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Getting digitized?

As I’ve clearly stated in the past: I’m a vinyl junkie. An analogue dinosaur. In the field of dance music we have often been the very first genre to embrace new technology. Indeed, more than any other musical variety, dance music and audio technology are intertwined. I have watched all this change and although it interests me a lot, when it comes to performance I am an absolute Luddite. Turning up at clubs to watch my dancefloor heroes play on CD decks makes me want to send the sparkling lights and fancy buttons hurling to the ground. Like a nineteenth century cotton mill, the pioneer CDJs 1000, lying in bits would bring a smile of satisfaction to my face. I’m told they’re sexy. I just feel that CD DJing is cheating – not so much the technology aspect, as in principal it is the same technique as vinyl DJing, but that the audience is cheated. I watch with horror as my favourite record shops close down as everyone turns to the cheaper alternative… Anyway – I have stuck to my guns regarding CDs and remain a vinylist. However, it’s not just CDs that have changed the face of DJing. One of my favourite DJs is Sasha. I remember reading several years ago how he was embracing Ableton for production. I remember picking up a (vinyl) copy of Involver in 2004 and being blown away by the ‘new’ sound. The thick bass, the really electronic feel, floor-friendly loops, perfectly cut vocals… It is an ambition to produce music and I’ve always liked the sound of Ableton. I dabbled with Cubase a few years ago but Ableton seems to be the software daddy. Shock horror – I realised that Ableton could be used for DJing. I was at a gig at the Q bar, Cardiff, and the DJ had a laptop and a complex looking MIDI controller. He was playing an Ableton Live DJ set… I trainspotted for a bit, to check how it all works… DJs are anoraks at heart and get a high watching others at work. It is the quickest way to improve your style, by studying others in action. I started to interrupt the guy by bombarding him with questions. It all looked posh and he seemed a bit snobbish, with all his fancy equipment… He was very vague and seemed to be avoiding my answers. I didn’t…

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