As it often is, the purist’s argument is tempting. It’s easy to clear one’s throat, gather the right gravitas of righteous indignation, and proclaim that instruments are what instruments have been: the presence of a demo version of Garage Band on your Mac doesn’t create music any more than does Guitar Hero.
As a music fanatic, I almost feel compelled to take a stand on this side of exclusivity. The respect I have for live musicians borders on reverence, and its rarity elevates the impact of this talent.
But here’s the thing: I have (almost) enough respect for what people can create through the re-mix. The ability to take create an entire song around a sample is the background of hip-hop music. With that fact, the turntable became an instrument. And the more recent technology that enables us to create music from a hyper-kinetic tableau of pop culture (think Girl Talk) has turned the laptop into an instrument. Yes, it has.
Now just because you know how to loop a beat doesn’t mean that you have musical talent. Trust me, I know this from experience. Aside from spectacularly futile short-term jaunts with the clarinet and the guitar, I’ve had no success whatsoever with traditional instruments. I guess that’s one of the reasons that I’ve been drawn to dj-ing: considering my creation as the selection and sequencing of music. Using ideas and juxtapositions and builds to create and bend moods and atmospheres. I’m still somewhat amateurish at it, but it’s quite fun and quite the creative challenge. Here’s an old mix that I hadn’t shared digitally prior to now. Enjoy this mix from 2003, I’d imagine for some of you it will be a nice bit of nostalgia and for others perhaps a bit of a musical discovery. If all goes well, you should be able to click here and download the zip file with the music. If that link doesn’t cooperate, try this one: http://www.mediafire.com/file/ujvy1tnzydo/Holiday%20Mix%202003.zip
And here’s the track list. Do hope you enjoy it, holler if there’s anything that you’re particularly liking. Am I a musician? Probably not. But an improving dj? Perhaps.