DJs are now making mistakes on purpose

Graham writes:

DJs all over the world are now deliberately making mistakes during their mixes to prove to fans and critics that they are in fact real DJs.

The latest craze, known as miss-mixing, is proving very popular amongst digital DJs as a way of highlighting that they are actually manually mixing tracks rather than using the sync button.

Michael Briscoe, also know as DJ Whopper, spoke about miss-mixing with Wunderground, “Flawless mixing is now a thing of the past, especially for any up and coming digital DJs. You just can’t afford to mix without mistakes these days or you’ll be labelled as a ‘sync button DJ.’”

“I learned how to mix on vinyl years ago so naturally I’m pretty tight when it comes to matching beats,” continued the resident DJ. “I swapped to digital format a couple of years ago because it’s convenient, now I spend more time practicing making mistakes than I do practicing actual mixing.”

Of course the software can toss in some mistakes too…good luck.

For the pointer I thank Will Ivy.


Popular music just gets more pathetic by the decade.

Old man complains about today's pop music... quelle surprise!

LOL...surprising too since most of that genre's leading practitioners are white Northern Europeans.

Old man complains that today's music sounds has barely changed stylistically in 30 years. It's totally inoffensive to this old man because there has been so little innovation relative to the preceding 30 years.

Maybe you are just listening to the same music. You would like dance music, because as already explained it's mainly made by white guys. True, they took the idea from non-whites, but the same is true of the rock'n'roll you're undoubtedly alluding to.

Or maybe Steve prefers jazz.

I like current popular music because it's so familiar sounding and thus soothing to my aged ears; I just don't respect it. Little has changed in 30 years.There's no generation gap anymore, not compared to one I subjected my parents to listening to.

For example, I can recall listening to rap on a Top 40 AM radio station back in the Seventies: granted, Rapper's Delight was on Top 40 in December 1979, but still I can recall my reaction: "What a clever novelty record! I bet we'll be hearing more records in this style for the next 12 or even 18 months before this fad wears out its welcome." 35 years later, however, rap is still around. Same with synthesizer dance music.

There really hasn't been much stylistic innovation since about 1982 when synthesizers became common.

I think it's a feature not a bug that there's no generation gap anymore. Once the Boomers ushered in modern pop/rock music, which their parents usually hated, the generation gap went away. Now kids have the pop music of their day shoved at them (like all kids have) but they then go on to discover and love the greatest pop of the last 50+ years. So parents and kids like the same music now. I think that's cool.

Also, super hardcore punk and death metal and gangsta rap have pretty much pushed the boundaries as far as they can go, so parents today don't hear anything that is wilder than stuff they heard growing up. Which again I think is cool. Innovation is now about tweaking genres and formulas, it always comes back to rhythm and melody. Not much new to add....modernism reached the final frontier, now it's post modernism, no more 'progress' or 'innovation'. And none required.

African-Americans used to write dance music. Now Nordics do the jobs black Americans just won't do anymore, like compose dance music.

I wasn't aware all of those hip hop dance tracks they play in the clubs were by white people....we learn something from Steve S every day.

A lot of today's music is yesterday's music. I was intrigued to hear Steely Dan on a Kanye West track. Pharrell's "Happy" could have been a Steely Dan tune.

The nice thing about most of the music today is we don't have to listen to it.

Pharrell's "Happy" is straight out of Curtis Mayfield's stylebook for 1973.

"I wasn’t aware all of those hip hop dance tracks they play in the clubs were by white people"

I wrote about that last year looking at the composers of the top 10 hits of 2012, which sound a lot like the names of the top 10 composers of 1712:

"Top of the Pops: Johan Karl Schuster, Łukasz Gottwald, Wouter De Backer, and other pale males"

It's pretty well known that a cadre of European groups dominates popular music songwriting.

Steve's right about 'Happy', definitely more Mayfield than Steely Dan. The Pharrell produced 'Blurred Lines' megahit is so indebted to Marvin Gaye that his estate is suing.

But I like hearing modern versions of old styles, it's fascinating. I like hearing the antecedents in the music ("Smells Like Teen Spirit" is the same riff as "More Than A Feeling" by Boston, Chemical Brothers' "Let Tomorrow Be" with Noel Gallagher on vocals practically a cover of Beatles (Lennon) "Tomorrow Never Knows", Coldplay = softer/wimpy U2, Counting Crows = Van Morrison, Soundgarden = Led Zeppelin, Interpol = Joy Division + The Cure, etc.

You can play this game endlessly, I like it.

Reinventing yourself as Boomer/curmudgeon?

Surely you savor the irony. I know I do.

Reinventing? That's his shtick...if only the whole world looked like 1960s Silicon Valley....

That would be really, really awesome

You love apricot and cherry orchards? Or maybe it's Lockheed you're thinking of.

I don't disagree necessarily, it's just silly to think we can somehow make the nation we have in 2014 somehow go back 50 years and to one specific place.

I think the point is though that the late New Deal state is inextricably tied to the early New Deal state. Even if you think America circa 1965 looks rosy, the underlying dynamics exist that will inevitably produce 2014 or something similar. Even if you do have a time machine you don't set it to Germany in 1934 when the Nazis were churning out economic growth without the genocide, you go back earlier and get rid of Hitler and his ilk completely. With the benefit of living outside the situation we recognize that the Germany of 1934 and 1944 are two sides of the same coin. We just don't see the same for our modern-day present regime, because we suffer from the myopia of self-reflection. Without a doubt though far future historians will almost certain classify USA 1965 and 2014 as the same political regime.


You astutely make predictions far into the future. I don't buy it.

The Great Society represents a lurch. Government in 1960 was tiny.

To put an end to this debate, every pop song is just Canon in D rehashed.

Why would you want to end this debate? Which you didn't, by the way.

It's a joke. Every song by every musician can be traced back to some other song/musician that preceded it. Arguing one generation's music is more innovative or creative than another is like arguing which color is best.

One of the things that has gotten better in the last few decades is the disappearance of super-popular popular musical acts. Popular music itself is fascinating, but with very few exceptions (Bix, Louis, Judy), individual popular music talent in any given generation is very fungible (like running backs in the NFL or leading men in soap operas or sous-chefs in big city restaurants). (Face it, when you watch a decades old movie featuring the boy bands and other top 40 stars of those days, do you really think the stars seem more interesting than the extras in the background?) Unless I am wrong, the focus on allegedly "great" popular artists that those born from 1940 to 1970 or so were so often reminded of has turned out to be, in retrospect, a blatantly business based decision to sell product without caring whether art, music, or life itself were insulted in the process.

Steve, serious question: have you made a good faith effort to tackle what's generally considered to be the best music of the 21st century? Or are you basing your opinion on what you commonly hear in public spaces, FM radio, movie soundtracks, etc?

Because one major difference between music today and the past, is that like many aspects of American culture, it has become much more fragmented. The availability of easy to access, basically free, digital music and associated music communities means that most people who really care about music have withdrawn from the mainstream. Consequently the "default" modern music pretty much represents what's produced for the lowest common denominator.

I'd suggest you work your way through a list of critically acclaimed recent music, like the one below, before being so sure that modern music is awful.

More pathetic than any song on this list? Popular music not what you consider popular music.

Hope this doesn't catch on with airline pilots.

I appreciated this comment.

That explains those fake turbulence announcements from the flight deck.


When we are actually reassured by them: what to make of it?

Economists have been doing this for years.

Guess you guys didn't catch that this is what's known as "satire"...

+1. Read the last paragraph...

Should we be expecting links and serious commentary on articles from The Onion being posted here on MR now too?

Even if the last paragraph didn't do it, the list of related stories ("Archaeologist Uncovers Ancient Piece Of DJing Equipment") should.

Tyler's BS detector seems to be broken.

Politicians have been making mistakes on purpose for centuries.

Although satire, there are plenty of parallels, like electronic music producers purposely moving notes off the beat a little bit instead of relying on quantizing to sound a bit more like a human musician.

Experts used to think that they would always be able to tell real hand done calligraphy because it had small errors that machines wouldn't make. Then they learned to program machines to make small errors. Now no one can tell. It seems even the job of making mistakes can be lost to technology.

I make purposeful mistakes all the time, so my boss can find them and I can tell him how smart he is...

This article (and the site it's on) is satire.

I thought it was legit myself until I read the other headlines, which included this gem:

"DATING ADVICE: 'Nothing Gets Me Wetter Than Hearing A Detailed Description Of Why Vinyl Is Better Than Digital'".

Does no-one get the point of this post by Tyler? He is ostensibly making a mistake by posting to a satirical article about people making purpuseful mistakes to show they are not software. It is a very clever rift on the subject of authenticity.

best comment of the week



People were already getting suspicious at the "bot" postings at 1.30 AM. Good to know that MR postings are not automated.

Except this is the type of mistake that a bot is more likely to make than a human.

LOL that was good. I didn't get it until I read your comment.

Shortly after the robot reformation in which most service jobs have been automated and perfected, there will be a flurry of businesses offering real people to cook your burger and answer your questions while putting on too much ketchup or momentarily putting you on hold.

Consumers will pay more for this luxury.

My Mom has this clock my great-grandfather made and the 5 on it is backwards. The reason, we've been told, is that it was popular at the time to make such mistakes intentionally, because only God is perfect and to make something perfect is to be lacking in humility.

I don't know how far it is true, but there is a belief in India that sculptors who carve the images of Deities (Gods) for worship in temples deliberately make at least one small error , as a mark of humility. I could not source any reference for this though.

@ David C - Japanese Go boards (the game) are slightly asymmetrical on purpose, because perfect symmetry is reserved to the domain of the gods.

Back to the original article - I once collected bootlegs because I liked the rough edge of the live rock concerts. Needless to say Pink Floyd played the most boring sets... they were an almost precise copy of the studio albums :-s
Speaking of which, in their live disc "Pulse" I remember there is an obvious blunder (a wrong scale) in one of Gilmour's solos -- thrown it on purpose? was it hubris?

Hey all you guys. The idea that you COULD make something perfect reflects a certain hubris, no?

It's a satire piece.

Guys Guys Guys!! Check your sources please..
Wunderground is an Irish Electronic Music SATIRICAL NEWS WEBSITE!
It's plainly obvious if you ever looked at the front page of the site you are quoting.

"Irish electronic music satirical news website"

There is no great stagnation.

well played

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