Posted in MP3 | dance | music on March 7, 2008

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"it seems like kids are actually buyin this fake shit"


I found this while researching the other JFK/MSTRKFRFT post we just did....

someone wrote to me last night on myspace, saying we should play live and wear the masks etc. instead of DJing.

it got me thinking about what is passiing for live now. as you all know, i spent about 12 years playing 100% live for people around the world. thats how ALP and i met.. playing drums in diff bands that played together. i know what playing live really is. i know what it feels like and what it looks like... and i know that other than some of the techno artists, no one in this genre is playing live. sequenced ableton performances arent live. midi secuences arent live.

i actually find it insulting to hear people speak about thier faux live performances with me. anyone who saw DFA79 or femme fatale play knows how real a live performance can be. no hiding behind props or lights. not a fake moment or unnecessary item on the stage. no matter how hard i tried, it would never be the same every time. impossible. in true live music, there are just so many variables... every day is a new experience. calling these pre-arranged performances LIVE is like calling a DVD movie 'theatre'. know what im saying?

what gets me is that it seems like kids are actually buyin this fake shit. what punk rock still lives in me wouldnt let me look in the mirror if all i was doing was playing with filters behind a lightshow. if youve seen us DJ a few times, you know its always different. some nights we are off and some are incredible... thats cause its real. i dont feel right being anything but honest with the audience. maybe thats why i dont have that ashlee simpson money. even though we DJ, al and i have too much respect for live performance to ever call anything we could do as mstrkrft 'live'. the most live act in this genre is just working with midi sequences... so no one is actually PLAYING anything. theyre just turning knobs. fuck that.

so, lets not call that shit live anymore. call it A SHOW. cause thats what it is. call it A PERFORMANCE.... but please, dont refer to that as a live show. its not. the reason al and i havnt devised any live setup is because it would never really be truly live. im not sure if anyone even cares about honesty anymore, but i do and thats why youll never see that bullshit from me.

j f k



Comments (22)

I could not agree more and I love electronic music. As a sidenote, I still would like to hear my favorite dance artists play/spin their own songs and productions, rather than throwing a few of their own tracks among a bunch of others. Otherwise these should be clearly advertised as DJ sets.

When you go to see acts like Ratatat (when they opened for Goldfrapp) or Mylo (at Hiro) and find out they're just spinning some tracks off their collection, it is disappointing no matter how good the DJ set might be.

Posted by Anonymous | March 7, 2008 12:02 PM

What time does Daft Punk go "on" ?

Posted by Anonymous | March 7, 2008 12:11 PM

anyone with a laptop is a DJ these days.

Posted by Anonymous | March 7, 2008 12:21 PM

haha let's hear what he says about girl talk

Posted by Anonymous | March 7, 2008 1:09 PM


Posted by Daft Punk | March 7, 2008 1:15 PM

"and i know that other than some of the techno artists, no one in this genre is playing live. sequenced ableton performances arent live. midi secuences arent live."

Oh for Orbital to return...

Posted by Ctel | March 7, 2008 1:34 PM

watching dj's can be pretty boring

Posted by Anonymous | March 7, 2008 2:21 PM

"watching dj's can be pretty boring"

they aren't meant to be watched.

Posted by Anonymous | March 7, 2008 2:58 PM

Anyone seen Soulwax?

Posted by Mike | March 7, 2008 3:52 PM

I'd rather "watch" A PERFORMANCE than a douchebag smoking a cigarette staring at a laptop screen

Posted by wwv | March 7, 2008 6:16 PM

Hell yeah! :) As much as I love my laptop jockeys, it's nice for someone as talented as JFK to speak his mind. Maybe it will push some kids to integrate more "live" action into their "Abelton Live" performances.

Posted by Lord Kook | March 7, 2008 6:34 PM

That's good and all but it doesn't seem to be working for his own group. Last time they played Studio B I wanted to rip my ears off.

Posted by Anonymous | March 7, 2008 7:22 PM

youre just a knob twister deal with it, get over yourself doucebag

Posted by Anonymous | March 7, 2008 11:34 PM

haha look at those 2 pricks twisting away at those knobs!!

Posted by Anonymous | March 7, 2008 11:34 PM

They are using Serato in this case buddy..DJ's twist knobs. That is ok, they are not claiming a live show. Look at JFK's resume, and i settle my case.

I agree with this. This is the old technique that big promoters use to enhance their headliners. A few DJ's now a days that are wanna be replicas & trend followers of this whole "blog/electro-high-top-sneaker" movement, they in return, are a prime example of this concept. Ableton LIVE can be incorporated into your set, but just because you are twisting knobs & have a MIDI keyboard does not mean it is live. Per se, Paul Van Dyk. He is a good "trance" DJ, however he is not live like a band would be. Other kids that use this, are a lot of new kids in the suburbs that follow this trend, like Riverside here in Cali. All the shit they play is simply that, shit. Another trend i'm seeing now a days is the use of TWO PEOPLE, as oppose to ONE PERSON DJing a la Daft Punk/MSTRKRFT. Also DJs who produce shit with VENGEANCE. They put 1 feces piece of song up, not fully mastered or sequenced well, and next thing you know they are DJ's who are also "producers". Quantization makes this matter much easier to understand.

A live performance is Soulwax Nite Versions, Radiohead, Battles, Vangelis, & AIR to name a few..if you've ever seen these guys live, you understand the talent it takes to conduct these performances.

Posted by Emperor | March 8, 2008 12:54 AM

As far as I can tell from seeing them live a few times, SoulWax is no more live than anyone else - all of their songs are sequenced and MIDI is sent to all the synths.

Ultimately though, the usefulness of music being live is so that it can appeal to the moment and however an artist can get there should be acceptable. Whats important is the moment, not the mechanism.

Posted by Anonymous | March 9, 2008 2:17 AM

Arrived at the show on Friday around 11:15pm, and left after about 30 minutes. Caught Bloody Beetroots (a boring, 90's techno/happy hardcore throwback), and we were surrounded by teen drama before we even got into the venue. The place was packed with 16-year-olds! Saw a couple of dads dropping off their brats.

Did anyone stay for MSTRKFRFT? They must have hit the stage pretty late.

Posted by Anonymous | March 10, 2008 9:33 AM

They went on about 2am. It sucked x 1,000,000. About 10 of us left after 20 minutes of their set all in agreement that we would be happier drinking at the Diamond.

Posted by Anonymous | March 10, 2008 3:12 PM

oh sheesh call it what you wanna call it... sheesh

Posted by Anonymous | April 16, 2008 12:03 PM

I'd rather "watch" A PERFORMANCE than a douchebag smoking a cigarette staring at a laptop screen

Posted by some random guy | June 21, 2009 12:52 PM

i get that a large portion of the electronic community are just one or two djs spinning records for their "live performances," where 99% of the quality of the show is dependent on all the production that went into creating the music beforehand. however, a there are some electronic bands who take their live shows as seriously as any other talented musician would. duos like daft punk, justice and simian mobile disco all play live shows that incorporate synthesizers, midi controllers and sequencers that can be played and controlled like any other instrument. even if their shows revolve around midi or audio that has already been sequenced, their ability to play "live" is still based on their ability to manipulate the music and the show in creative and dynamic ways.

Posted by Anonymous | July 22, 2009 11:42 PM

Yeah, it doesn't sound like they are defending their show as being live, but rather trying to dictate what they feel is a live show. I don't agree with them that anything pre-sequenced is not live. That would be like a band that is trying for dynamic song writing, but never writing a song or practicing a lick before a show. Good luck achieving that.

Posted by imolfo | July 1, 2010 5:53 PM

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