I’m learning to speak ‘DJ’

Last week my husband left a copy of a CD on our dining room table. It was Vanessa Amorosi’s new single Mr Mysterious. Great song. Film clip I’ve seen before when watching Lady Gaga, Rihanna and even Kylie Minogue – except that she plays the guitar, and most girls who play the guitar on film wear jeans, not black lace body suits. 

Anyway, attached to the CD was a note that read:

Dear Club Owner
We have completed a complimentary CD of Vanessa Amorosi REMIXES for your DJ’s. The song MR MYSTERIOUS is currently #3 on national chart and the new “get off on my kiss” buzz junkies mix is top 10 in the UK on the dance charts.
Enjoy and love your feedback, RCM.

Intrigued by the words: Get off on my Kiss, I referred to the CD single, featuring Seany B. Included on the single were the following remixes:

  1. Dance dude – macho club mix
  2. Double dirty club mix
  3. Sexy rrr mix club
  4. Get off on my kiss – buzz junkies edit.

So my question is: Who is Buzz Junkie and why will this version make me get off on his kiss?

And what makes a song macho? Or dirty? Or sexy?  Are the names that DJ’s give to remixes just a way to be unique, or along with inventing sounds, are they also inventing their own language?

DJs speak differently to the rest of us. Here are some common phrases:

  • Drop – To arrive  / to play
  • Sup – How are you?
  • Aint gonna front – Not going to play
  • Badass – Actually very good
  • Browing around – Browsing
  • Down with Puff – Remixes reminiscent of the Puff Daddy era
  • Awsome kicks – Nike shoes popular with DJ’s?
  • Dilated Peoples – Crowds dancing and on drugs
  • Scratchophone – A turntable, a mixer, and a pair of speakers built into an All-In-One unit
  • S**t’s tight – The remix is very well put together.
  • Sick cuts – Very good mixes of songs
  • Old skool – Mainly music from the 80’s and 90’s.
  • Monster sets – Remixes of songs that go forever
  • Electro revamps – Adding an electric beat to an old song

 

Between the ages of 15 and 17 I went through a rap phase. I still held a small flame for Jimmy Barnes, but my heart really lay in a much more electric place.  I learnt to beat box (true) by listening to RUN DMC and Ice Tea.  These days it’s a great skill to have when I need to entertain my one and a half year old. And I can still recite every word of It’s Tricky.

My Nickname at high school (mainly because of my sir name) was Beat Street. But then I started signing my name on school tests and assignments as Cindy Bobby B. Until the headmaster called me into his office and told me to stop. Duuuude!

I was in LOOOVE with Terence Trent Darby, MC Hammer and Bobby Brown….

Yep, that’s right – Pump up the jam and style me a fro because I wanted to be black. Actually I wanted to be Nenah Cherry…. and I thought people like James Blundell and The Chantoozies were a waste of radio space. Actually still do.

And these are some of Nenah’s words I had memorised. Thankfully at 15 I thought this song was about not wanting a guy just for his money.  And I guess what we called ‘getting fresh…’ is now called ‘tapping that!’

I grew out of my black phase eventually and fell back in love with pop and rock, but the main point of me looking back is that there were really only a few ‘types’ of music. Black boy music included R&B, Reggae and Rap. White boy music included Rock & Pop. Nerd music included Classical, Country and Jazz.  

It was a time when White Boys were venturing into Black Boy Music Territory. People like Vanilla Ice, Paula Abdul and the Beastie Boys.  

It was a time when we all thought it was SO ORIGINAL that Black Boys RUN DMC would even CONSIDER making a song with White Boys Aerosmith with a video clip that made apparent how music determined what you wore, how you spoke and how you acted.

It was a time before Enya, Norah Jones, Shania Twain, or Michale Buble. Only certain types of music made it to the radio play lists.

 

It was also a time long before Moby, Sash, Ministry of Sound and Fat Boy Slim.  DJ’s were just guys who stood behind a turntable and played music at parties and in clubs, although they occasionally got a shout out (as per the start of Nenah Cherrys song).

 

But DJ’s DID NOT release their own albums. They were nameless faceless dudes with gold chains and sunglasses scracthin’ and givin’ a beat.  

 

Most importantly – back then, remixes on albums were named in a way that gave you an indication of the difference between it and the original. For example: Megamix or Impressive Remix, or Dance Remix.

But just last week I noticed a Madonna song had what was called a ‘Get Stupid’ Remix. What does that mean? 

DJ’s don’t scratch much these days. They’re way too busy mixing, or fiddling with lots of little nobs and dials. And these days the music styles are a lot more complex and specific, and it’s become that way because of DJ’s making and creating new sounds… with new descriptive words to go with it.  

Ask someone what type of music they like and don’t be surprised if their answer sounds like an ad for a Real Estate Company. Yeah, I love commercial house with urban funk, but also enjoy a bit of lounge.

I still can’t work out what HOUSE music is… Anyone?

Here are just a few styles: Breakbeat, Drum & Bass, Dubstep, Electronica, Experimental Funk, Urban Funk, Urban Dance, Commercial, Hardcore, Hip Hop, House, Dirty house, Indie, Jazz, Lounge, Swing, Mashup, Psychedelic, Reggae, Techno, Trance, Jumpstyle.

But DJ’s aren’t only creating new sounds. They’ve created new meanings for words and also new terminologies.  Check out these spiels below: 

  • This lad knows his wax. Expect nothing but top shelf selections as he wipes the dust off classics and spins them next to modern greats. Urban, neo-soul, a dash of funk, lots of spunk with a truly fresh spirit, fusing sex appeal and grit. 
  • No stranger to our beloved Rug, Andy has a strict knowledge of sounds that drop real heavy are a must for your soul. Pay attention ruggers !!
  • With his unique take on bass-fuelled house music, some call it fidget house, but he’s keen to point out anything sleazy, electronic and above all else, BIG will make it into his sets!
  • As well as his sterling efforts on the wheels of steel it seems he has a knack for lifting already banging tunes up a notch into the upper echelons of dance floor hedonism! 
  • He will drop many he’s had a hand in production wise.  His monster sets are something to behold. It all falls into place when watching him play as the crowd throbs in unison while each new bass line warps into another. You can hear his love of music in everything he touches from full on party tunes to electro revamps. 

While I’ve been writing this, I’ve been listening to the Get Off On My Kiss Remix of Mr Mysterious. Umm, so Vanessa has a few new lyrics in this version…

She sings: I’ll get you off on my kiss, I’ll do almost anything, I’ll get you off. Suck my kiss.

Turns out my DJ friend Buzz Junkie who did that remix was speaking English!

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