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SUMMER MUSIC THE FADER MAGAZINE JUNE/JULY 2009

A NEW ERA

DJTHEK-FRY DEATH OF VINYL RECORDS

TV ON THE RADIO THE GOLDEN AGE THE MOBOLAJI REPORT SEAN BELL BY MRMATSUI IN DEFENSE OF HIS ART SAUL WILLIAMS

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Fader 56 June / July 2009 Summer Music Contents

DJ K-Fry, photographed by Todd Cole, April 2009.

FEATURES 80

DJ K-Fry

Breaking New Ground

86

Technology Review

Cheap DJ Equipment

92

TV On The Radio

Everything’s Golden

96

Mr. Matsui

Sean Bell

100 Saul Williams

Leave Me Be

108 STYLE

The Mobolaji Report

56 2 4 T H E FA D E R


Show off your personality.

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S TO RY T. C O L E R A C H E L P H OTOGRAPHY DOROTHY HONG


DJ K-Fry

A

disc jockey (more widely known as a DJ or deejay) is a person who selects and plays recorded music for an audience. There are several types of disc jockeys. Radio DJs introduce and play music that is broadcast on AM, FM, shortwave, digital or online radio stations. Club DJs select and play music in a bar, club, disco, a rave, or even a stadium. Hip hop disc jockeys select, play and create music with multiple turntables, often to back up one or more MCs. In reggae, the disc jockey (deejay) is a vocalist who raps, toasts or chats over recorded rhythm tracks while the individual choosing and playing them is referred to as a selector. Mobile disc jockeys travel with portable sound systems and play at a variety of events. Such is the case with none other, than DJ K-Fry. Mobile Disc Jockeys are an extension of the original Radio disc jockeys. They travel with or go on tour with mobile sound systems and play from an extensive collection of recorded content for a specific audience. In the 2000s, mobile DJs need a large selection of music, professional-grade equipment, good organizational skills, vocal talent as an MC, mixing skills, quality lighting, insurance for liability, and on-site back-up equipment. In the 2000s, the role of the Mobile DJ has expanded. Many Mobile DJs have assumed additional responsibilities to ensure an event’s success. These responsibilities include the roles of MC, event organizer and coordinator, lighting director, and/or sound engineer.

8 2 T H E FA D E R

In the past, Mobile DJs utilized vinyl records or cassettes. During the Disco era of the 1970s, demand for Mobile DJs (called Mobile Discos in the UK) soared, and top DJs travelled with hundreds of vinyl records and cassette tapes. In the 1990s, Compact Disc became the standard. Mobile disc jockey trade publications such as DJ Times magazine and Mobile Beat were founded in this era. In 1998, the first MP3 digital audio player was released, the Eiger Labs MPMan F10. Final Scratch debuted at the BE Developer Conference, marking the first digital DJ system to allow DJs control of MP3 files through special time coded vinyl records or CDs. While it would take sometime for this novel concept to catch on with the “die hard Vinyl DJs”, this would soon become the first step in the new Digital DJ revolution. In an interview, DJ K-Fry said, “I’m not trying to knock those who still use vinyl, but they will never be able to come close my level.” Manufacturers joined with computer DJing pioneers to offer professional endorsements, the first being Professor Jam, who went on to develop the industry’s first dedicated computer DJ convention and learning program, the “CPS (Computerized Performance System) DJ Summit,” to help spread the word about the advantages of this emerging technology. In 1999, Shawn Fanning released Napster, the first massively popular peer-to-peer file sharing system. During this period, the AVLA (Audio Video Licensing Agency) of Canada announced an MP3 DJing license, administered by the Canadian Recording Industry Association. This meant that DJs could apply for a license giving them the right to “burn” their own compilation CDs of usable tracks, instead of having to cart their whole CD collections around to their gigs. By the 2000s, new technologies such as voice tracking, allowed DJs to send announcements across many stations. Commercial radio DJs were increasingly limited in their freedom to select which songs to play. Some music aficionados


“I’m Not Trying To Knock Those Who Stil Use Vinyl, But They Wil Never Be Able To Come Close To My Level.”


DJ K-Fry

“Things get old and die out. That’s life, technology is sought free form stations that put the DJs back in control, or chose instead to listen to satellite radio services or portable music players. College radio stations and other public radio outlets continue to be the most common places for free form playlists in the U.S. In 2001, Apple’s iPod was introduced and quickly became the highest selling brand of digital MP3 player. The convenience and popularity of the iPod spawned a new type of DJ: The “MP3J”. First appearing in

East London clubs, and spreading to other music scenes, this new DJ scene allowed the average music fan to bring an iPod to “iPod Night,” plug into the mixer, and program a playlist without the skill and equipment demanded by a more traditional setup. In 2006 Rane introduced its own version of the digital vinyl system, Serato Scratch Live making improvements in overall system stability and closely emulating the feel of true vinyl. Soon after many nightclub DJs that had remained

true vinyl record spinners began the transition to becoming digital vinyl users. In 2006, the concept of DJ had its 100 year anniversary. Today, many Mobile DJs like K-Fry rely heavily on laptop computers and MP3s for sequencing and mixing. This technology allows DJs to do mixing prior to an event as well as lightens the load by reducing the number of CDs that a DJ must carry. Additionally, it creates an abundance of endless possibilities towards new creations. When asked what drives him to put

was 15. I’ve evolved, I grew. The only way to survive is 8 4 T H E FA D E R


no different. I’ve been doing this whole DJ thing since I so much effort into his craft, DJ K-Fry had the following to say: “The bottom line is, I’m a creator at heart. I don’t like getting told what to do, I don’t like boundaries. If I wanna sleep ‘till 4 o’clock in the afternoon and stay up ‘till 6 in the morning I’m gonna do it. Simple as that.” When asked to elaborate, DJ K-Fry stated “Cuz while you’re sleeping, I’m working. Might be a little different than what you do, but it’s work nonetheless. The difference is, I take my work home with me. I don’t

leave it at the office. And really, and this is the key part, I don’t hate my job. You go out to the store with $30 dollars and buy yourself and iPod lamp for your little cubicle. Me on the other hand, I hit up Sam Ash and drop a grand on some new Pioneer turntables. Now you tell me, who really loves their job more?” So as technology continues to advance, it is likely that more DJs like K-Fry will continue to make their voices heard. Though it seems vinyl records seem to be going the way of VHS

tapes, there are still some who wish to hold onto the vintage feel like pioneers before them. Yet, these two distinct groups do share a common fact. “I can’t rap. I can’t sing. But I have a love for music. I’m just as driven as label artists. But I’ll stick around. Things get old and die out. That’s life, technology is no different. I’ve been doing this whole DJ thing since I was 15. I’ve evolved, I grew. The only way to survive is to adapt. Otherwise, you’re not even relevant anymore.”

to adapt. Otherwise, you’re not even relevant anymore.” T H E FA D E R 8 5


RV

TECHNOLOGY REVIEW CHEAP DJ EQUIPMENT

Cheap DJ gear can also benefit parents who want to buy their child a complete DJ system all in one shot without having to figure out what different gear they need to buy. It does make life easier when all you have to do is look at a “DJ in a Box” set and find everything you need for a third of the cost of what the pro disc jockeys use. DJ systems are not necessarily cheap. They are scaled down versions of the top end gear. That makes them inexpensive DJ equipment. If you are a budding disc jockey or you want to pick up DJing as a hobby then buying a complete DJ system is the right move. By buying a complete DJ system you avoid confusing yourself and playing the guessing game. There are some words of caution though before you buy. Make sure that the DJ system you buy comes with direct drive turntables. It is pointless to try to DJ using belt-drive turntables. You’ll only frustrate yourself. Besides belt-drive turntables aren’t really made for DJing. The belt-drive turntables are the real cheap DJ equipment. Avoid at all cost. Cheap equipment is made by all of the major manufactures of DJ gear but Stanton, Numark, and Gemini make the best “all in one” packages.

8 6 T H E FA D E R


Photography by Todd Cole

Stanton

Stanton

Stanton

Numark

Gemini

$349

$399

$599

$399

$399

DJLab.1 DJ Pack

DJLab.2 DJ Pack

DJLab.3 DJ Pack

Numark Battle Pak DJ System

Scratch Master 5.0 Direct Drive Turntable Package

2 T.50 belt-drive turntables with slipmats and dust covers

2 T.60 direct drive turntables with slipmats and dust covers

2 T.80 high-torque direct drive turntables with slipmats and dust covers

TT1520 turntables with cartridges and a pair of slipmats

2 TT-02 high-torque, direct drive turntables with slipmats and dust covers.

2 500B cartridges mounted on headshells

2 500B cartridges mounted on headshells

2 500B cartridges mounted on headshells

N/A

Removable hard shell

M.201 2-channel mixer

M.201 2-channel mixer

M.202 2-channel mixer

DM1001X mixer

MX-02 Mixer

DJ PRO 80 headphones

DJ PRO 80 headphones

DJ PRO 80 headphones

D-50 headphones

DJX-03 Headphones

All cables

All cables

All cables

All connecting cables

Detachable RCA and ground cables

T H E FA D E R 8 7


56

SUMMER MUSIC THE FADER MAGAZINE JUNE/JULY 2009

TV ON THE RADIO THE GOLDEN AGE IN DEFENSE OF HIS ART SAUL WILLIAMS THE MOBOLAJI REPORT SEAN BELL BY MRMATSUI A NEW ERA

DJ K-FRY THE DEATH OF VINYL RECORDS

Fader Magazine  

Editorial project for Fader Magazine where DJ K-Fry is the featured cover artist. All phtography within the issue done by Devin Frymire. F.Y...

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