Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Three qualities that DJs should strive for: flow, range, judgement.

Flow (in DJing, not psychology) is the ability to smooth the transitions from one song to another. Rather than making big jumps in tempo, style, recording quality, or feel, a DJ who flows chooses songs that resemble each other enough so that dancers don't look up and make confused faces or shoot dirty looks at him. Instead, the songs should make sense one after the other--they should sound like they go together. I think pop radio DJs aim for something similar (to the extent that they are humans rather than computers), and club DJs take flow to the extreme, mixing one track into the next to create a seamless transition with no dead time.

Chicago DJs generally take the concept of flow very seriously. One of them once put it to me that the difference between a DJ and someone who "just presses play" is that the DJ flows. (I would add to that: a DJ also has range and judgement.)

1 comment:

  1. I might volunteer that the definition used in psychology is applicable to our audience (the dancer). If we've got them in that Flow? We're probably doing something right. It lets us hook them, keep them there, and use them to energize other dancers around them. Sometimes I can't grab the entire floor (can we ever?) So I'll spot one or two dancers that have what I'm looking for, and use them to affect the area around them by keeping them in that 'flow'. You know?