Digital DJ Tips reader Gonzalo writes: “Are you into what I call ‘experiments’ while DJing – stuff like strange / surprising mixes, with changes not only in genre, but also in musical style (as an example, introducing non-electronic music and then DJing a mini-set)? I don’t mean doing it during your biggest show of the year, but rather doing it to satisfy the impulse to try that ‘stupid’ mix that just occurred to you, or doing a blend that breaks the rules.
“I’m talking about the kind of mix that, when you check your set recording, you’d be surprised to find that it really worked. That’s a glorious moment and you start to think: ‘How the hell did I manage to do that?’, even to the point that you don’t think you’d be able to do it again. I usually attempt this at the end of my mixtape sets, and usually that ‘experimental’ part is always present on the final mix which I upload or distribute. In my case, I’ve noticed spikes in my Mixcloud statistics where those ‘odd’ mixes are…”
Digital DJ Tips says:
Absolutely! That “impulse”, as you put it, is what separates DJs from mere mortals. Practice sessions are most definitely for this kind of thing, and you hit the nail on the head: Recording your sets is an absolute must, because only then will you hear what you did how everyone else hears it, and discover that the stuff you thought sounded great was boring, and conversely, that the risky mixes may have just worked!
As you say, it’s not one for peak-time important gigs (until you’ve perfected some of your more out-there mixes), but in a sea of bland, boring, Beatport Top 100 DJs, standing out can get you much further than you think.
Do you do this type of thing? Got any particularly outlandish mixes you’ve discovered that just “work”, that you’d like to share with us? Or do you think “eclectic for eclectic’s sake” is bad? Please share your thoughts below.