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The Rise of the DJ – Part 2

The second part of our blog about the DJ craze, follows on from the Disco sensation that came in the late 80’s. Disco had turned music upside down and the importance of the DJ was now cemented. But also alongside Disco at the same time, the 70’s saw two less mainstream forms of music forging a different type of Disc Jockey. DJ Kool Herc was the founder of “Hip-Hop”, and it was him that was the first to mix two identical records together, at the same time. By doing this he found he could extend the best parts of the record, and this was called “Break”.


The 80’s also gave birth to a new sound, “House” music. Famous DJ’s like Frankie Knuckles played a type of Disco but heavily biased towards an electronic sound. This was the music of Chicago and meanwhile in Detroit, Techno was starting to become really popular by the DJ’s in the clubs. Techno dispensed with the tuneful Disco element and was purely electronic.

The Millennium

By the 90’s, the most popular music being played in the clubs was Rave and Acid House. And the popularity of Rave particularly in Europe was massive. It was now that the humble DJ had attained celebrity status. Technology in this period bought the CD and the mp3 digital format. And internet DJ’s sprung up overnight literally everywhere. A milestone in 1998 came about with the program called Final Scratch. This allowed DJ’s to work with mp3 files on their twin turntables, by using the unique coded Vinyl’s. This new DJ movement took time to develop, but it did blossom in a particularly fruitful way. It was a revolutionary step for dance music lovers across the globe. Now it was possible for a DJ to simply carry a laptop computer and entertain an entire festival.

Now & the Future

A program was developed in 2004 which enabled any DJ to blend their Vinyl collection with their mp3’s. And a couple of years a mixer was developed for the program for DJ’s to blend their music files together. As the music of the dance scene keeps on evolving and developing, DJ’s experiment with advancements of their own. Mash-up is an example of this, where a DJ will mix two tracks together, using the vocals from one and the beat from another. It is no doubt that technology will force the next big step what is in store for our heroic DJ. But the DJ has shown through the decades that he is resilient and will continue to change with the times. Perhaps in the future we will have robot or computer-generated DJ’s, and there will actually will not be an actual person playing the music. The new computer game DJ Hero, hints that there is perhaps a place for a collaboration like this, and honestly who knows.

The fact is that DJ’s have had a great input in forming the type of music that is available today. Perhaps what we are now listening to would have never been dreamed of was it not for the first pioneer DJ’s way back in the 1950’s.