I have cheated this week and not picked a single track for the week instead going for a full DJ Set.
A few weeks ago I went to soundwave Festival in Croatia, a small festival focused around dance music in a lovely holiday atmosphere. The highlight was the saturday evening DJ set My Mr.Scruff.
DJ as a terminology has broadened over the past ten years as the rise of the Home/Bedroom Producer has become more prevalent. Modern advancements in CDJ technology and MIDI control of DJ software have enabled artists to take their work from the home computer/laptop to a club with ease and have enough control over said music to provide a live feel to pre-recorded tracks.
This widening of the terminology has had one negative value in that its watered down the original meaning of the term DJ. Club goers will now go to see an artist who will DJ their own music on a large club sound system. Crowds have come to the event knowing full well what will be on that artists set list and will feel cheated if they don’t play their hit songs in the same way that we would if going to see a more traditional live musician/band. This is completely different from the original art form of DJ performance where a DJ would bring a collection of music and play to the crowd. Taking the Audience through a Journey of a genre, adjusting the tempo and styles throughout the night to match the mood of the dance floor with a creative vision and curation of music that isn’t just their own.
When it comes to these types of DJ I would put Mr. Scruff in the highest echelons of the medium. Throughout his 5 hour set with the help of Alexander Nut he played a collection of genre that not only blended perfectly together but was also perfectly in sync with the audience. Although I hadn’t heard many of the cuts that he dug out of his crate of vinyl every track seemed to fit perfectly into place in this one context of that evening. He also adjusted his set to give room for other contributors to do their thing.
This amount of skill is rare today. It comes from years of preparation and being immersed in music with a particular ear for what will sound good in a club scenario. It comes from crate digging and finding the rare tracks that will work and then knowing your collection so well that you can make connections between them whilst playing them live. With Mr. Scuff you feel that he not only knows what he’s going to play next, but what he will play for the next 30 minutes whilst at any point having different options to change to suit the mood of the crowd. That is a rare thing indeed and something that needs to be seen live to be truly appreciated.
Below you will find a link to his soundcloud page which he puts up many of his Live DJ sets including the full sent from Soundwave 2015 and they’re great to listen to. But they don’t do justice to being at his shows, something I would highly recommend to any one who gets a chance to: