2009/04/24

Dogme 09 (for djs) - updated 24. Jan. 2011

with a goal of countering “certain tendencies” in the club today.

just like with Dogma 95 this is surely not for most, but should not be viewed as any kind of diss to people who choose not to adopt these vows, nor is it any kind of silly value judgement concerning "underground" being superior to top 40. and of course like the films Dogme directors make: some will strictly adhere, some will partially, and some completely outside the parameter - i am not suggesting anyone SHOULD adopt these rules, but just providing a guideline opposed to laziness and complacency. the desired result is of course maximizing fun and party and intrigue and inspiration...

goes without saying some of it has plenty of room for subjective interpretation.

THE VOWS OF CHASTITY

1. no selection which has been used by another dj *that you know of* in live or studio mixing.

2. no selection which you *think* the majority of the audience knows well in live or studio mixing.

3. no dj tools except as transition between non-tool tracks, (hallo techno djs).

4. avoid arbitrary fucking with the EQ, track volumes, cross fader, etc., for pure effect if it doesn't enhance the material. (same goes for chaos pads, etc.)

5. use repetition and monotony as means toward ends, and not out of default laziness.

6. when possible, make best use of the innate human tendency to recognize/imagine patterns, instead of beating people's heads with a giant kick drum ALL of the time.

7. all mashups must sound BETTER than, or at least become more meaningful than the original songs.

8. no excessive use of arpeggios as lazy way to create excitement-by-numbers.

9. Do in depth research into your chosen styles, its history and lineage as related to other styles, find and make unexpected connections.

10. do not play ANY ONE THING all night. selection should not be restricted to genre definitions, but guided by what feels right, and what works the best together to build the feeling you want to create in the over-all composition.

11. Both entertain and educate the audience: transcend the here and now, go beyond or destroy the status quo.

12. Music is never "just music", but always an expression of social reality. Allow the world around us and the situation we are in to inform your work. Make site specific references and conceptual links, infuse the musical experience with many levels of meaning.




leave comment if you have anything to add.

12 comments:

Caitlyn / CPI said...

"no selection which has been used by another dj *that you know of* in live or studio mixing."

Good luck on that. In the Internet age where everyone is a DJ, the only tracks that other people AREN'T spinning are the ones you make yourself. Otherwise, you just aren't paying attention.
Let's just pretend I am the only one who gets to play Township Funk, OK? ;)

zhao said...

you're missing the point a little bit.

there are always choices: you can play Township Funk, or you can play DJ CNDO's Terminator, which might not be QUITE as catchy but is similar, uses similar sounds, and a similarly great track. maybe even a bit more sophisticated composition wise. you can find it on NGOMA 3, which is much closer to Dogme 09 than NGOMA 2.

zhao said...

and your argument is silly.

there is a fucking OCEAN of music coming out EVERY WEEK, in ANY given genre.

but most DJs repeatedly play 0.001 percent of it.

so whatever it is that you play, you can choose to stop being a trend follower and dig a little deeper.

that's what that item is about.

i'm not going to stick to it strictly, but will use it as a guideline and aspiration...

Steve Taylor said...

I bet you are a riot at parties.

Still I like your mixes, not that they remotely stick to your own rules!

Caitlyn / CPI said...

Oh sure, you could spend 30 hours a week hunting down the bleeding edge, but really, it's just DJing.
Every day we come one step closer to having our entire hobby reduced to a computer algorithm that could optimize for obscurity AND hypeness. ;)

Over the last 15 years of DJing, I've realized that those of us that tend to actually agonize over track listings are other DJs.
But it's still appreciated, it means I won't just delete your mixes after one listen. (unlike most others)

Otis said...

I'm no DJ but I agree with most of your 'vows', nos 1 & 2 excepted. What's wrong with playing something people KNOW and can get off on hearing again in a (hopefully) new context/setting? I'm all for having my horizons expanded (and, while I'm here, many thanks for doing just that more than once!), but for those who are not already converts a song that is a known quantity or - heaven forbid - a 'classic', can be a way to pull them into the fold on any given night. I'm sure we've all seen a crowd go absolutely nuts for a track that EVERYONE recognizes and can groove on together, and that energy carries over to everything that follows....

Anonymous said...

There are times for "guilty pleasures" as much as for the "headz", no...?

tomica said...

I never take anything about dj and dj-ing seriously....because at the end they're just an expensive replacement of juxboxes....

they play other peoples music in they'r own order....

I enjoyed reading your "tips", but to be honest , if 10 per cent of people involved in /music buysnes/dj-ing thought like that, AND not being a soules minions of orthodoxy.....your blog would not be so special...

because I come here for something new and inspiring, and not for curent beatport top bullshit or any other "lets pay to watch some overhyped dick spin records" type of musical consumerism...


Anyway I'm sick of popular culture and so called underground scene/scheme because they're all the same....constantly regurgitating the same shit over and over and over and over.....angain

heres my tip:
throw in every once in a while piece of grain music or microtonal or aything "unusual" = It'll make sheeps happyer/appreciative when you come back with something regular....

Akio said...

I like these vows, but the no-selection-that-another-DJ-has-used element seems overly harsh. Isn't one of the great things about DJ culture the exchange of records and the spread of music? While I understand the intent, that's much harder if everyone's just trying to cultivate their own little unique corner of the market.

Also, with regards to songs that the audience knows: If a DJ's purpose is to keep the audience dancing, familiar works are often incredibly useful for that, especially early in the night. I think a better rule would be to say that nothing should be played BECAUSE of the audience's familiarity, and that a better track should be played rather than a more popular one - if a song is excellent, better than the vast majority of similar works, fits into the mix properly, and happens to be extremely well known, I can hardly object to that.

Anonymous said...

mostly good tips for live musicians, too. if you just get a little creative with applying them... i heartily enjoyed reading them!!!

The Walking Dead Man (TWDM) said...

Funny!

You wrote these rules and yet still feel you can say:

"and your argument is silly."

TWDM sez "Music is fun, rules suck."

zhao said...

rules can sometimes make things more fun. see chess, brian eno, basket ball, etc.