Old Industrial vs New Industrial
This one is a very touchy subject sometimes to discuss depending on who you talk to. While the easy answer is simply an individuals preference on what they like, I think that new Industrial has much more merit and should be regarded as a more important aspect of the genre than old Industrial.
Too many times I hear folks say that they don’t like new Industrial because it “all sounds the same” or “there is nothing new or good coming out”. First of all let’s take the first excuse, “all sounds the same”. While there are some exceptions, if you take ANY musical genre and play a bunch of songs from said genre then it WILL sound the same. Don’t believe me? Take 10 Doom Metal artists and play them back to back. Then you got the folks that say “there isn’t anything new or good coming out”. Anyone who says this simply put does NOT look for new music. There are dozens among dozens of labels that out consistently putting out amazing artists. Now more than ever we have great streaming services like Spotify or Apple Music that you can use to find new music. Ever heard of Bandcamp? If you go into Bandcamp and come out without finding a single new song or artists that was amazing then you are drunk and need to go home.
While old Industrial has paved the way, brought recognition to the genre, and helped place the music where it stands now, we would be dead in the water if it wasn’t for new artists keeping the music going. Old Industrial certainly needs the respect it deserves but if we want to see the music continue to flourish and break new grounds then it is the new artists and new music we have to support. The music has come a long way and evolved quite a bit since its inception back in the late 70’s. Industrial hasn't lasted as long as it has if it was just for ‘that one Skinny Puppy song”.
What makes a good Industrial DJ?
This questions comes up time and time again and just like any other topic of discussion there are always many valid answers. What skills should someone that spins Industrial music have in order for them to be "good"? What style should they spin? What BPM? What do they spin on? Are they a "shitty DJ" if they use digital? Are they "archaic" if they spin on CD's or Vinyl?
My first experience with an Industrial DJ was going to a now defunct club in Seattle on a Saturday night and hearing the DJ there spin. It was a popular night and he always had folks on the floor dancing. I enjoyed the night and thought the DJ was pretty damn good. At the time I knew nothing about DJ'ing, especially what it is to DJ Industrial music. As I continued going to the nights I started realizing something. He was spinning the same songs every fucking weekend. "But its fine because he has people dancing and they are coming to the nights. This is good exposure to the music" I told myself.
I got more into going to Industrial club nights and so started checking out other nights around town and found out that the DJ's at the other nights also play the similiar sets. At around 2008 I started learing how to DJ with a friend of mine who had a background in spinning Trance. He taught me beat matching and fading. I started to mess around with these techniques and went back to the club. To my amazement the DJ that had everyone dancing was not even remotely fading and/or beat matching to save his ass. "This guy fucking sucks. What a hack!"
So now that I have been spinning for some time, I ask myself the same question. Does an Industrial DJ that doesnt beat match suck? And yes, this question is only for folks that spin Industrial. Not Trance, EDM, polka, etc. The short answer, to me, is NO. Ultimately the goal of a DJ is to entertain the crowd. When you first become a DJ you have to ask yourself: "What is my goal?". What are you trying to do? Are you an old school DJ? Are you a progressive DJ focusing on new music and exposing it to the crowds? A little of both? To me, doing what you set out to do is ultimately what makes you a great DJ.
Being able to mix and beat match is great. I think any new DJ that wants to spin (Industrial or not) needs to know how to do it. But it is also icing on the cake. If you spin, get the crowd into it, and are successful but don't mix worth a damn then all the power to you. I want to have the technical skills and I want to be able to play new music. That's me. The other guy might not have the same idea. If you are solely calling someone a "Crappy Ass DJ" because of a technical level then fine but that doesnt mean that they are a bad DJ if they can play and keep the crowd going.