If you're even a passing fan of electronic music, it's likely that you know that one of its icons, DJ and producer Frankie Knuckles, died earlier this week at the age of 59 from complications related to type 2 diabetes. The "godfather of house music" was a true legend, the kind of artist to whom one could point as a real cultural lynchpin; without his influence, dance music in 2014 would likely be an entirely different beast. Having given birth to house music in Chicago in the late '70s and early '80s via his clubs the Warehouse and later the Power Plant, Knuckles (born Francis Nicholls in New York City) was a dedicated craftsman and inventor, honing his skills as a DJ by playing marathon sets to open-minded audiences and helping to make the remix its own art form by constructing extended versions of classic soul and disco tunes with a pair of reel-to-reel tape decks and a 909.
Almost any DJ has the tools to perform with video, especially with well-developed software like vjay, Serato Video, MixEmergency, and recently Cross all streamlining the process. But not that many take on the challenge of video DJing, and even fewer do it in a unique way, instead sticking to mixing from one music video to the next. DJ Woody, one of the most prolific visual turntablists, made the transition back in 2010. Learn about his switch from DJing to VJing, and read his tips for new visual jockeys in this interview.
Launchpad master Nev slices up elements of tracks and plays them out live with wild visuals.
As 2013 comes to a close, it's time to reflect back on a great year of articles and a growing DJ TechTools community. It was a slower year in general for new DJ gear as compared to the early phases of the controller craze, but we had no shortage of interesting subjects to write about. Grab your time machine and check out what you might have missed or forgotten.
Much of the basis behind the current state of DJing and electronic dance music came from the first generations of raves. Starting with a Roland TB-303 in Chicago, growing to undergrounds in the UK, and creating all manner of subgenres along the way, the story of the rave scene and the DJs who built it […]
This week we have a very special treat for you, an in-depth journey into the mindset and technology of Dubfire, the talented and ubiquitous DJ with over 20 years of success under his belt. Part of our “How I Play” series, these videos offer an intimate, behind-the-scenes look at the world’s most interesting DJs through […]
Last month, French house producer Fred Falke came to San Francisco to perform at Mezzanine. We jumped at the chance to chat with him in the DJ booth about his Ableton Live performance setup and how he plays live (occasionally self-accompanying on bass guitar). Watch the interview inside to learn how he lays out his […]
Acclaimed UK producer and DJ, Hot Since 82, stopped through the DJTT office a few weeks ago for a quick chat about the evolution of DJ technology and the state of underground electronic music. Even though it was a bit chilly in the studio, Ean and Daley bundled up for what turned out to be […]