There are things about the dance music culture that we love at Ears To The House, but the bros mentality of nearly all the higher echelon DJs in the industry is not one of them. It’s what allows DJs to get away with charging obscene fees whilst their fans struggle to pay their bills, and it’s partly what stopped the multiple sexual abuse allegations against Derrick May from surfacing many years earlier.
It also means you get situations where a lot of DJs are doing something, but no one ever admits to it. Two years ago, Canada’s very own deadmau5 – real name Joel Zimmerman – revealed that the majority of DJs playing for the big festivals are actually using pre-recorded sets. So, were the likes of Mixmag and Resident Advisor in uproar about his disclosure?
In a word, no. Like most things that would involve actually serving the interests of their audience, the dance music press kept totally silent. There were no calls for DJs who use pre-recorded mixes to stop, or to, at the very least, be open about doing it. Nor was there an attempt to get DJs to explain why they do it – they may well believe they have legitimate reasons for their use.
But we don’t know – because DJs flat out refuse to discuss the issue. Not only that, but on the rare occasion that they decide to stick their head above the parapet, it’s to deny they’ve ever done it themselves. And the latest name to deny ever doing it is none other than David Guetta himself – telling the Daily Star…
“I was looking online at deadmau5, who was saying every DJ, including me, is playing a pre-recorded set. I won’t speak for other people, but I’ve never done that. You often see comments from people that I do this, but it’s not true. I love DJ-ing, and DJ-ing is about reading the crowd and connecting to them.”
Discussions over whether Guetta plays pre-recorded sets have been going on online for over a decade already – it’s not a new claim, but Guetta’s explicit denial to the newspaper is a fresh angle to the long-running story. However, Guetta has responded in the past to allegations that he uses the practice.
Back in 2013, satirical Irish website Wunderground published an article claiming that Guetta ran off stage after accidentally switching on a self-help CD instead of an opening track. The site soon heard from Guetta’s lawyers, threatening legal action over the “disparaging, false and harmful” allegations.
Not before Frankie Knuckles published a rant on the subject, though. The search for a DJ who actually admits to playing pre-recorded mixes goes on…