't have anything to do with being a DJ any more. Being a cd DJ myself, i respect vinyl DJ's. And i think they're right by saying playing with CD's is childsplay compared to playing with vinyl. So in my view, playing with laptop and software is childsplay compared to playing with CD's. Plus, it doesn't add anything to the music/mix. Thats the big difference with using CD's over vinyl. CD players actually add something to a mix, software doesn't.
"Did u mean they cant choose the way in which they play the music? Ie. software/ hardware?"
As far as i know they can chose what kind of hard/software they want to use. But for music sake, they don't get any input at all. That's why the music in de clubs nowadays is the same as a year ago. They don't let the DJ's be creative and create new sounds.
I'm making it my mission to change this no good development in just 7 months. Just have to help the people of Chengdu! :P
I'm a DJ myself but not in the du atm. To go back to the point made in the beginning. Playing with laptop doesn't mean he's not mixing. Sometimes bringing a laptop can be more efficient than taking Cd's or Vinyl. Not all DJ's using a laptop are using software like Traktor. Still if they use Traktor its only the beatmixing. The only thing is that mixing with your own ears makes it raw. The effects and creativity is still the DJ himself and the mixer. I think its just the lack of quality that misses in Chengdu. I think its btw not right to say CD is more childsplay than Vinyl. Quality is almost the same and cannot be . Scratching is made possible on almost every CD player. Especially on terms of portability and durability CD wins. A real DJ will recognize another real DJ.
"Still if they use Traktor its only the beatmixing"
I thought that beatmixing was the first thing a dj would learn? Tempo changes, syncing and nudging etc. With this done for you doesnt it give you all more time to apply effects?
"the effects and creativity is still the DJ himself and the mixer"
Agreed but my point was that when someone has to beat match first it leaves less time to be creative and this is the way it should be done. The new software/hardware gives them that option to the degree whereby they dont even need to listen to the beat matching beforehand. Also, with regard to effects, scratching isnt in my mind a required skill for a good dj. Look at most of the big dance music djs that dont and will never scratch. It doesnt make them less of a dj. They are more popular for track selection and music style. Scratching is a China club style prerequisite. Just my opinion.
Some good chat here.
After years in a country with no access to vinyl and having to play CD decks I bought Serato. Its probably the best purchase I've ever made as it allowed me to go back to playing turntables. Not that I've got anything against people that use CDs, i just prefer playing turntables. Serato, unlike tractor, doesn't do anything to help you mix/beatmatch.
"i hate those guys with laptops thinking they're awesome.. The only problem is that these clubs make them play this way.. they can't chose for themselves.. they even get a playlist from the manager telling them which track to play at which particular time"
When I first started DJing I never thought about playing in big clubs getting paid lots of money to do it. I bought a set of decks because I wanted to play music I loved. I've spent most of my wages on records and then ended up skint for the rest of the month. I've carted bags of records to all over town to after parties. None of those kind of things bothered me, not enough for me to consider stopping even for a second.
After working in big clubs here, getting told what to play, then I got so fed up that now I very rarely listen to electronic music. If you're not playing music you like then what is the point? Looking cool? Getting girls? Cash?
"A other big problem is that there are no party people anymore in CD"
Yet another good point. Any other city I've lived in had an after party scene. When the club finishes everybody goes back to a house party. The lack of decent ***** doesn't help.
The technology v traditional methods debate will always rage on. Lots of vinyl only DJs hate CD DJs and they in turn hate DJs that use laptops. Check out any dance music forum on the net if you don't believe me.
I think technology is great but DJs should have to learn basic skills as well. I'm not a fan of DJs that only use a laptop but Technics have already discontinued the legendary 1200s. Turntable sales are a fraction of what they were 10 years ago. Maybe it's time to move on.
I wouldn't say I like stuff as Tractor, but sometimes it can be very beneficial for both the crowd and DJ as the DJ has more chance to put creativity in his work. Thats why I also like b2b dj-ing. But I doubt that most people that use a laptop use it for automatic beatmixing... I cant say if they do in chengdu but I'm just talking general. Seems like you dislike anyone playing with a laptop :P But its unbelievable that you get tracklists from the clubs to play instead of playing your own style ! :S Does anyone happen to know if you can buy any good turntables in Chengdu ? I'd like to get a CDJ800/850/900/1000 anything among that. Anyone knows any prices or chinese alternatives ? :P
I'm surprised people are even referring to laptop djs as "the new era"... dudes, this is the current era, and has been for years and years. I got serato in 2005, six years ago and I had friends who had DVS' years before me (Final Scratch).
The DJ scene in Chengdu as dead as fuck, I hate to say it, but it's the truth. Even when it was halfway alive, when Xiong Mao was around, it was wack as shit 90% of the time. Yo Mo Fo and I (Disco Death) had a good run but there was really nothing else happening in the entire city. If you're really into the scene and you find yourself in Chengdu, I really hope you have something else to occupy your time.
@yeming...laptops are all good, just pisses me off when people have the laptop do the work for them, hence the original post. I love to see DJs playing back to back...the Djs at the YoMoFo parties used to do this all night, good to see and more fun for the dancefloor.
@justcharlie...agree with you on the DJ scene being dead. Its a pity but things must change eventually for the better as "Dj entertainers" will be around for a while yet.
@T.I.M seems that you could be the answer, the new David Guetta of Chengdu pushing things forward ;) Look forward to hearing you play one time
Got any mixes online? T.I.M. or anyone else?
You can download mine here: http://mixes.justcharlie.com
@surrender "the new David Guetta of Chengdu" LOL! Glad you enjoyed Yo Mo Fo. Hopefully we'll be back when the new xiong mao opens.
@Charlie- I know laptops have been around for ages. I remember seeing Richie Hawtin using Final Scratch about 10 years ago. Thing is back then DJs would use a laptop to supplement their skills, now they don't even need skills to use one.
My last paragraph was more about the eventual demise of traditional DJing methods. New DJs are now faced with a choice between expensive pieces of kit like turntables/CD players or buying a computer program that takes away most of the effort of learning how to DJ. A day will come when it will be very difficult to find a DJ playing vinyl or CDs.
PS - Don't know if you're aware, there's a new night called Box Jams @ Lan Town every Thursday. Marco is the main man but there will be others joining him every week. Give me a shout if you want to come down and play. Andy.
What up man, did not realize it was you.
You're right about the demise of traditional DJ's, no doubt. That's how it goes though. Things change, they always do. The "these young cats don't know what real dj'ing is!" argument is tired in my opinion though since there is cool shit happening that didn't exist even a few years ago. Eskei83, DJ Enferno, Girl Talk, etc.
Some traditional DJ's like you and I (and the other handful of vinyl djs in Chengdu) will stick around as we get surrounded by a crowd of dudes auto-syncing Deadmaus all night long, but that's just how it goes. We both know that ain't real dj'ing, but what ya gonna do?
Thanks Justcharlie for the link. I do remember getting some of these as CDs in the Hemp House. Liked the Downtempo Pilots one in particular. Returning the favour here and appreciate any comments...
Made in Chengdu recently on a humble pair of Pioneers:
Track List for December Dance 2010:
2. Loco Dice - M Train to Brooklyn
3. Matias Aguayo - Menta Latte (Sanfuentes/Aguayo Mix)
4. Gus Gus - Hateful (Ada Feat. Mayburg Mix)
5. Andrew Weatherall - Brother Johnston's Travelling Disco Consultancy
6. The Black Dog - Skinclock (Silicone Soul Mix)
7. Ryan Davis - Cocoon (Andrea Roma Remix)
8. Jesus Blanco - Afganistan (Darkrow Remix)
9. Lowboys - Flexible
10. Lucas Rodenbush - Decisions
11. Dandi & Ugo, Marika Rossa - Sexy Shop
12. D.H.S. - House of God (Phonique Remix)
13. Shlomi Aber - Tap Order
14. Julio Bashmore - Chazm
15. Mock & Toof - Day Ken Died
Its no wonder we talk about the scene dying with all this shameless self promotion.
"Some traditional DJ's like you and I (and the other handful of vinyl djs in Chengdu)"
I hate all this "I am more professional than the other djs because I use vinyl bullshit"
it's all the same shyte. neither is better, one precedes the other thats all. It's merely a matter of personal preference.
cd's and vinyl's are both great, use both - be happy, beat syncing software/hardware however... pfffffff
@Bertalan thanks man, I'll check out your mix.
@surrender I never said one was better than the other, which is why I expressly used the word traditional. I've hosted dozens of events in Chengdu and distributed hundreds of mix cd's for free. What have you done for the scene in Chengdu that you feel justified in calling me out for posting a link to mixes for free download? I'm curious.
@justcharlie....more than u will ever know
Neglected to put a smiley face after that sentence...here it is again..
Its no wonder we talk about the scene dying with all this shameless self promotion :)
Touchy aren't we?
"Some traditional DJ's like you and I (and the other handful of vinyl djs in Chengdu)"
I read this sentence as referring to only vinyl djs as all are. If am wrong I hold my hand up...
Hey...it looks like "surrender" couldn't string two pieces of sh!t together and call it music. I remain to be convinced...
"more than you will ever now".. weak ass...
@Bertalan Farkas Are u his mini me?
Gonna download your mix now and listen to a true dj god :)
No need for the name calling
@surrender yoo stop trolling around man, come clean, show some evidence
@surrender you're entitled to your opinion, but I doubt being a vague, anonymous shit talker on the internet will lead you anywhere productive. Respect to all the folks who have contributed to the scene in Chengdu over the years, though: Dave, Andy, Wu Peng, Geezer, Harry, Marco, R-Sun, Joe, etc.
@Bertalan solid mix dude! I like the track selection and how it builds up to higher energy tracks at the end. Hit me up at my email address below, I have an idea.
If anyone in Chengdu wants to have a session sometime, whether you scratch or just want to mix and listen to tunes, feel free to hit me up. I have speakers, turntables, midi controllers etc at home and am happy to network with other DJ's in the city. justcharlie at gmail
Wow.. looks like we started a good threat!!!
I like seeing how everybody gives their own point of view.. good going people!
I've had my first live session in jellyfish since i came back (20 days ago)
.. Got some great feedback from both chinese and laowai people...
I think i'll be playing some more there.. Nice crowd, good sound and the freedom to play whatever i want.. JUST GREAT!!
As soon as i have another date i have to play at jellyfish, i'll post it here...
Keep it up ya'll!!
Yes you are right, but most of them don't want to organize a event anymore because there are no real party people in the du, maybe 40 people show up or a 100, you can't tell these days.
Jelly has no party crowd! they move on any mainstream shit.
I'm missing Techno, UK Garage, Disco.. whatever, but i can't hear anymore that mainstream shyt!
Other city's in China have good stuff, sometimes you will have to go to a fancy expansive club, but at least the party people are there, it's worth going, Chengdu has NON of that.
There is no underground scene neither.
I contacted some local djs who will be submitting mixes to be hosted on Chengdu Living. The idea is to have a page which has a list of all the DJs in town with links to their mixes and tracklists, etc. Here's the forum post with more info: http://www.chengduliving.com/forum/topic/calling-all-chengdu-djs
To submit your mix, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll host your mix for free. I have extra server space that I don't mind dedicating to this.
@justcharlie... I've got a mix up on youtube.. as we all know, china f's up youtube.. for anyone who CAN get on youtube.. the name of my mix is: LUXURIOUS ft. T.I.M. - Mixing Stories (Part 1 untill 3)
Let me know what you guys think of it..
@TIM got your mix from the megaupload link. Shoot me a tracklist and I'll add it to the site. email@example.com
I think sometimes you have to remember why you play music in a club/bar. It's a business. If you are not making the people want to drink more/spend more then the management has every right to tell you to change the music. I am tired of these self absorbed DJ's who practice mixes at home, get to the club and just play whatever they want without any regard to what the customers actually want to hear. They have what they want to play and they play it come hell or high water. If I was the management I would tell you to pack your crap and go home now and put the 10 year old up there who isn't great at mixing but actually know music people want to hear when they drink.
Using a computer is nothing new by any stretch of the imagination. They are used by very successful DJ's all over the world and it seem that some ego driven DJ's don't want to move with the times and stay terrible and play dead genres of music. I really don't care how long you have played. If you can't make the people want to drink more and stick around until midnight, 1am, 2am, etc then you are pretty much worthless to me as a bar/club owner. Slamming people who use computers to entertain crowds and actually makes them happy just makes you look like you are out of touch with the average person who goes out just to have fun. Most people couldn't give a crap how a song was mixed. What they will remember is the guy/girl who made them and their friends have a good time last night. There is a guy at Shamrock (and a couple other places) lately who does just that. Plays music people want to drink and dance too. Good Dj's actually read the crowd and change their plans when needed. Perhaps a group of high rollers show up and hate techno music (like most normal people). Well, then find what they do like and cater to that. Too many DJ's have no range and you "get stuck" with them on nights when you need diversity. I recall Pop music is called pop music because it it "POPULAR". I don't like all pop music but again, you can't ignore your client base. Playing one kind of music all night is boring and doesn't keep peoples asses on the stool all night. Have a frigging range and that doesn't mean "Well I play techo and electronica!!"
Bottom line, if you are wandering around China you probably can't pack your whole precious collection of vinyl. so using a computer is a godsend. "Computer DJ" usually has a fantastic range of music. You have to understand that most of the foreign community in Chengdu is a transitional one so no one gives a rats ass about some dinosaur DJ's who used to be good in Chengdu. Makes you seem like a butt kisser. If you want to be good in Chengdu or anywhere else for that matter learn how to read a crowd and not just your resume. P.S., 99% of DJ's don't write the music they play, they just regurgitate others music in different ways. So unless you are writing music, leave the ego at home and just play what people want to hear. How do you know? Look at bar sales at the end of the night. /rant off
Who the butt kisser? Sounds like you the but kisser for the "high rollers" with crap taste in music!
Oh, and i think the Outstanding Contribution to Stating the Obvious Award goes to banner41 for "99% of DJ's don't write the music they play, they just regurgitate others music". Right up there with pointing and saying Laowai!
"Playing one kind of music all night is boring and doesn't keep peoples asses on the stool all night."
Isn't the idea of a good DJ to get people's asses OFF the stool all night?
Oh sorry, this is Chengdu, the clubs don't actually want people dancing here and so play crap all night while the high rollers play dice and drink fake expensive whiskey...
Can we change the name DJ Disc Jockey to MM MP3 Mixer?
Well, it is what it is. If you haven't figured out that money is top priority to opening a bar (in China no doubt) you are dumber then you sound on here. Is it right, no...is it the way it is? sadly yes. But, if you are the great DJ you claim to be then there should be no problem filling bars and wowing the masses. I just think it's dumb to slam people who go out with their computers and make clients happy. While we are rejecting the advancements of modern man, why don't we go ahead and ditch the light bulb, electricity, and the wheel. No good can ever come from advancements in technology!
Labeling stuff as crap music is a general opinion. Whats crap to me and you really doesn't matter at the end of the day as long as the money is good (sadly). Again, living in China you should already know that. Don't like whats offered in Chengdu, find a place that does! No one stopping you! Sometimes Farkas you have to state the obvious....common sense seems to be a luxury these days.
Clearly not a child of the rave generation. What was that about again? (perhaps a few disused warehouses in Chengdu could use some night tennants!)
Sounds to me like "Scooby" wants to keep it all "safe" and predictible, yawn!
I also did no where say i was opposed to using laptops. What i think is that it gives a wider group of people access to mixing and messing with music than before which is great. The problem with this is there are more crap DJs than before. What took a good number of years and months practice to hone your skills, need not happen now thus resulting in the odd laptop DJ dishing out a very 1 dimensional set.
Good point Dragon on the clubs in Chengdu - I will never forget the time in Babi when I mistakenly nudged the croosfader to prove the theory the DJs were great at miming!
there are party people left in the dirty du; i'm one of 'em. if a dj is playin' bangers, i'm on the dance floor. but my bangers are not your bangers. (was in hemp house one night for a big party when some wiener kid started playin' trance at midnight. a grip a peeps wantin' to shuck their buns and on comes dj sleepytime. wtf)
anywho, props to djs who play the shit i like. i don't care how you do it.
all apologies, 'cause i guess i didn't really have a point. i just wanted to make a username for everybody who's posted previously.
Amen mballsnymouth (just wanted to type that) but do agree.....don't put my ass to sleep or play repetitive crap. No matter what you play it on. Hell drop an 8 track in as long as it's good.
Now a rock club...that would be heaven here.....
@justcharlie.. it has been a long time ago since i made that mix but i'll try to set up a tracklist.. shouldn't be too hard..
@ T.I.M. I was suprised to hear a house mixtape, havent been in the 'du's nightscene but from what im seeing here is more hiphop/underground/techno kinda stuff. Where you from if I may ask ? Looks like dutch house beats man !
@ Yeming.. thanks man.. i appreciate that.. well, i'm from the heart of dutch house, Amsterdam.
Last year i've been playing pretty much all around the world trying to get dutch house to be a global culture. To my suprise, everybody reacted the same to dutch house. They all went out of their heads. So if you ask me, I think dutch house will take over the world in a matter of years!!
Ik kom uit Rotterdam man, jammer dat ik nu niet meer in Chengdu ben. Ik zal binnen een paar jaar weer terug zijn. Ik ben ook een house dj.
What brought you to Chengdu mate ?
I had to jump in this thread and just give props to Miss Mixit, she always beat matches superbly and gets the floor moving, also DJ Marco plays some good techno tunes, his mixing isn't always spot on but still enjoyable. Both of those dj's play vinyl so watch out for their events.
I think Justcharlie mentioned a lot of the other good DJ's in town but missed out German Martin, also good.
I agree that all these laptop dj's are killing the scene a tad but some people seem to enjoy it as long as the drinks are flowing. Some dude plays now in Jellyfish on a Friday, awful DJ but the mostly Chinese crowd goes wild. Whatever floats ya boat I s'pose. Killed it for me.
We need some better foreigner party venues, I think the problem is too much same old same old. Only so many times you can to Blue Caribbean without getting stir crazy. A pool party might be nice or an outside venue for summer. Girls can naked and we can get pi$$ed.
was speaking to some people a few nights back who are organizing a launch party at the hemp house this coming saturday. 3 bands, 5djs, bbq and a beer with the ticket. They were telling me the website is to help promote local underground music in Chengdu. Will anybody be going along?
Yeah! Maybe I bumped into you while handing out flyers at the weekend. Hoping for a good turn out and good weather.
The website is www.chengdumusic.com . It's still a work in progress but we want the site to be fully bi-lingual within the next 2 weeks. If anybody is interested in writing, taking photos or getting involved in anyway drop an e mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Local folk/rock singer 树子 (Tree) added to the bill too.
You are from Amsterdam so you are good?
Have some news for you, those Amsterdam days are over!
Don't get me wrong, there are some good DJ's from Amsterdam, but ain't you, Amsterdam used to be very good, go to Berlin or Spain.
Till early 2000's it was good in the Dutch capital, i guess you are somewhere in your 20's...?
Are there any DJs interested in performing for an event on December 1st?
Hey guys, my genre of music (Afro-pop) is not the "in" thing here, having poor night-outs. I just figured its better to be a DJ. please can anyone tell me where I can learn. address, email or phn number will be very useful...thanks