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IvanSC



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Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners?
      #331880 - 30/07/06 08:49 AM
some even say the DJ is the musician of the future!
(quoted from his sounding out piece in the current SOS)

For christ`s sake! This is like saying synchronised swimming is a great art form. Has anybody else ever noticed that the only people that ever seem to big up DJ`s as musicians in the press etc are OTHER DJ`s?

Whilst I am the first to appreaciate how clever some of these guys are at shuffling records and samples about, let`s not kid ourselves - this is NOT rocket science.

I usually let this kind of cobblers go, but about once a year I just get so pissed off that some dork like this decides that someone who buys a record and gets good at picking out bits that fit with other records he has bought has a skill level superior to a top MUSICIAN, generating original sounds by playing an instrument. And please don`t hand me that nonsense about cutting and pasting bits of other peoples musical efforts is actually `creating` anything new.

Rant over. I`ll just go into hibernation for another year.
Oh, and can you believe the no-talents actually talked the MU into calling them musicians too? *sigh*

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Microwave



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: IvanSC]
      #331899 - 30/07/06 09:42 AM
What's particularly irritating is how these ground breaking visionaries invariantly end up being such conformists. Whilst there are people doing some interesting and original work with turntables (e.g. Otomo Yoshihide, or even Cornelius), the dj community doesn't even acknowledge their existence, busy as they are matching beats to the latest groove, god forbid it should sound a tiny bit strange or different... or so last week.


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Ian Stewart



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: IvanSC]
      #331901 - 30/07/06 10:03 AM
Hi IvanSC, nothing personal but as usual I disagree with everything you say.
DJs as musicians of the future, I didn't notice that part and I would not agree with that, its marketing hype and should be treated as such. However DJing is skilled and I see these same old arguments cropping up. First of all classical musicians looked down on jazz musicians. Then jazz musicians looked down on rock musicians (Buddy Rich I believe said people only played rock when they weren't good enough to play jazz). Now MOR musicians look down on DJs.
Like musician DJ covers a wide range of abilities from people who just play records right up to people who are very creative. In fact I have written an article for the MU on DJs and was involved in a published discussion with someone whose views were similar to yours.
To me its just music. In fact you censored me in a previous post when I said I thought professional MOR musicians should be fluent readers, its part of their job imo. (You basically suggested I was an arrogant snob).
I have written several classical works for classical saxophones and mix or scratch DJs and they are just part of the ensemble. If I had employed a persuccionist to hit a gong a few times, would s/he not have been considered a musician?
In fact in the past few years I have played piano in bands and solo, performed using hard disk recorder, turntables, sampling drum machine and laptop. to me its just performing and I get equally nervous before all gigs. The reason I use laptop is because I can't do electronica/techno sets on keyboards.
The only problem with DJs is it is quite boring visually but this can be sorted out by having a scratch DJs decks projected on a large screen, or using dancers or video projections.
My wife and I have seen every sort of concert from Jan Garbarek with Eberhard Weber, classical concerts to Erick Morillo DJing at a beach party - we enjoyed them all very much and don't feel the nedd to categorise them into great musicians, very good musicians and non-musicians.
Don't go into hibernation for a year, this is a subject I'm really interest in.

What a coincidence, last night I played solo piano for a wedding, now I'm just off to do an ambient set on laptop with an acoustic guitarist.

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Les



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: Microwave]
      #331903 - 30/07/06 10:14 AM
Quote whawha:

What's particularly irritating is how these ground breaking visionaries invariantly end up being such conformists.




Isnt that often just a symptom of age? I mean there are bands out there who stop developing creatively, and then fall back on their established formula to turn out more-and-more of the same.

Tale Politicians (preferably to the Moon!) - I mean look at the Frank Dobsons, Jack Straws, Gordon Browns etc etc etc. Many went into Left politics with a vison of some sort of Socialist utopia being within their grasp - with ideals, and morals, sense of social justice - and they end up being middle-ground conformists who forget what it was that made them get on their soapboxes in the first place. Either that or put it down to youthful naivety - which at times it may have been - but we keep ranting about how young people are the future, without perhaps taking the jaded filter off our vision that tends to come as you get older and have seen a bit of the world - but that's not neccesarilly right - it's just what happens.

As to DJ's - Im sure the same must be true - but as to their "creativity" - I think DJ-ing is a skill and to some extent an art - but I wouldnt favour it over live music ever.

Les

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jellyjim
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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: IvanSC]
      #331906 - 30/07/06 10:18 AM
Surely this entirely depends on the range of skills the "DJ" in question has? But no DJ is a musician simply because they DJ. Whereas if someone gets called a "cellist" it's fair to assume they're a musician. Interestingly whilst we might also assume a "guitarist" is a musician do we not have slightly diferent assumptions compared to cellist? Or "bassist" or "drummer" even. "Percussionist" how "musical" are they?

I would argue that DJs are not musicians simply because "musicianship" is not a pre-requisite for DJing. Putting on records, beat matching and choosing a set are not terribly difficult things to do.

However there are some guys who would not fail to impress; Kid Koala is my favourite example. So on one deck he's scratching a loop in a rythmical way to provide a percussive element and on the other deck he's controlling the playback speed on a bass tone to create a bassline. But this is a proper bassline. He's learnt to "pitch" using a turntable, a bit theremin like I suppose. So he's a "turntablist" which is a far cry from a "DJ" and I suspect at the end of the day "turntablists" were musicians long before they were "DJs".

Really this makes it worse for "DJs" as the likes of Kid Koala have demonstrated that the turntable can be an instrument and very few meet the challenge. "Get off! You can't play yer instrument. Yer rubbish!" We should be shouting It's a bit like getting up on stage and just continuously playing an open string.

Another thing that I think of in this whole issue, and I don't remember it coming up before, is that normally musicians "play together". There is an "ensemble" of drums, bass, vocal, guitar etc to create a whole. "DJs" generally play only with themselves Altho the "turntablists" are an exception again. They often accompany one another or do "battles" or "faceoffs".

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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: IvanSC]
      #331907 - 30/07/06 10:22 AM
Programmable Microwaves are the Chefs of the future!

Just on a point of order here...

Dictionary.com defines a Musician as;

One who composes, conducts, or performs music, especially instrumental music.

So i would say that by that definition a DJ is a Musician.


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Les



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: __]
      #331910 - 30/07/06 10:24 AM
Quote ow:

Programmable Microwaves are the Chefs of the future!




"Hello? Is that Troll Control Services...?"

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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: Les]
      #331917 - 30/07/06 10:41 AM
er... One of the very first threads i got involved in when i started to use the forum part of this site was on this very subject "Are DJ's musicians". It was done to death with every DJ and Instrumentalist on earth probably having an opinion. Not always predictable opinions either.

I went into the discussion firmly of the belief that, NO they arent. But i'm afraid i came out agreeing that YES they are.

I'm not sure that a bloke sitting in a little radio studio somewhere spinning discs one after the other and perhaps reading the news, doing the odd interview, weather and traffic and taking the odd request is a Musician, assuming he isnt a brilliant trumpet player in his spare time.

But i think these guys who sweat over their performances and who can raise and control a large club audience with their choice or records and bpm, combing sounds and so on... I think they are very much performance artists. They compose with the bits and pieces they decide to play, and essencially they 'conduct' thos parts for want of a better word.

So i would say they are valid and worthy and have earned their place in the big gig.

There are of course crap ones and brillinat ones... But thats always the way.


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--
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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: __]
      #331920 - 30/07/06 10:56 AM
Why can't DJs be DJs and people who play instruments be called musicians?

A lot of people involve music in their work but they don't beg to be known as musicians. Brickies whistle whilst putting up walls etc. (and so actually create their own music) but they don't clamour to be called musicians. Sound engineers don't ask to be called musicians for what they do (although some are musicians in their own right).

Not being called a musician doesn't change what DJs do or make it any less valid.


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__
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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: --]
      #331921 - 30/07/06 11:00 AM
Very true Wonk, i suppose it's a need to be accepted into the mainstream. But youre quite right, who gives a monkeys what they, we, you, or the whistling builder is called. Its a dumb and pointless argument.


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Michael B
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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: IvanSC]
      #331958 - 30/07/06 01:39 PM
Grrrrr, bah gum, what's the world coming to, countries going to the dogs - I had to get my two penneth in.

There was one of those 'Faking It' programs on TV sometime where they pitched in with a young woman that was a classical musician - she played the cello. Her task was to fake it as a DJ. She absolutely trounced the competition , the so called pros.

And she came into the challenge not even liking pop music, maybe it was the usual media hype that gave us the impression that she was the stereotypical fuddy duddy classical musician. But after a little time she had complete command of the decks - and why, she knew about timing, harmony, modulation, key and had very highly developed aural skills.

Consequently she could skip from groove to another quite seamlessly. All this because she was a musician and knew the all tricks of her trade

I once played with a drummer, who when setting his kit up, said to the DJ that the deck was playing slow. In fact the drummer said that the tunes on the deck were playing about 3 bpm slow. I thought the drummer's sense of timing couldn't be that acute. But sure enough, when I tuned my guitar and played along with the tunes, they were playing slightly flat. Again, the drummer was musician who had a vast knowledge and skill thatv just playing records can't give you. DJ's play the resources at their disposal, a muscian manipulates and creates.


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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: Michael B]
      #331963 - 30/07/06 01:56 PM
There was a feature about human timing on the tele when i was a kid. It was either 'How' or 'Record breakers' one of those. They had a military bandsman drummer. He had to play in perfect time and they measured him over a few minutes to see how good his timing was... I cant remember the exact results, but they were awe inspiring. It was near as damn it spot on!


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matango



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: IvanSC]
      #332004 - 30/07/06 04:16 PM
I was recently part of a a community project involving various DJs, button pushers and groove gurus - they seem to crumble down at the first hurdle, be it an unusual chord sequence or an odd rhythm, let alone something like a dissonant harmony, in terms of harmony for the dance music community the 20th century hasn't begun yet. This does not depress them, however, as they affect a complete disinterest in anything that doesn't pertain to their musical pigeon hole, which, as much as the media has tryed to convince the country that music played on guitars and drums is dead, brings them where they are now, ie nowhere.
Mylo comes out with an onanistic record called "Destroy Rock & Roll, the media calls him a genius, six monthts later no one knows who he is. Destroy rock and roll? What, with a bunch of unharmful Vidal Sasson shampoo-ad tunes?
You want to be a musician? Learn music, whether it is classical orchestration, delta blues guitar, the accordeon, the sitar or the kazoo. Listen to music, not just sampled loops and drum machines. Play music with other musicians. If you think that wearing baggy trousers and being popular in the latest clubs qualifies you as a musician, you are dreaming, man... I respect somebody who bothers learning five chords on a battered guitar much more than the trendiest dj!


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Steve Hill
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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: IvanSC]
      #332009 - 30/07/06 04:22 PM
I won't say that DJs are not musicians.

They are like painters. A great guitarist or pianist or violinist might be compared to Rembrant or Velasquez or Dali.

Whereas I might ask a DJ to redecorate my bathroom

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syncmark
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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: Steve Hill]
      #332170 - 31/07/06 05:03 AM
Over the years i've been into everything, i'm pretty open minded when it comes to music. Hip Hop was a defining moment for me at age thirteen, and ever since, there's always been some Hip Hop or 'dance' music kicking around my collection. I have been in awe of scratch DJ's doing seemingly impossible things.

Some time ago i saw a DVD 'KeepInTime' that was about getting the best turntablists from LA and the most noted and revered LA session drummers, Roy Porter, Earl Palmer, Paul Humphrey and James Gadson in the same room. It was really cool. Cut Chemist (Jurassic 5) was having a kind of 'beat off' with one of the drummers, where they would mimic the other would present. It really was quite incredible. This guys not a DJ, he is a turntablist, an instrumentalist on the decks.

But, i do have to say, many of the other turntablists in the room, as technically amazing as they were, as musicians i thought they really weren't cutting it! Especially compared with the funky [ ****** ] these drummers were dishing up. Yeah, it was technical, but the rythms were sometimes just a bit wack!

At this point i think i realised that as an instrument, the Turntable is a bit flawed. As incredible as these guys were, they were still screwing up every now and then, and these are the artists that are defining a generation.

Anyhow............. KeepInTime

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IvanSC



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: Ian Stewart]
      #332178 - 31/07/06 06:45 AM
Quote noiseconjecture:

However DJing is skilled .... The reason I use laptop is because I can't do electronica/techno sets on keyboards.



trimmed for brevity by me. (ivan)

Oh - that`s censured presumably, not censored? Not being the speling pulees, just chjecking I understood you O.K.
Maybe what we need is to use the word (thanks Wonks!) turntablist, which seems like it covers the more artistic form of turntable manipulation, rather than matching beats and choosing records. Unfortunately Mr. W gave me the impression that he was referring to ALL DJ`s.
I find it quite funny that you can`t see the difference between some jerk playing records and you pre-recording your own performance in order to present something original in a live contexyt that would be physically unplayable by just one set of hands.

As you say, there will always be those who are happy to include gonzo DJ`s into the somewhat widening interpretation of `musician` but I will need to see a lot more proof of creativity as opposed to mere physical dexterity. For the same reason I do not have a lot of time for the tech heads who think thast being able to play a gazillion notes per second on their chosen instrument is a sign of virtuosity.
If you are a musician a prime requisite is surely that you do your thing in a musical fashion...

Steve - big wet kiss... made my day. Do you think we should start calling DJ`s Adolfs after that other house painter?

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molecular
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bandying about the word 'pretentious' new [Re: matango]
      #332268 - 31/07/06 11:03 AM
Quote matango:

I was recently part of a a community project involving various DJs, button pushers and groove gurus - they seem to crumble down at the first hurdle, be it an unusual chord sequence or an odd rhythm, let alone something like a dissonant harmony, in terms of harmony for the dance music community the 20th century hasn't begun yet.




Would you expect a good drummer to have an amazing ear for dissonant harmonies? I'm a reasonably competent drummer but I can't beatmatch on decks to save my ass...

Quote matango:

Mylo comes out with an onanistic record called "Destroy Rock & Roll, the media calls him a genius, six monthts later no one knows who he is. Destroy rock and roll? What, with a bunch of unharmful Vidal Sasson shampoo-ad tunes?
You want to be a musician? Learn music, whether it is classical orchestration, delta blues guitar, the accordeon, the sitar or the kazoo. Listen to music, not just sampled loops and drum machines. Play music with other musicians.




matango, if you're going to get bitchy, you should do your homework. I happen to know that mylo is a keyboard player and guitarist, and is perfectly capable of playing the trumpet, the accordian and a number of things. Anyone who has seen the live show will know that these tracks are played almost completely live with a full band with the minimum of vocal samples and peripheral percussion on an adat - which is more than can be said for plenty of 'blues', 'rock' and 'jazz' outfits i've seen...

all the djs I know are not only v. skilled at djing but are also either instumentalists or sound engineers. They DJ because it is highly enjoyable for performer and audience. If you want to hear onanism and the victory of 'skill' over 'creativity' you should go and listen to a Malmstein record.

It's completely pointless to start a debate about 'skill' and 'creativity' without ackowledging that intsrumentalists can be far far worse at this than anyone else.

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Hewesy



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: IvanSC]
      #332275 - 31/07/06 11:23 AM
There is also the point that DJ's get paid more for playing other people's music than their own - as a DJ friend puts it.

Hewesy


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molecular
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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: Hewesy]
      #332308 - 31/07/06 12:21 PM
yeah that's true.

but so do most guitarists and singers...

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Hewesy



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: IvanSC]
      #332318 - 31/07/06 12:36 PM
True, but certainly where I live, your more likely to see a DJ than a guitarist/singer...

Hewesy


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matango



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Re: bandying about the word 'pretentious' new [Re: molecular]
      #332343 - 31/07/06 01:20 PM
Quote hectormolecular:

Quote matango:

I was recently part of a a community project involving various DJs, button pushers and groove gurus - they seem to crumble down at the first hurdle, be it an unusual chord sequence or an odd rhythm, let alone something like a dissonant harmony, in terms of harmony for the dance music community the 20th century hasn't begun yet.




Would you expect a good drummer to have an amazing ear for dissonant harmonies? I'm a reasonably competent drummer but I can't beatmatch on decks to save my ass...

Quote matango:

Mylo comes out with an onanistic record called "Destroy Rock & Roll, the media calls him a genius, six monthts later no one knows who he is. Destroy rock and roll? What, with a bunch of unharmful Vidal Sasson shampoo-ad tunes?
You want to be a musician? Learn music, whether it is classical orchestration, delta blues guitar, the accordeon, the sitar or the kazoo. Listen to music, not just sampled loops and drum machines. Play music with other musicians.




matango, if you're going to get bitchy, you should do your homework. I happen to know that mylo is a keyboard player and guitarist, and is perfectly capable of playing the trumpet, the accordian and a number of things. Anyone who has seen the live show will know that these tracks are played almost completely live with a full band with the minimum of vocal samples and peripheral percussion on an adat - which is more than can be said for plenty of 'blues', 'rock' and 'jazz' outfits i've seen...

all the djs I know are not only v. skilled at djing but are also either instumentalists or sound engineers. They DJ because it is highly enjoyable for performer and audience. If you want to hear onanism and the victory of 'skill' over 'creativity' you should go and listen to a Malmstein record.

It's completely pointless to start a debate about 'skill' and 'creativity' without ackowledging that intsrumentalists can be far far worse at this than anyone else.




As a matter of fact I have seen the live (dead?) show. When the record company will decide she's a genius even my grandma will perform her limericks played almost completely live with a full band with the minimum of vocal samples and peripheral percussion on an adat.
Its full of session musicians that are burning to perform with the latest hot name. The cd is completely made out of samples, you dont expect poor Mylo to walk on stage, press play and wait for the gig to end? Even though that would be much more true to his musical weltanshaung.
And I would agree that Malmsteen is just as valiant an onanist as Mylo (albeit an onanist that spends many hours practicing, which gives him a bit more lustre and keeps him away from us), the main difference is that you can just ignore him - he is not forced down our throat daily for six months as a newly landed musical messiah.


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molecular
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Re: bandying about the word 'pretentious' new [Re: matango]
      #332356 - 31/07/06 01:52 PM
Quote matango:

As a matter of fact I have seen the live (dead?) show. When the record company will decide she's a genius even my grandma will perform her limericks played almost completely live with a full band with the minimum of vocal samples and peripheral percussion on an adat.
Its full of session musicians that are burning to perform with the latest hot name.
And I would agree that Malmsteen is just as valiant an onanist as Mylo (albeit an onanist that spends many hours practicing, which gives him a bit more lustre and keeps him away from us), the main difference is that you can just ignore him - he is not forced down our throat daily for six months as a newly landed musical messiah.




o.k. if you don't like the music and you didn't like the live show then I'm not going to argue with you - everyone's entitled to their opinion.

However this is a debate about whether or not people who DJ for a living are musicians, and I only posted to point out that if you don't think they are, you chose a very bad example. You should also bear in mind that when people get lorded around as musical messiahs and played in the background on the footie all the time etc, the artists involved are invariably the last to know. I think your gripe should be with the relationship between labels and their PR companies (which is of course fairly twisted and certainly not purely around good music...) and not with someone who clearly put a lot of work into producing an album they just thought other people might like to listen to.

I've seen a lot of DJs play and they vary wildly from boring people playing boring sets (eric morillo, anyone? it's only my opinion...) to extroardinary sets of inventive, interesting, and downright ingenious use of deck skills (DJ Vadim, Kid Koala again) as well as people who just clearly enjoy making people go crazy to great music they might never have otherwise heard (erol alkan etc. there's a man who knows how to throw a good time). There are also plenty of people incorporating decks into great live sets in other ways - everything from roni size (just for the record, I don't like it either, but it is music) to Buck 65...

you might as well ask if sound engineers are 'proper scientists', or 'genuinely creative' or something... of course some of them aren't, some are just weird, but it's not a question with a one-size-fits-all answer, and you can't expect to say something like 'DJs aren't musicians' without getting (correctly) told to go home and think properly about what you just said.

anyway, if your granny released an album of limerick recitals and it headed straight for the charts, who are you to say it's crap? or not music?

I'd love to hear it.

H

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Steve Hill
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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: IvanSC]
      #332427 - 31/07/06 04:28 PM
OK, some DJs may have learned to play an instrument once. But they are not playing an instrument when they are turntabling. It is not a musical art. It does not require musicianship to do it well (or badly).

It is a skill set, a craft of sorts. Sometimes rhythm enters into the equation, but that is true of handing out percussion toys to a classroom full of five year olds as well - the fact that some of them can keep time does not make them musicians.

Anybody who seriously maintains that a DJ can be a musician in any way shape or form simply does not know enough about music to understand the question. In my opinion, of course.

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Chucho
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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: __]
      #332449 - 31/07/06 05:17 PM
Quote ow:

Programmable Microwaves are the Chefs of the future!

Just on a point of order here...

Dictionary.com defines a Musician as;

One who composes, conducts, or performs music, especially instrumental music.

So i would say that by that definition a DJ is a Musician.





or ....... not.

--------------------
I've got rhythm, I ain't got pitch


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molecular
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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: Steve Hill]
      #332473 - 31/07/06 06:12 PM
o.k.

I'm going to try and keep this succinct, and post this in the music theory forum aswell, as this was never a matter of recording technology...

1. being a musician is, simply, about what you are doing, not what you are doing it with.

If you want to make musical sounds and feel you can only make the ones you want with a hammer and an old car part, by blowing on a comb, or bending a saw then you are still a musician. Anyone who disagrees with this must now throw out their Tom Waits CDs, their Harrison Bertwhistle records, their John Cage minidiscs...

Let's not forget that hitting things that were lying around is where music came from anyway. It's not as if a caveman woke up one morning and randomly knocked out a viola from a passing tree. Respect your heritage!

Surely it follows straightforwardly from this that the following practises are 'musical' in the full sense of the word: Scratching (expressive, percussive, even melodic), Microsampling (using individual perc or band 'hits' and mapping them against a keyboard to be rearranged), the use of feild recordings, noises (a kind of musique concrete), and any use of a sample which does not rely entirely on the attractions of the original recording to serve its purpose.

This last one is more contentious, but I doubt there are many people on this forum who have never considered using a drum loop from a sample bank.

2. Being a musician is, simply, about creating something new in the world of sound for artistic purposes.

Some people may disagree with this, but in my view if you are turning out library music, or working solely with the intention of selling CDs, then you fall just as foul of Steve Hill's 'set of skills' argument than a DJ.

If a DJ feels that he has found a way to combine two records, or repeat one loop while messing around with other loops and scratches on top of that, that makes something new that is entertaining for its own reasons, then in that moment he has done something musical, and even if his creativity is as fleeting as a 12 bar crossover, it is still creativity, not purely skill.

3. Let me make my position clearer: I am not suggesting for a second that all DJs are musicians. Tony Blackburn is not a musician, nor, most of the time at least, is somebody like carl cox. Nor was my point that DJs can be musicians if they can also play a violin.

I just cannot see why anyone thinks you can take groups of people like 'DJs', 'arrangers', 'producers' and expect them to correlate directly to concepts like 'musicianship' 'skill', and 'creativity'. Not only is there a wealth of people out there who play musical instruments with no creativity or originality at all, but if you refuse to accept that any DJs can be musicians because the tool of their trade is not on your list of musical instruments, then you effectively restrict the term 'musician' to users of certain instruments, almost all of which did not exist 1000 years ago.

o.k. I didn't keep it succinct, but what the hell,

respect, dudes,

H.

here's the link... I hope

here

--------------------
Anto mo Ninja, Watashi mo Ninja
http://www.hectormacinnes.com

Edited by hectormolecular (31/07/06 06:20 PM)


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Chucho
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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: molecular]
      #332503 - 31/07/06 06:58 PM
Quote hectormolecular:

o.k.


If a DJ feels that he has found a way to combine two records, or repeat one loop while messing around with other loops and scratches on top of that, that makes something new that is entertaining for its own reasons, then in that moment he has done something musical, and even if his creativity is as fleeting as a 12 bar crossover, it is still creativity, not purely skill.

3. Let me make my position clearer: I am not suggesting for a second that all DJs are musicians. Tony Blackburn is not a musician, nor, most of the time at least, is somebody like carl cox. Nor was my point that DJs can be musicians if they can also play a violin.






playing 1 record = not a musician
playing 2 records = a musician
I totally get it now.

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dbot408



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: IvanSC]
      #332522 - 31/07/06 07:45 PM
http://www.fazed.org/video/?id=324 (4 djs at once)

I rest my case.


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molecular
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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: Ian Stewart]
      #332524 - 31/07/06 07:47 PM
uh...no?

see above...

Quote noiseconjecture:

To me its just music.
I have written several classical works for classical saxophones and mix or scratch DJs and they are just part of the ensemble. If I had employed a persuccionist to hit a gong a few times, would s/he not have been considered a musician?




exactly.

it's a matter of where you draw the line, innit. But how can you exclude people when you haven't heard what they are doing?

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Rob C



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: IvanSC]
      #332530 - 31/07/06 07:58 PM
I can't get exercised over whether anyone is rightly called something or not.

Language is never that precise. We're not talking about a profession like Doctor... we're talking about something anyone can do by learning a few chords or banging a drum.

More importantly... do DJs matter as musicians? Name a dozen who do.

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molecular
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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: Rob C]
      #332543 - 31/07/06 08:29 PM
DJ Vadim
Kid Koala
Buck 65
Mix Master Mike
Grand Master Flash
DJ Kool Herc
Francis Grasso
Jam Master Jay
Afrika Bambaata
DJ Grand Wizard Theodore
Grand Mixer DXT
DJ Shadow

plus some mucking around on wikipedia threw up this paragraph...

"Turntables were first used as musical instruments in the 1940s and 1950s by musique concrète and other experimental composers, such as John Cage and Pierre Schaeffer, who used them in a manner similar to sampling. (Even earlier, Edgard Varèse experimented with turntables in 1930, though he never produced any works using them.) Modern experimental turntablists include Christian Marclay, Otomo Yoshihide, Philip Jeck and Janek Schaefer. Hip hop DJs developed independently of the earlier techniques, and the sounds produced by these experimental composers are quite different from later hip hop turntablism."

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Ian Stewart



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: Rob C]
      #332545 - 31/07/06 08:32 PM
Quote Rob C.:



More importantly... do DJs matter as musicians? Name a dozen who do.




Grand Mixer DST
Rob Swift
Jazzy Jeff
Jammaster Jay
Qbert
Andy Smith
Mark One
Mixmaster Mike
Norman Cook
Otomo Yoshihide
DJ Disk
Derrick May

--------------------
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__
Who's never been here


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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: Rob C]
      #332546 - 31/07/06 08:32 PM
Quote Rob C.:

... do DJs matter as musicians? Name a dozen who do...






No forgetting Dr John and Davy Jones.


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Ian Stewart



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: IvanSC]
      #332556 - 31/07/06 08:52 PM
The first use of turntables in a music ensemble I can find is Imaginary Landscape no.1 by John Cage in 1939, for piano, muted cymbal and two turntables (one player on each). All the parts are easy to play but presumably the some people on this forum would say that only the pianist and cymbal player were musicians in this work.
Some idioms have musicians who only play one basic instrument, such as a guiro in some traditional bands which is not comparable in technique with the violin part in a Ferneyhough string quartet.
Judging musicians is difficult, people will say a percussionist has a great sense of rhythm - so playing one shaker? As a keyboard player I have to play 5 or more note chords with a great sense of rhythm.
I do not see how Qbert and Rob Swift cannot be considered musicians. Look at exceptional tracks that use scratch DJs - Rockit by Herbie Hancock, Only You by Portishead, in both these tracks the turntable parts are essential, not add ons. More essential than the shaker part on a lot of records played by a real musician i.e. a percussionist.

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Gelled_Fringe



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: Steve Hill]
      #332578 - 31/07/06 09:24 PM
Quote Steve Hill:

OK, some DJs may have learned to play an instrument once. But they are not playing an instrument when they are turntabling. It is not a musical art. It does not require musicianship to do it well (or badly).

It is a skill set, a craft of sorts. Sometimes rhythm enters into the equation, but that is true of handing out percussion toys to a classroom full of five year olds as well - the fact that some of them can keep time does not make them musicians.

Anybody who seriously maintains that a DJ can be a musician in any way shape or form simply does not know enough about music to understand the question. In my opinion, of course.




oh dear


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Steve Hill
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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: Gelled_Fringe]
      #332582 - 31/07/06 09:39 PM
I can at least say that my position on this has been consistent since 1975, when Melody Maker (when it used to be a journal) published a letter of mine in similar vein. And when the Musicians Union was not so desperate for subscriptions that they disagreed with me!

John Cage - 1939 - er... nuff said.

--------------------
Dynamite with a laser beam...


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Ian Stewart



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: Steve Hill]
      #332608 - 31/07/06 10:29 PM
Quote Steve Hill:

I can at least say that my position on this has been consistent since 1975




Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

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Big George



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: IvanSC]
      #332610 - 31/07/06 10:32 PM
In the latter part of the 18th century, the great and good of Vienna refused to accept the Clarinet as an instrument

Beethovens 3rd was seen by the establishment as noise

In the 1940's Sinatra was spoken about as a joke rather than a singer

Rock n Roll is a fad

The Beatles weren't a real band, they just screamed that awful "ya ya" music

The Velvet Underground? nothing more than Feedback

What was it Bob Dylan said?

"and don't criticize what you can't understand"

Hip Hop and turntablism has been a musical movement for 30 years, give or take a doo wop singer on the street corner

Like it or not (and I can’t stand it) it’s a musical genre that came from the street

Just like blues, and country, and soul, and rock n roll, and true pop

If you slag it off, then I'm afraid you’ve become your Dad and need a pair of slipper this Christmas

And talking of Dads, I’m Harry’s Dad and I can honestly said when he was living at home he drove us mad with the scratching (in my day a scratched record was one you replaced), but all I will say is, he practiced (and still does) more than I ever did and when I’ve been over to Dublin to see him do his thang, 100’s of young people rock out just like I did to my heroes back in the day

Feel free to have opinions, but back to Bob "your old road is rapidly fading"

We live in manufactured times and as far as I'm concerned, anyone who makes music for arts sake rather than commerce (and here again I hold my hand up) should be praised rather than feared



--------------------
Big George


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Barish
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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: Big George]
      #332613 - 31/07/06 10:44 PM
...but a few quid on the way wouln't be so bad eh, George?


"It's not that I love money, it's just that it calms me down..."


...as they used to say back in Istanbul when I was a wee boy.


Come on, money is not that bad. It can even buy you religion, why not music?



As for the original poster's worry for DJs being called the musos of the future.



Why do you worry?



Are they stealing your job?



Whether they are to be called musos or not in any slice of the timeline, you'll still be broke if you're not good enough to attract audience for your stuff.



Your thesis is irrelevant, you see?



You're not gonna get any employment as you currently are, no matter they are called DJs, or musos or space monkeys.



What do you play to qualify as a muso? Cello?



I can understand why you don't want to scratch it.



Let it go.



Do your own thing.


B.


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molecular
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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: Steve Hill]
      #332621 - 31/07/06 10:55 PM
Quote Steve Hill:

I can at least say that my position on this has been consistent since 1975




come on steve. the flat earth society has been consistent for longer than that!

Quote Steve Hill:

Melody Maker (when it used to be a journal) published a letter of mine in similar vein




Quote Steve Hill:

er...nuff said




--------------------
Anto mo Ninja, Watashi mo Ninja
http://www.hectormacinnes.com


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molecular
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Re: bandying about the word 'pretentious' new [Re: matango]
      #332626 - 31/07/06 11:02 PM
Quote matango:

Its full of session musicians that are burning to perform with the latest hot name. The cd is completely made out of samples, you dont expect poor Mylo to walk on stage, press play and wait for the gig to end




just for the record, that CD contains very few samples, and the live performers are mylo's schoolfriends and brother...

sorry, but i hate to see that sort of thing go unchecked.

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Anto mo Ninja, Watashi mo Ninja
http://www.hectormacinnes.com


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Gelled_Fringe



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: IvanSC]
      #332627 - 31/07/06 11:04 PM
its taking a long old time, but gradually the dinosaurs who stalk this forum are finding less and less nourishment in their grazing


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molecular
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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: Gelled_Fringe]
      #332628 - 31/07/06 11:06 PM
I guess they've all gone to bed...

--------------------
Anto mo Ninja, Watashi mo Ninja
http://www.hectormacinnes.com


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...................
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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: molecular]
      #332634 - 31/07/06 11:17 PM
Quote hectormolecular:

I guess they've all gone to bed...




What better place to scratch?



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Steve Hill
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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: IvanSC]
      #332644 - 31/07/06 11:59 PM
Still up here, sorry.

"Don't criticise what you can't understand"? Sorry George, come on.... my "problem" here is very simple.

Namely I do understand, all too well. A lot of people wil turn out for the royal fireworks; a few do so because Handel can write music. We're talking about selling spectacle, not music. That's fine, and it can be done well, and it can be enjoyable. And sometimes even I like it.

But please don't endow it with false gravitas by confusing the musician with the pyrotechnician... the two are poles apart.

You may say it's just my opinion and should therefore be discounted. However, I have not seen a contrary view which is not also just an equally "unprovable" opinion.

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Dynamite with a laser beam...


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Ian Stewart



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: IvanSC]
      #332706 - 01/08/06 07:34 AM
Do you not realise how substandard some MOR and pub rock musicians are, yet they are still called musicians, yet virtuoso turntablists are not? I sometimes work with a national ballet company's education department and some of the stuck up musicians just can't play, its as simple as that - yet they are still called musicians.
There are proper instruments that are difficult to play that I'm not that interested in, however I love some much simpler instruments such as the berimbu, cuica, washboard and of course turntables. I really like my music work - I get a call, sometimes they tell me I will be playing acoustic piano, sometimes they say it will be laptop, its just depends what the job needs.

For the record Steve I would have agreed with you in 1975 because that was before scratching got going in the South Bronx and it was not possible to beat match on turntables because of the mixer.

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Rob C



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: Ian Stewart]
      #332744 - 01/08/06 09:33 AM
Quote noiseconjecture:

Quote Rob C.:



More importantly... do DJs matter as musicians? Name a dozen who do.




Grand Mixer DST
Rob Swift
Jazzy Jeff
Jammaster Jay
Qbert
Andy Smith
Mark One
Mixmaster Mike
Norman Cook
Otomo Yoshihide
DJ Disk
Derrick May




And that is precisely the point. The dozen who matter to you as musicians are pretty much invisible in the world at large. Norman Cook who people might know isn't just, or originally, a DJ.

So call them musicians... but also realise that it isn't a very important distinction.

This whole debate; George's article and the response is somewhat contrived and meaningless.

I can replace a tap washer... am I a plumber? Who cares?

--------------------
www.bemuso.com


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molecular
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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: Steve Hill]
      #332759 - 01/08/06 10:01 AM
Quote Steve Hill:

Namely I do understand, all too well.

You may say it's just my opinion and should therefore be discounted. However, I have not seen a contrary view which is not also just an equally "unprovable" opinion.




I think Rob C has a fair point here, and I don't want to keep banging on about who is and isn't a musician when what you call them is indeed neither here nor there: what matters is what you do.

But Steve, yours is not 'just an opinion' and my argument with it is not 'unprovable'.

Firstly, nobody ever said you don't understand orchestral instrumentation or musical theory or whatever, I think the point was that you clearly don't understand the practices of people that go under the title 'DJ' - particularly those for who 'playing records' is not even close to what they do.

As I said before, you seem to be defining 'musician' in terms of users of some predefined list of 'musical instruments'. If Steve Hill doesn't think some apparatus reaches some threshhold of expressiveness then the person who uses it is not a musician.

Even if that IS your view, then you are plain wrong about turntablism. You compare it to some childish woodblock affair, which is evidence enough for most of us of how little you understand, both about turntables and about children.

And if that isn't your view, then do you count yourself among those who think what ALL DJs do is 'play records'? If so, you understand even less and are even more mistaken.

Sure, there are plenty of opinions out there about what music is, but there are also plenty of FACTS about what DJs are and can be capable of, and about the expressive possibilities of anything from a turntable to a washboard. There seem to be a lot of people who persist in being in denial about this.

--------------------
Anto mo Ninja, Watashi mo Ninja
http://www.hectormacinnes.com


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Rob C



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: Rob C]
      #332806 - 01/08/06 11:32 AM
Quote Rob C.:

George's article




When I say George, I mean Harry of course.

--------------------
www.bemuso.com


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Big George



Joined: 01/07/05
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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: Rob C]
      #332821 - 01/08/06 11:44 AM
Quote Rob C.:

Quote Rob C.:

George's article




When I say George, I mean Harry of course.




Funny that, when I say Rob C, I actually mean Mel B from the Spice Girls

But what's even stranger is, when I mean what I say I make hardly any sense?!?!?

Did you know, them lot at SOS are letting me do another piece, I think I might do a review on stylus's

Now them were the good old days. Going to Woolies to get a a double sided needle, one side for 45 and 33 and a third rpm for those one take 78rpm's

Oh dear George, you're showing everyone what an old duffer you are. Next you'll saying Barry Manilow is a genius (as it happens he's the most accomplish musician I've worked with)

Gawdhelp me to stop typing NOW!

Big George (49)



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Big George


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Rob C



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: Big George]
      #332844 - 01/08/06 12:13 PM
I am undergoing treatment for a severe bout of Context-Induced Webley Differentiation Failure. It's not pleasant, but I'll be a better person when it's finished.

Mel.

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Les



Joined: 22/02/05
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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: IvanSC]
      #332847 - 01/08/06 12:15 PM
Just to make you feel older George, Im trying to source a stylus for my wonderful Goldring Lenco turntable from the 70's.

Quite simply the nicest-sounding turntable Ive ever owned and bequeathed to me by my old jamming partner (and excellent guitarist) Norrie.

When i first got it I stuck on "Renegade SOundwave in Dub" (it was a few years ago) - and I couldnt believe the clarity, definition, seperation - and the BASS!!!!

49 is OK - I'm 37 - doesnt look as nice in print as 49 - and 37 doesnt divide into 7 evenly - so think yourself lucky

--------------------
"If I had all the money i'd spent on drink, i'd spend it on drink". Vivian Stanshall


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Rob C



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: Big George]
      #332852 - 01/08/06 12:23 PM
Quote Big George:

I think I might do a review on stylus's

Now them were the good old days. Going to Woolies to get a a double sided needle, one side for 45 and 33 and a third rpm for those one take 78rpm's




Surely for 78s the choice is going to be between steel, ebony, or compressed hog's bristle? You don't really want one of those hybrid bogus diamond jobbies. It'll wreck all your Eddie Fisher singles.

How did you know I was a Spice Girl by the way? I've been very discrete, or so I thought...

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Steve Hill
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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: molecular]
      #332904 - 01/08/06 01:27 PM
I'm not rising to this, you know my view and you know it's a personal opinion. And I respect your opinion - which is all it is, not an incontrovertible fact.

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Dynamite with a laser beam...


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Les



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: Rob C]
      #332908 - 01/08/06 01:30 PM
Quote Rob C:


How did you know I was a Spice Girl by the way? I've been very discrete, or so I thought...




Your Avatar rather gives it away

--------------------
"If I had all the money i'd spent on drink, i'd spend it on drink". Vivian Stanshall

Edited by Les (01/08/06 01:31 PM)


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molecular
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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: IvanSC]
      #332915 - 01/08/06 01:39 PM
I have these ... strong memories shall we say, of playing the guitar, of playing the drums, and of practising scratching on an old turntable. (it was my first ever Akai, but the action was considerably better with a J cloth popped under the best of the Lovin' Spoonful).

Of course it turns out that its only my opinion that I did these things: perhaps they never happened!

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Big George



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: Rob C]
      #332927 - 01/08/06 01:52 PM
Quote Steve Hill:

I respect your opinion - which is all it is, not an incontrovertible fact.




I’m worried now Steve, you’re sounding like a Katie Melua song. Just put my mind at rest, how many bicycles have you got?




Quote Les:

49 is OK - I'm 37 - doesn't look as nice in print as 49 - and 37 doesnt divide into 7 evenly - so think yourself lucky




49 is what I am, but my showbiz age is 31 and had been for eight years now. In 2008 it’ll go up to 35




Quote Rob C.:

I am undergoing treatment for a severe bout of Context-Induced Webley Differentiation Failure




Mel, I hear you’ve shacked up with Eddie Murphy, well goony goo goo to you (for those who don’t know what I’m talking about, check his RAW stand up video, quite a chuckle, but not as good as DELIRIOUS






As a matter of interest, Harry managed to blag his way onto a Snoop Dogg (about as far away from my taste as you can get) gig a while back. He's alsosupported Kanye West and a few other USA billionaire hip hoppers a few times. And as ever, he didn’t make enough to retire. In fact he didn’t make the bus fare home!



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Steve Hill
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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: Big George]
      #332995 - 01/08/06 03:55 PM
Quote Big George:

Quote Steve Hill:

I respect your opinion - which is all it is, not an incontrovertible fact.




I’m worried now Steve, you’re sounding like a Katie Melua song. Just put my mind at rest, how many bicycles have you got?




Oxford has more than enough bicycles already - about nine million I reckon. So I'll stick to my eco-friendly 4x4 on the grounds that I live in the country and it has real mud on it (esp. since hosepipe ban).

--------------------
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Rob C



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: Big George]
      #333096 - 01/08/06 07:20 PM
Quote Big George:

Mel, I hear you’ve shacked up with Eddie Murphy...




Don't talk to me about Eddie. He can be so... brusque.

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molecular
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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: Rob C]
      #333129 - 01/08/06 08:26 PM
geez guys,

there must be a forum for eddie murphy's exes someplace...

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Ian Stewart



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: molecular]
      #333174 - 01/08/06 10:13 PM
Quote hectormolecular:

geez guys,

there must be a forum for eddie murphy's exes someplace...




Don't you see it - they've lost the argument, so rather than admit they were wrong they've changed the subject?

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Squarepeg



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: Ian Stewart]
      #333348 - 02/08/06 12:34 PM
I think you're right. 'Hector' put up a pretty convincing case and I tend to agree with it.

One thing that often turns up is that people seem to have very limited understanding of the work of the artists they point a finger at.

I noticed on of the emails above covered both Carl Cox and Steve Hillage - system 7 (and this is in no way directed at the poster of that email).

Interestingly Steve Hillage has gone on record as saying that the Carl Cox DJ set at Glastonbury was his all time favourite festival expirience (maybe it was his all time favourite Glastonbury expirience). Steve Hillage must have been to some huge amount of festivals over the last 30 years, I recon I have seen him play at 15 or more.

I was there for that Carl Cox gig. It was Sunday afternoon/evening and everyone was pretty exhausted. Not only was the Dance tent full (it was a very big tent) but the sides were rolled up and the whole field was packed. Everyone went crazy in a way that I have never seen in my 25 years of attending live gigs. Some of it was time and place but much of it was his skill as an artist. It was one of my best music expiriences ever and a lot of the people who were with me feel the same.

Of course Carl Cox has also released at least three Albums of his own material along with EPs and a number of singles.

Steve Hillage, as well as being in System 7 and Gong also produced a number of Charlatans and Simple Minds albums and contributed to the Orb.

For what it is worth, when you look at the non comercial forms of dance music which are squarely aimed at the expirience you get on the dance floor there is a partnership between the producer and the DJ.

Producers cut tracks in a DJ friendly way specifically so that they can be manipulated by the DJ. A number of the people I have met who are sucsesful in dance genre's have a very direct relationship between a group of producers and a group of DJs (where several in the group might perform both roles).

The delivery of the musical expirence on the dance floor requires the skill of both parties, the music, as it should be delivered and heard could not exist without this relationship. The DJ is as important to the finished product as the producer.

Finally, I am into my forties and grew up on a diet of Jazz, clasical and 60s pop (Beatles, Yardbirds, Stones, Faces, Kinks, etc). In my 'formative' years I was buying Pink Floyd, Zappa, Steely Dan and Folk plus a bit of ACDC, Springsteen, Joan Armatrading, well alsorts really but quality (IMO) stuff.

Now I buy mainly dance (though I still buy Jazz) from mellow house and Detroit style Techno through to Acid Techno and PsyTrance. I love it, it gets me in a very deep place. Hopefully in the future I will also be open to the newer styles of music that emerge and the new ways in which they might be performed and delivered.


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Ian Stewart



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: Squarepeg]
      #333448 - 02/08/06 03:30 PM
Quote Squarepeg:


Finally, I am into my forties and grew up on a diet of Jazz, clasical and 60s pop (Beatles, Yardbirds, Stones, Faces, Kinks, etc). In my 'formative' years I was buying Pink Floyd, Zappa, Steely Dan and Folk plus a bit of ACDC, Springsteen, Joan Armatrading, well alsorts really but quality (IMO) stuff.

Now I buy mainly dance (though I still buy Jazz) from mellow house and Detroit style Techno through to Acid Techno and PsyTrance. I love it, it gets me in a very deep place. Hopefully in the future I will also be open to the newer styles of music that emerge and the new ways in which they might be performed and delivered.




I also come from a classical, jazz, 60s pop background you (I've been a musician for 28 years) and now I listen to mainly dance music also, particularly minimal techno, more underground trance and ambient. I think the producers in this field are underated. I don't think the Djs in the creative side of DJing are stuck up or full of themselves at all, they are really keen to learn and develop in my experience.
One of the things about underground dance is the quality of the sound programming and they way everything is put together, it is a very creative area at the moment.

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Squarepeg



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: Ian Stewart]
      #333482 - 02/08/06 04:12 PM
Quote noiseconjecture:



I think the producers in this field are underated.




I agree. Quite frankly I am am in awe of some of these people (which is a sad state of affairs for someone at my age).

I try to do my own stuff in a simialr vain in some styles but I don't have the geniune talent or time to get close. Actually, the standard of the output is increasing faster than I can possibly learn (though I am still improving). I still love trying though. It is more a form of meditation (perhaps not quite the right word but I am sure some of you know what I mean, it lets me switch off compltely) for me these days but something that I still very much enjoy.


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IvanSC



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: Big George]
      #333699 - 03/08/06 06:51 AM
Quote Big George:

Hip Hop and turntablism has been a musical movement for 30 years, give or take a doo wop singer on the street corner

Like it or not (and I can’t stand it) it’s a musical genre that came from the street

If you slag it off, then I'm afraid you’ve become your Dad and need a pair of slipper this Christmas

And talking of Dads, I’m Harry’s Dad and I can honestly said when he was living at home he drove us mad with the scratching (in my day a scratched record was one you replaced), but all I will say is, he practiced (and still does) more than I ever did and when I’ve been over to Dublin to see him do his thang, 100’s of young people rock out just like I did to my heroes back in the day

Feel free to have opinions, but back to Bob "your old road is rapidly fading"

We live in manufactured times and as far as I'm concerned, anyone who makes music for arts sake rather than commerce (and here again I hold my hand up) should be praised rather than feared






Well I am 62 George... No slippers yet but heading that way.
My whole point in the original post was that once again we have some dork who twiddles turntables claiming to replace traditional musicians, whereas without the skills of traditional musicians this knob hea oops twiddler wouldn`t be able to do what he does in the first place.
I have no problem at all with DJ`s doing their thing, but why oh why do they seem to have this overwhelming need to be seen as `as good as musicians`? Isn`t it enough that they are respected admired and extremely well paid by the general public in the first place?
DJ`s as a breed have been pushing live musicians into a not as well paid corner since the early seventies, because at the time, a traditional DJ`s only skill had to be a knack for sticking the right record on at the right time, which gave the ones that were good at it a viable gig base from which to branch out and experiment with the scratch stuff, etc.
Sadly us rocky-rolly muso`s were busy alienating audiences by playing twenty minute, boring guitar solo`s instead of the current top 40 which is where the DJ`s scored every time.
Then came punk, which meant we sounded even less like a viable form of entertainment to a large percentage of the (paying) public.

Maybe what we should be doing is promoting musicians as being as good as DJ`s to dance to!!!

I agree 100% that there should be room for all formsa of musical expression, but I also wish the DJ`s could be content to be what they are.

M.U.? I lost patience with them years ago. I remember arriving in cambridge from London in 1960, signing on at my local and hearing a vote on whether or not to allow rock akd roll musicinas into our branch on the grounds that they weren`t proper musicians. Interestingly, the President at the time was one Syd barrett, a double bass player and all around nice bloke, who stood up for the rock and rollers. They let me in because i was a jazzer at the time, but within a year 90% of the gigs the membership had worked for years in local ballrooms etc. were gone. The same thing happened with the DJ`s in the seventies and as a result live music has become a minor part of the local gig scene, which is of course dominated by local mobile dj`s.

Shining example of current trends is two mates, both of whom sing well, play drums well and one also plays pretty good guitar. Their gig is as a Blues Brothers tribute act performing to bought-in, pre recorded backing tracks and for the majority of their work (weddings and functions) they offer a Disco in with the price.
Or is it the other way round? They make really good money, but both wish they were actually playing in `real` bands.

ow and noiseconjecture, please understand that I have never said DJ`s are not good at what they do, just that they sure as hell arent the future of musicianship in my book.
Perhaps you could cover my point about what the DJ`s are going to use once all the musicians who actually play instruments have quit playing and there is nothing new to scratch, sample, etc.? I can just imagine Radio Free Hereward in 2106 playing yet another rehash of that drum part from Sex Machine skillfully mixed in with the bass hook from Africa, with vocal snippets from various Enya compositions floated tastefully over the top....
*yawn* where`s me pipe and slippers?

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Ian Stewart



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: IvanSC]
      #333722 - 03/08/06 08:18 AM
You fears are misguided Ivan SC, I agree with you about wallies who drive cars with fluffy dice in the back making a bit of extra money at weekends playing the obvious pop songs, this is the popular image of DJs. But it is wrong, the same as the image of drunken musicians who can't play very well and spend their time leching after females is a wrong image of musicians. The club DJs or turntablists are no threat to live music and to me they are live music. What is the difference between me doing a set on solo piano and me doing a set on turntables or laptop? It is music not a gymnastics competition to see who is the most skilled. I know it is more difficult to play a classical violin solo than it is guitar in one of the new guitar bands but personally I enjoy listening to guitar bands more. Many groups e.g. Groove Armada, Faithles, play live on real instruments, DJ and produce.
The skills are changing and I consider myself no less of a musician on laptop, or mixing tracks for DJs than when I am playing solo piano. Most DJs however do not earn that much money and now I gather you will not get the really good jobs unless you are a producer aswell.
Unfortunately the article you are referring to I do not think was well argued and found myself disagreeing with it even though I support the cause. At the risk of sounding arrogant I wrote a far better one for the MU magazine a few years which unfotunately is no longer on their website.

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ceoak



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Re: bandying about the word 'pretentious' new [Re: molecular]
      #333740 - 03/08/06 08:51 AM
http://youtube.com/watch?v=rR-i0qRHLpM


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Big George



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: IvanSC]
      #333754 - 03/08/06 09:10 AM
Quote IvanSC:


Maybe what we should be doing is promoting musicians as being as good as DJ`s to dance to!!!




NOW YOU'RE TALKING

FIGHTING SPIRIT AT LAST

I AM SERIOUS ABOUT RECLAIMING OUR INDUSTRY FROM THE MARKETING/ACCOUNTANTS WHO USED TO BE A PART OF THE PROCESS, BUT NOW OWN AND DOMINATE IT



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Ian Stewart



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: Big George]
      #333759 - 03/08/06 09:29 AM
Quote Big George:

Quote IvanSC:


Maybe what we should be doing is promoting musicians as being as good as DJ`s to dance to!!!




NOW YOU'RE TALKING

FIGHTING SPIRIT AT LAST

I AM SERIOUS ABOUT RECLAIMING OUR INDUSTRY FROM THE MARKETING/ACCOUNTANTS WHO USED TO BE A PART OF THE PROCESS, BUT NOW OWN AND DOMINATE IT






Hi George, and your articles go a long way to showing how parasitic and useless these marketing managers/ accountants are.

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Steve A
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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: Ian Stewart]
      #333801 - 03/08/06 10:51 AM
Quote noiseconjecture:

What is the difference between me doing a set on solo piano and me doing a set on turntables or laptop?




The former does not inherently require the existence of a previous musical performanace created by someone else, whereas a turntable or laptop set would?

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Big George



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: Ian Stewart]
      #333839 - 03/08/06 11:20 AM
Quote noiseconjecture:

your articles (went) a long way to showing how parasitic and useless these marketing managers/ accountants are.




And that's why I'm starting them up again in the next (but one? I mean, how would I know anyway) issue

As I recall I stopped as I said I wanted to have a hit record, why I've just had. So, armed with insider knowledge, it's time to ranting

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Les



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: IvanSC]
      #333852 - 03/08/06 11:37 AM
Have you George? Must've missed that - go on, admit it, you write for McFly

--------------------
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Squarepeg



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: Steve A]
      #333900 - 03/08/06 12:45 PM
Quote Steve A:

Quote noiseconjecture:

What is the difference between me doing a set on solo piano and me doing a set on turntables or laptop?




The former does not inherently require the existence of a previous musical performance created by someone else, whereas a turntable or laptop set would?




Well, a creative one but not necessarily one that requires a musician in the strictest sense (this widens the subject and we have been here before but what the heck).

(There is no reflection on NoiseC here, I have listened to some of his stuff - which is excellent - and he is clearly a talented musician).

You don't need to be a skilful player of a musical instrument to make good music. It helps, I am sure it helps a lot, but some forms of electronic music certainly don't require it.

I have very limited skill with a keyboard (and my music theory is not great, though I have some) but I still like to play around with ideas for bass lines, riffs etc on a midi keyboard recorded into Logic. I can then go back and edit manually, maybe use some quantising, transposition etc.

I could probably dispense with the keyboard altogether and get similar results with a mouse but it is less fun. Similarly I might put drums in with a mouse, from the keyboard or, occasionally, use a loop. Is it more or less creative? I don't know to be honest, writing in piano roll or staff (which I could do but rarely use) is not much different to writing on paper.

I used to play some of my material out 'live' and wasn't bottled off the stage, it was ok, people danced. By 'live' - used to take a large and somewhat expensive midi rig out driven by a dedicated sequencer or laptop - you felt you were putting some effort in (both through knob twiddling and the effort required in setting everything up) but I could easily do the same thing with Live and a couple of USB controllers these days - actually Live would be more interactive but would look less impressive.

Personally I would not have bravado to call myself a musician as I don't play an instrument in any real sense (though I used to be able to get a fair tune out of a bugle many years ago). I do create original music (in that I almost never use samples), I am ok at synth programming and can (after many years) engineer and mix an acceptable sound.

I think electronic music blurs the boundaries of what the term musician means. And, if you use the strict term of someone who plays a musical instrument then that gives little credit to the talented creative player.

There are instrumentalists, there are turntablists, and there are producers who make amazing original material but are neither. There are talented instrument players with very limited creative ability and there are original and exciting bands with quite limited playing skills.

I think, perhaps, the term musician worked better in an earlier age where its definition was clearer.


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molecular
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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: Squarepeg]
      #334193 - 03/08/06 11:23 PM
Quote Steve A:

Quote noiseconjecture:

What is the difference between me doing a set on solo piano and me doing a set on turntables or laptop?




The former does not inherently require the existence of a previous musical performanace created by someone else, whereas a turntable or laptop set would?




I think this question highlights exactly what I felt Steve Hill and IvanSC don't understand about the musicianship in turntablism.

both of them are perfectly happy with what DJs do, but think that they have no claim on the term musician because they misunderstand the extent to which what they do relies on the waveform imprinted on the record. Obviously if all your doing is playing records (recent David Mancuso style)then you are not a musician.

Some of the DJs I have seen on stage (DJ Vadim for example) spent a lot of time literally just locating one stable single-note section of, e.g. a classical record, and then used a scratching-like to action replay the waveform at different speeds (and hence pitches) to play basslines, which sounded brilliant, while somebody else either beatboxed (new thread!) or played loops on further decks. In this case, the music relied no more on the original recording than a piano performance does on the 'original waveforms' that each string makes when struck and sustained. I doubt we are going to hear any of the naysayers arguing that the only real musicians in a recital of the moonlight sonata were the craftsmen who made the piano, upon whom the pianist relies completely for his sound source.

Clearly somebody like DJ Vadim is doing more extreme things than the bulk of DJs, but therein lies a spectrum, which runs smoothly all the way from the likes of Vadim to the inevitable cataclysm of Tony Blackburn.

Perhaps we just need some new words here. If we are going to define DJ as 'somebody who uses turntables' then of course not all of them are musicians, but some of them sure as hell are, in a way that nobody can argue with.

Perhaps these people should be referred to only as 'turnablists'? I don't think so, I like the term DJ, and it gives to the art the weight of the heritage it grew from.

So let's go back to the start and say that playing records is no longer good enough to qualify as a DJ?

What is Blackburn? A Disc Jerk?

or that glasgow favourite - a knob jockey?

I'm afraid he's a DJ too, but thankfully it's not my fault.

yours,

'Hector' (I also like it when someone puts my name in inverted commas (see above) - it means their thinking - 'Hector', if that IS your real name...

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Anto mo Ninja, Watashi mo Ninja
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IvanSC



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: Big George]
      #334435 - 04/08/06 01:49 PM
Quote Big George:


Oh dear George, you're showing everyone what an old duffer you are. Next you'll saying Barry Manilow is a genius (as it happens he's the most accomplish musician I've worked with)

Gawdhelp me to stop typing NOW!

Big George (49)






(rofl) Er for me it was Jack Jones - perfect pitch really means perfect with him. Most intimidating and he was actually a nice, relaxed guy to work with...
Do we get a special award for the oldest names dropped on here ever? On the other had I have suits that are older than you, son.

My first turntable used blackthorn needles held in place with a knurled-headed bolt. All very unsavoury, but I would defy anybody to scratch (in the modern sense of the word) with one of them...

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IvanSC



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: Big George]
      #334441 - 04/08/06 01:53 PM
Quote Big George:

Quote IvanSC:


Maybe what we should be doing is promoting musicians as being as good as DJ`s to dance to!!!




NOW YOU'RE TALKING

FIGHTING SPIRIT AT LAST

I AM SERIOUS ABOUT RECLAIMING OUR INDUSTRY FROM THE MARKETING/ACCOUNTANTS WHO USED TO BE A PART OF THE PROCESS, BUT NOW OWN AND DOMINATE IT






With you there, George. First millionaire in the Pink Floyd setup was.... Steve O`Rourke. Why?

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IvanSC



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: molecular]
      #334447 - 04/08/06 02:03 PM
Quote hectormolecular:

Steve Hill and IvanSC don't understand about the musicianship in turntablism.

both of them are perfectly happy with what DJs do, but think that they have no claim on the term musician because they misunderstand the extent to which what they do relies on the waveform imprinted on the record.




Nope - I know exactly what the Turntablists are about - worked with many in my time. I have the same problem with music generated exclusively from non-proprietorial samples.

Finding a wave form and generating it are two different things. Yes granted it is very skillful etc., but the lines are so blurred these days between sample and vinyl based tracks and stuff produced by more traditional means, there needs to be another separate way of describing what the non-instrument playing music-producing artists do. I think it belittles both the (for want of a better description) traditional musicians AND the new breed of music generators to lump them all in together under the term `musician`. We are all hopefully music makers but not necessarily all accurately described as musicians.

Unfortunately, most `new` musicians think they can sweep away all objections by using terms like `old fart`, etc., but as with all things, reasoned arguments are usually more use than invective. Tell me why turntablists should JUST be called musicians with no other modifier. Make the explanation good and cogent and you might convince me. Call me an old fart and you are wasting your breath and my time.

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IvanSC



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: Ian Stewart]
      #334453 - 04/08/06 02:26 PM
Quote noiseconjecture:

You fears are misguided Ivan SC



Sorry but you are soooo wrong on this bit. I used to gig in my local area four or five nights a week without playing any pubs and without leaving the centre of the town. This was in the early and mid sixties, when local bands still played mostly covers of current chart material.
As the idea that bands ought to write and play all their own material became popular and the concept of twenty minute funky jams being creative (!!) came into existence, so the average punter stopped being interested in what the local muso`s were doing and looked fro something else. Lo and behold, the youth clubs that couldn`1t afford a live band had started playing records instead and from that humble beginning came the mobile DJ boom and with it the death of the majority of live music outlets. You really had to be there at the time to know how pathetically small the live scene is nowadays by comparison. I hope you have noticed that I place the blame here squarely in the hands of the gigging musicians of the time.

From the late sixties to the early seventies, live music as it had traditionally always been right back to and beyond the wartime dance band era almost completely disappeared.

Disco`s and their current counterparts have survived as a live experience for all the reasons given earlier in this thread, a dance gig IS an experience and generally easily repeatable because the inszpirational component is supplied by the DJ`s skill, not the playing ability and `on the night` mood of several co-operating musicians, most of whom have little or no interest in crowd reaction.

So please do not misunderstand me,I am not saying that DJ`s whether scratch or `I just put records on` are to blame for this situation, simply that they are not that relevant to me in terms of what they do contributing to the overall available pool of original musical material. A remix is still a remix and a bloke playing bass lines using a recording of a cello is still a party piece, rather than a meaningful performance, as were all those shite 20 minute solo`s in the old days.

NC what you need to remind yourself of, is that you are of necessity musicianly because you have an understanding of music based on learning an instrument. This is what makes you a musician in my book. Not what you do with remixes.

If your only skills were related to mixing and scratching, I would have a hard time equating your abilities and experience with those required to qualify for the title musician.

Oh and FWIW when you play a musical saw or other similar `wierd` instrument, let`s not forget that you are still generating the wave form from scratch, not just finding it oir `borrowing` it. Come to think of it, I`m not that keen on synths, either......

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IvanSC



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: Ian Stewart]
      #334455 - 04/08/06 02:31 PM
ow and noiseconjecture, .
Perhaps you could cover my point about what the DJ`s are going to use once all the musicians who actually play instruments have quit playing and there is nothing new to scratch, sample, etc.? I can just imagine Radio Free Hereward in 2106 playing yet another rehash of that drum part from Sex Machine skillfully mixed in with the bass hook from Africa, with vocal snippets from various Enya compositions floated tastefully over the top....

Just lifted this from my earlier post, since you have both apparently ignored my question, unless I really am losing it on my old age and missed your response. Ivan

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IvanSC



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: Gelled_Fringe]
      #334456 - 04/08/06 02:32 PM
Quote Gelled_Fringe:

its taking a long old time, but gradually the dinosaurs who stalk this forum are finding less and less nourishment in their grazing




(falling about laughing) Well I guess that really told US then, didn`t it?

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Big George



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: IvanSC]
      #334458 - 04/08/06 02:33 PM
Quote IvanSC:

With you there, George. First millionaire in the Pink Floyd setup was.... Steve O`Rourke. Why?




The Management - but IvanSC that's not always the senario

As for Pink Floyd, as you will read in a future column, they're a major part of the problem. Can you imagine in 1966 the music press being dominated by stories of Al Jolson

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Ian Stewart



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: IvanSC]
      #334489 - 04/08/06 03:27 PM
Just to clarify something Ivan SC I have no time for the typical Djs who do weddings and similar functions, they're not musicians, they're not DJs in the true sense of the word - they put on records which you and I could do just aswell. If you have a PA system, some lights and a van that's the only skill you need. Its good to get points of agreement and a good function band does weddings etc. far better than these people who put on records. Now if you want to get a top club DJ for your wedding that's something else but few could afford her/him.

But as in music so in DJing, one of the in DJs at the moment apparently isn't very good live and has someone who does his production for him. I am not naming him as I sometimes get paid to imitate his style. Also I have had library music in his style accepted.

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Squarepeg



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: IvanSC]
      #334594 - 04/08/06 08:40 PM
Quote IvanSC:

...and a bloke playing bass lines using a recording of a cello is still a party piece, rather than a meaningful performance...




This little snippet is, I think, the crux of the matter for me. It's not that I like an argument and I agree with much of what you are say but I just find this instinctively wrong.

To me this is fundamentaly playing the turntable as an instrument even down to the level that you are generating the wave form from scratch through the mechancial process of skillfully manipulating the needle through the grove (well, the groove around the needle I guess).

Sure, the original recording imbues a particular character because the grove pattern was created by a cello but the cello itself has that character as a result of it's shape, the materials used to build it and, to some smaller degree, the way in which it was bowed.

The turntablist has to controll the pitch and the rhythm completely and has to match those to the other instruments or sounds being played. I just can't see in what way that is not a fully fledged musical instrument perfromance. You could even bend notes and with a bit of volume control via the mixer could be really expressive. I would love to hear such a thing.

This is a good thread. I know it has been done before but it is making me think.


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MikeC
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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: IvanSC]
      #334602 - 04/08/06 09:23 PM
I wonder how long it will be before my submission of a carefully composited video of Justin Gatlin sprinting will get me accepted for the 2012 Olympics ... I'm even happy to jump around near the starting blocks if it'll make people happy.

I know, I know .... old argument, difference of opinions, difficult to quantify what a 'musician' actually is, etc, etc, etc...

M

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molecular
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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: IvanSC]
      #334631 - 04/08/06 11:47 PM
i know, i know, copy and paste, copy and paste...

but This, from the music theory version of the thread, which has some interesting points not made here (I mean by other people...):


all good points, hussein.

I don't think that what you can do with a turntable has yet reached anything like the possibilities that people have wrought from more conventional instruments over the years - it's a primitive way of doing things, and precisely because of this, people are constantly pushing things forward in this area with a sense of urgency and invention that I can't help feeling is lacking in the retro-driven world of guitar bands.

I like to think that Harry Webley's comment about 'musicians of the future' referred to this bright future of invention that electronic music in general presents us with, rather than trying to put the fear of god into those more conventional instrumentalists who seem to think that the rug is about to pulled from under their feet by some ungainly imposter.

As far as skills vs. creativity goes, I should make it clear that I am not a DJ, I am a songwriter, guitarist, and piano player. I have always felt that songwriting is a matter of having one or two good/lucky/weird ideas and then using skill and craft to warp them into something well structured, rather than just sitting down and being inspired. I have all the time in the world for people who want to make music which is purely 'inspriational' (like... freeform improv?), but not only does music made in this way represent a tiny fraction of what happens in the world, it is also very difficult for most ordinary people to relate to. That's the main reason such repetetive patterns occur in what 'the masses' listen to. Creating music that is both inventive and has the power to stir emotions in somebody who knows nothing about how music is made, is a skill, because your listeners' ears and brains obey a lot of rules and conform to a lot of ideas. While just playing a C chord over a descending bassline is not composing, because evryone's done it, a writer has to consider these things a tool in their box, so to speak, and should know when to use it and when not to.

As well as highlighting the possibility of being creative in music using any noise-maker you like, it is also important to point out that whoever thinks they are going to write a good song by being creative, but without using ANY LEARNT SKILL-SET AT ALL is fooling themselves.

Good music, like good architecture, art, cooking, and that other thing, is the result of somebody who has a good idea, and the skills to make it work.

As far as Emin's bed goes, the skills involved in making that work as art are mostly to do with manipulating perception of what an installation like that is and why she did it, stirring of controversy and things like that. In that sense it's a great idea which only becomes good art on account of some very skilled PR and self-legend-building on her part. And I'm sure she wouldn't disagree that having two japanese guys raid it for a pillow fight only improved her lot.

Hector

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molecular
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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: IvanSC]
      #334645 - 05/08/06 12:14 AM
Quote IvanSC:

On the other hand the whole discussion is a bit of a waste of time, since there will always be those who stick on records and claim to be musicians and I will still get punters asking me to `put on XXXXYYY for the next record` when I am out playing live.




Well, I have to say it's pretty common to go into a pub where a really good local band is trying out what they think are great, original songs in a new style, and to hear them get barraged with requests for 'American Pie' or 'The Piano Man'. There's really not much difference here.

Quote IvanSC:


I used to gig in my local area four or five nights a week without playing any pubs and without leaving the centre of the town. This was in the early and mid sixties, when local bands still played mostly covers of current chart material.
As the idea that bands ought to write and play all their own material became popular and the concept of twenty minute funky jams being creative (!!) came into existence, so the average punter stopped being interested in what the local muso`s were doing and looked fro something else. Lo and behold, the youth clubs that couldn`1t afford a live band had started playing records instead and from that humble beginning came the mobile DJ boom and with it the death of the majority of live music outlets.




Are you suggesting that what you percieve as the 'downfall of live music' is the result of live bands' desire to perform their own compositions instead of someone else's? Thats what it sounds like your suggesting...

Quote IvanSC:

Disco`s and their current counterparts have survived as a live experience for all the reasons given earlier in this thread, a dance gig IS an experience and generally easily repeatable because the inszpirational component is supplied by the DJ`s skill, not the playing ability and `on the night` mood of several co-operating musicians, most of whom have little or no interest in crowd reaction.




co-operating musicians who collectively have NO interest in crowd reaction are both extremely unlikely to find themselves in front of a crowd, and should probably not be there. people who claim they have no interest in crowd reaction but persist in performing when they don't have to are, frankly, bullshitters. Performing your own compositions live is a stressful and emotionally exhausting experience which nobody in their right mind would do unless they enjoyed the amazing feeling a good crowd reaction gives you.

Quote IvanSC:

A remix is still a remix and a bloke playing bass lines using a recording of a cello is still a party piece, rather than a meaningful performance, as were all those shite 20 minute solo`s in the old days.




Every striking new development was 'a party piece' in this sense when it was first invented. Does nobody remember 'the christmas rap'? a total novelty record... and at the time most boffins would have laughed at the idea that a single further 'rap' record would ever sully the charts again.

Quote IvanSC:

Oh and FWIW when you play a musical saw or other similar `wierd` instrument, let`s not forget that you are still generating the wave form from scratch, not just finding it oir `borrowing` it. Come to think of it, I`m not that keen on synths, either......




O.K., Ivan, you don't like synths? if you're trying to persuade anyone on this forum, you probably want to keep this to yourself.

Here is a list of instuments with which you DON'T generate the wave form from scratch, even in the half-way you might on a guitar or a trumpet...

Piano
Xylophone
Tubular Bells
Flute
recorder
accordian
....

I am only stopping here because it's just occurred to me that the one instrument on which you can completely define every parameter of the original waveform you use is...... a synth.

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IvanSC



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: IvanSC]
      #334713 - 05/08/06 08:22 AM
FLUTE???? RECORDER???

Who do you think generates the column of air that vibrates and forms the musical note? Now if you had said melodica or stlyophone, in fact just about anything Rolf Harris has played.... (joke alert!)

Seriously, the point I was trying to make with the so-called original bands of the seventies was that most of what they were doing was not original in the first place and pretty boring crap in the second place, which is what alienated the punters.

Just to put this in perspective, I have done my share of being in original bands (!) and have charted in the USA, been on music TV shows etc and have also schlepped around doing functions gigs. More recently I have regularly recorded for hire on some Country & Western and Irish stuff and toured extensively at club level, so I am not `just` a pub MOR musician.

Having said this, I also have enough time in the business both here and abroad to make a realistic comparison between the live gigging scene in the UK pre "wow man I`m really expressing myself" and post. Sadly there has been so much rubbish music put out by musicians who feel like they should be able to write their own songs but can`t that the average punter has been thrown into the arms of mobile DJ`s for a reliable `big sound with yer mates` experience and the rave/club scene for the equivalent of the old live gig euphoria.

If only people would realise that there is no shame in not being able to write your own material and equally no shame in not actually playing an instrument, we might be able to lay this whole subject to rest once and for all.

Why can`t singers who only sing call themsleves singers, guitarists who only play guitar be guitarists and of course DJ`s that play records be DJ`s and scratchers be... er, turntablists?
Mind you, that does still leave an awful lot of room for conjecture over who then qualifies for the title `musician`....
Just so long as nobody suggests producers.

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Ian Stewart



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: IvanSC]
      #334731 - 05/08/06 09:33 AM
You omitted the jazz funk bands, this same boring stuff that was just not as tight or energetic as the US originals, playing what the musicians liked but didn't come over to the audience. You would play functions or in high class restaurants and all through Forever End Ever or Strangers In the Night you would get bass slapping. This drove me wild. Put basically, people should do the job they are paid to do, these musicians would never have made it in America so why inflict it on people who want a good time and enjoy their meal.
I know a very good jazz musician who used to play good compositions by other contemporary jazz composers. then he started playing his own compositions, why? - ego, royalties - I don't know but they are just not up to standard - it is beautifully played [******].

Some people can't compose - end of story.

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IvanSC



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: IvanSC]
      #334751 - 05/08/06 10:29 AM
hooo boy yessss! I had forgotten all those turgid, endless funky jams over THE two chords.... And people STILL want to do it at jam sessions, like it is somehow cool!

I have pretty much given up on our local jam sessions, as they invariably seem to be a series of naff bands wanting to play `their material` in front of a live audience because nobody else will have them, or - worse- all the unemployables that can only do Led Zep or old punk covers. I have often likened the effort of trying to drag some of this lot through something other than a 12 bar in A or E to wading through a treacle-filled swimming pool with several three-toed sloths on your back. All wearing antique divings suits....

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Ian Stewart



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: IvanSC]
      #334804 - 05/08/06 01:10 PM
A few years ago I worked for a ballet company's education department when the company were doing one of the American ballets on George Gershwin tunes. One of the sections used I Got rhythm played incredibly fast. The teacher kept apologising saying can she have it a tiny bit faster, almost in fear. I told her that however fast they could dance it, I could play it faster as I was brought up on stride piano and I often have to play at high speed in my other work. However the two musicians doing a children's performance at the Serpentine Gallery in London just couldn't play it (to me they're imposters) so the said that the children had a right to specially composed music instead of having American music forced on them so they would write music for them. How's that for using political correctness because you're a useless musician who can't do the job you are paid to do?

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Andi



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: IvanSC]
      #335858 - 08/08/06 12:22 PM
".....But it is wrong, the same as the image of drunken musicians who can't play very well and spend their time leching after females is a wrong image of musicians."

WHAT! So now I'm not a musician either?

"hooo boy yessss! I had forgotten all those turgid, endless funky jams over THE two chords.... And people STILL want to do it at jam sessions, like it is somehow cool!"

So then, damn those musicians that play new stuff that you don't like, damn those musicians that do old stuff that you don't like, damn the ones that play stuff that you don't understand, damn those that play stuff that's too simple for you, and let's not even get started on the buggers who play just because they love music?

A

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IvanSC



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: Andi]
      #336203 - 09/08/06 07:46 AM
Quote Andi:

".....But it is wrong, the same as the image of drunken musicians who can't play very well and spend their time leching after females is a wrong image of musicians."

WHAT! So now I'm not a musician either?

(Not my quote - Ivan)

"hooo boy yessss! I had forgotten all those turgid, endless funky jams over THE two chords.... And people STILL want to do it at jam sessions, like it is somehow cool!"

(My bit - see below - Ivan)

So then, damn those musicians that play new stuff that you don't like, damn those musicians that do old stuff that you don't like, damn the ones that play stuff that you don't understand, damn those that play stuff that's too simple for you, and let's not even get started on the buggers who play just because they love music?

A




Nope - just trying to explain why the general public got fed up with live bands. I have no problem with funky jams as a means of amusement at what is officially a jam, just don`t like the idea of it being foisted on the paying public as an organised form of public entertainment.

For me, the whole live music biz started going wrong when it became de rigeur for acts to write their own stuff.
There are so many good players and singers out there that couldn`t write their eway out of a paper bag and unfortunately fashion dictated at the time that they SHOULD attmept writing all their own stuff, for quite a while. Result was that people turned their backs on the majority of live-oriented bands and instead looked to the DJ`s playing tunes the knew and more importantly wanted to hear.
Soooo... what you need to address is not my own personal taste, but WHY the DJ`s managed to take over the public`s desire to `get out and boogie down` from live bands.

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Steve Hill
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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: IvanSC]
      #336208 - 09/08/06 08:01 AM
Quote IvanSC:

Soooo... what you need to address is not my own personal taste, but WHY the DJ`s managed to take over the public`s desire to `get out and boogie down` from live bands.




The lure of the familiar.

Take Madonna's "theft" (ahem) of the opening riff of Abba's Gimme Gimme Gimme for her recent single. Everyone knows the original, so there is an instant "tuning in" effect when Madonna's song cranks up, and already she's ahead of the competition. Tricks like this (and it is a trick, even if I happen to think Madonna has a genius for self-promotion) are the stock-in-trade of DJs.

And the reason live bands have all but died out is, as you say, because they cannot compete with this sort of Paul Daniels-style illusion, especially when they try to write their own "songs" and show no comprehension of knowing what a song even is.

I agree with you, live bands lost this battle at least 20 years ago. It's bleak, but probably irreversible.

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Ian Stewart



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: Steve Hill]
      #336216 - 09/08/06 08:19 AM
Quote Steve Hill:



The lure of the familiar.

Take Madonna's "theft" (ahem) of the opening riff of Abba's Gimme Gimme Gimme for her recent single. Everyone knows the original, so there is an instant "tuning in" effect when Madonna's song cranks up, and already she's ahead of the competition. Tricks like this (and it is a trick, even if I happen to think Madonna has a genius for self-promotion) are the stock-in-trade of DJs.






Iirc information technologists say that the ideal balance is around 70% familiar material, 30% new, so it looks as if the audiences are not at fault, its just how our brain is wired.
The standard of composition in the jazz world is abyssmal, truly abyssmal and has been so for over 20 years. The problem is imo composition is no longer considered a mixture of ideas, skill, technique and imagination aswell as hard work. It is a example of the curse of contempoary society - everyone has a right to express themselves. Sure - just don't inflict this substandard stuff on the rest of us, do it at home and leave it there.
I often wonder if it is the desire for royalties that makes everyone want to write the own songs etc.

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Kev2525



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: Ian Stewart]
      #336351 - 09/08/06 12:38 PM
There is just too much to read from the beginning of this thread so forgive me if I repeat anything already said.


These days any DJ who wants to make it in the industry and go far needs to be producing music. Very few big name DJ's have not hade tunes released. While its true that a lot of them use engineers not all of them do. For the scenes with underground genres like Hard house, hard dance, Drum & Bass, Psy trance and to a certain extent even mainstream trance there are guys who are learning to produce and including that stuff in their sets. I started to DJ many years ago and have now started to learn to produce. Probably the best thing about learning to produce music to play in my sets is that I don't need to study anywhere or spend ages learning an instrument. I am learning music technology and how to manipulate it within the software enviroment. I still don't consider myself a musician in the classical sense, but I have put a consierable amount of time and effort into learning to use Logic, my hardware synths and all the techno jargon and that is associated with music.

I think I can safely say that these days a lot of DJ's are going down the route I am on and learning to produce. The lines are becoming a bit more blurred between DJ's and musicians. You have to look a bit beyond what is happening behind the decks these days to get the full picture of how that DJ got there and what he's playing. It's true that most music is easy to mix (I said most, not all before anyone counters this), but any DJ with any ambition to reach the top needs to produce. So maybe its more apt to say they are producers rather than musicians? Would that keep the cellists and guitar players happy?


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Chaconne



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: IvanSC]
      #336423 - 09/08/06 02:26 PM
The emotion surrounding this debate arises simply because for some reason the term 'musician' has a certain cache. Surprisingly despite DJ's being similarly regarded as cool, creative and probably as easily satisfied after show's, this is not enough.
Musicians of course are the even cooler brother that everyone would rather be.
It is perhaps this myth that needs debunking. Music, and the ability to play it does not confer any god like or elevated state of superhuman ability to a person. Anyone who has worked for anytime in the profession knows this. Even if thier abilities put them beyond critique then nine times out of ten they tend to be self centered and intensly narrow minded, with an almost innate belief that simply playing music itself excuses them all types of social graces, whilst thier artistic output somehow saves the world.

If a DJ bleated on about how they were as important as the UN, or nurses then I would get a bit annoyed - but musicians!!!

There is no need to feel inadequate by not being regarded as a bona fide musician.

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IvanSC



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: IvanSC]
      #336493 - 09/08/06 03:49 PM
Chaconne - assume you mis-typed cacheT?
I agree with you 100% - this is why it really pisses me off that the many of DJ fraternity are so insecure about their own title that they envy someone else`s, and is not even a particularly impressive one! Try telling the average prospective father-in-law you are a musician and see how impressed THEY are.
To me this makes rants like Mr. H.W.`s all the more pathetic in the first place.

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Ian Stewart



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: IvanSC]
      #336510 - 09/08/06 04:25 PM
A strange post Chaconne. I'm a musician and have been for 28 years, I do not recognise myself in your description, nor any of my friends and colleagues. But you may have met a different sort.

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Paul881



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: IvanSC]
      #336518 - 09/08/06 04:40 PM
To me, a DJ could be described at best as a performer/entertainer whilst a musician is a performer and an entertainer as well as being a Musician.

But there is no way a DJ can be described as a musician, however well he integrates tracks and spins his turntables.


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Chaconne



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: IvanSC]
      #336561 - 09/08/06 06:13 PM
Funnily enough there is a letter in this months DJ magazine from someone wanting to hear more proper DJ's - i.e. no producers with current hits taking to the decks to promote thier music!

People in clubs dont give a hoot about these discussions, they want proper DJ's with the skills to select cutting edge tunes, mix well, read and work with a crowd. So you see sometimes the backroom boys who play all the parts and get studio tans want in on the glamour!
Yeah there will be countless vice versa examples of producers and musicians who are good DJ's but the point is made - each skill is what it is and needs no respect or 'props' from others.....

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Kev2525



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: IvanSC]
      #336569 - 09/08/06 06:37 PM
I did once see the epitome of the DJ and musician. It was a friend and he DJ's while playing live electric guitar over the top. That takes some talent!! Pity he retired


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Comet



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: IvanSC]
      #336655 - 09/08/06 10:23 PM
The art of DJing does not lie in beatmatching and scratching anymore.

It's all about putting together a coherent set, with a consistent character and mood, and being able to search, find, select and mix the tracks that work for this set.

Putting a successful set together is as much of an art as is painting.

H.

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H.


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Steve Hill
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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: Comet]
      #336658 - 09/08/06 10:29 PM
Quote Comet315:

Putting a successful set together is as much of an art as is painting.

H.




Agree completely.

I'd just point out that bands were doing exactly that in the 1920s, and classical conductores were doing the same with programming much earlier. It's not exactly cutting edge is it?

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Henry-S
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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: IvanSC]
      #336680 - 09/08/06 11:38 PM
Ok not taking anything away from DJ's as I respect the music. You only have to watch people like

Qbert
Mix Master Mike

to see that the turntable is a very powerful instrument "capable" of being used as an instrument.

I think incorporating things like "scratchin" makes the instrument interesting, sorry but this so called "beat matching" isnt a rocket science because being a musician first and a DJ very distant 4th I also know that it isnt a piece of piss.

Yes making a set of choons is quite useful, but tbh I really dont think taking the best "new" songs in a particular genre and then throwing in some "classics" is really very difficult, its like putting together a "set list" most bands know the rules of

Starting Off well, Finishing well, so you always put ya best songs first and last.

If anyone watched a little program called "Faking It" a while back they had a girl who did DJ task, she was a Cello player with some big ass orchestra and she was at like Trinity or something. Anywho I digress, she was capable of doing the mixing and had a panel of 3 full on DJ's not knowing she had only been at it for 1 month.

Reverse that situation to a DJ trying to Fake It in a Orchestra as a Cello player? Are you having a laugh

Anyone would be able to spot the person who took up the instrument 1 month before and this is simply the case that although DJing is a form of musical expression, I would not call it a musical instrument, unless your doing things which are classed as "specific style". For example

Could you tell the difference between Judge Jules and some other DJ playing the same song? Cause I dont think I could. On the other hand, if i heard Slash and Vai play the same song I would be able to tell them apart instantly.

I dont doubt people practice their "technique" for beat matching etc but I really dont think that it qualifys in my eyes as a "true" musical instrument.

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There is nothing Grim about this Reaper
We Fell From The Sky

Edited by Henry-S (09/08/06 11:40 PM)


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IvanSC



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: Steve Hill]
      #336722 - 10/08/06 07:07 AM
Quote Steve Hill:

Quote Comet315:

Putting a successful set together is as much of an art as is painting.

H.




Agree completely.

I'd just point out that bands were doing exactly that in the 1920s, and classical conductores were doing the same with programming much earlier. It's not exactly cutting edge is it?





Hmmm.... so if I can`t play a note but I can write out a good set list, I am a top muso, then?

In the 1920`s and so on, they were called bandleaders and right - some of them didn`t play, but they weren`t called musicians unless they were also musicians.

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Squarepeg



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: IvanSC]
      #336861 - 10/08/06 12:27 PM
So, where are these DJs claiming to be top muso's then??

Personally I have never met a DJ who had any pretention or suggestion that they were a musician at all (unless they were also a musician, which many of them are). I am sure you could dig up a few but in the general case I suggest that the concept is a myth.


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Oli_F



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: IvanSC]
      #336912 - 10/08/06 02:45 PM
It seems to me that IvanSC and Steve Hill are fearful. Yes, they are very scared indeed.

They are scared by a modern world they don't understand and aren't a part of. It is symbolised for them by young DJs entertaining large numbers of young men and women by engaging in that wonderful pasttime of playing and dancing to music.

"It isn't right!", they say, "These hateful individuals are using the word musician to describe themselves!".

Yeah – that’s really an issue isn’t it? DJs are playing records, and the more creative of them, who may in fact be producing their own records or using a turntable creatively might say they think of themselves as a musician. Oh, the horror.

What’s really bothering them, of course, is the fact that other people are enjoying themselves in way they don’t approve of.

There really isn't as much difference as they like to pretend between a big-band of the 20s trotting out the same standards week in week out to a DJ of today spinning the week's best sounds. Or indeed to a punk outfit of the 70s or a wig-out jazz jam of the 60s.

It is ALL music, guys. Everyone is a musician. If you enjoy music and you can organise waveforms in such a way that other people appreciate, enjoy or otherwise engage with your creation (even if based *shock* on someone elses creativity), then go for it. You’re a musician.


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Microwave



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Re: bandying about the word 'pretentious' new [Re: molecular]
      #336946 - 10/08/06 03:43 PM
Well, wether they are his school friends, his squash team mates or his second cousins (they definitely manage to sound like sequenced samplers though... what a feeling), I have to agree with what Matango said - I just cant help feeling that the prominence given by the media to acts like Mylo or Roni Size is a victory of PC trendiness over good music and common sense.
A.


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Oli_F



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Re: bandying about the word 'pretentious' new [Re: Microwave]
      #336947 - 10/08/06 03:50 PM
Quote whawha:

Well, wether they are his school friends, his squash team mates or his second cousins (they definitely manage to sound like sequenced samplers though... what a feeling), I have to agree with what Matango said - I just cant help feeling that the prominence given by the media to acts like Mylo or Roni Size is a victory of PC trendiness over good music and common sense.
A.




All you've told us here is that you don't like their music, which adds precisely no information to the argument.

There is no artist 'X' whom 100% of the population agree is good. That goes for Mylo, Roni Size and Mozart equally, so why not have another go at arguing why we should care about you not liking Artist X and Y?

Edited by MagicTrumpet (10/08/06 03:51 PM)


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Microwave



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Re: bandying about the word 'pretentious' new [Re: Oli_F]
      #336997 - 10/08/06 05:27 PM
I have... on page one of this lenghty thread


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matango



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Re: bandying about the word 'pretentious' new [Re: Oli_F]
      #337013 - 10/08/06 06:16 PM
I'm not a fan of Mozart, he's not among my favourite composers, but to be honest, if you dont get why Mozart is just better than Roni Size and/ or Mylo there's no point in explaining it... if it can be explained.


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IvanSC



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: Squarepeg]
      #337040 - 10/08/06 07:16 PM
Quote Squarepeg:

So, where are these DJs claiming to be top muso's then??

Personally I have never met a DJ who had any pretention or suggestion that they were a musician at all (unless they were also a musician, which many of them are). I am sure you could dig up a few but in the general case I suggest that the concept is a myth.




You obviously read neither the heading, beginning or most of the body of this thread. The title (did you even read that?) refers to the backpage article by Harry Wosname in the current issue of SOS.

Unfortunately we now have dickheads like Magic Trouser Trumpet and yourself airing off halfway into what has been until now a pretty interesting thread without taking the trouble to read it. I for one am getting to the point where that particular smell is making me slightly queasy. Where`s the fabreze when you need it?

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Oli_F



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Re: bandying about the word 'pretentious' new [Re: matango]
      #337055 - 10/08/06 08:02 PM
Quote matango:

I'm not a fan of Mozart, he's not among my favourite composers, but to be honest, if you dont get why Mozart is just better than Roni Size and/ or Mylo there's no point in explaining it... if it can be explained.




You can't read. I didn't make a qualitative statement: I said that there isn't one single musician or composer who everyone likes. Which you proved by saying that Mozart wasn't your favourite either.


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Oli_F



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: IvanSC]
      #337058 - 10/08/06 08:07 PM
Quote IvanSC:



Unfortunately we now have dickheads like Magic Trouser Trumpet and yourself airing off halfway into what has been until now a pretty interesting thread without taking the trouble to read it. I for one am getting to the point where that particular smell is making me slightly queasy. Where`s the fabreze when you need it?




Yeah, well, you've been sounding off in pretty feeble manner for the last 3 pages (I have read it all, thanks) and I thought I might attempt to point out just why your reactionary point of view is quite so feeble.

I mean, really, what is your beef? People playing records? Get over yourself!

Edited by MagicTrumpet (10/08/06 08:08 PM)


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Steve Hill
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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: Oli_F]
      #337121 - 10/08/06 09:48 PM
Quote MagicTrumpet:

It seems to me that IvanSC and Steve Hill are fearful. Yes, they are very scared indeed.

They are scared by a modern world they don't understand and aren't a part of. It is symbolised for them by young DJs entertaining large numbers of young men and women by engaging in that wonderful pasttime of playing and dancing to music.

"It isn't right!", they say, "These hateful individuals are using the word musician to describe themselves!".




Grow up, and don't put words in my mouth when you don't have a clue what I'm talking about. Or maybe what you are talking about.

I make a living at this, I run a studio, I work with artists from 17 to 70 (in the last month), and the only thing I fear is crass ignorance as demonstrated by your post.

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Dynamite with a laser beam...


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__
Who's never been here


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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: IvanSC]
      #337128 - 10/08/06 10:07 PM
When i were a lad back in ye olde days, DJ's had a sort of reputation for being wannabe musicians. Of course musicians love DJ's really, particularly when they play their records. But they hate it when they turn em off before the end. Which is possibly why pop records are three minutes long. Because you cant shut the bastar*s up for more than three minutes at a time!


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molecular
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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: Steve Hill]
      #337129 - 10/08/06 10:10 PM
I'm going to brave the fray again briefly to point out to steve that I chose flute for exactly the reason you said - the player blows over it. You don't sing into it or anything.

I know this is a whole other argument, but all music involves a person interacting with a mechanism of some sort - some rudimentary, some highly complicated. That's why you get some crap flutes, and some beautiful sounding guiros.

Before you respond that a turntablist can only make beautiful sounds if he uses a beautiful record which has already been made, I think this is sometimes true, but by no means necessarily true, ie. purely in virtue of his/her using a turntable. All musicians try their best to use what they can, but you know as well as I do how hard it can be to play expressively on a cheap instrument. All musicians (barring vocalists, and...uh...hand clappers...oh, and if matango is reading, onanists) rely on using something which turns their physical actions into sound, so, depending obviously on the extent to which a turntablist is able to contort the waveforms some cello loop, e.g., provides him with, I don't see how claiming that he is not 'generating' those waveforms himself is relevant.

--------------------
Anto mo Ninja, Watashi mo Ninja
http://www.hectormacinnes.com


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Oli_F



Joined: 01/09/04
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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: Steve Hill]
      #337132 - 10/08/06 10:18 PM
Quote Steve Hill:

Quote MagicTrumpet:

It seems to me that IvanSC and Steve Hill are fearful. Yes, they are very scared indeed.

They are scared by a modern world they don't understand and aren't a part of. It is symbolised for them by young DJs entertaining large numbers of young men and women by engaging in that wonderful pasttime of playing and dancing to music.

"It isn't right!", they say, "These hateful individuals are using the word musician to describe themselves!".




Grow up, and don't put words in my mouth when you don't have a clue what I'm talking about. Or maybe what you are talking about.

I make a living at this, I run a studio, I work with artists from 17 to 70 (in the last month), and the only thing I fear is crass ignorance as demonstrated by your post.




Wow, you make a living at this! I had better not voice an opinion then.

All you've tried to do in these posts in denigrate what other people enjoy doing. Namely playing music. And their only crime is to be DJs, who you don't think are worthy.

I don't give two hoots who might have paid you to stick a microphone in front of them in the last month, it doesn't give you any right.

I've played Brixton Academy and seen 3000 people cheering for more of my music. Big deal. I've also been to Brazil and seen how people REALLY enjoy music, and how, actually, we in the west could learn a great deal about how music can enhance people's lives and tell themselves about their histories.

And that is why I accept music in most of it's forms.

Perhaps I've come across a litte 'forward', for which maybe I apologise, but it comes from a place of passion not passivity.


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Steve Hill
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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: molecular]
      #337159 - 10/08/06 11:11 PM
If you believe playing the flute does not involve singing into it, I suggest you go back to flute 101. I've worked with some great flautists and it is ALL about singing!!!

Magic Trumpet: you can voice an opinion. That's what this forum is for. Just don't presume to tell me what my opinion is, OK? You don't know, and you will guess wrong.

--------------------
Dynamite with a laser beam...


Edited by Steve Hill (10/08/06 11:13 PM)


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molecular
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Re: bandying about the word 'pretentious' new [Re: Microwave]
      #337163 - 10/08/06 11:28 PM
Quote whawha:

Well, wether they are his school friends, his squash team mates or his second cousins (they definitely manage to sound like sequenced samplers though... what a feeling), I have to agree with what Matango said - I just cant help feeling that the prominence given by the media to acts like Mylo or Roni Size is a victory of PC trendiness over good music and common sense.
A.




This is a total no runner. Anyone who is given media prominence is a victory of 'pc trendiness' over 'good music'. When was the last time somebody shot to fame with their first album and the whole world went 'good on ya'?

Possibly in america, but here, the minute something gets used on the telly, all the people who liked it suddenly decide they don't anymore, because being a serious music fan in britain is, by and large, not about liking good music either, but about having something on your ipod that the guy next to you has never heard of.

--------------------
Anto mo Ninja, Watashi mo Ninja
http://www.hectormacinnes.com


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Oli_F



Joined: 01/09/04
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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: Steve Hill]
      #337257 - 11/08/06 08:17 AM
Quote Steve Hill:


Magic Trumpet: you can voice an opinion. That's what this forum is for. Just don't presume to tell me what my opinion is, OK? You don't know, and you will guess wrong.




Fair enough! I'd just like say I was kind of on one yesterday, and perhaps regret some of the stridency of my tone; nothing like a beer at lunchtime is there?

So, to clarify - what opinion did I misrepresent? I thought generally you were of the opinion that DJs were overhyped fools who didn't deserve attention by serious musos? If that's wrong, please let me know & we'll see where we are.

For the record, I can't say I spend much time listening to DJs anymore, nor do I bother making the club music for them to play, and neither am I particularly captivated by 'turntablism' either. BUT I do think it still represents in all those people a love for their kind of music, and who's to say that today's 18 year 'mobile disco' DJ (as Ivan quaintly has it), won't be inspired to move onto to other forms of music making or to make an unknown-as-yet Artform from it? I for one, certainly am not going to piss on their bonfire or tell them they have no right to the enjoyment they get from DJing.


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Steve Hill
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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: Oli_F]
      #337271 - 11/08/06 09:13 AM
I think it can be entertaining, and it is a talent. But necessarily it involves recyling other people's efforts and for me that will always impose a limitation (self-imposed by the DJs, I might add) which prevents the genre ever doing anything which will be remembered years down the line.

Indeed, by its nature, it's a live show and ephemeral, and any recording of a DJ's performance will omit that essential live element. (It's not hard to beat match in a studio!)

Historians, musicologists, Groves' Dictionary etc in say 200 years time may well make space for the Beatles or the Smiths or Pink Floyd or Dylan or whatever. I honestly doubt that any DJ would make the cut.

It's not for me about whether they deserve to be called musicians (that's a blind alley). It's whether the genre can ever hope to create something of lasting artistic merit that will make the world (rather than a somewhat narrow fan base) sit up and take notice.

Meanwhile, ephemeral is not necessarily a bad thing. It is of the moment and that can be interesting if it is understood by everybody (and the best DJs do understand this) that it is ancient history by about the middle of next week!

I concede one or two have made the leap into production, with some success. Some producers are musicians, some are not (and admit the fact). Brian Eno is an interesting question....

--------------------
Dynamite with a laser beam...


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Oli_F



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: Steve Hill]
      #337309 - 11/08/06 10:35 AM
I see you put a lot store on what professed experts think music should be: Groves Music Dictionary, Future Musicologists, and your own opinion of 'what music should be'.

I would argue that even Mozart didn't write music to become an important entry in Groves, he wrote it a) because of an urge to compose (or was it his father's hothousing?!), b) to earn money (not much), and c) because people wanted to be entertained by his music (pretty ephemeral)

So, writing for posterity is not a good or proven motive.

"Historians, musicologists, Groves' Dictionary etc in say 200 years time may well make space for the Beatles or the Smiths or Pink Floyd or Dylan or whatever. I honestly doubt that any DJ would make the cut."

Well, you may be surprised and disappointed to learn that they already have. By virtue of the technique of simple beatmatching, the whole course of youth culture since the early 80s and it's music has changed. From the early days of American rap and electro like Afrika Bambaata and Herbie Hancock to it's current influence on both club culture and its more mainstream pop/rock, it has already earned it's place in the musical annals of history.

And Herbie didn't write 'Rock-it' to become important, he wrote for the kids to dance to. It is now regarded as a cornerstone of modern hip-hop/electronic music.

You'll say Herbie wasn't a DJ (and I don't know whether he dabbled or not), but the point is without DJs that music wouldn't have existed at all.

"I concede one or two have made the leap into production, with some success"

Well, here you reveal your lack of knowledge; virtually every top DJ on the circuit is also a producer of music (aka 'musician'). Norman Cook, Sasha, Paul Oakenfold (Big Brother theme anyone?!), Carl Cox, Coldcut, The Herbaliser, Paul van Dyke, BT, John Digweed, Ferry Corsten, ARmand Van Helden, DJ Scruff, Rob da Bank are only the tip of a vast iceberg of music made by DJs.

It's too soon to tell what will last, and if by lasting you mean Groves, who really cares what that stuffy old institution thinks. It's the equivalent of the French Royal Academy refusing to admit Impressionism as art. Keep up or die!

Many many DJs ARE musicians, they create contemporary, exciting music on the cutting edge of youth culture, and help mould the sound of the future.

So, denying that is a bit pointless really, hence my initial hackles being raised!


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Ian Stewart



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: IvanSC]
      #337375 - 11/08/06 12:24 PM
the obsession with originality is only a few hundred years old and probably connected to the development of royalties and the romantic idea of music expressing the individual artist. Baroque composers would take other composers tunes and use them in their own works. Earlier church composers would build their masses on other masses, an example of this is the numerous masses built on the In Nomine section of a John Taverner mass (not the contempoary composer Tavener). In the 60s and 70s classical composers ostentaiously quoted other composers' works, the most popular example being Luciano Berio's Sinfonia.
Jazz also has a long tradition of reworking other composers' themes. So What, from Miles Davis's Kind of Blue, a seminal 50s track was based around a double bass phrase taken from an earlier Ahmed Jamal composition.
That the modern mixes are mixing records rather than playing the compositions also has precedents in classical music such as Stockhausen's Hymen, an electronic work that uses recordings of national anthems.
We have gone from a communal culture based on taking ideas and giving back ideas to a me me me culture where you can get sued for sampling a short hit from someone else's track. The sampling culture revitalises music, means classic tracks can keep coming back in different versions and enriches everyone's music because sounds can be incorporated from other producers' tracks.
However who is going to take the risk when you have to deal with teams of lawyers and major labels' financial clout.
My advice - if you get worked up by someone sampling a short synth sound or hit from one of your tracks go to psychotherapy, it is possiveness in the extreme.

--------------------
No longer a forum member.


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Steve Hill
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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: Oli_F]
      #337481 - 11/08/06 03:27 PM
Some of the guys you name rightly belong in the canon of producers (as I would define them) - although one or two people may think you are reaching somewhat if your paradigm example is the Big Brother theme, however much it has earned....

Definitions of producer vary as much as producers themselves. My 2c worth would be someone who could accept literally any gig, if the price was right, secure in the knowledge that he would add something to the project - be it Westlife or West Side Story or anywhere in between. That something, if the paymaster is a record label, would represent a measurable increase in sales exceeding the value of the producer's fee/royalty.

On my definition, which is as debatable as any, most DJs don't make the cut (some do, I have already conceded).

Someosy getting up themselves producing their own music, as defined by them, and thereby giving themselves the "right" to call themselves a producer falls a million miles short of the definition I, and most dispassionate observers, would use. If you are a hot producer, people are queuing up to pay you to produce their music instead.

And Herbie Hancock is a stonking musician with a healthy openness to other techniques if they will help him do what he does. I wish I'd written Watermelon Man - and there's no DJ-ing in sight there!

I'm not "denying" anything - youth culture has always been what it is. I would however wager that my daughter (currently aged zero) will as a teenager shrug her shoulders with complete indifference at the mention of any of the names you list. Some other ephemera will have taken over. Whilst she will probably be able to sing a few Beatles songs backwards.... and that will be her choice, not mine.

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Oli_F



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: Steve Hill]
      #337518 - 11/08/06 04:29 PM
yeah, whatever...the Beatles are the last word in music...I can see we're not going to get anywhere if you're just going to bleat on about the beatles ad nauseum.

I gave you a fully reasoned arguement previously which answered everything you've just repeated again, so if you're unwiling to even engage with any of those points so be it. I hereby sign off, and will get on with the enjoyable task of producing music people enjoy.

Have a good weekend!


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Steve Hill
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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: Oli_F]
      #337614 - 11/08/06 09:40 PM
Tell me how my respect for the Beatles (and a thousand other bands in the intervening four decades) compares with, say, putting out a self-published CD of Erasure covers rather than writing something yourself?

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IvanSC



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: Steve Hill]
      #337793 - 12/08/06 12:28 PM
Quote Steve Hill:

Tell me how my respect for the Beatles (and a thousand other bands in the intervening four decades) compares with, say, putting out a self-published CD of Erasure covers rather than writing something yourself?


Oh - you went and checked ou this website, too?

This is actually all irrelevant to the actual subject of the thread, but somehow I don`t see this chappie letting that getting in the way of a good (if specious) argument.

At least we are still getting a few relevant posts from others, but still no real support for Harry Webley`s claim that DJ`s are the musicians of the future.
Lots of smoke and mirrors about HOW DJ`s do what they do and so far not much in the way of an argument in favour of them supplanting `traditional` instrumentalists as the future musicians of our culture.

Hopefully even MT will finally realise he is coming at this from totally the wrong direction and try to participate in the debate rather than dragging up all the old `yoof` vs `old farts` bollox.

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Me? But I`m such a loveable old bugger!


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IvanSC



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: Oli_F]
      #337800 - 12/08/06 12:37 PM
Quote MagicTrumpet:

yeah, whatever...the Beatles are the last word in music...I can see we're not going to get anywhere if you're just going to bleat on about the beatles ad nauseum.

I gave you a fully reasoned arguement previously which answered everything you've just repeated again, so if you're unwiling to even engage with any of those points so be it. I hereby sign off, and will get on with the enjoyable task of producing music people enjoy.

Have a good weekend!




Not sure who you are replying to here, prolly Steve Hill, but I am still waiting for your arguments in support of H.W.`s claim that DJ`s will be the musicians of the future, as opposed to those who make music by more traditional means.

Believe it or not, I am not in the least anti DJ`s as a species, particularly those who can actually do something more creative than just stick records on. (I think we are all agreed on that)

Where you seem to be missing the whole thrust of my point is that I was initially commenting on the Opinion article in the current SOS written by Harry Webley in which he postulated that DJ`s are or are going to supplant traditional intrumentalists etc. as the musicians of the future.
I regarded this as asinine in the extreme and insulting to both sides as I don`t think it does the `creative` DJ`s any good to be seen as wannabe musicians, any more than it is appropriate to write off traditional musicians as being irrelevant. People with the creative ability and talent to create new interesting pieces of music and/or interpretations of existing pieces will always have a place in music, that place is just simply not exclusively definable by the term musician, which in my perhaps simplistic view is more appropriately left to be applied to people who play music rather than generating sounds from previously-created music. Even this is a little imprecise, but with a little volonte on your part I suspect you could probably `get` what I am trying to say.

Now lets see if you can manage to respond to this a little less like a rabid dog and a little more like a human being.

I do not suffer fools easily but I am trying very hard to remain polite and objective here.

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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: IvanSC]
      #337801 - 12/08/06 12:38 PM
Okay, so musicians are the DJ's of the future. Lets accept that for now. Therefor in a hundred years time there wont be any musicians, they will all be DJ's.

So what will they play


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IvanSC



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: IvanSC]
      #337810 - 12/08/06 12:52 PM
ow forgot to ask: Does she also still live on just cokey-nuts and fish from da sea?

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Microwave



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Re: bandying about the word 'pretentious' new [Re: molecular]
      #337846 - 12/08/06 03:40 PM
Quote hectormolecular:

Quote whawha:

Well, wether they are his school friends, his squash team mates or his second cousins (they definitely manage to sound like sequenced samplers though... what a feeling), I have to agree with what Matango said - I just cant help feeling that the prominence given by the media to acts like Mylo or Roni Size is a victory of PC trendiness over good music and common sense.
A.




This is a total no runner. Anyone who is given media prominence is a victory of 'pc trendiness' over 'good music'. When was the last time somebody shot to fame with their first album and the whole world went 'good on ya'?

Possibly in america, but here, the minute something gets used on the telly, all the people who liked it suddenly decide they don't anymore, because being a serious music fan in britain is, by and large, not about liking good music either, but about having something on your ipod that the guy next to you has never heard of.




And too right they are. The television swallows whatever is going on and regurgitates it in near- real time, turned into excrement. But the material in question has to be "telly friendly" to start with. Making sure one's music is so that it would never, for no reason whatsoever, be liked by a tv producer is a good start, and is not as difficult and luddite an approach as it sounds. Captain Beefheart still would get no airplay, except in a documentary about Captain Beefheart, nor would bands like the Boredoms or Radioactive Sparrow. The music is just too good. Of course you will be making your life more difficult, but thats part of the fun. Unless you are deluded like Harry Webley, who thinks he's breaking new ground by overlaying Beyonce on James Brown, whilst he's just another musical whore (Stockhausen's insult, not mine)


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Ian Stewart



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: IvanSC]
      #337927 - 12/08/06 07:10 PM
If your worried about your CD Ivan C why don't you become a Dj as with an aging population you could use remixing and beat matching techniques on the tracks you really love. How about Secret Love over a loop from Bad Penny Blues.

Actually I did the music for a retired peoples dance performance and I took the loop from Fever and scratched in Peggy Lee's vocals on a scratch Cd deck aswell as adding techno stab chords. I thought it was really good but the director of the dance agency was a bit stuck up. Importantly thought the retired people liked it and danced well.

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IvanSC



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: Ian Stewart]
      #338045 - 13/08/06 09:28 AM
Quote noiseconjecture:

If your worried about your CD Ivan C why don't you become a Dj as with an aging population you could use remixing and beat matching techniques on the tracks you really love. How about Secret Love over a loop from Bad Penny Blues.

IVAN RESPONDS::::

ROFL! Think you have me confused with my mum and dad!


Actually I did the music for a retired peoples dance performance and I took the loop from Fever and scratched in Peggy Lee's vocals on a scratch Cd deck aswell as adding techno stab chords. I thought it was really good but the director of the dance agency was a bit stuck up. Importantly thought the retired people liked it and danced well.




Ha Ha - by stuck up you mean he/she didn`t like your remix?
And remember the old adage - nobody ever failed through underestimating the depths of popular taste. I`m sure the old folks lapped it up, because you gave them something they vaguely recxognised, instead of (as my 88 year old dad in law puts it)`That modern racket - like somebody kicking cardboard boxes down a flight of stairs`.
The Irish have such a way with words, dont they?

I have GOT to ask - how did you ever get offered the gig and why did you decide to take it? Sounds like one of those `mygrandson is a musician` gigs to me . FWIW I got stuck by my mum lecturing her Womens Institute group on `being in a pop group in the sixties.` Give me strength!

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Ian Stewart



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: IvanSC]
      #338097 - 13/08/06 11:20 AM
Hi Ivan, I got the gig because I write a lot of music for dance performances and they really liked Peggy Lee's Fever - as do I (Shelly Mann's drumming is always beyond brilliant). This was part of the music, I also had an Ibiza style ambient section with them talking and arpeggiators etc. and another section I've forgotten what I did.
The strange thing is the director of the agency thinks she is really in tune with what's happening, however the dance group were mainly Caribbean as were the audience, including many teenagers who loved it. The final compliment was this really cool young Caribbean girl street dance teacher thought the dance performance was excellent - that's good enough for me.

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Oli_F



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: Steve Hill]
      #338418 - 14/08/06 08:33 AM
Quote Steve Hill:

Tell me how my respect for the Beatles (and a thousand other bands in the intervening four decades) compares with, say, putting out a self-published CD of Erasure covers rather than writing something yourself?




Steve 'Hill', tell me how attacking my creative activities in any way enhances your standing in this discussion?

That's called an ad hominen attack and shows you've run out of arguments.

You can plainly see that the Erasure cover is one of the four tracks allowed on MySpace; the other three are indeed original. For what it's worth, we've had some stunningly complimentary comments regarding that version of the song - one couple (who I've never met) have even used it for their first dance at their wedding.

Sneer all you want, but even you should agree that touching someone like that is what music is for.

I may also add that Cassette is not my only music project; I am also making a documentary for Radio 3 about Brasilian drumming which I play, and having travelled to Brazil to interview and play alongside the musicians there, I can say that your possessive and elitist take on music is nonexistent in the poor communities who live for music there; where the music is a) not original - they play songs and rhythms 400 years old, b) where music is played for joy and celebration.

I'd rather not hear from you again to be honest.


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IvanSC



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: IvanSC]
      #338434 - 14/08/06 09:25 AM
Quote IvanSC:

Quote MagicTrumpet:

yeah, whatever...the Beatles are the last word in music...I can see we're not going to get anywhere if you're just going to bleat on about the beatles ad nauseum.

I gave you a fully reasoned arguement previously which answered everything you've just repeated again, so if you're unwiling to even engage with any of those points so be it. I hereby sign off, and will get on with the enjoyable task of producing music people enjoy.

Have a good weekend!




Not sure who you are replying to here, prolly Steve Hill, but I am still waiting for your arguments in support of H.W.`s claim that DJ`s will be the musicians of the future, as opposed to those who make music by more traditional means.

Believe it or not, I am not in the least anti DJ`s as a species, particularly those who can actually do something more creative than just stick records on. (I think we are all agreed on that)

Where you seem to be missing the whole thrust of my point is that I was initially commenting on the Opinion article in the current SOS written by Harry Webley in which he postulated that DJ`s are or are going to supplant traditional intrumentalists etc. as the musicians of the future.
I regarded this as asinine in the extreme and insulting to both sides as I don`t think it does the `creative` DJ`s any good to be seen as wannabe musicians, any more than it is appropriate to write off traditional musicians as being irrelevant. People with the creative ability and talent to create new interesting pieces of music and/or interpretations of existing pieces will always have a place in music, that place is just simply not exclusively definable by the term musician, which in my perhaps simplistic view is more appropriately left to be applied to people who play music rather than generating sounds from previously-created music. Even this is a little imprecise, but with a little volonte on your part I suspect you could probably `get` what I am trying to say.

Now lets see if you can manage to respond to this a little less like a rabid dog and a little more like a human being.

I do not suffer fools easily but I am trying very hard to remain polite and objective here.




Still waiting to hear from you, MT.

--------------------
Me? But I`m such a loveable old bugger!


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Oli_F



Joined: 01/09/04
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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: IvanSC]
      #338454 - 14/08/06 10:13 AM
Quote IvanSC:




Still waiting to hear from you, MT.




Yeah, give me a minute...I do have other things besides the SOS Forum!! Like showing a very lovely Brasilian lady around London on the weekend. She's visiting me and my percussion group, and we did a great gig on the weekend. Brasilians sure know how to have a good party!

However - I have time just to mention that if the dude in the original article is making sweeping generalisations about the future, he's probably wrong.

1.
I think getting worried about who created the initial soundwave is a waste of time. Organising sound through the spatial dimension of time is what we humans like to do. Having a etymological debate around which particular set of soundwaves constitute the term 'music' really doesn't interest me that much.

2.
My other thrust has been to defend DJs against imperialist and elitist criticisms that they are not worthy of being spoken about in the same breath as the Great and Good of the Western Cannon. That really irks me (elitism, that is).

The Western Cannon is a temporary cultural bubble; it didn't exist 500 years ago, and it probably won't exist in 500 years time. Cultures come and go. Imagine how many thousands of human-years of music have been created and lost over the last 40,000 years. Each will have been as important to those people as the Beatles are to certain posters, but I am not going to stand here and claim the cultural heritage I happen to have been born into is the best.

So, in this context quibbling about who is allowed to call themselves 'musicians' or who has created something of 'worth' is pretty futile.


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Steve Hill
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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: Oli_F]
      #338461 - 14/08/06 10:35 AM
Quote MagicTrumpet:

yeah, whatever...the Beatles are the last word in music...I can see we're not going to get anywhere if you're just going to bleat on about the beatles ad nauseum.

I gave you a fully reasoned arguement previously which answered everything you've just repeated again, so if you're unwiling to even engage with any of those points so be it. I hereby sign off, and will get on with the enjoyable task of producing music people enjoy.

Have a good weekend!




Tell me what consecutive three words of that post did not invite, indeed beg for, what you now choose to term the "sneer" response which you indeed got, and deserved?

--------------------
Dynamite with a laser beam...


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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: IvanSC]
      #338514 - 14/08/06 12:18 PM
Quote IvanSC:

ow forgot to ask: Does she also still live on just cokey-nuts and fish from da sea?




Thanks for asking after her. Yes, she does - with a rose in her hair, a gleam in her eyes, and love in her heart for me.


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molecular
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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: IvanSC]
      #338653 - 14/08/06 05:05 PM
Quote Steve Hill:

At least we are still getting a few relevant posts from others, but still no real support for Harry Webley`s claim that DJ`s are the musicians of the future.

Lots of smoke and mirrors about HOW DJ`s do what they do and so far not much in the way of an argument in favour of them supplanting `traditional` instrumentalists as the future musicians of our culture.




You've missed a couple of my posts...

I was supporting exactly that comment: 'musicians of the future'.

The thing that seems to me to be obvious rubbish is the idea that ANYONE would say that DJs are going to supplant traditional musicians. Of course they won't, and naturally Mr Webley doesn't insinuate any such thing in his column. I think the reason some people have accused you of being 'afraid' is that you have clearly read 'DJs are the musicians of the future' as 'DJs are the ONLY musicians of the future. I don't think this was the attitude of the column at all.

The reason they might be 'THE' musicians of the future is not because everyone else is going to be rounded up and gassed, but because turntables present us with the first real possibility of a 'new instrument' (NB, I say POSSIBILITY) since the invention of the synth. Alright, it's hardly a pipe organ, yet, but why get so worked up? Let DJs take their place in the future, there's plenty of room for both of you...

--------------------
Anto mo Ninja, Watashi mo Ninja
http://www.hectormacinnes.com


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Chaconne



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: IvanSC]
      #338717 - 14/08/06 07:09 PM
My dad was a Jazz musician and hated The Beatles and rock music in general because they basically destroyed the Jazz crest of a wave, and his livelyhood, by pandering to the lowest common 'three chord R'n'B denomenator.
He had a point, but I used to say that it was impossible to stick to the classic western 'art music' based theory of a music heirarchy, simply beacause logically you could only listen to classical music, and classical Opera at that, maybe Wagner the late Romantics and Richard Strauss. Once you start saying a certain level of 'skill' or complexity is required for music validity then problems arise simply because there is always someone above you, looking down on you considering your art as some lesser form for lesser beings.

The other arguement I used to give was that lets say you hate country and western music, and consider it and its plodding fifths basslines is simply a musical abomination. Well that cannot mean that those that somehow enjoy it and put thier hearts into it are somehow stupid. Same with those that like pop music. You have to realise that there is SOMETHING in it, some genuine creative spirit. If you make the effort to understand this then even if still think it only contributes .001 to the general artistic well being of mankind, understanding it at least makes you .001 smarter than the person who just snears with a snobbery "it's rubbish".

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Neil C
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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: IvanSC]
      #338729 - 14/08/06 07:53 PM
If you put Harry Webley into Google the first thing you get is this thread.


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Oli_F



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: Neil C]
      #338886 - 15/08/06 08:17 AM
Well, having finally tracked down the original article, it seems the only mildly controversial thing Mr W says is in the final pay off line: "some even say the DJ is the musician of the future".

And he's right, some people do say that. He doesn't even claim necessarily they will himself - it's merely a journalistic device to end the piece on a grand statement. Read any newspaper or magazine article, they all do it. Seems some people fell for the oldest journo trick in the book.

So I can return to the original thread question: "Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners?"

And it's clear the answer is no, he not pretentious. He's merely enthusiasing about a form of musical expression.

I challenge anyone to find any other sentence in his piece, which is even remotely pretentious.

I'm still not particularly interested in scratching as an artform, but it's there and I respect those who are into it. I'm pleased I leapt to the defence from those who think they are 'pretentious' and all the other insults tossed in their (and my) direction in this thread!

Good Work SOS, still able to produce a little controversy (or storm in a tea-cup as it's also known)!


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IvanSC



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: Oli_F]
      #338890 - 15/08/06 08:28 AM
Quote MagicTrumpet:

Well, having finally tracked down the original article, it seems the only mildly controversial thing Mr W says is in the final pay off line: "some even say the DJ is the musician of the future".

And he's right, some people do say that. He doesn't even claim necessarily they will himself - it's merely a journalistic device to end the piece on a grand statement. Read any newspaper or magazine article, they all do it. Seems some people fell for the oldest journo trick in the book.

So I can return to the original thread question: "Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners?"

And it's clear the answer is no, he not pretentious. He's merely enthusiasing about a form of musical expression.

I challenge anyone to find any other sentence in his piece, which is even remotely pretentious.

I'm still not particularly interested in scratching as an artform, but it's there and I respect those who are into it. I'm pleased I leapt to the defence from those who think they are 'pretentious' and all the other insults tossed in their (and my) direction in this thread!

Good Work SOS, still able to produce a little controversy (or storm in a tea-cup as it's also known)!




Congratulations! A rational, well-expressed post, finally!
I have been trying to direct people back to the original title of this thread, as the debate had sort of fallen into being a slagging-off session, whereas the original intent was to engender a discussion about the likelihood that DJ`s would supplant conventional musicians and how.

I have coincidentally hijacked someone else`s myspace account to invite mr. w. to join in the discussion, so with a bit of luck he might show up here and give us a more expanded version of the original article.

Oh - just one minor point: the title doesnt ask if HW is pretentious, it asks if he is or will become patron saint of those platter spinners who ARE pretentious.
Because they will perceive his off-hand comment as licence to call themselves the musicians of the future or some other twaddle.

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Me? But I`m such a loveable old bugger!


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Microwave



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: IvanSC]
      #339116 - 15/08/06 03:18 PM
Just to round off this tour de force of a thread, lets take a deep breath and ponder over a quote from the man responsible for starting it all off, the Harry Webley

"Many of the greatest musicians have no musical training, they can just feel when something is right. From the seamless blending of two songs to to the complex arrangement of super- fast scratch patterns a gift for music theory is essential".


Keep up the hard scratching Harry!


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Oli_F



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: Microwave]
      #339141 - 15/08/06 04:02 PM
Quote whawha:


"Many of the greatest musicians have no musical training, they can just feel when something is right. From the seamless blending of two songs to to the complex arrangement of super- fast scratch patterns a gift for music theory is essential".




I love this thread, it's the gift that keeps on giving!

Whawha, agreed that is a beautiful example of garbled English, but surely you have the cognitive ability to realise he's saying 'Some DJs have no formal training, but acquire musical understanding and a sophisticated feel for rhythm despite that.

Sheesh!


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Microwave



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: Oli_F]
      #339205 - 15/08/06 06:05 PM
I think I do, I'm not sure he has. I particularly like the sublime inconsequentiality of "a gift for music theory". That gift should save many people years of studying.
And this is my last word.


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matango



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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: Oli_F]
      #339207 - 15/08/06 06:12 PM
Quote MagicTrumpet:

Quote whawha:


"Many of the greatest musicians have no musical training, they can just feel when something is right. From the seamless blending of two songs to to the complex arrangement of super- fast scratch patterns a gift for music theory is essential".




A gift for stringing two coherent sentences together is obviously not required. I cant beleive we got so animated on this, it makes me feel stupid. I'm sorry if I was a bit obnoxious, I'm normally a nice person, I blame it all on Harry.


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LawrenceH
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Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: IvanSC]
      #339366 - 16/08/06 12:44 AM
I can't believe how bitter this debate is getting, and how closed-minded some people are being (whose opinions on these boards I generally respect)! This are my feelings about some of the points people have made, not being a DJ myself I haste to add:

1. There are good musicians and bad musicians, and famousness rarely correlates with this. This applies to DJs too, so citing many popular DJs as poor doesn't invalidate the claims of the entire species to musicianhood!

2. Recycling has been a musical fact since the beginning of music itself. Sample-style recycling is merely an extension of this and doesn't preclude creativity.

3. Live v recording and the argument that beat-matching is easy in studios. Firstly, good DJing is about a lot more than beat-matching. Secondly, it may well be easy to fake up matched DJ tracks in the studio, but with well-programmed modern synths this applies to pretty much any instrument. Good DJing (eg Coldcut-style) will still have it's own sound and feel.

4. Turntables are too limited to be an interesting instrument. Rubbish. What about a drum? Doesn't play melodies or chords. Flute? Only monophonic. An integral element of good music involves working with and pushing the limitations of the instrument in interesting ways. The typcial tuba line isn't exactly mr interesting, is it? A turntable can make any sound in the world, but you have to be very good to put them together creatively.

5. Musicians and DJs at the creative end of the industry are not in opposition. Listen to the brilliant NuYorican Soul, by Masters at Work in collaboration with some excellent jazz/latin musicians (George Benson, Roy Ayers, Eddie Palmieri), to see how they compliment each other to create a seamless whole.

6. There is a distinction between DJ as a performance artist
and DJ as a producer, failure to recognise this is confusing the issue, as whether producers are musicians is a separate debate (I would say yes, definitely).

Honestly, despite the denials some people here are definitely dangerously close to Grumpy Old Men syndrome: - I suspect, without even knowing that much about the subject they are slating. Remember the wedding/radio/crap club DJ is a totally different breed.
Based on my own jazzy leanings, here are some records worth checking out if you are sceptical about considering DJs to be musicians. I won't emphasise technical skill, more creative musicality:
- Aforementioned NuYorican Soul album - producer/DJs and turntablism combined, it's great jazz.
- Herbie Hancock - Rockit. Old, basic but introduced a brand new sound into mainstream consciousness, the turntable as an instrument. Also see Future2Future live DVD
- Coldcut - Timber. An entire piece of music made from samples associated with logging and the environmental lobby, creating real music from non-musical sources. Integrated music and video in a very original way too that emphasised the interesting sample-layering structure.
- Coldcut - More Beats & Pieces. Shows how short samples can take on a totally new musical meaning when used in a different context.
- Kid Koala - Drunk Trumpet. A whole new blues tune made from scratching a trumpet sample to create a novel melody. Very innovative.

I hope some people who are sceptical actually bother to check these out, I'm sure they'll help change your mind!


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Virtuoso
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Joined: 15/07/03
Posts: 183
Loc: Seattle
Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: IvanSC]
      #339370 - 16/08/06 01:24 AM
1st DJ: Fancy going to the cinema later?

2nd DJ: Dunno - who's the projectionist?


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Big George



Joined: 01/07/05
Posts: 74
Loc: Middle England
Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: Virtuoso]
      #339409 - 16/08/06 07:27 AM
Quote Virtuoso:

1st DJ: Fancy going to the cinema later?

2nd DJ: Dunno - who's the projectionist?




Now that's funny

--------------------
Big George


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Oli_F



Joined: 01/09/04
Posts: 659
Loc: London
Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: Big George]
      #339415 - 16/08/06 08:14 AM
Quote Big George:

Quote Virtuoso:

1st DJ: Fancy going to the cinema later?

2nd DJ: Dunno - who's the projectionist?




Now that's funny




Except if the Projectionists are world acclaimed duo Addictive TV, who use film as their source material, as reported by Wired:

Wired Article

Now those are projectionists whose work I'd like to see!

Edited to add: and Hexstatic actually - 'Natural Rhythm' with Coldcut was one of the finest cut up videos I've ever seen, and it was done in the days before imovie or whatever. That was an awesome piece of work.

Edited by MagicTrumpet (16/08/06 08:25 AM)


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LawrenceH
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Joined: 28/11/02
Posts: 487
Loc: Cambridge
Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: Oli_F]
      #339980 - 17/08/06 02:43 AM
Hexstatic = wicked.
Ah well, their loss I suppose. Took ages to convince my dad that some DJs were proper musicians - he was too used to doing sound for functions bands, so the types of DJ he encountered were 'DJ Dave and his Wheels of Steel, bringing you the Sound of the 70s' and such-like. However, he changed his mind once he heard a decent turntablist playing with a band.
I think that (completely innacurate) perception of what modern DJing is about must be quite common on here! Must be the oldies...it was all better in my day...pop music meant something back then...they've conveniently forgotten Clive Dunn's 'Grandad'.
I hope at the next gig when they're debuting their latest masterpiece, some old git comes up and asks if they'll play a Status Quo cover. Proper music


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Steve Hill
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Joined: 07/01/03
Posts: 13141
Loc: Oxfordshire
Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: LawrenceH]
      #340014 - 17/08/06 06:49 AM
I'd definitely pay to hear someone do a DJ mix of "Grandad" and "Rocking All Over The World"

--------------------
Dynamite with a laser beam...


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castro



Joined: 15/11/05
Posts: 29
Loc: Greecce and Glasgow
Re: Harry Webley - patron saint of pretentious platter spinners? new [Re: IvanSC]
      #340091 - 17/08/06 09:22 AM
Just MHO but pretentious DJs?

Pretention, I think is hardly limited to DJs. How many utterly pish, so called musicans can you think of? Just listen to some of the crap on myspace or some of the demos posted here. I guess it comes down to what you define as an instrument,playing and music. If this isnt playing an instrument, I dont know what is:

http://www.pioneer.eu/files/eur/TV/DJ/james_djm800.html

and

http://www.decks.co.uk/products/mixers/pioneer/djm800

I also think that a lot of this it all just recycling other music is ill informed crap. Of course you play others music as part of a set. In modern terms either adding FX, looping, or adding parts to create new versions of the tune. how many people on this forum make a living doing exactly the same as part of a covers band? Most modern DJs
,unless doing a compilation, will be using their own riffs, loops and samples etc to complete completely new music. If you think its all just beat matching, have a look into harmonic mixing.(There, I just managed to get some theory in as well. ).

Just for clarification, I happen to DJ (minimal house and trance, mainly)and write. I also happen to have trained classicaly in piano and guitar. I also passably play a few other instruments. Almost the same things still get said about guitar players and "traditional" Irish and Scottish music, where a guitar player at a session can be looked at like a loud laugh at a funeral service. Even if it is Arty McGlynn or Paul Brady. In trad music, the fault can often be layed at the feet of guitarists who battered out chords with no real understanding for the music they are backing. The same can be said of many DJs. Battering out [ ****** ] tunes for the hard of diserning. Musicians of the future? Yes and no, those who solely spin others music, no. Those who create, learn and challenge,yes. Do they/we need a patron saint? Not, if the likes of Carl Cox, Van Buuren, Teisto et al continue to get £10,000+ a night. Just a good accountant.

Sorry for the rant.....


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