Have DJ competitions become too technical and less musical? As I’ve been avidly following the 2016 Red Bull Thre3Style global DJ competition, Its leads me to believe that might be the case. DJs used to say that the DMC, ITF and Vestax competitions were too technical, too “turntablist” and things like Thre3style came around to add a sense of balance and fairness.
In essence, You showcase a next to perfect balance of technicality, creativity, multiple genres and crowd participation. Lately, It seems that the DJs are doing more creative live remixing and skipping both the crowd participation and party rocking altogether. You think back to sets like Four Color Zack’s 2012 USA Finals where it was super creative, technical and the crowd reations and participation were thru the roof. I don’t really see that happening and a lot of people agree the same. It leaves many people thinking “but what about the people who came to dance?” This has led to some pretty interesting talk online about a new standard and benchmark being formed for battling and DJ competitions.
A few weeks ago on the Electric Taco podcast with DJ Vice, A-Trak said that “later this year, I have plans for the battle world… I want to shake things up a bit” and more recently has gone public to say that he is putting together a new DJ competition to rival the existing competitions. With 7 DJ championships under his belt, This announcement is very promising. Only time will tell.
For clarification purposes, This isn’t an article bashing Red Bull or the Thre3style competition. This is simply a look at changes that have transpired in this competition that has inspired others to follow suit and push the technical creativity to the next level. We need these competitions. We need guys like Four Color Zack, A-Trak, Craze, Jazzy Jeff, Enferno, Shiftee, Rafik, Eskei 83, I can name dozens. They are elevating the DJ artform to new levels. For the sake of competition, Getting the crowd involved in your sets is still of utmost importance.
What do you think on this subject? Let us know your opinion.