And are smooth transitions really what makes a DJ set enjoyable?
When it comes to the art of DJing, how essential is the role of beatmatching to the overall sucess of a set or mix? Another way to put it might be: are smooth transitions the ultimate measure of skill, or are there other qualities like track selection, charisma and composition that play just as big a role in our evaluation of DJs?
It might be hard to imagine in the era of DJ voyeurism and the online echo-chamber of negativity where every mistake is dissected and criticized, but there was a time when beatmatching was a secondary, if not entirely negligible aspect to spinning records. Legendary Loft DJ David Mancuso was known to play his records in their entirety—a tradition that continues up to the present. Even renowned mixer Theo Parrish told us that beatmatching can only ever be one weapon in the wider artillery of a DJ’s skills.
So what drives our unrealistic expectations of perfection? Maybe the present conceptual distinction between the DJ and the “selector” is us finally coming to terms with the fact that mixing is not the be-all and end-all of a set, and we can finally go back to listening to music the way it was always meant to be presented. To find out more about this debate, read on here. Watch Theo Parrish discuss the art of DJing in this classic edition of EB.tv Slices below.