Should DJs Take Your Song Requests?

Categories: DJ culture

Flickr/Juan Andres Martinez
We know which side he's on
By: Lina Lecaro and Liz Ohanesian

[Editor's Note: In clubland, few topics ignite more heated debates than that of whether DJs should play requests. Writers and DJs Lina Lecaro and Liz Ohanesian lay out both sides of this controversial subject.]


We all know that thanks to technology, anybody can be a DJ these days. But not everyone has the ability to read a crowd and create a room-elevating transition with new killer beats or long-forgotten classics. Those are the unteachable skills that separate the pros from the wannabes.

Unfortunately, in many club and party environments, these abilities are not always appreciated. The lowest-common-denominator party posse doesn't give a crap about the tempo or tension a decksmith might be building throughout the night. They don't even care about beat-matching skills. No, the drunkards who bombard DJ booths to make requests usually care about one thing only: They want to hear "Baby Got Back," and they want to hear it now!

More »

EDM is Dead

Categories: DJ culture

Aaron Thackeray
By: Mary Willson

The last major electronic show I attended was Porter Robinson's World's tour. The 21-year-old DJ used to be known for his wild drops and ultra-fast techno sounds, as heard in his 2011 hit single Spitfire. But in his newest album, he uses sampling to thread together beautiful melodies with gut-wrentching drops that are more emotional than fiery in the way that dubstep drops are.

This album, along with other hit downtempo albums such as ODESZA's In Return and newly popular ambient artists like Kygo, Tycho, Cashmere Cat, Emancipator, Miike Snow, Kaskade and more, point to the downfall of EDM as the culture suffocates in a mass of corporate money, extreme hyped culture, and a fan base absorbed in the scene rather than the song.

More »

Meet Skittles, the Master of Gloving

Courtesy of
Davis Duong aka Skittles at the first IGC
Originating in the early rave days, the first well known instance of gloving could be credited to Hermes who put 10 Rav'n lights into a pair of white gloves. Few could've guessed that the simple act of making his fingers dance in the darkness would be the beginning of an entire scene in today's EDM culture. Today, companies like EmazingLights sell millions of gloves, orbits, poi and other light show related items in a plethora of colors with much more advanced variations and modes. Aside from bringing gloving in the hands of consumers, Brian Lim (EmazingLight's CEO) and his company are pioneering the gloving movement into the skillful expression of art and dance that it is becoming today.

More »

The 13 Richest DJs of 2014

Categories: DJ culture

By: Carolina de Busto

It's been a few years since EDM became big business. But the bubble hasn't burst. And those folks who wear bulky headsets and press play (i.e. celebrity DJs) are still laughing all the way to the bank.

The giddiest jock is once again Calvin Harris. The scruffy-faced Scotsman topped Forbes' list of the highest-paid DJs of 2013 with a total of $46 million. One year later, Harris is raking in a staggering $66 million. But the second highest-earner collected a mere $30 million. And Avicii only made $28 million. Pshhh, pocket change.

Check the cut for the 13 richest DJs of 2014.

More »

Noise Revolt Brings The Burning Man Festival Experience to Locals

Courtesy of Noise Revolt
Past the threshold that unites Santa Ana's venerable Diego's Downtown and Festival Hall, and you're instantly greeted with a bold world of color. Dancers throw around glowing neon hula hoops around their bodies, while a small cushioned area resembling an opium den allows for guests to visit and tell stories; live painters move paint around furiously on their canvases. On stage, Noise Revolt member and musician+producer Jesta beats on a large conga drum to his DJ set while a western-themed experimental film is projected onto him.

The scene largely resembles a small Burning Man-esque party, aided by the hippied-out attire of guests and artists. But all this controlled chaos is meticulously planned out by members of the DJ collective Noise Revolt. In just a year, Noise Revolt have created a following from tacking on artists, dancers, and other creative individuals (they frequently include body painting and henna) in their events to bring different crowds and arouse creative minds and to reshape the nightlife in Orange County.

See also: Will Diego's Be the Next Big Local Venue in Santa Ana?

More »

Why Is It So Frustrating to Be a Local DJ in OC?

Courtesy of Jeff Allen
MAKJ at Yost Theater
While the rest of the EDM world is in South Beach celebrating Miami Music Week and the 16th Annual Ultra Music Festival this weekend, we're stuck here in OC trying desperately to stay off social media with envy. With the explosion of dance music the past several years and the shift from open format to the banging basslines of dance music at most major clubs, Orange County has been involved in this transition for almost half a decade now. But what does it really mean for local DJs who have been playing electronic music for years and trying to make it big to the new guys hopping on the EDM train? We talked to some local promoters and DJs to find out what it's really like to play in OC and open for artist like Tiƫsto and Gareth Emery with dreams of events like Ultra and EDC.

From Focus Tuesday's in Newport Beach who just celebrated their 10 year anniversary in 2013 for bringing deep house to OC to Sutra who partnered with mega festival promoters Insomniac to bring EDM every Thursday, for the past several years the electronic music scene has been thriving here. "Well it's kind of funny how trends have worked out, but I feel OC is constantly playing catch-up. LA and SD have always been trendsetters with companies like Giant, LED and Eventvibe," says Alex "Precept" Castro. "A lot of it is about who you know, the relationship you have with people, how good and dependable you are. But with OC it's a lot more about how many people you can bring. To be honest I've never really been asked to bring a certain amount of people elsewhere."

More »

Nick Catchdubs Offers a Peek Behind Fool's Gold Records

Categories: DJ culture

Fool's Gold Records
In the past six years, Fool's Gold Records has grown way beyond your average music label to one of EDM and hip-hop's most stylish and forward-thinking tastemakers. Starting off primarily as a record label, their headstrong DIY-attitude has helped develop into a multi-faceted brand for music releases, artist development, quirky and quacky apparel and merchandise, and creating live events such as 'Fool's Gold Day Off' and 'Fool's Gold Clubhouse' along with individuals tours for artists

On the music level, they release music that has a timeless and pro-party aesthetic to it. Their biggest success stories this year has been the revival of Detroit based rapper, Danny Brown whose album, Old is one of the hottest success stories in hip-hop this year. He and label head A-Trak embark on a short mini west-coast tour starting tomorrow.

This Sunday, they take over The Shrine in downtown LA for the latest edition of Fool's Gold's Day Off featuring the likes of Freddie Gibbs, Anna Lunoe, Travi$ Scott and many more.

The Weekly caught up with co-label head and founder, Nick Catchdubs to give us the dish on the latest from the label, Duck Sauce's highly anticipated album and reveals Danny Brown's secrets.

More »

The Prodigy's Maxim's Coming to DJ!

For over 20 years The Prodigy have been a cornerstone of the electronic music world. At times serving as its heart, soul, backbone and balls, the outfit has become as celebrated for their standard-setting hyper-kinetic live show as well as infamous for their groundbreaking controversial videos. While they're in the studio working on a new album set for 2014, this month, member Maxim returns stateside for a DJ tour with MC Cianna Blaze. They're set to play L.A.'s The Lure on October 27th San Diego's The Voyure on October 29th and the HARD Day of the Dead festival in LA on November 2nd. We were fortunate enough to speak with Maxim about shifting from frontman to DJing and the differences in putting out an album of electronic music today as opposed to two decades ago. Come breathe with us.

More »

The Goodfoot Returns: Long Beach's Favorite Soul Club Gets Back Up on the Get Down

Categories: DJ culture

Patrick Miller
For years, the second Friday of the month in Long Beach used to offer a treasured portal into a dark, blistering parallel universe permanently suspended somewhere around 1967. A bouncer took your $5 bill and welcomed you into a divey jungle full of sharp-dressed funk-o-philes--stiff drinks meshed with loose grooves and crowds pretended vinyl was the only sonic medium in existence. It was sweaty, it was loud, and it was glorious.

This week, armed with stacks of Stax, Atlantic, Chess, Motown and more, DJs Dennis Owens and Rodi Delgadillo are bringing back the much loved monthly soul and funk club, the Good Foot. After a two-year hiatus, it's time once again to get up on the get down.

The celebrated club, as much ritual for regulars as it was routine for its founders, packed the Que Sera's hardwood dance floor for 13 years solid until they gave up the second Friday slot in September 2011. To much fanfare, on Friday, September 13, the Good Foot returns on the club's 15-year anniversary.

More »

Six DJs That Surprisingly Came Out Of Chapman University

Categories: DJ culture

Thumbnail image for napelablogpic1.jpg
Nalepa--VJ, producer, DJ, former Chapman professor
By: Rishabh Bhavnani
For the four years I attended Chapman University, I observed that there was a spark in the social but never really substantiated to the likes of a USC or UCSB event --mostly due to the archaic noise restrictions in the city of Orange. According to the city's public noise ordinance, loud parties consisting of eight people or more are prohibited after 10 p.m. When you have a house packed with 50-70 students partying on a Saturday night, just as you start heating up in that game of beer pong, OCPD parks their car outside your front door. Sure, we'll all quiet down hoping that they'll go away but who are we kidding?! That never works! Parties are shut down early and college events feel like high school parties.

What most people don't realize is whilst the university has a fair bit of attention towards their film and business programs, Chapman is an unexplored hub for electronic music production talent and tastemakers. A number of successful music acts that pack bars, clubs and arenas are all affiliated with Chapman-- kind of an unusual considering the restrictions imposed on students in their college years right? It's almost like their way of rebelling against all these norms, through dance music. So while the rest of the world capitalizes on the electronic music phenomenon and these individuals' cutting-edge talent, the city of Orange is enjoying early bird dinner specials at Watson's.

In honor of Chapman's stifled party culture, the Weekly compiled a list of respected EDM rebels to emerge from the home of the Panthers.

More »