The Role Of The DJ

Sven Väth reflects on the role of the DJ:

Finding music that qualitatively stands out from the masses – this is my mission.

Visionary music that never lets you go.

Music that makes you curious for more.

Music that has the power to create something new and to unite people.

Music by and for DJs, ideally in a forceful dance floor sound, however not conservative but free in arrangement and open for new ideas, especially open for the combination of old and new.

It should be loud and powerful but also subtle, subliminal, soulful and silent, right up to experimental bizarre and totally weird. It must be authentic, not something that’s copied and imitated. Revolutionary music that creates something new.

This is my impetus and that is how music should be, this is what I’m looking for and that is what I want to reach. Searching and creating for 30 years… non stop!


11 thoughts on “The Role Of The DJ

  1. Now I remember why I chose to write music rather than books. It's so easy to sound like an ass when you're trying to be "artistic" with words. : |

  2. Keep in mind that he is not a native English speaker and might have written this text at least partially by translating German phrases he had in mind. It's hard to write a good text that aims to evoke some sort of emotional response in a language that is not your own. Otherwise I agree with you, but there's a lot of prententious music out there too. It's just easier to "sound like an ass" with words than with music when you are not very skilled and/or talented.

  3. Though I generally give more respect to the artist than to the DJ spinning the artist's work, I will say there is definitely something artful about Sven's DJing. I think his statement looses something in translation, but overall I think it embodies what people experience when attending one of his DJ sets.

  4. Sven Vath is the Keith Richards of the techno world.

    For him to be able to write a coherent sentence after all the drugs he's taken is quite a feat!

    Respect to sven, not for the drugs, but for standing behind the music he's believed in and keep pushing after all those years.

  5. Most big DJs are producers as well these days. It's pretty rare to find a high profile DJ that doesn't use a good proportion of his own music and remixes in his or her sets. It's just one of those things. I think for most complex EDM anyway, reproducing the music live would either be too complex, or be reduced to laptop loop triggering which doesn't generally translate well into the live environment. At least DJing has a sense of live-ness to it. Of course there are a few DJs that play pads or lead sounds over the top of their sets. Giuseppe Ottaviani and Roger Shah come to mind.

    Of course, if you are a minimalist like Richie Hawtin, then you can afford to make your show completely live.

    Then on the other side, you have turntablists who aren't playing their own music, but they are making something unique with other's sounds. Sampology recently blew me away at a festival i went to last weekend.

  6. he started spinning records 30 years ago in a cellar when techno was still pretty much unaccepted and unknown. he's been on the top – or close to it – since those early days, therefore 'pretentious' is not a phrase I would use on him. especially considering he has done some production work himself. someone writing music is taking or creating sounds, puts them into loops and thus creates a 5-10 minute track (I know I am oversymplifying), a DJ does something similar, but (s)he creates a 1-2 hour long "track" where the loops are the actual tracks produced by you guys. you need to find the good mix of sounds, mood, use effects and so on. It is the same thing in a different scale.

  7. Most DJ's are producers, but they use DJing as a way to get to know music and what people enjoy about it. Most DJs make more money and can make more people happy via music. It my not takes much talent, but it's like comparing the guy running a sound board and those who are performing. Besides, people like Ean Golden and shiftee ake DJing an art.

    Respect other's trades please (I'm not even a DJ, I'm a web designer/programmer).

Leave a Reply