[sic] Magazine

A DJ A Day Keeps The Doctor Away

damien-hirst-spot

2016 in 366 Spinners, Selectors and Sound Hounds

What is a DJ?

You may think that they are simply a person who plays the music of others, often blending a collection of disparate parts into one seamless whole, facilitating a stream of rhythms to wash over the ears of the listener, whilst simultaneously transforming the nature of the art in the process; and, of course, it would be fair to say that you are correct in your assessment of their role. However, I find this definition only takes into account what a DJ does, not what a DJ is, with it being my view that, when boiled down to their essence, a DJ is knowledge.

Of course, one could take the epistemological position that everything is knowledge, and so I must specify my intention to grant any kind of meaning to the reader.

Firstly, there is the technical knowledge of how to engage in the practice of DJing, with this comprising understanding how to utilise the available technology to produce the desired results, be it on the dancefloor, in the radio booth, or even on the festival stage; and whilst it is clearly beneficial to have mastered the myriad mixing techniques hitherto invented, this isn’t what I mean when I say “knowledge”, with my focus being rather on the assessment and accruement of the semiotic information contained within those sounds we know as “music”. By this, I mean that the ultimate “worth” of a DJ lies not in their skill behind the decks (or in front of an Ableton interface), but in their ability to identify and recollect the names, titles, labels, tempi, keys, etc., abstractly attached to those atmospheric vibrations we all crave to experience, with the vast reservoirs of musical data residing in the memory banks of the DJ being their true defining feature.

By this token, if a person is familiar with a DJ, then, by extension, they establish the potential to become familiar with the thousands upon thousands of artists that the DJ themselves is familiar with; it thus being the case that the DJ functions as an incredibly useful conduit for the opportunity of pleasure, without the burden of knowledge. Which is to say, nobody has the mental capacity to be consciously aware of all the countless pieces of music created by the entirety of humanity, and any attempt to acquire such immense knowledge would surely be a fruitless endeavour, but if one were to simply learn of a fraction of that number of DJs, then one forms a secondary link to all that musical information which the DJ holds in their psyche, with this, in effect, creating a situation whereby one’s freedom to enjoy the wealth of sonic possibilities is increased exponentially, without the need for cluttering up one’s brain with half-forgotten snippets of names and titles which serve only to further paralyse the mind through information overload. Thus, it can be said that the DJ’s knowledge becomes an extension of our knowledge; their “surrogate” memory acting as a medium through which we can access the esoteric beauty of unknown individuals.

Therefore, my presentation of 366 DJs is in fact more like an offering of 366 keys; each one unlocking the door to untold corridors of musical exploration, and all which that entails. The idea of this piece being to establish a nexus amongst nexii*, with each individual featured in this list harbouring the potential to become a multifaceted junction in the mind-bogglingly complex network of human creativity extant in the world today; a junction through which one can then be directed towards yet more instances of artistic enlightenment, with each step in this traversal of auditory expertise being garnished by the humongous boon of the possibility of pleasure; which, in and of itself, is surely justification enough for the creation of this piece of writing. (*Yes, I am aware that the correct pluralisation of the word “nexus” in English is “nexuses”, and that in Latin it should be declined into “nexūs”, but I simply like the way that “nexii” looks and sounds in the sentence, so I’m going to use it regardless of grammatical accuracy.)

However, there would be absolutely no point in me just naming a tonne of high-profile, well-established DJs, as sites like Resident Advisor and Mixmag already fulfil such a role to a more than satisfactory degree, with it therefore surely being much more useful for me to use this virtual space-time to highlight some less lauded, yet equally bright, lights in the galaxy of musical compilers; thus better taking advantage of my unique spectrum of knowledge on the subject. (I mean, I didn’t make a conscious effort to avoid including “big-name” DJs in this piece, it just seems that my aural interests naturally gravitated towards more niche sectors of the mixing landscape, which is actually somewhat in opposition to my general listening trends this year, with my previous aversion to pop music mutating into unbridled enthusiasm, resulting in a “regression” back to surfing the music video channels on Sky, and finding my most tuned-into radio stations becoming the likes of Kiss, Capital, Heat, and even Heart, which is an unbelievable volte-face from half a decade ago when I regularly checked out the Late Junction on Radio 3; my palate not even being able to handle the more abstruse nocturnal fare aired on Radio 1, let alone the playlisted-to-fuck selection in rotation during daylight hours.)

Also, I didn’t want to just serve up a giant dollop of data without any way for the brain to “anchor” it into one’s memory, as a mere list of proper nouns will hold no lasting resonance to anyone, the words rapidly fading into obscurity with absolute ease, making my impartation of knowledge to you a depressingly ephemeral action (although I suppose such a thing is inevitable really). Therefore, to give the information some “hooks” to latch into your conscious, I have asked the artists to furnish the piece with some elements of personalisation; this hopefully providing the mind with the materials with which to construct a bond between the signs on your screen and the fact that they represent a real person somewhere out there in the world; someone who is contributing to the ever-growing mass of collective knowledge which permits all of us who love music to satisfy our desires; which is surely what life is all about. (Well, that was the idea anyway, but, as they say, you can lead a horse to water…)

Personally, the accompanying visuals play a large part in my ability to recollect information, with the presence of either an aesthetic attraction, or an attractive aesthetic, greatly aiding in the cementation of an artist within my memory. Which is to say, the best way to grab the attention of my subconscious is to be a beautiful woman, and utilise one’s appearance as a promotional tool for the music, but obviously, not everyone can be a beautiful woman (or a beautiful man, for those who are more susceptible to optical impression by masculine traits), so the next best method for mental engagement is simply incorporating any kind of striking visuals, especially those which are novel and unique, with a strong, consistent “branding” of one’s art in this way playing upon everyone’s desire for some kind of order within the chaos of reality; it appealing to our innate will to defy the nihilistic inevitability suggested by the entropy of the universe. Now, without getting too psychoanalytical up in this bitch, I think it’s fair to say that just like the prominence of beauty and attraction appeals to our latent “sex drive”, so too does the use of idiosyncratic imagery (including all semiotic association) tap into our fundamental “life drive”, with the existence of new and unusual things imbuing within us, no matter how imperceptibly, the continuing belief that there will always be more to life than we can comprehend, and thus, the artist who can command both of these extramusical elements wields all the tools necessary for “success”; the question then being have they got the “substance” to back up the “style”. (Oh yeah, and having/choosing a distinctive name also goes a long way in establishing a separation from “the crowd”; although, as evinced by the likes of Jeff Mills, Pete Tong and Calvin Harris, you can get by with a name that has no real va-va-voom if the skills and drive are there.)

Luckily for all those who aren’t pretty girls, talented aestheticians, or the owners of impressive titles, my instinctive cognitive prioritisation and otherwise shite memory aren’t the only sources of reference available to me, with the seemingly bottomless vaults of the Internet keeping track of all of those unfortunately less mentally-imposing figures who equally contribute to the abundance of sounds experienceable at our behest. Consequently, this list should be based upon the contents of the artist’s output, rather than any unrelated qualities they may hold which happen to ingratiate them to my general sensibilities; which in turn should result in a minimally-biased offering, the only partiality arising from my protean tastes in all things musical. (Of course, I have utilised “indirect discrimination” as a means of selecting which artists to feature and which to omit entirely, but that just entailed using my extremely limited knowledge of each DJ’s history and character as a basis for adjudicating which individuals I should deem most “worthy” of being promoted by myself, rather than determining which categorically do not deserve such a thing. In other words, I pared down my initial longlist to the presented “shortlist” of 366 names by choosing to prioritise those artists who, based on admittedly minimal evidence, seemed the most “nice” or “good”; with this decision being but the byproduct of a recent glut of moral contemplation on my part, in which I came to some very clear-cut conclusions regarding how best to encourage “excellence” within society through even the most seemingly insignificant of actions. However, to be perfectly frank, the final make-up of this list is pretty arbitrary, as I simply don’t know enough about any of the considered artists to make a reasonable judgement regarding their qualities as “human beings”; so maybe it’s best to read nothing into these selections other than that I like some of the music that these people have pumped out there into the aether recently.)

Anyway, getting to the crux of the piece; the only criterion I have employed in deciding the eligibility of an individual for inclusion in this list is that they have crafted a single mix this year that I have enjoyed enough to listen through till completion; that’s it. Hence, I don’t care whether all of these people even regard themselves as “DJs”, or whether some would prefer to be identified using a different semantic moniker entirely; the fact that they have produced something that is undeniably the work of a DJ is sufficient for them to be regarded as such in my eyes. After all, it’s like I said earlier, to me, a DJ is essentially a well of knowledge, with the individuals I have opted to showcase in this piece being merely those wells who I have, in my humble opinion, deemed most “worthy” of being supped from; this then hopefully imbibing within the reader some guidance to aid in their quest for pleasure, which should subsequently trickle down into there being more overall “goodness” in the world; pretty simple logic really.

So, without further ado, here’s a big fuck-off list of DJs (at least, ostensibly so) to help open up your mind to immeasurable instances of beauty. (For a much larger compilation of mixes, feel free to check out my monthly mix round-ups on SoundCloud at The Recherché Roughyed.)

1. PolyKarp

PolyKarp says:

“Are anime girls the new clickbait? I hope so…”

its-joke-meme

2. Skinny McToothpick

3. Kritty

4. DJ Spider

5. quest?onmarc

6. Baldeejays

7. Ida Dillan

8. moistbreezy

moistbreezy says:

“There are a whole lot of people who don’t recognize me when I am not moistbreezy, as in when I’m not wearing a wig or otherwise dressed as the moistbreezy persona some have come to know online. As of now, moistbreezy appears offline in the real world only on rare occasion. I have successfully made “moistbreezy” my Hannah Montana. But if the me you know is moistbreezy, then who am I?”

9. Herbarium

10. Flagalova

11. Claudia De Châlon

12. YANASSNOW

13. Effy in the Sky

14. Crapface

15. DJ Tenshin

DJ Tenshin says:

“I came into DJ’ing from Toronto’s Happy Hardcore raves- which was a tight knit and community-oriented music scene. DJ’ing proved to be a social activity for me- it gave me a reason to continue going out, and brought new life into parties for me.

While I started performing specifically with the purpose of playing music I enjoyed (kinds I felt were under-represented by local DJ’s) this evolved into me trying to find the right type of music to make the crowd feel connected.

Mostly all the music I play can be described as ‘happy’, ‘uplifting’ or ‘high-energy’. While I am not opposed to dark sounding music (and enjoy quite a lot of it), my mantra is to bring music that radiates positivity.

I find a lot of Japanese stuff tends to hit right on the mark for the silly, happy-go-lucky sound I love. It also suits my aesthetic well, as I love anime and Japanese fashion.

Outside of performing, I’m presently applying to graduate school for what can be described as “A combination of Psychology & Statistics”. I work as a freelance writer, doing music reviews, blogging and creative work for those with the need.

I’m very much a “type-A personality”. When something interests me, I feel the need to be the best I can at it. I feel comfortable & comfortable with my technical abilities as a DJ. While I continue to make mixes, each of them slightly better than the last, I’ve also become very focused on other aspects of music, such as music production.

My eventual goal is that I can get a large enough following that I can be booked internationally on a regular basis. That way I can travel while doing what I love.

But overall, I am happy with where I am- and appreciate everyone who has helped get me there.”

16. DJ Silky

17. Lil Tantrum

18. D A A L

19. Project Pablo

20. The Mab

21. Carin Kelly

22. Bebe Yama

Bebe Yama says:

“I’ve never been charged with or convicted of a crime, yet my cult leader Koa Malone let me know I’m a bad girl, a fish. My mom’s friend told me I was trying to slam dunk before I learned to do a lay-up. I said my whole life was a lay-up..which rang as millenial arrogance. Since then I have been keeping quiet, writing and practicing operas, practicing Agape, hitting the YMCA under my stepmom’s family membership and WuShu class with Sifu Chen Ying.

For me a mix is an opera, an essay, the vibrational skeleton of divine drama and its arcs…it is helpful in today’s climate to be affirmed by disembodied voices. Like when you eavesdrop and the information is quite serendipitous, even if it is but the sound of someone opening a refrigerator at dawn. You feel like something is on your side.

In the gaps of silence in my soulmate Humilitiy’s mix “Vibrations of culture”, an ornate golden elevator was evoked in my mind’s eye. It was the vessel that would carry us across the socioeconomic divide, across the history of music and the cultural striations of emotion.”

23. emma

24. Sir Rexington

25. tchan

26. Universal Cave

27. Farsight

28. Mitomoro

29. Ghozt

Ghozt says:

“My name is Ghozt and im an 16 year old Kid from Conneticut in the U.S.A”

30. ETEVLEH

31. Vladu

32. Sha Sha Kimbo

33. Konx-Om-Pax

34. Bwise

35. Graz

36. Betonkust

Betonkust says:

“I’m just a guy from Hilversum (The Netherlands) making music with drum machines and synthesizers.
I play live sets and also dj sets. I enjoy all kinds of music but mainly electro, house, acid and techno. The good kind, not the boring stuff. The Hague scene has always been a huge influence. Legowelt and I-F in particular.
Bought my first drum machine when I was 14 years old. A Boss DR-660. I still use that machine in pretty much every track I produce. You can clearly hear it on the ‘Center Parcs’ and ‘Hotel Breukelen’ records.
Expensive equipment in my opinion is unnecessary. You can make tracks with a 100 euro synth and a 50 euro reverb. The situation is getting out of hand, people are buying equipment for thousands of euros/dollars/pounds.
Anyway, I work and tour with artists such as Palmbomen II, Antenna, Innershades, Stippenlift and Marsman. We are all friends and exchange music and help each other out with stuff.”

37. Tincan

38. Megaman

39. Violeta West

40. Keiska

41. Palms Trax

42. Shinichiro Yokota

43. GEARSHFFT

44. DJ Freez

45. Inkke

46. U_U

47. pale girl

48. Ghibli

49. DJ Sonikku

50. hysteric

51. DATE SIM

52. Jay R Neutron

53. Guy Akimoto

54. Emoji Heap

55. Diego Navarro

56. Javi Frias

57. Adipop

58. Dubbel Dutch

59. aread

60. Sully

61. SAL

62. bawxxx

63. #Ill33T4

64. Bianca Oblivion

65. Malibu

66. Miley Serious

67. Nightcorey

68. Lindsaylosam

69. aamourocean

70. Prawns

71. Sunshower

72. Dragon UMA

73. CHAi-t

74. Seudo

75. Grizzy

76. kingKhan

77. Sunareht

78. Denis La Funk

79. Rickie Sherman

80. SURATI

81. Sam Tiba

82. DJ NHK Guy

83. D.K.

84. Billie Birkin

85. skewfield

86. Dischetto

87. JΛSMINE

88. baby emoji

89. Snaked

90. Strider-Kun

91. Venus

92. Cherushii

93. Yoneda

94. Cpnnn

95. unclemarty

96. Blair Sound Design

97. DJ AMWF

98. ssaliva

99. The RawSoul

100. IRCIRL

101. Retina Set

102. Ruf Dug

103. Holly Waxwing

104. Android Boyfriend

105. The Pilotwings

106. DJ ULTRAPERVERT

107. Hunnid Jaws

108. Angiesliste

109. DEAR ABRA

110. DJ Zone

111. Moto Kano

112. Mess

113. PHILOSOPHY

114. Nhan Solo

115. svengali

116. Cool Teens

117. DJ Boyfriends

118. Unrealistic Standards of Beauty

119. TSVI

120. Kasra V

121. DEVNXC

122. Sex™

123. DJ TEMPALGIN

124. Diepvries

125. glttr

126. Keita Kawakami

127. kittynxc

128. Panteros666

129. Duckers

130. Djuna Barnes

131. Distal

132. Para One

133. Haidl & Lindstrom

134. ALEX.DJ.A

135. ODM

136. Airbear

137. DJ Stolen

138. One Hunnid

139. Rowan Mason

140. James Tom

141. Slutcore

142. Lucid Stannard

143. Loom

144. Pute Deluxe

145. Walter Vinyl

146. Slackk

147. Brothel Cats

148. Nightcoregirl

149. Mojek

150. ZOWK

151. Morten HD

152. Charlotte Thorstvedt

153. Gab

154. Pictureplane

155. DJ Wave

156. Circuit 900

157. Nightwave

158. Soldal

159. Riffs

160. skins party

161. DJ Eddie Fludd

162. Infinity Night

163. Betty

164. M@tt

165. [Wade]

166. Chanel

167. She’s Drunk

168. Yaeji

169. midnattssoula

170. Sappho

171. Camino 84

172. Bleaker

173. Lorenzo BITW

174. SHAKESPEARS

175. Chaams

176. Angel 1

177. DJ Logic

178. leon

179. Yolanda Be Cool

180. Jexxa

181. Teki Latex

182. Foozool

183. The Phantom’s Revenge

184. pootee

185. Shae B.

186. Earl Grey

187. Workerz

188. Eidolon

189. False Witness

190. Ghostwhip

191. Orlando Boom

192. DJ Champagne Bukkake

193. pegasvs

194. Detente

195. Physical Therapy

196. Fotomachine

197. Svani

198. 7777777 Sea

199. Mstk

200. An Ni

201. Mind:Body:Fitness

202. Neana

203. KJ$

204. Bailey Crystal

205. S T. M A L O

206. Manny Whodamanny

207. Itoma

208. Pontchartrain

209. B.G. Baarregaard

210. Jr. & Son’s

211. Closet Yi

212. Epikuro

213. Deadboy

214. Misha

215. Jeune Faune

216. The Dance Pit

217. Atris

218. DJ Ouai

219. Ani Klang

220. Plateau Repas

221. snax

222. angelmasturbatingsoftly

223. Panic Pop

224. Tendencies

225. Space Candy

226. AZ (Revelation Time)

227. Robotalco

228. Balibloc

229. Sexton

230. Spencer G

231. CVMIS

232. CL

233. Ash Lauryn

234. Will DiMaggio

235. Mathis Ruffing

236. Adriano Vivas

237. Strahinja Arbutina

238. Asdasfr Bawd

239. MLB

240. David Coquelin

241. Bobby Milkshake

242. Filip Mayer

243. gameboimusic

244. Yoshitaka Hikawa

245. Misha Geleyn

246. VJtheDJ

247. We Love Dolce Vita

248. Tsunga

249. Urulu

250. Frank Booker

251. Seb Wildblood

252. Amateur Exorcist

253. Belamour

254. DJ Cutman

255. The Globule

256. MAUV

257. Grant

258. House of Kenzo

259. Jex Opolis

260. Anna Gram

261. Boylan

262. Journeymann Trax

263. taqumi

264. Maxim Maillet

265. DJ Rueckert

266. Tomoyuki Fujii

267. Eduardo Zambrano

268. Matt Karmil

269. Veronica Vasicka

270. This Soft Machine

271. kare

272. tentacly

273. jeltttoro

274. Lone

275. bread emoji

276. Shyqa

277. Tepr

278. Paul Jones

279. Paul Manton

280. texiyama

281. Honey Bunny

282. Musique Chienne

283. Wrack

284. Yung Internet God

285. BigWigFatCat

286. CHORTBOYZ666

287. Fort Romeau

288. MFN

289. D. Tiffany

290. Bok Bok

291. botaz

292. P Relief

293. Shifra Rifka

294. Spacer Woman

295. Matthias Zimmerman

296. Analski

297. you

298. eevee

299. Bamao Yendé

300. Valesuchi

301. Englesia

302. underd0g

303. Phaedra

304. Gareth Evans

305. Gentle Cuts

306. Octave the Cat

307. bacon-index

308. Terekke

309. Milord

310. Mooves

311. Hotel Interocéanique

312. Marot

313. A Sagittariun

314. Yamaneko

315. Vexkiddy

316. Bwana

317. Brackles

318. The Electro Soukous

319. Cooper Saver

320. Juan Ramos

321. SitzBrau

322. Takumi Kawahara

323. Dorothy Parker

324. Kenji Yamamoto

325. TenTwentySeven

326. Kane Ikin

327. Spring Theory

328. Palinoia

329. PlayPlay

330. Eclair Fifi

331. Thug Entrancer

332. Ouanounou

333. Matt FX

334. Son of Sound

335. Francois Club

336. Steven Julien

337. CJ Milli

338. DJ Delish

339. Ballo

340. Alfred English

341. Mushroom Buttons

342. James Nasty

343. Virgo

344. Hunee

345. Joe Snarky

346. Earthly

347. DJ Femme Fresh

348. F I J I

349. L-VIS 1990

350. Visible Cloaks

351. Kim Anh

352. Chris Kontos

353. Antonius

354. Barnaby Bruce

355. Youandewan

356. Maxo

357. Valissa Yoe

358. Ennnn

359. Eddie C

360. Murúa

361. Flegon

362. Khidja

363. Santangello

364. Groovemasta

365. Top Shotta

366. Murlo

(N.B. Despite what the title of this piece says, DJs may not actually keep doctors away. Also, it is extremely likely that there aren’t exactly 366 individual DJs on this list, and, considering I completed it a month before the end of the calendar year, so too will this summary not accurately reflect the entirety of 2016. In other words, take nothing I say at face value; just enjoy the music.)

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