It’s always surprised me how excited people can get over seeing DJs ‘perform’ live. Yes, they’ll usually change up their songs so that you’re sonically experiencing something new enough, but as far as performance goes, there is no way to tell if the DJ made the playlist in the limo on the way there.
What I mean is that there is no way to verify that the DJ is in fact ‘doing’ anything behind the booth other than pressing play, flailing his arms in the air and flashing his pearly whites at the crowd. Seeing a band is different. There is no way you can fake playing an instrument on stage (I suppose lip synching can be an issue, but this is something everybody is looking for and the risk of being caught is high). So, what can a DJ too to make his performance more visually appealing (besides the over-usage of laz0rs) and prove that he is in fact mixin’ and spinnin’ on spot. Chris Losert and Paul Schengber stepped up to the task by creating a smoker’s dream turntable.
Using two ashtrays, two packs of cigarettes and a bunch of sensors, they rigged up a quasi-turntable that starts and stops different layers of beats when you place a cigarette in one of the grooves of the ashtrays or open up one of the cigarette boxes. I suppose it would be slightly more interesting to watch a guy move around a bunch of cigarettes instead of pushing a bunch of buttons. I suppose I could also walk outside any bar to watch the same thing without any of the music. This isn’t exactly what I had in mind. I think I’ll stay with the laz0rs.