Armand Van Helden on DJ culture in 2017
Legendary artist Armand Van Helden has been around the proverbial block since the late 80’s, when disco and vinyl ruled.
He has seen the evolution of DJing to where it is now, a vinyl-less scene of technology.
Most DJs these days have abandoned the art of swopping out vinyl while live mixing – they do still exist but as we know, there’s less and less of them.
In a recent interview with Inthemix, Van Helden gives his candid opinion in response to a question that begs to compare the feel of the 90’s rave scene in comparison to today.
What it boils down to is that back in the vinyl-heavy days, DJs were so busy tweaking, mixing and swopping out that they didn’t really get a chance to connect with the crowd.
DJing was a job
If the guy before you was playing a completely different style, you had to improvise “and come up with a set” as he says.
“It’s a totally different thing to the way DJs are now. It’s all a no-brainer. They don’t have to think about much up there – as long as they don’t fall and twist an ankle while they’re jumping around,” he explains.
Live performances back then were extremely stressful and to a degree awkward with regards to crowd connection- That is why he believes there isn’t that much footage from the 90’s. [Erm, how about Smartphones and social media, Armand? – Ed J)
He joined forces with A-Trak (a ‘new age’ DJ) to form Duck Sauce and explains how they performed together on stage with their different ‘ethos.’
A-Trak was about putting on a show, whereas Van Helden is more ‘shy’ and focused. Either way works as long as the music is banging, right?
Armand Van Helden is set to perform alongside the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in January 2018 where together they will breathe new life into his long list of house anthems including “My My My”, “Bonkers” and “Professional Widow.”
Does dance music and a symphony orchestra work?