Yet our sounds are also a vocabulary for those who detest the walled-off concentrations of wealth, and steal property back: the collectives that build their own sound systems, stage free parties, and invite DJs to perform. The international DJ becomes emblematic of global capitalism’s complicated cultural dimension. On flights and at the free Continental breakfasts in hotels, often the same soul-destroying hotel chains in each city, we get stuck chatting with our fellow Americans and Western Europeans, the executives eager to find compatriots. We make small talk with these consultants and deal-makers in the descending elevators in the evening—then go out to the city’s dead-end and unowned spaces or its luxury venues to soundtrack the night of the region’s youth, hungry for something new. DJ music is now the common art form of squatters and the nouveau riche; it is the soundtrack both for capital and for its opposition.
So many choices, now. I use Ableton, but Traktor and Serrato are more designed for this.
Open source/ lower cost alternatives?
- mixxx is an open-source one.
- Algoriddim djay (AUD80) runs on ipad mac and windows and can stream tracks from spotify (!)
- flow8deck is made by the people who made mixedinkey, software for the musically vexed. It handles keychanges good.
- Tangerine classifies tempo in itunes. Abandonware.
- Keyfinder. Plush lookin' student project that classifies things by musical key, not to mention all the steps along the way - it can visualise chord structures, melodies and key changes too. Open-source.
See also machine listening, audio software