Sunday, 26 December 2010

Frankie Knuckles on DeeJaying

In the Disco records there were real drummers and stuff, so the tempo kept changing. And today you have synthesizers and drum machines that keeps the perfect beat all the time. Do you think it's easier now to be a DJ?"

"Yes! Yes, it's easier. Sure! But you see, That's the difference between DJ's now and DJ's 20 years ago, because you had to have enough skill and you had to work. You had to work, you had to stay on top of what you were doing to keep your evening working, you know. You couldn't play the same repetitive beat and tempo all night long without people getting bored. And not every two records sounded the same. You have more music that sounds the same now. So it becomes one continuous tone all night long. You know, if you've got one DJ that plays everything - every record he's playing is a 136 beats per minute all night long. It's all the same."

Yes. it is.

"You know, if the tempo doesn't change anywhere, it doesn't variate anyway what he does. It stay at a 136 bpm all night long. Then there's nothing! I mean, you have a lot of these Trance records, or quasi-Trance records, that are all like a 136 or 140 bpm, and the only thing that about gonna changes is that discs drop-out time. You know, where the beat will stop. You know, Acid producers loves to stop the beat for a while, and then the beat comes back and they all get back into it again. That's the only difference, but I mean, there's nothing really that original about it, I don't think. When you're listening to music like that all night long, you really can't tell where the beginning of a song is and where one ends. That's the difference between what's happening now and let's say 20 years ago. I mean, every song you put on was a completely different song. Somebody different singing each song, even if it was something instrumental EVERYTHING was different. So you were challenged to happen to make these songs fit. There's no challenge for these guys to make anything fit. They all fit!"

From the Frankie Knuckles interview at Disco-Disco