The Secret DJ: "Sabotaging the next DJ is never OK" - Features - Mixmag

The Secret DJ: "Sabotaging the next DJ is never OK"

It's all about the ravers on the dancefloor remember

  • Words: The Secret DJ | Illustrations: Ellis Van Der Does
  • 23 August 2018

Is it ever OK to sabotage the next DJ’s set if they are a bell-end? Any good stories about cut-throat DJ sabotage? Michael, Aberdeen

Clearly it is never OK to sabotage. The whole thing is not about you. Or about them. It is about the dancefloor. And no-one should want to do anything but the very best for the dancefloor. If you mess with the night you mess with everyone’s night. Unless every single person in there has submitted a written statement that the DJ is a terrible bell-end and it’s been presented to you in a large pile it’s obviously a very large no.

This doesn’t stop DJs doing it, however. Because of course the number one problem with all DJs, everywhere, is ego. Some DJs genuinely are deluded enough to think the whole night is entirely about them, and taking their umbrage out on every single person in the disco is nothing to these giant, staggering ego-beasts.

The saddest form of sabotage is the big name contractually insisting all the other DJs are turned down until they play. We’ve all seen it. It’s utterly pathetic. Or there’s Johnny Laptops insisting the whole thing stop while they install their bobbins, buttons and bells when they should have done it before the doors opened is the other things we see a lot. And if you don’t think that climbing all over the DJ currently trying to work and unplugging the track that’s playing isn’t sabotage then you clearly haven’t had it happen to you often enough.

Then there are more esoteric examples. Like the Space resident who used to delight in running to the club manager whenever any DJ played music he disapproved of. Or the very same rotter standing next to a guest DJ very early in the morning, yawning dramatically while reading a freshly imported copy of The Sun and eating a fried egg sandwich like some sort of buzzkill driving instructor.

A lot of sabotage is down to ignorance, inexperience or stupidity. Like promoters rushing to get you off the decks for playing an a capella that used to be considered a moment of great beauty during the acid house years, but which they simply think is a house remix of the vocalist in question. Yeah, fired for playing an a capella over a beat, otherwise known as ‘DJing’.

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