Monday, January 10, 2011

Why Bother?

We're only into the second week of January 2011 and already another well-respected music figure has chosen to make a knob of himself by sounding off unnecessarily. Well-known vinyl purist and absolutely peerless DJ Theo Parrish just had to reopen that hoary old chestnut, the vinyl vs digital debate. I'm lucky enough to have seen Theo on a couple of occasions, once in support of Moodymann during KDJ's first appearance in London, along with Rick Wilhite, and once at Luke Solomon and Kenny Hawkes' Space at Bar Rumba. As you've probably already realised, each time was well before the dawn of the digital DJing age, CDs barely registered actually. Anyway, Theo was far superior to KDJ, who preferred to mix records badly, (yes, I know mixing has never been that important to him anyway, selection being a much more defining role, but he couldn't even sequence things properly and cued atrociously), and at Space he was brilliant.

In any case, Theo's beef seems to be more about lack of musical knowledge than anything else, but surely this is open to debate too. For example, no matter how bad I think Richie Hawtin's sets have become, I know that he is living it and has done for quite some time now. He may not be as relevant to me as he once was, but he's probably the most innovative DJ on the planet solely because of his willingness to use new technology and to be the first to document it: 'Decks, EFX & 909', 'DE9 l Closer To The Edit' & 'DE9 Transitions' are ample evidence of this and there's almost certainly another on the way.

I agree with almost all of what Theo Parrish says. You've really got to live the music in order to make and perform it. Selection is more important than beatmatching and when running a label, what separates you from corporate output is the fact that being independent means much more quality control and a a willingness to take more risks. I came across this on the RA feed earlier, and was drawn to it only because I thought Theo had said ". . .a vinyl DJ who knows his crate will bum a laptop DJ every time." That's a bit strange I thought, Theo's not gay. Then I listened to the interview, and of course he said "burn"not "bum."The typeface on RA is obviously too subtle for my eyes. He's a very earnest and erudite man is Theo, but he's wrong and he's reactionary too. It's such a fatuous debate I really wonder why we're having it.

Link to Theo interview here.

While we're on a nostalgia trip, I rather like this video for the new Hercules & Love Affair release 'My House.'It's just like an old episode of
The Hitman & Her, which can't be bad. I remember a particular episode viewed in time-honoured fashion at about 4 on a Sunday morning at Lancaster House on Sussex University campus, high on LSD25, myself and the irishman tumbling into the lounge, which was empty except for a young Michael Ryan lookalike in full fatigues, replica gun and crate of lager. It wasn't the drugs, but they did work.

No comments: