[Column] Dance: The Drop! June/July – Is The Future of DJing In Jeopardy?

A few synchronicities in the digital music world took place over the last couple of weeks, heralding a new way of accessing music for audiences and indeed DJs alike.

Firstly, digital music global juggernaut Apple announced that they would end their iTunes service, meaning individual digital music files would no longer be available for purchase.

Instead, Apple will continue their market dominance of the sector with Apple Music, a streaming platform. Not that Apple ever thought of music fans as actually “owning” the files, with restrictions on what technically could be copied and used on other platforms (not that that ever stopped anyone from sharing the files on a torrent site).

On the more-aimed-at-DJs side, dance music market metropolis Beatport launched a new streaming service, Beatport Link. In addition to the digital store where DJs can purchase endless amounts of tunes to spin in their sets (over 7 million apparently), Beatport Link allows DJs to stream music directly into performance software (I guess they’re assuming you’ve got a faster internet connection than we do in most of Australia…).

It’s an interesting space to be in 2019. Music is so darn accessible – and hey I’m not complaining that I can access nearly any album in the world on Spotify – but it does reduce our personal relationship with it. The easier it is to find something, or have an algorithm determine your playlist, the easier it is not put in any emotional investment or sense of ownership to it. Music becomes just another disposable commodity, decontextualized from its origins.

For DJs, though, it will be interesting how the system is taken up. Obviously for a more commercial club, finding any music for a song request is going to be appealing. But for the underground selector, does this lessen the connection to a tune even more? Part of building a set is knowing your music, and knowing it well; allowing you to drop a track just at the right moment.

I personally won’t be signing up any time soon, especially as half my gigs are far away from a decent internet connection. But I’ll certainly watch how the changes unfold with interest!

Godlands

And now for some gigs! Despite the cold and dark, there’s plenty to keep you occupied over the next month. Mr Wolf has trap music queen Godlands coming to tour her 4 U Only EP, supported by Nay Nay, Cirrus and Prav on Friday, 21 June.

The heavy-hitters continue at Fiction, with Odd Mob returning to our city for some thumping bass house on Saturday, 22 June, with locals Brittany De Marco and BNDR in support. Get keen!

Legowelt

Sideway has a stacked calendar again this month, so give their Facebook page a geez. My pick is definitely Dutch synth-master Legowelt taking over the Communi-fy system for some deep techy beats, supports by Roy Batty Jr. and Cressy on Saturday, 22 June. If you’re up for some UK grime and garage, check out It’s a London Thing the following Saturday on 29 June with Mincy & MC DTech, DJ HRH and Boomtze.

Cube has you covered for hard trance and NRG on Friday, 28 June with national sensation Sunset Bros, supported by DJ Nasty and SRGN – bring your rave whistle for sure!

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