Dear readers.
You know, normally I’m just writing friendly words over here, because I just choose nice people I want to write about. But right now, it’s time to bring up some criticism.
Because last week I went to this Levi’s sponsored tour, bringing Whitey, Steve Aoki and D.I.M. to town. And I have to say it truly sucked, and there’s need to talk about it.
I know there’s lots of bad words going around about Steve Aoki, so it’s pretty easy to rip on him. But most of that is just saying stuff like, I don’t like him, he has terrible taste, he is a bad DJ or something. Not very substantial. So, down to the point.
Imagine there’s this guy playing at a party, having lots of fun, but terrible mixing (even though using a computer). Totally freaking out, headbanging like every tune he is playing is written by himself. Doing all this gestures that you know from DJs, like turning wildly on the mixer (but having no effect on the sound… a friend of mine suggested Steve Karaoke would be a proper name). Spinning only big electro hits, and even stuff like Rage Against The Machine, Refused’s New Noise, Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen and so on. You know these kind of tunes, EVERYBODY knows…
What kind of party do you imagine is this? – Right, a high school party. Nothing against that, I can remember these were lots of fun. But do you send this kind of DJ around the world? – No, you don’t.
So how comes this is still happening? I guess Mr. Aoki really is a nice and fun person. A friend of mine having him on his radio show told me so, and I believe that. And of course, he is running a label releasing Artists like MSTRKRFT and The Bloody Beetroots. So he somehow is supporting the scene, which is good.
But do people of that scene have to return the favour by giving him the chance to DJ quite big gigs? The problem is, Steve Aoki is representing that scene in a really bad way, stereotype: These Nu Rave DJs can’t mix. And it’s really giving me the impression, that he is buying himself into having these gigs.
Visiting this party were also some sort of German ‘celebrities’. Jimi Blue and Wilson Gonzalez, who happen to be sons of a well known German actor called Uwe Ochsenknecht. So you get the idea where they got the money and connections from to start their musical projects (oh, sorry, they are of course great actors themselves…). One of them likes Indie Rock, so he has a band with a major deal going for that. The other one likes obviously Justin Timberlake, so he has a couple of songs with that kind of sound. Check out this video and you get the idea. This boy is pretending to be Justin as good as Steve Aoki is pretending to be a DJ. And it’s hilarious anyway.
I guess you get my point.
So please, Steve Aoki, continue all your label work, sell nice hipster T-Shirst, design stylish headphones, organize partys, you’re really good at that. Honestly, no irony. Bring people together for musical collaborations, let have good producers do remixes for great tracks. All that. Maybe you can even pardon my criticism.
But please, stop DJing.

mp3: tiga & zyntherius – sunglasses at night (d.i.m. remix) YSI



  1. The problem with Steve is that he hasn’t updated his playlist in quite some time (there are many like him who with the added pressure of running a record label. clothing line and touring around the globe have stretched themselves too thin and haven’t the time to keep up on current music, remixes e.t.c.). When he starts integrating decent tracks (maybe some produced by his fellow DJ compatriots/producers) or taking a break to improve is mixing then perhaps he can improve as a DJ. But does he really need to do this? My guess is no and here’s why:

    I think Steve’s a cool guy, he does a lot (and has done quite a bit) to promote experimental and indie artists. The concept behind dimmak is genius for the sub-culture he lives and he really is a decent guy. With that said I have not always been a fan of some of his music including the artists he has signed to his label. I like many believe in quality and at times I think Steve looks past that in an attempt to help his friends out or maybe capitalize on what little popularity these up and coming artists have (in respect to business) to secure a sold out performance and thus justify his pay rate.

    Even his attempts at producing isn’t exactly insanely creative or innovative.

    But to say that he should stop DJing because he sucks is inane. Essentially Steve doesn’t need to improve as a ‘DJ’ and I’m sure he himself doesn’t think he needs to improve as he’s already established himself as an entrepreneur and not just a DJ. The income he earns from DJing is necessary to fund and freely promote his very small, perhaps anti-mainstream label(keep in mind that most of the artists signed to his label are far from mainstream). Constant Dj-ing also keeps him in the news and on the blogs. When you’ve established yourself as much as Steve has then its really about the “name” and the “hype” and no longer about skill. Think about all those DJ sets from artists or musicians or even models that still achieve a sold out club or event. Steve therefore doesn’t need to improve to ensure that he gets a gig – he already has a name and in todays world that is just enough.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    i guess she bangs him.

  3. 3 Is A Crowd Says:

    Hi lachick, I’m not sure I’ve rally got the point of what you are saying. You are saying that Steve Aoki is getting a lot of gigs because of his name, and of course we can agree with that. And where is all this hype coming out from? Of course from the “Steve Aoki character” itself which is linked with his entrepreneur’s life in music, let’s say “fashion” and promotion. So no surprise he’s getting all the dj sets he’s getting, and perhaps the fact that he is famous is helping out the “undergorund” (are they really?) artists he is producing. But I personally agree with what Finckobot has said in his post: we finally need some criticism about all this kind of stuff, really. Nothing like rip on someone without any purpose, but to analyse what’ going on into clubs and the music scene in the present time. And here’s my point: the quality of dj sets and gigs in general right now is really really poor. Every kid without a freaking idea of what clubbing or djing or producing is is trying to get his place into the scene, and somehow many of this kind of people is even making it! I’ve been a clubber since I was 16 and I used to go into big clubs where more commercial dj’s were spinning a more comercial house sound and you know what? Those kids without any skills are making me feel nostalgic of that time! I was totally bored about those dinosaurs dj’s and so excited about the new dance scene because I recognized there were so much fresh ideas in it but now I would like to see dj’s that know notions like “warm-up dj set” (aren’t you tired of getting into a club at 11pm and hear the same loud and banging music you’ll hear – or should hear – at 4pm? DJ’s playing peaktime stuff even if they know there’ll be someone after them that won’t know what the hell play after that music?), “beat mixing”, “using volumes, gains, low frequencies and high frequencies on a mixer”, “entertaining the people and not just yorself”… All notions that used to be part of a professional dj’s vocabulary and now are just strange stuff most of the “dj’s” around the world don’t really know.
    So it’s not just about Steve Aoki and how many dj sets he gets around the world. It’s about bringing some professionality back to the clubs!
    When you call a plumber to fix up your sink, you don’t want a “I pretend to be a plumber” making the problem even worse, do you?

    Francesco from 3 I A C

  4. First off – I’m not banging Steve Aoki – Secondly – I do think that you make a valid point “3 is a crowd” and because I was in a hurry to post the comment I was all over the place. I quite agree that Steve is definitely not one would consider a professional DJ – there is so much he lacks when compared to DJ’s of the past and a few present DJ’s that aren’t club whoring for popularity or money. With that said the point I was trying to make is that he really is a “brand” and a record label owner not just a professional DJ. Though he is known as a DJ he really uses DJ-ing as a way to finance and promote his other interests. While this reality seems unfair to DJ’s that are really talented and aren’t lucky enough to have a DJ career as Steve – its the way of our world. It really is a that shame nowadays that certain jobs are no longer rewarded by skill or talent but by how famous, or rich you are.

    And to answer your question “3 is a crowd” I would much prefer a real plumber and so yes I do agree that the quality of DJ’s should be critiqued but I wouldn’t necessarily go about it by asking someone like Steve to stop DJing because he sucks.

  5. i agree with what has been said about steve aoki, wheni first heard of him and all the hype i did a bit of youtubing and was really surprised by his lack of skill, but i was even more surprised by the crowds reaction, no1 cared he was shit, it was just like they had all been told he is good and a cool guy so they have to go mental to evry tune he plays. its like his name has far outgrown his technical capabilties. and then i heard his essential mix, it was just noise, big tune after big tune. if u were dancin to it there would be no surprises, and little expectation. i get so sick of all the laptop djs who, no matter what time their on at and no matter what size the crowd is, will play whatever tune is big at the moment and bang out absolut filth from the beginnin of the night to the end. you get bored of it, it seems so many djs lack the skill of readin a crowd and knowin what tunes work well with others, and they lack the skill of how to MIX! surely the programmes they use like ableton, seratoo r even virtual dj can do this for them? iv messed about on it and itbhas a sync button and is the easiest thing to use. and how can you dj without headphones? how r they cuein the tune?!
    sorry for goin on a tangent here just its annoyin seein all these “djs” who have got a laptop and gettin these huge gigs whens there are folk like me who have learnt on vinyl and can mix usin eqs and know how to work a set around the crowd.
    and i think steve aoki is a prime example of one of these djs, if his daddy wasnt minted he would have never got anywhere.
    and yes, if you are wonderin, i am a bit jealous!

  6. Anonymous Says:

    he doesnt need the dj money to fund his label. he came from a wealthy family and has come into even more money since his dad sadly passed away. he uses djing to build up his name. downtown records runs his label. everything he does is a self promotional tool. he has access to so many new tunes yet doesnt feel the need to incorporate them. he could probably be very good and progressive in his music tastes if he wanted. but people book him based on hype regardless so there’s no need. no musical integrity. and you’d think with as many gigs as he does he would be able to improve technically set by set….thats what little boots did. she taught herself to mix while she was playing out….

    the problem with the rest of the audience is that they dont know what makes a good dj from a bad one. they just want a good party with songs they know.

  7. Anonymous Says:

    Two words…synchronicity exemplified through a juxtaposition…here we go…

    Steve Keoki.

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