Brooklyn, N.Y.—Has the EDM bubble grown too large for its own good?
Behold the latest bit of evidence: The legendary DJ Shadow was taken off the decks at Mansion nightclub in Miami this past weekend, following an increasingly alarming pattern in the American dance music world where deep-pocketed, bottle-service patrons seem to be dictating what music should be coming out of the speakers.
In late 2012 alone, we can point to: Calvin Harris allegedly removing himself from the decks at Vegas’ Tryst nightclub over nagging song requests; house-music legend Mark Farina getting the early boot at Marquee DayClub Las Vegas; vocal-house maven Dennis Ferrer being axed by repeat Miami offender Mansion for “not playing commercial enough”; singer/songwriter Sia—best known for her vocals on David Guetta’s “Titanium” —cut short at The Bank Las Vegas; NYC-resident Tommy Sunshine’s recent removal from his own release party at NYC’s W.i.P. club; and finally DJ Shadow’s dismissal from Mansion Miami.
In this video chronicling his removal, DJ Shadow can be seen apologizing to the crowd, citing the fact that Mansion “said this shit is too future for all y’all.” These booking mismatches are embarrassing for all parties involved, and further disprove any notion that a genuine “American Ibiza” actually exists. This simply doesn’t happen at White Isle venues like Space or Pacha.
The Contrast: This past Dec. 12—a few days before the Mansion incident—DJ Times stopped by NYC’s Brooklyn Bowl to catch a rare CDJ-driven set from DJ Shadow. It was a very different scene.
He began with a long monologue explaining his fresh musical direction for the night that may bring light to this past weekend’s dispute:
“[New York], I just want to acknowledge and appreciate your letting me do something different,” he said on the mic. “I know it’d probably be a lot easier on all of us, if I just got up here and played the same old […] hits that we’ve heard 500,000 times before, but I feel like, as a DJ, I would be dying inside. I know [there are] probably some people in the audience that [will be] like, ‘I don’t really recognize this music, like, isn’t he going to play X, Y and Z from Endtroducing…..?’ But I would never take your respect for me and your money that you paid to get in for granted by serving you up some bullshit. So, for me, this is like a breath of fresh air in my life. I haven’t been able to do this in a long time.”
Shadow then proceeded to play an exploratory set that took care not to ignore his hip-hop roots, but delved into more modern genres including dubstep, glitch-hop, and similar realms of bass music. In fact, the only 90s “hit” was “Organ Donor”—yes, from Endtroducing….., his 1996 breakout. A few days later, his Miami promoters weren’t feeling it.
True to his word, Shadow took to Twitter to reinforce his principles after he was given the boot by Mansion:
I don’t care if I get kicked out of every rich kid club on the planet. I will never sacrifice my integrity as a DJ…ever #AllBassesCovered
— DJ Shadow (@djshadow) December 16, 2012
He has since followed up with a series of tweets today, beginning with:
I appreciate everyone’s support. Obviously I should have never been booked there in the first place. Square peg in a round hole, etc #iDoMe
— DJ Shadow (@djshadow) December 17, 2012
— Chris Davis