Has Pete Tong’s £418 DJ academy met its match? Now Richie Hawtin is doing scholarships – in Huddersfield, of all places…

The upper echelon DJs are a curious breed, forever trying to devise new ways of staying relevant and to keep the lifestyles they’ve become hopelessly accustomed to. And it seems one of the most modern ways of doing this is to get into education – and with an apparent price increase of over 4000% since 1996, it’s not hard to see why.

A certain Mr Peter Michael Tong MBE got into the game last year, setting up his own DJ academy – with prices starting at £418 to learn things such as “how to save a mix” along with anecdotes from Carl Cox and Jamie Jones if you fork out for the premium Advanced package. Ears To The House hopes his mixing skills have improved since the 90s – those ageing Ministry of Sound CDs in the cupboard aren’t exactly technical masterpieces…

Anyway, how do you top someone who has a DJ academy? Seemingly asking Tongy to hold his beer, Richie Hawtin has shown us how. And it appears the answer isn’t to simply set up another DJ academy and urge everyone to sign up by poking fun at Pete Tong’s mixing abilities. No, it turns out you set up your own scholarship at a British university, no less.

Pompously titled The Richie Hawtin PhD Scholarship in Electronic Music, Cultures and Production, applications are open until February 10th if you’re interested. The three year long PhD takes place at the University of Huddersfield, a market town in the beautiful county of Yorkshire – but what exactly does it cover?

The list is as long as it is pleonastic. For instance, “creative practice involving composition or production” features along with the very sensible, such as “business and legal aspects including copyright and royalties”. There’s also a section talking about “liminality” – defined by Merriam Webster as “of, relating to, or being an intermediate state, phase, or condition”.

Whether this refers to the state Mr Hawtin hopes you’ll be in after listening to his set or to something else entirely is a mystery. Although we suspect there might not be too much discussion of racial inequality within dance music – heaven forbid anyone ask why it isn’t one of the Black originators passing their knowledge onto the next generation…

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