Not another EDM feud: Avicii vs. CQ vs. A-Trak

00:00 Nov/30/1999

A culture could be defined by many different ways. Also, there are many different traits to a culture, f.e the emergence of sub-cultures. Many see the electronic dance music  becoming a cultural movement now that it's booming in North-America. Other's think that after electronic dance music (that's been around for decades) is becoming so widespread, it's loosing its culture once described as underground and free. Now, is the time to shed light on another aspect of culture - namely discussion. For some reason, these modern day discussions between the representatives of the culture are called feuds. These feuds often taking place on the modern day agora aka Twitter. The last one has taken on bigger proportions than usual, including the Canadian turntable prodigy and label boss A-Trak, the young Swede, Avicii, and a recent tabloid article by CQ.

Apparently, Avicii did the mistake of letting an infamous scandal sheet magazin CQ into his base. The result was the article ''The King of Oontz, Oontz, Oontz'' - after publishing claimed to have 'failed miserably'  by painting a 'twisted' picture of Avicii. The journalist, Jessica Pressler, who's now receiving hate mails from Avicii fans wasn't the most experienced in the field of electronic music or DJing. Nor was she objective in her observations or expression afterwards.  But that doesn't play any role whatsoever. The article is obviously subjective (like this kind of journalism is expected to be), so it should be perceived as a picture that the few nights of following a superstar DJ might paint in the eyes of someone, who's not used to those kinds of parties, or party-people; of someone who writes tilted stories for a tabloid. So why is everybody so serious about this? With every 'culture' there will be people jumping on the bandwagon, just as there will people who will critique the wagon, not to mention the pioneers who've driven the wagon for a long time before it had reached wider consciousness.

One of the passages that got the most feedback was when Pressler writes:


"Before Pournouri could make him the biggest DJ in all the land, however, he had to teach him how to DJ, which was something Tim had never actually done before. Thanks to computers, these days, DJing is mostly "before work," Tim explains. Most of the set list and transitions are worked out before he gets onstage. The notion of a DJ who determines what to play by reading the room "feels like something a lot of older DJs are saying to kind of desperately cling on staying relevant.

Since so much of it is predetermined, I ask, what is he doing onstage? He sure looks busy as hell up there: Twisting knobs and pushing buttons and smiling and dancing. But after watching his show a few times, the only real difference I notice when he twists a button or pushes a knob is that sometimes it gets a little louder or quieter, like he's deploying all of that energy just to change the volume."

To which Bergling apparently answered. "Yeah, it's mostly volume. Or the faders, when you're starting to mix into another song, you can hear both in your headphones, you get it to where you want and you pull up the fader."


To give a bit of a background of the Twitter bickering that began after A-Trak had read the article. Being an industry veteran and a proud DJ that he is, he obviously got offended:

"So there's an Avicii article in GQ Magazine where he says his sets are completely pre-planned & reading the crowd is a thing of the past. He also complains about opening DJs who play the same big songs from his set...which are the same songs everyone else plays. So if I understand correctly, DJs should be robots and each pre-planned robot should know their place...? By the way I think Avicii makes great music, sincerely. But if you play the same thing every night you're not a DJ. Some dudes live in a bubble and think what they hear in bottle service clubs and at festivals is djing. That's just entertainment. Enjoy the entertainment, I play at those spots too. It wouldn't hurt to be a bit creative though."

Snippet from Avicii's lengthy Facebook statement:

"How on earth the fact that I complain when an opening DJ plays some of the peak time tracks I usually play somewhere in my set becomes the conclusion that I only touch volume faders is beyond me and even though I could beat mix in my sleep doesn't allude any kind of respect which I find deeply insulting. I would never lay down a pre-programmed set and performed to a pre-mixed CD, I would never cheat my fans like that. Period."

The point is, this is an outsider's perspective. If she lied, and made up the quotes, she should be fired, the article should be taken off the web and the publisher  sued. Is that the case? Besides Avicii's Facebook statement, there's nothing indicating any legal action has been taken. While most of the whiners around the Internet are bitching about the article not being objective, they seem to forget the fact that it's not supposed to be objective. If she didn't bluntly make up what Avicii and his managers were saying, then I think she was the perfect reporter for the job. Her assignment was to provide an opinionated insight from a tabloid's point of view. So obviously, this kind of article will be tilted towards causing the biggest possible amount of  hype and bad publicity. This way the EDM fan will read through the whole thing, hate on it, and still click on the 'Golden Globes: Top 50 pair of tits in television'-type articles afterwards. But you can't deny the possibility that while they were clubbing around she saw the majority of clubbers as "California girls in itty-bitty bikinis, sunburned cubicle jockeys, belching frat boys in coral necklaces, ravers with giant pupils"? Are you denying the possibility that Avicii and his management were accidentally too honest with the reporter, unknowing that she would write about the matters just as plainly as she understood?

If she wasn't bluntly fabricating quotes, I really don't understand what the fuss is about. This would just be another EDM feud between A-Trak and button pushers or DJ-Sneak vs. DJ-actors. But instead of the usual format of opinion vs. opinion, there's a long tabloid article involved. Now, the essential point here is, was it a fabrication or not? If it would be just another scandal sheet paper, why would Avicii care so much? Would have this blown up so big, if the article hadn't touched a painful chord, or is the ultra reactive self-defence a footnote to some deeper underlying problems in the new form of EDM that's prevailing in North-America?

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