The epidemic of the bedroom DJ

Bass, bass, bass, bass


A strange plague has been sweeping across the land and decimating the brain cells of the British youth.

Early symptoms include a rather too earnest appreciation of Oliver Heldens, and a propensity for the sufferer’s ankles to jerk about with the grace of an epileptic mid-seizure when exposed to even the faintest inkling of a kick drum, all in a strange “shuffling” motion.

You’ve probably seen someone at this stage – the minute pre-drinks beckons, with trembling fingers they sprint over to the Bluetooth docking station, Spotify’s “This is House Music” playlist, little heart fluttering with excitement against their ribs as the first snatches of “house every weekend” starts filling the room.

Stationed there, nodding their head with an oddly grave expression like they’re doing a stint in Afghanistan, beads of sweat coursing down their face, they start scrolling faster and faster through their playlist in search of bangers and “future house” remixes of Top 40 tunes, all the while extolling the virtues of “Tchami’s older shit” to deaf ears.

You probably think this is awful – and it is. But sadly, it gets worse – their behaviour at pre drinks is like a gateway drug to harder stuff.

DJs have to look moody

As the disease hacks at the brain, the hair disappears under a bulbous appendage that grows from the scalp (known as a snapback). My Nu Leng might creep into their “Recently Played” on Spotify. Their internet history consists of Boiler Room sets and “How To Use a Rotary Mixer” tutorials on Youtube.

Some might dabble in a “strictly cheeky” bit of ket to fuel their sessions on the weekend.

As the nervous system is continually eroded by the malevolent virus, it gets to a point where even a gentle sub bass in a Maltesers ad will cause the sufferer to fumble uncomfortably with their jeans while perspiring heavily and grunt “Hold up a sec, lemme Shazam this shit real quick”, with a maniacal glint in their eye, before vanishing mysteriously to the bathroom.

They spend Sundays trawling the “Identification of Music” Facebook group, correctly ID’ing the poorly recorded groaning of a Glaswegian battling against the weight of all the eccies he’s ingested as a Carl Craig edit from 1996. Their go to icebreaker becomes something like “Did I tell you about the time I met Tale of Us in the smoking area at Warehouse Project?”. They’ve probably already told you. You also probably don’t know what Tale of Us is. Their heartbeat is at a constant 125BPM. At this point it’s terminal.

Say your goodbyes and quarantine them in their bedroom with a Derrick May mix.

It’s the epidemic of the bedroom DJ, and it’s rampant.

At the rate it’s going, in the next twenty years the streets of London will be akin to the Walking Dead if it were dubbed with a continuous DJ Q set. And the plague has even got its own additional strain that solely afflicts males – the house lad.

A creole of a gross misunderstanding of how long a “three on the sides” should be at the barbers, moderate body dysmorphia and an unrelenting love for the “chicas”, he invades the Balearic beaches with his Huarache clad brethren, chundering on street corners and mumbling incoherently about Zoo Project.

How did this happen? How has music that was once played exclusively in black Chicago gay clubs transfixed what feels like an entire generation of music consumers?

The DJ seems to be the new frontman. Crowds roar for the person hunched over a Pioneer mixer rather than a Fender Mustang. Dance music has been invaded by a legion of air pumping EDM bros, churning out “Electro House” mixes onto Soundcloud and yapping about “molly” at a frightening rate. Case in point – dubstep. From Croydon basements in 2003 to Ultra Music Fest by 2011, championed by a Californian who asked for a buzzcut and didn’t notice the barber had left the other side of his hair on.

Purists argue that the rise of tasteless EDM is watering down the underground community, but I argue the opposite. For every 10 shufflers blasting out “Au Seve”, at least one is going to find out who Richie Hawtin is. And there’s no coming back from there. Now I get that some people legitimately like Spinning Records. I also think they probably were dropped on the head at some point during infancy. But if you’re DJing for the love of it, great.

But to all those trying to DJ just to score or swindle free drinks, well, you’re fucked mate. A seamless 124-128BPM change has never left anyone with a burning desire to fuck. Placing a Supreme hat atop your Specsavers and slinging some Beats around your neck is not the equivalent to the Lynx effect. Go pick up your acoustic and go back to trying to sneak some shaky bars of Wonderwall into the dying embers of a house party.

As a sort of disclaimer, I fully confess to being a wholehearted bedroom producer bellend too (more proof of which is here). I once used “Fucking nutty techno to 2 step transition there, eh?” as a vague sort of chat up line, which is so criminal that I should have probably been incarcerated for it (she was a professional DJ, but still).

I have talked, without a shred of irony, to a man dressed in a sleeveless cricket jumper about low pass filters in the Lakota smoking area for a solid thirty minutes. Thirty fucking minutes. You probably don’t even know what a low pass filter is, and trust, me that’s a good thing.

So to all you salty DJs there reading this, I feel you (except I can actually play “real” instruments too lol). But come on people, we’re getting paid to push buttons – lighten up.

And some of you still even use the sync button, you slags.