Last night was a good showcase for that old question: To what extent does a DJ have to adapt to the audience he is playing to? Jami Welch aka “Seams” and Lewis Roberts aka “Koreless” – both British DJs and architects of some great chill tracks like “MTI” or “Focus Energy” below – were entertaining at a Dimensions Festival warm-up event at “Horst Krzbrg” in Berlin. I had heard their tracks on soundcloud and was curious on how they were going to bring those slow sounds to the club. The show was free, the club packed, and everything was led in by some house and UK-dubstep beats.
Welch had been living in Berlin for some months recently and therefore had some experience with the Berlin crowd. In an interview he gave to TLOBF after that stay in Berlin, he said he was producing more upbeat and driving sounds since then: “It’s really interesting the effect you can have on a crowd. I wanted the new tracks to show a different side, and at shows for people not to be just stood stroking their chins. It’s crazy the reaction you get from just putting a 4/4 kick-drum on. I started playing these tracks in Germany recently and they weren’t really digging the whole ten minutes of street noise, glockenspiels et cetera and as soon as the beat kicks in they were all ‘Yeeeeah, tecccchhnnooo!’ (shakes fist).”
This evening, that experience proved to be golden. Because although Seams had changed his sound so much that I didn’t recognize him being on the decks until after half an hour, Koreless – following Seams set – was about to show what happens when you don’t play to the crowd’s needs. He just spun his sounds the way they can be heard on his soundcloud, neglected the beat and as a result provoked a lot of standing around, chatting, texting – and in one instance: back massaging. He was withholding the bass from people who clearly wanted to dance and clung to each little beat or bass drop as if they were starving. Though wonderful in itself, his set just did not match the setting and a friend of mine rightfully called him egoistic for it. We left the club shortly after his set, not soaked in sweat like we had hoped and a bit disappointed because of that. I hope the Dimensions Festival uses this as a warning and puts him in some chill-out daytime slot.