Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Don’t spin the music, there’s ban-galore

Bangalore, June 4 2012, DHNS: Aakanksha Devi

Lost charm

For longer than we’d like to admit, Bangalore has become a deadpan City. From bustling with life until the wee hours of the morning to being forced to close down by 11 at night, the City has indeed undergone a huge transformation.

And the restriction on dancing and grooving to music on a lively Saturday night, is now but a distant memory for most Bangaloreans. Seemingly the worst hit by the situation however, are the music spinning, energy infusing disc jockeys (DJs).

Despite being a City truly appreciative of music, dance and general partying, the fact that DJs have to stop playing music by 11 pm, has disheartened many of the City’s DJs.

Abdul, a popular international DJ who calls Bangalore his home, says that the City has lost its charm. “It’s sad to have to play catchy music when people can’t even sway their hips to a song. Playing in this City used to be a pleasure. And we DJs used to feed off the crowd’s emotions and play what seemed appreciated. Now we’re pretty much shooting arrows in the dark hoping we hit the right note.”

Although there is more to a DJ than just playing music for everyone to dance to, the common perception is just that. While most people wouldn’t think of a DJ when it came to playing instrumental or slow music, they’d certainly look to one to pump up the volume and infuse energy in party-goers. One such dance and music lover is Aditi Singh who likes to go to quieter places ever since the dancing ban was implemented.

“It’s frustrating to just sit at a table when a Michael Jackson song is playing. For me, it’s pretty impossible. Of course, it isn’t DJs’ fault because it’s a government rule but I find it quite pointless to have a DJ playing energetic music when all we can do is try hard to talk over the sound. It’s a little bit like Robbie Williams singing ‘I don’t wanna rock DJ. But you’re keeping me up all night’,” expresses Aditi.

Therefore, the role of a DJ in our City seems all but defunct when it comes to dancing. As Abdul expresses though, it is now up to the sound mixers to change their style and incorporate music that people will enjoy but not necessary feel is a dance remix.

“I’ve started playing mellow mixes and it’s catching on pretty well. But the younger DJs aren’t really trained so they’re unaware of such nuances. They tend to play only numbers they like or can play well. Those DJs will be forced to shut shop or quickly change their game plan,” he suggests.

Others however feel it is fine for DJs to continue playing peppy music because even if they can’t dance, at least the mood is happy and vibrant. And while the point of a party may be to dance, it isn’t the only way to have fun. Media professional Kirthana Karumbaiah is of the opinion that DJs should continue to do what they do with the hope of bringing back the Bangalore of before.

“I think it’s very important that DJs keep spinning because it isn’t only about being a disco city. It’s about having a good time. Indeed they need to play suitable music for the atmosphere but they seem to have adapted well to that.”

Thus, while some citizens are happy to have the DJ blaring dance music, others think that the profession of music mixing in Bangalore, at least temporarily is pointless. Summing up the mixed feeling of most party goers, Siddanth Sharma, a ‘new’ Bangalorean, says, “I think we’re somewhat forcefully listening to DJs. After all there’s no need to really remix Pitbull or David Guetta!

They’re fast paced to begin with! So I’d just play a an MP3 CD. Honestly, the problem I feel is that we’re hanging on to DJs because we’re unable to let go of the past of Bangalore being a party place.” 

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