ARTICLES: The future of the DJ

The future of the DJ (By Andrew Octopus)

Tomorrow night a DJ saves my life. My earth. My universe. My dreams. I want to thank him or her for rearranging my neurons and scraping the decay off my paradigms. I just have to come back and write this down to be sure. Listen up. This DJ is you.

Theory: As corporations coagulate into multimedia hegemonies and consolidate their grasp on airwaves of all sorts, the physical and digital spaces we control and use for audiovisual expression on the independent individual level become more critical, to the point of being crucial. Zines rise up to challenge the stranglehold major book publishers have on our verbal selves, and graffiti blooms to explode in the face of investment commodity art. The DJ rises up to explode the next era of music onto whatever the current stagnant status quo happens to be.

This is ours: the radio shows and music channels are on payola-fed computer-controlled playlist lockdown. The RIAA has its imperial storm troopers boarding the starships of MP3-smugglers too smart to pay for the 15 shitty tracks the record company wrapped around the good one. The government and major media outlets both seem to have a death wish for anything even resembling an independent concert or party.

But you’re wise enough to already know all this.

This is what’s happening tonight.

It’s 2003 and the entire world has been restructured by concepts of asymmetrical warfare. Asymmetrical warfare is what Hannibal used to battle the Roman Empire and what al-Qaeda is using to engage the American Empire. It opens the scope of warfare from traditional battlefield tactics to any concept which can be used for a given end. It takes the soldier off the battlefield, or rather, expands the battlefield to every airplane, computer screen, stock market, and mosque. Just like that, music now swims out of the radio, past the sheet music, out of the club, away from the stage, and beyond the mixtape. DJs remix their entire craft and all their concepts. No longer (just) selectors and composers on turntables, samplers, and even laptops. Now computer hackers and chemists on violinis, syringes and microscopes. Dropping algorithms as often as beats. Directly into the spinal column whenver possible.

A hot new track will be the one with the instruments you invented yourself which no one has ever heard before. That get inside every particle of the (listener’s?) brain and demolish any fact of sound like a fairy singing a monster to sleep. Here are the tools of the trade:

Vibrating synaptic stimulators. Ultrasound drum machines. Amplifier-electrodes. Information enemas and stroboscopic roses. Venus flytrap theremins. Synesthetic headphones and bone marrow microchip MP3 players linked to prismatic butterfly FX processors. And these are just the ones on an immediate aural-only brainstorm level. I’m sure you already thought up better ones and have a blueprint stirring in your subconscious which will show up in your dreams the next time you can’t sleep.

Spiderweb mandalas of autonomous cables plugged into the ganglia which constantly mutate time and pitch based on their own organically emerging artifical intelligence.

Currently music is sold on store shelves and roadside stands and drugs are passed hand-to-hand in subterranean distribution communities. In a space-time moment just a few inches-minutes from where you’re now reading this, that situation will be completely reversed. DJs will be authors of neurologically vacillating texts which imprint themselves like kool-aid colored amnesia on the guerilla broadcasts which challenge the walls of wal-mart.

Of course, I could be wrong. The future could be just like the present, only more so. Maybe DJs will never be influenced by Rube Goldberg and Les Paul as much as they are by Grandmaster Flash and Jam Master Jay (R.I.P.) Only time and electronic evolution will tell. But tomorrow night the music obliterates stock prices and all doubts about what it means to be human. Tomorrow night a yarn of treble clef ties our chakras together. This is my message in a bottle to whoever shows me these ideas tomorrow night. Start digging those beats and moebius knots out of your brain’s attic. Tomorrow night a DJ saves my life.

I’m counting on you.

most can’t handle Andrew Octopus.
where do dreams go when sleep is over?

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