Why a good warm-up DJ is hard to find

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In an interview with inthemix, Ben Watt once likened a DJ’s job to an ‘ambience coordinator’. Never is that statement truer than in the case of the warm-up DJ. The selector tasked with bringing a dancefloor to simmering point, engaging feet while never stepping on the headliner’s toes, may have the most important job on the night. But is that balancing act of restraint and anticipation a dying art in our clubs?

ITMers will remember well the protest launched by Danny Howells after he was forced to follow an overly banging warm-up set in Perth. “I’m supposed to be promoting my Renaissance CD,” he wrote at the time. “I don’t know how I’m supposed to promote it or play remotely in that style when opening DJs decide to play techno/trance at 132-BPM right before I go on.” It’s a complaint aired often, and not just in Australia. In a Resident Advisor article on the same topic, Lee Burridge remarked that he has sometimes “had to kill the music altogether to reset the energy”.

It’s a situation many of us would have witnessed – an international guest pulling it way back after the opener has taken it to 4am by 11pm. Then, even more troublingly, there’s the warm-up DJ who decides to play the headliner’s signature tunes. When done right, though, an opening set can eclipse the main event. No one’s saying it’s an easy brief, though.

Karl Pownall – whose Democracy night in Perth has hosted Robert Hood, Carl Craig and Audion to name but a few – puts it in no uncertain terms. “It’s easily the most important part of the night’s progression,” he tells inthemix. “It’s something that on the face of it seems an extremely easy thing to do, but in practice is more often than not the part that goes wrong.”

From his experience steering the esteemed Darkbeat parties in Melbourne, Darius Bassiray has a similar take. “It is often a more crucial set than the headline set, as if it’s not done correctly, the rest of the night musically can go downhill.” Paul Azzopardi, promoter of Sydney’s Chinese Laundry, agrees the night hinges on the right start. “It’s the most important aspect of the night in general, regardless of international support or not. If the opening DJ just smashes it out at high BPMs or belts out hits, the rest of the night will fall flat on its face.”

So if the warm-up set is “more often than not the part that goes wrong”, what’s the reason? When inthemix put that question to promoters and DJs, the general consensus seemed to be: unfamiliarity with the headliner’s current style, inexperience, an insatiable need to play bangers…and just good old fashioned show-boating. “Through a lack of research before a warm up set, a DJ may be unaware of possible changes in style the headline act has made over the years,” Pownall continues. “Other times it just comes down to their ego and they just don’t want to play second fiddle when they know that’s what they’ve been booked for.”

While he draws from a small pool of talent for the Democracy events, Pownall believes the dependable opening DJ is indeed a dying breed. “In Australia, I think it’s already too late on the whole,” he continues. “When the current crop of DJs who understand and appreciate the culture and history of DJing hang up their cans there’s no one to replace them. The up-and-comers now think dance music started when they bought their first set of CDJs.”

One further theory on why there may be less warm-up specialists around is Australia’s appetite for festivals, where DJs go all out for 90 minutes – often on a stage line-up with no real musical cohesion. Then of course there’s the argument that good salespeople don’t always make the best mood-setters, a point that Sydney-turned-Melbourne DJ Claire Morgan weighs in on. “This brings up yet again the curse of the promoter-DJ, with event organisers booking warm-up DJs based on their willingness to get spam-happy on Facebook and sell tickets,” she reasons.

“The ramifications of this are huge – placing all the importance on the headliner rather than creating an interesting progression of music throughout the night leads to a lost opportunity to foster local artists and DJs that deserve exposure purely because they are talented, not because they are happy to promote.”

Ahmet Atasever from onSide Entertainment has an interesting take on why some trance warm-up DJs forget the job they’re hired to do. Having just taken John ‘00’ Fleming around the country on the Liberate tour, Atasever is well aware of the sturdy platform that headliners require. “The risk of [the skill] being lost is probably the younger guys seeing the likes of Armin and so on play certain tunes and thinking they can get away with playing the same stuff at the beginning of the night. I remember when I was starting, all I wanted to play were the big tunes, but learnt that there was more to an event than what I wanted to play.”

Learning there’s more to an event than your set is what makes a good warm-up DJ. Sydney stalwart Robbie Lowe is a proven expert at keeping it reined in. “Ideally you want to create an energy that is excitable but restrained,” Lowe tells inthemix. “In saying that, you don’t want the mood too relaxed either. So it’s a fine line, as you’re constantly giving or taking away what the dancefloor needs. If you do this right, the international will be stoked and itching to jump on the decks.”

Typically, the idea of playing to your time-slot is associated with the likes of house, techno and trance, where the ‘journey’ of a night is paramount. But it’s equally important in other strains of dance music. Sang Pham has long championed broken beats in Brisbane with the Breaks & Enter parties, and there’s a fine art to the warm-up sets there. “Running broken beat nights, our music policy is generally limited to those genres or music that sounds similar,” he says, “but there are certainly a lot of options to move around within those guidelines and still play a tremendously diverse set. It’s not really about ‘what can you play’ but more about ‘what shouldn’t you play’.”

When a warm-up set goes right, it can be a tremendous buzz both for the dancefloor and the DJ. More often then not, it’s down to the promoter booking the right ‘ambience coordinator’ for the job. And all of our interviewees agree: if you know where to look, there are plenty of parties that value the skill. “Most good, proper parties in Melbourne take the warm-up set very seriously,” says Darius Bassiray, and he could be talking about any of our cities. If you seek out those ‘proper’ parties, don’t forget to arrive early…

HOW TO GET THE WARM-UP RIGHT

Robbie Lowe: “The obvious is to know who you’re warming up for. Do your research, make sure you play an appropriate sound that doesn’t conflict or compete with the act your supporting. Feel the energy in the room and take note what is going on in front of you.”

Claire Morgan: “Do your research, listen to mixes online and see what the headliner has been jamming out lately. Try to compliment them without sounding like them. Try not to get too pissed. Oh, and play some vinyl.”

Daniel Teuma, The Likes Of You: “It requires skill and restraint. The skill of track selection and programming to ensure musical flow and a full dancefloor. Restraint to allow the international the opportunity to develop and ensure the crowd is receptive. A good warm-up DJ will have an extensive musical knowledge, and the confidence to deliver it.”

Sang Pham, Breaks & Enter, Brisbane: “What you play should depend on the crowd, but secondly it depends on what type of night it is and what DJs or acts are following after you – particularly international acts. Generally party tunes works best to warm a room up – music that’s at least a little bit accessible to the general public; isn’t too offensive, too aggressive or too serious. Mixing it up a little bit helps too.”

Ahmet Atasever, Onside Entertainment: “Most people who walk into a club or event don’t want to hear banging stuff at 11pm. Too many times have I seen warm-up DJs playing epic 136-plus-BPM hands-in-the-air trance when there are about 20 people in the club. It just doesn’t sound right. Versatility is key, as DJs sometimes need to adapt to their set times. It’s just as easy to get a crowd going with the right tunes while not taking over the main act’s show.”

Darius Bassiray, Darkbeat: “One main tip is: when playing records on a massive club system, records will always sound a lot faster than they actually are in the bedroom and a lot bigger, so selecting subtle records that are not too fast in tempo and that are not abrasive or aggressive, yet have definition and character, is what I look for in warm-up records. Easier said than done most of the time!

“It takes a lot of time, practice, dedication and experience to play on a big rig. You have to know your tunes inside out, how they sound and how the system makes the tunes sound. Research on who you are warming up for is also very important, as what is appropriate will change from set to set.”

Let us know what you think in the comments field below. Are stand-out warm-up sets hard to come by? Who does it well in your city?

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pomrocks

pomrocks said on the 18th Aug, 2010

Robbie Lowe's warm up for Clive Henry in may is one of the best i've ever heard....moody, deep yet strangley uplifting so that when CLive jumped on he had the crowd baying for more...

daverh

daverh said on the 18th Aug, 2010

Epic feature! And great quotes from those interviewed.

benjiswan

benjiswan said on the 18th Aug, 2010

Great read, really loving the features of late Jack

libby

libby said on the 18th Aug, 2010

A great warm-up set is such a joy! Simon Caldwell (and all the Racket crew) consistently deliver amazing warm-ups. No wonder the dancefloor at the Bowlo gets packed so early on in the night - it's irresistible

Cosmo Cater

Cosmo Cater said on the 18th Aug, 2010

This article brings out many good points, one of them is that warming up could well be a dying art in DJ circles. Let's hope it's not. I heartily endorse the comments of Claire, et. al and have said as much in street press lately. Here's to warming up well!

FiendForProg

FiendForProg said on the 18th Aug, 2010

Top read. Cool with all the input at the end too.

Sherbos

Sherbos said on the 18th Aug, 2010

More locals nights would be good too. There are only so many warm up slots for internationals. When I started going out the locals were the names and an international was a very special occasion. The younger and upcoming djs at the time earned their stripes warming up for the local names. Nowadays there are 5 internationals out every week and most of them aren't as good as our locals.

T-Boy

T-Boy said on the 18th Aug, 2010

I think it is interesting that you got comments from some of the promoters who are guilty of booking the wrong DJs for warm-ups.

Hdb2

Hdb2 said on the 18th Aug, 2010

Matthew Dekay is a gun at warming up!

rossredman

rossredman said on the 18th Aug, 2010

I think inexperience is the biggest issue, every DJ is busting to play out "those" tracks when they first start playing out, so they take every opportunity to play their dream set. Myself included. It's not until you get over that hump, that you realise the REAL satisfaction in DJing is expanding past what you'd normally play, to deliver something that people normally wouldn't hear/pay interest to in a given situation..... well, for me anyway.

Lady Lex

Lady Lex said on the 18th Aug, 2010

Im more of the opinion that EGO is the issue. There just doesnt seem to be a "humbling" process in DJing that there is in being an instrumentalist. But yes Cosmo - warm it up well!

FTorres

FTorres said on the 18th Aug, 2010

Claire Morgan - "Oh, and play some vinyl" :lol: :lol: :rock:

St_Jude

St_Jude said on the 18th Aug, 2010

my fave "warm up" dj in perth is without question : Micah.
he's been and early afternoon festival set that gets you completely ready to dance all day and night. and he always revvs you up around midnight at ambar before and internation dj plays.
always awesome!

BMoney

BMoney said on the 18th Aug, 2010

Another great read Jack!

LavyP

LavyP said on the 18th Aug, 2010

very interesting article. Nice information. Robie Lowe and Ahmet nailed what warm up DJs should do. As a trance enthusiast, it makes me sad when I see DJs banging out my favourite tunes when the club is almost empty at 10pm. I reckon cheesy electro garbage they play in clubs in the gold coast are worthwhile for warm up (MOS). The girls go wild, the guys hang back watch their booties shakin while at the same time waiting for the main event.

JBanger

JBanger said on the 18th Aug, 2010

Another point not covered here is the fact that banging it out in a warm-up set gets your the respect of the punters in many cases. However when holding back and playing a proper warm-up get you all the respect from other DJ's and promoters which is what will get you booked in more future !

ferryandtiesto

ferryandtiesto said on the 18th Aug, 2010

Fantastic little piece, keep more of these coming.

Does this highlight another example of festivals cramping the style of nightclubs?

defected819

defected819 said on the 18th Aug, 2010

Forget about the lost art of the warm up set. More troubling is the standard of djs in general. What's the point of a good warm up when the dj following is shit?

defected819

defected819 said on the 18th Aug, 2010

Forget about the lost art of the warm up set. More troubling is the standard of djs in general. What's the point of a good warm up when the dj following is shit?

defected819

defected819 said on the 18th Aug, 2010

Forget about the lost art of the warm up set. More troubling is the standard of djs in general. What's the point of a good warm up when the dj following is shit?

deep audio

deep audio said on the 18th Aug, 2010

Dave Pham, is easily one of the best warm up Dj's in Melbourne!

Nails it every time!

Matty_neal

Matty_neal said on the 18th Aug, 2010

Danny T warming up for Claude Von Stroke was excellent a few months back. Really shined as a professional, not just some wanky DJ.

Wowk

Wowk said on the 18th Aug, 2010

It really just comes down to attitude IMO. Anybody, if they genuinely want to do it, genuinely care about the party/club in general (not just their set), and can take a bit of time to do some research can play an excellent warm up set. More often than not its laziness or being self-absored that hurts a warm up because you don't make the effort to find the right tunes IMO The best warm up DJs are the ones who are perfectionists as people.

muse

muse said on the 18th Aug, 2010

I mentioned you Wowky, he didn't print it though. Must have disagreed with me :P

JackT

JackT said on the 18th Aug, 2010

Hey Claire/muse, I think I'll be compiling all those responses about standout warm-up DJs into another short feature thingy, didn't disagree at all, haha

djjasonlee

djjasonlee said on the 18th Aug, 2010

i agree with this article...learn about the history of dance music...most people would be surprised that house music basically evolved from the gay clubs in america in the late 80's....
and for the art of warm up djs...programming is one of the most important parts of building your night....ive played after many guys that at midnight they are at 135bpm slammin electro(in a house club)leaving me no where to go. to many young guys want to play hit afterhit keeping the same level the whole time. where has the art of takin people on a ride gone.
i also agree with doin your reasearch if warming up for a headliner...dont play any of their tunes as more than likely they will be playin them....
i started djin after years of collectin vinyl for my personal collection and even today still buy vinyl and digital for my personal taste and not the hits of the momment.
i beleive the GENERAL dancefloor in australia is a commercial one(there are some great underground clubs around)...all people wanna hear is what they hear on the radio(the dj is not a jukebox)..and are not open to new music..many times i have thought of givin it up as punters say things like (your not gonna playu this shit all night r u...play lady gaga, or got any r nb(in a house club))....makes me wonder where the scene is really heading.......music is somethin that can bring us all together on a happy vibe....seein way to many angry people out there...long live the music...peace

shumbapumba

shumbapumba said on the 18th Aug, 2010

yeah interesting point on the festival mentality where a warm-up set is rare to non-existent. I think it definitely leaks into the club scene. Also, I reckon warm up sets are often where you'll find the most interesting music of the night and it's a shame that it's such a neglected art. While a big problem is ego, I think a lot of the time its ignorance. My first set was an opening set for an underground night and i had no idea what I was doing. Basically played the wrong music for the headliner who I had never seen before. My defence, I was new and didn't know any better. Articles like this will hopefully promote awareness for those starting out and who don't know the ropes.

VjCtrldChaos

VjCtrldChaos said on the 18th Aug, 2010

Gotta say here in Adelaide, Much respect for DJ Brendon at HQ Complex. He's been in the scene since forever, and always manages to have the room rammed full and jumping, without taking anything away from the main act. and when he isn't playing before a guest, can crank out a BANGING set to a 1600 people main room week in week out.

Wash n Fold

Wash n Fold said on the 18th Aug, 2010

Bryon Stout is by far the best opening AND closing DJ in Philadelphia

Wash n Fold

Wash n Fold said on the 18th Aug, 2010

Bryon Stout in Philadelphia is the best opening and closing DJ in this area.

benn J

benn J said on the 18th Aug, 2010

@ djjasonlee... agreed!!! majority of sydneys scene is rubbish...and it is interesting to hear promoters having their opinions even though they are the ones booking the rubbish warm up DJs. have seen Robbie Lowe play several times... stand out was before digweed at tank earlier this year and before Hernan Cattaneo at the forum this year too... amazing!
Robbie - You rule, cant wait to see you on oct 9 with satoshi tomiie!

Adam Swain

Adam Swain said on the 18th Aug, 2010

Warm ups sets and promoters choosing the right dj's are crucial to a succesfull and progression of the music for all dimensions of the clubbing experience. More dj's need to Learn how to play warm up sets, which in turn gives you the experience in how to play the later sets and also enjoy them.

As a warm up dj your there to do a job, set the mood the ambience & also down to the volume levels which are a big contender in this section but also a certain amount of energy so that its not boring to punters who are starting to feel the groove, as discussed this is the restraint that is required and a a skill to be learned.

Doesnt matter if your warming up for an International Guest or another local the same formula needs to be applied. Take it easy, dont smash it out, if your a good dj, promoters will book you and you will get your chance to play the main and later slots.

Top Notch warm up Brisbane dj's Rikki Newton, Scott Walker, Mike Redfern, Fergus Alexander . . .

Listen2theDj

Listen2theDj said on the 18th Aug, 2010

Some might say I'm bias, but rarely do I talk him up, Aarin F. Excellent, versatile warm up Dj in Perth. He knows how to get the party started.

N4TE

N4TE said on the 18th Aug, 2010

OI! WANNABE DJs!!!! Read and pay attention to this article, your first sets in front of strangers will be warmups, if you can't do a good warmup, and be humble but still showcase your abilities in that capacity, you're not going to get many gigs after that. The best DJ I know can warm up a floor for anyone, he's the only salaried DJ I know and his reputation was built entirely on the quality and consistency of his warm up sets. A good crowd warmer will always pull gigs, best kept secret in the industry imo, and easiest way in the back door to stardom too.

djtoki

djtoki said on the 18th Aug, 2010

Craig Richards - best warm up DJ ever, always built the mood for the main act. Always mixed up the style of warm up to match the headliner. Take note kiddies.

kris-ko

kris-ko said on the 18th Aug, 2010

Every warm-up I've seen from Cosmo Cater in Bris over the past 5 years has ended up in my sets of the year - hopefully it's not a dying art, because the good ones stick in your mind as much as the sets they precede.

muse

muse said on the 18th Aug, 2010

Jack: was joking. Nice article :) x

Pendulum

Pendulum said on the 18th Aug, 2010

Great article, and agree 100%. With a good trance night, you want to coax the punters on to the dance floor, not push them away. You need to keep the bpms down, below 130bpm to start, and you need to keep the euphoric melodies to a bare minimal. Go with more tribal and percussive stuff instead, and slowly add in some melodic components. Try to hold back the big drops, breaks and breakdowns for later. The opening set is a game of give and take from the crowd. You need to give them just enough to make them want to start moving a bit on the dancefloor, but you don't want to scare them away with a big breakdown where they're left standing by themselves on the floor, not dancing (due to said breakdown). The beats need to keep flowing, and the mixing needs to be more subtle/gradient style. Opening set is such a great time to play more eclectic sounds, deeper stuff. Especially for trance DJs. We can play around with dropping some minimal, prog house and techno, which all blends fine into trance later in the set.

IMHO, the art of restraint doesn't just apply to warm up sets, but all sets, especially for trance DJS. It's way too easy (and too common) for trance DJs to play massive tune one after another. I think it takes a lot more control and guts to know when to pull back on the big tunes and go for something more constant and dark before unleashing again. Keeping energy and tension in a set isn't about playing tune after tune with the same amount of energy, it's about CHANGING the energy that keeps... the energy. Hope that makes sense.

Scottie

beanbagdan

beanbagdan said on the 19th Aug, 2010

I will never forgive Liber8 for putting Matt Hardwick on before Solarstone WTF??!!

Azza United

Azza United said on the 19th Aug, 2010

At the end of the day it comes down to the promoters sorting out the flow of the night and booking appropriate djs with experience and not 18year old's with 50 mates coming through the door.. If the right and professional mannered dj is booked the night will flow and be solid. Unfortunately the majority of todays clubbing goers have been introduced to a culture of banging out tunes at the peak of the system at 10pm... Promoters then wonder why the club is empty by 2 am. hopefully this downfall in clubbing goers will weed out the shit and bring the quality back to clubs that there once was. Don't get me wrong, there is some great nights/ promoters and dj's around at the moment but they just seem to be made invisible by people looking to make a quick buck and promote whatever is in this week!

Azza United

Azza United said on the 19th Aug, 2010

At the end of the day it comes down to the promoters sorting out the flow of the night and booking appropriate djs with experience and not 18year old's with 50 mates coming through the door.. If the right and professional mannered dj is booked the night will flow and be solid. Unfortunately the majority of todays clubbing goers have been introduced to a culture of banging out tunes at the peak of the system at 10pm... Promoters then wonder why the club is empty by 2 am. hopefully this downfall in clubbing goers will weed out the shit and bring the quality back to clubs that there once was. Don't get me wrong, there is some great nights/ promoters and dj's around at the moment but they just seem to be made invisible by people looking to make a quick buck and promote whatever is in this week!

LadyBPM

LadyBPM said on the 19th Aug, 2010

Great article!

For me Aarin F out of Perth! His warm up sets before Fergie, Chris Liebing, Slam, Seth Troxler, HUGO are all stand outs, he always gives the dance floor just enough and at the right moments leaving the main act with a room that is ready to burst.

docjnr

docjnr said on the 19th Aug, 2010

Trent McDermott (and Grant Smillie) both played some of the finest warm-up sets before I've ever heard before at both of Tiesto's Elements of Life and Kaleidoscope tours... true professionals and perfectionists.

shambalam

shambalam said on the 19th Aug, 2010

playing music to the punters is like a strip tease especially for those warm-up sets, you cant just bare butt naked and start flashing whatever it is you think you've got - its a progressive, alluring skill, alot of time spent mesmerizing the crowd to evolve to the upcoming sounds later in the night. maintaining subtlety and only hand-feeding the dance floor enough aural sustainance to keep them lively but famished for the headliner's act - its important to remember that because you are the controller behind the decks, doesn't necessary mean you are in control, its a relationship between you and the people so your responsibility lies in your "ability" to "respond" to what is actually happening where the music is not and to utilize your musical talents as a DJ to give off the right vibes depending on the current theme. team effort in the end i think, between DJ's and musician's, the punters and the coordinators of the scene, "ALL FOR ONE AND ONE FOR ALL!" i heard 'em say!

Elliot G

Elliot G said on the 19th Aug, 2010

Jeff Drake's warmup for Howells in late 2008 at Chinese Laundry - absolutely fu*king spot on... and timely, given the aforementioned bruhaha the week before in Perth.....

JulesPLees

JulesPLees said on the 19th Aug, 2010

danny howells warmed up for diggers for like 10 years at bedrock before going out on his own - it shows in the way he can craft a set.

i love doing em - the crowd is all fresh and sparkly and full of energy. The key is not to burn that energy off - but more to compress it like a spring ready to unleash when the main dude/dudette jumps on.

in this day and age (unfortunately) a lot of it comes down to the promoters bookings (eg why not book a proper prog dj to warm up for a trance guy ?- instead of just another trance guy to warm up) as opposed to the dj's knowledge - sad but just the way it is these days.

rozzabobbles

rozzabobbles said on the 19th Aug, 2010

Club Junque make for sexy warm ups

Wowk

Wowk said on the 19th Aug, 2010





Awww thanks :bl:



To be fair, I think this is the case a lot of times a young DJ gets a chance to play the opening set. I can remember some of my early "warm up" sets were "warm up" by my standard, but certainly not the night's. Hence why I think it comes down to attitude - I learnt a great deal from the first few times I was asked to play opening sets and even myself after playing them really noticed that I needed to tone it down more and get a wider variety of music on the basis of the reactions to those sets. I'm happy to admit I look back at some of those sets and cringe at my track choices, but by the same token, I know I took a lot of valuable lessons from them that I don't think I'd have learnt any other way than to actually make the mistakes the first couple of times.

JoeMiller88

JoeMiller88 said on the 19th Aug, 2010

Dave Pham's warm up for James Holden was incredibly good. I've also witnessed some brilliant, restrained warm ups in Adelaide (incidentally, often from 20-year-olds - age needn't count against anyone) at clubs like Sugar and Cuckoo.

fluffffy

fluffffy said on the 19th Aug, 2010

Great article. Well written

Jason V

Jason V said on the 19th Aug, 2010

good to see itm tackling the meaty issues that are relevant. another great, thought provoking article that will hopefully help the scene. personally, i did a dj course run by jewelz (melb) and this was covered in our first lesson. she talked about how you don't "burn the floor" for internationals etc.. it's a matter of ettiquite and respect. i hope one day i get the chance to test my warming up skills, i'm sure alot of research and thought would go into my set.

kiwihaydz

kiwihaydz said on the 19th Aug, 2010

This is a great article, good to see that some of the more sophisticated issues with clubbing in the 2010 era are being dealt with. I recently accompanied an upcoming DJ (BTECH), who is also a good mate to one of his gigs, the DJs he supported were stoked at how well he undertook the warm-up role. All I'd like to say to the junior DJ's out there is, recognise your rank in the overall scene and realise that it is not your night. You'll get there eventually and when it is your night know that the last thing you'll want is some unheard of weasel fucking things up for you.

Mickstah

Mickstah said on the 20th Aug, 2010

Excellent article and an extremely important issue for newcomers. Heed this information because it is some of the best advice you can get!

Spicy

Spicy said on the 21st Aug, 2010

promoters need to stop booking n00bs ffs

DJBorisM

DJBorisM said on the 22nd Aug, 2010

manager guilty of such behavior DJ and Domestic Dj have no communication with foreign. I blame the domestic Dj who has no education and respect for international

DJBorisM

DJBorisM said on the 22nd Aug, 2010

manager guilty of such behavior DJ and Domestic Dj have no communication with foreign. I blame the domestic Dj who has no education and respect for international

kzzy

kzzy said on the 22nd Aug, 2010

warm up? lol promoters these days give warm up sets to n00bs to get them to bring their friends into the club early doors to make money behind the bar! LOL..

if you want a proper warm up DJ, you have to get an established DJ who knows how to warm up, these are usually the veterans.. Caldwell/Devecchis etc etc..

Wowk

Wowk said on the 22nd Aug, 2010

warm up? lol promoters these days give warm up sets to n00bs to get them to bring their friends into the club early doors to make money behind the bar! LOL..

if you want a proper warm up DJ, you have to get an established DJ who knows how to warm up, these are usually the veterans.. Caldwell/Devecchis etc etc..

I can think of some DJs who aren't "veterans" who do a great job of warming up. As I said before, it's not about being a n00b or a veteran, it's about attitude IMO. I know of "veterans" who couldn't give a rat's ass and bang the shit out of it early on, and I know of "n00bs" who really take the time to program their sets carefully and consider what their job as a warm up DJ is.

djpanda_monium

djpanda_monium said on the 24th Aug, 2010

Thanks for the great article and I do agree with almost all of what you said. However - and I am simply playing devil's advocate here - if a marquee DJ has the reputation to be a headliner, whether they be a well known local or international artist, should they also not have the skill, experience and musical knowledge to bring the night/sound back to where they want regardless of what has transpired in the set preceding theirs?

If a warm-up DJ (WUDJ) winds up playing a banging set of tracks (of course avoiding any productions or remixes by the headliner) and the dancefloor eats it up, then perhaps the WUDJ was just giving the punters what they were after? And if the dancefloor is stagnant, than they will not get other gigs.

In a clubbing climate where DJ's become celebrities (although most are the musical equivalent of Paris Hilton) and Festivals are seen as the ultimate night out I think we need to stop equating what is happening now to how clubs were 10 or even 5 years ago... Younger clubbers are looking for that big tune the minute they walk through the door, and seasoned vets are looking for the journey - - - who is the WUDJ meant to please???

pomrocks

pomrocks said on the 26th Aug, 2010

Nice to hear from the other side of the fence,

this is my 2 cents



If a Big / INT DJ is booked to play and the night is promoted as them playing then the whole flow of music should revolve around them, they should have to spend any time bringing the music / sound / pace to a level. The DJ playing just before the headliner should leave it right where they need to start. As a head liner if you have a 2 hr set you dont want to spend 30mins getting the flow back



Again, the night is about the headliner....getting people dancing early is NOT always a good thing. As a promoter i'd rather have an empty dance floor for an hour and give people time to chill at the bar to start with. Plus if the punters are going nuts early chances are they'll get tired and leave early too.



Going by that comment, i'd say younger punters need to be educated a little more ;) Big tunes might make you happy RIGHT NOW but good music is timeless

nightshiver

nightshiver said on the 26th Aug, 2010

good article, great read

e_j_montano

e_j_montano said on the 30th Aug, 2010

Blatant self-promotion warning... I discussed some similar issues in a journal article I had published last year on DJ culture in the Sydney dance scene: http://dj.dancecult.net/index.php/journal/article/viewFile/3/6

Tonytrax

Tonytrax said on the 11th Sep, 2010

I agree with Panda.. Its a really fine line if your and up

Shall

Shall said on the 7th Oct, 2010

VLN's and Thomas Knight's warm-up at Godskitchen Sydney was quite on the money. Balanced, energetic but was also coupled with great track selection for that time of night. The set was really well suited for the atmosphere that was present at that time. Especially as seeing they were warming up for Wippenberg, who traditionally plays at lower BPM's than most other trance DJs so it would of been even harder to hold back on the tracks that would probably be traditionally played for that time slot at a big trance event. Well done to VLN and Thomas Knight. Hope to see more of these guys at more big lineup trance events in the future.

Transa

Transa said on the 24th Aug, 2011

Ive been clubbing since 1993 and slow warm up sets suck. They can seriously drain everyone.
Especially if its a trance night and the warm up DJ is playing slow. Nothing wrong with getting everyone into it early!