"The mix defines the DJ’s
originality, her vision of the music, her response to the music, and not only her
interaction with the crowd, but her reaction to the record’s effect upon the crowd.
A movement of Dancefloor Dialectics, where the moment of collapse, of
spectacled and spectacular simulacra, is the mix. But even this notion of the mix
is one among many mixes. The dancefloor is a presupposition, and the notion of
the crowd and its expectations a concept and a structural desire: the turntablist
learns to utilise the dancefloor-mix as one way of lengthening tension or bringing
about closure in a long procession of mixes, each which treats the listener in a
different fashion, thereby reconstructing the expectations built up by the crowd of
the dancefloor, of dancing, of the necessity of movement, of the proper mode of
accepting or rejecting, relating or disassociating, of essentially reacting to the
sounds emanating from the speaker stacks.The mix is the aesthetic and creative
moment of the DJ, the moment when all is lost or won: a moment of brilliance or
of defeat, when at the cusp of the successful mix, the tracks coalesce to become
more than an amalgamation of sounds and move in orbits of power.
For DJing is a position of cultural power. With turntablism comes a responsibility,
as with any art. However, because DJing is an aural medium, and one that
pervades the senses to a powerful degree, bringing about a reaction from the
audience and creating entire sets of expectations, hierarchies, and contexts, it is
a responsibility that is infused with a particular thread of ritual power. For Paul
Miller, aka DJ Spooky, the DJ can act as a “memory selector” by juggling, cutting,
and pasting cultural signifiers into new contexts and selections, thereby
deconstructing traditional references and recontextualising the present
experience by remixing the past in real-time. Such a position is a refraction node
for the dissemination of power, channeling aural signifiers that trigger memory
associations that can powerfully move an audience: the result is a ritual of
remembrance or reworking of the past to create future-memories..."
-- Vinyauralism: The Art and the Craft of Turntablism. The DJ School.
-- tobias c. van Veen, Discorder March, April (2002)