The Effect of Effects and other annoying things DJ’s do
Have you ever heard the saying, “No one judges quite like church folk?” Well the same is applicable to DJs. When I’m in the club listening to another DJ play you can almost see my eyes watering as my mind races to fill in my mental do’s and don’ts list. Most of the time the DJs score about as high as Julius Malema did for his Matric and on some very rare occasions you get the Asian boy wonder, but those aren’t the people I’m here to talk about. I’m not even here to point fingers and laugh at the poor guys who haven’t yet grasped the concept of beat matching (but I really want to), I’m here to toyi toyi against the DJs who do everything in the booth except play music.
There’s a lot a DJ can do to annoy you, but there is no bigger culprit than the effects button. That little orange button and its knob of a neighbor are being fondled more than big bums on the dance floor, and much like the unwelcome gesture, nothing good can come out of it. See most of the time when we play with the delay or echo effect, we are doing it to show off to the other DJs in the booth. It’s our chance to flex our technical muscle to the others guys and prove that we can juggle EQ frequencies or loops like Shimza or Black Coffee. And even if that’s not the case, the reality is 98% of the dance floor has no clue what’s going on.
If anything, to them your CD is scratched or the equipment is bugging out. The majority of the effects we love to use make no sense whatsoever to the people that would just like to dance. The use of effects should be subtle and complimentary not rude and in your face… well in your ear in this case.
But it gets worse. Much worse. Once the DJ is done abusing the effects button he systematically moves to the microphone. Now DJ’ing and adding some personal vocal flavour to the mix is not a crime. I’ve heard Oskido do it and he does it pretty well, but it’s not for everyone. For one, there is only so much you can say that’s worth cutting the music for, i.e. “Guest DJ is in the building,” “last call for alcohol”, “can the guy who parked his Corsa in front of the entrance please move it.” Nothing more, nothing less. But alas, my plea falls on deaf ears. It’s truly a test of will power and my stress beads when a DJ with a voice like Mike Tyson decides to entertain us with his vocal prowess when he has a bag full of CDs that are dying to be played. If it was up to me, there would be an application process for using the microphone during your sets, and I’d make it harder to get the permit than having a second child in China.
Then comes the DJ who, for reasons only known to himself, believes the faster he switches between tracks the better it will make his set seem. For the love of sweet baby Ivy Blue Carter, I can’t fathom how one sees fit to switch into the next song before the first chorus has even played. It really kills the mood when time and time again people don’t get the chance to sing along to that one verse that takes them to the next realm of euphoria. Us DJs need to understand that it’s not a competition, just do what you do and take it easy, the crowd loves and appreciates that more than you know.
I think the best way to look at it is like this; every taxi driver in Joburg knows how to pull handbrake turns or do doughnuts but when they are driving passengers around they don’t. It’s not a matter of safety or rules, those don’t apply to them anyway, it’s a matter of it’s not required of them so why do it?
The same applies to DJs; a lot of us can do some really fancy tricks but let’s save it for the competitions. And if you agree with me, come and let’s march in solidarity against this tomfoolery, but best believe if I see my fellow DJs in the crowd, I’m going to claim The Little Misfit wrote this article and run away. I still need gigs!