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Disclosure address 'fake DJ' claims

As commercial dance music takes on the mantle of the new pop music, the debate about what a DJ performance really is continues to rage. The likes of David Guetta have been caught faking their sets on numerous occasions by pressing play at the beginning and not actually doing much else bar waving their arms about like the star of a hair gel advert, and it seems that many so called DJ’s don’t actually perform at all, but rather make a personal appearance on stage with a pre recorded set.

The latest victims of social media’s built in ‘whistleblower’ role are Disclosure. This photo shows equipment that is not even plugged in let alone being used creatively, and as social networks lit up with outrage, Disclosure released this statement.

“Capital FM made us do this show with a backing track playing but allowed the vocalists to sing. They said that they had to trigger the tracks themselves to sync visuals. We pleaded with them for weeks and weeks to let us play fully live or at least let us mix but they just weren’t having it. You will also notice this was the same for a lot of the dance acts playing that day.

It was incredibly frustrating and horrible for us to hear our music at Wembley and not actually be able to play it ourselves, as anyone with any knowledge about Disclosure knows that we play fully live.

Notice also that we didn’t try and make it look like we were mixing. We left the fucking plug on the floor on purpose, didn’t even plug phono leads into the master out, turned all the EQs fully down and the master out AND DIDNT EVEN TAKE HEADPHONES for god sake!! LOL if at any point we touched the mixer it was…well, you try standing in front of 80,000 people and not touching the mixer… go on… it’s really hard hahaha!

I would also like to point out that people like David Guetta ect who have also been accused of pretending to mix, actually try and cover it up and pretend to blend tracks into one another and hide it… but with us, we played three songs with vocalists b2b with gaps in between, so even if we had been mixing, there would have been no beat matching involved anyway + we didnt try and hide it at all!!

But yeah it was a very strange experience and one we will not be going through again. Capital have been amazing to us and they play our songs roughly 400 times a week across their various networks and we wanted to thank them for all the support.”

This is a fascinating response. It admits it, justifies it by promoter based pressure, and then intriguingly suggests that they actually tried to make it look ultra fake rather than going along with a semi sophisticated ruse. And that – whether part of a cunning plan or some swift thinking after the fact when the photo started to circulate, deserves credit. By taking the issue head on, they are helping open up the debate of what constitutes a performance in the commercial arena, the apparent desire of promoters to encourage sanitised stability over live flows. What do we as a public expect from a live performance?? Actual performance or an elaborate fake with well synchronised lighting?

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