12 awkward dance music moments you can’t un-see
In the afterglow of this year’s Lollapalooza festival in Chicago, an interview between Major Lazer and I Heart Radio sent ripples of cringe through the internet. Of course, it wasn’t the first time an awkward dance music moment was immortalised for us all to re-play. From live gaffes to uncomfortable TV appearances, we’ve opened the inthemix vaults to remember 12 incidents – with video evidence! – that made us go “Oooof”.
#12 Armin’s army takes on David Guetta
In 2011, Armin van Buuren seemed poised to take the #1 spot in DJ Mag’s Top 100 poll for the fifth year running. So when divisive superstar David Guetta knocked him off the coveted spot – in Armin’s Dutch homeland, no less – the audience at the award ceremony wasn’t exactly pleased. For his part, Armin was all grace as he presented the Frenchman with his award, but that didn’t stop the crowd booing loudly as the accused interloper stepped out onto stage.
“Amazing achievement from Armin,” a clearly awkward Guetta wobbled in his acceptance speech. “This is your home country, so it feels a bit strange…” Meanwhile, the magazine issued a statement soon after the ceremony: “DJ Mag is merely the guardian of the poll. It does not reflect our taste in music.”
#11 Markus Schulz on the couch of cringe
Uploaded to his own YouTube channel with the title When interviews go wrong, there was never any doubt that Markus Schulz’s face-to-face with a journalist who clearly hadn’t done her research would have some face-palm moments. Sure enough, things start to wrong around the three minute mark when the interviewer asks Schulz about “his” track Concrete Angel, which, of course, was actually produced by one Gareth Emery.
“But I heard you play it at Escape From Wonderland?” she probes. “I didn’t play at Escape From Wonderland,” an amused Schulz responds. The follow-up question didn’t fare much better, either. “Anything we can look forward to from your set at Ultra?” the hands-on host asked. Turns out Schulz wasn’t playing there, either. “You’ll have to leave this interview online,” he jokes midway through. “No!” she screeches. “I’ll look like an idiot!” Well, yeah.
#10 Itch-E & Scratch-E thank Australia’s ecstasy dealers
(Now, this one might’ve been awkward only for concerned parents, while many more cheered.) When you win an award, it’s common practice to thank your fans, your family, your collaborators and maybe even God. Thanking the purveyors of powerful chemicals isn’t usually on the list, but seminal Australian techno duo Itch-E and Scratch-E cheekily double-dumped that rule when they won the 1995 Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) award for Best Dance Release for the sublime Sweetness and Light.
Members Paul Mac and Sherriff Lindo used their acceptance speech to thank “the ecstasy dealers of Australia,” which caused a bit of a media kerfuffle, coming as it did only four days before the tragic ecstasy-related death of schoolgirl Anna Wood. Paul Mac later said that it was, “The best career move I ever made. I got in so much trouble for that, but I don’t care. I’m still proud of it. I meant every word, and I still do.” Will we see Skrillex thanking “molly” at next year’s Grammys? Unlikely.
#9 The amazingly awful trailer for ‘DJ Girl’
“Is this the worst DJ movie ever?” inthemix asked back in 2010, when we unearthed the gold-mine that is the DJ Girl trailer. Yes, this is someone’s idea of dance music culture. Packing facepalm after facepalm into two tantalising minutes, it’s almost a tragedy this teaser never led to the movie getting an official release. We never found out what happened to Dylan ‘the cute record store guy’, Gabe ‘the jealous ex’, Gunther ‘the metro buddy’ or the rest of the well-rounded and cliché-free characters. Oh well. At least you can revisit the trailer below and wonder what could’ve been.
#8 DJ Shadow “too future” for the table-service crowd
When you book a peerless innovator like DJ Shadow to play your club, you should probably expect that he’s going to play some interesting, perhaps even challenging, music. Apparently Miami superclub Mansion missed the memo, though – the promoter kicked Shadow off the decks mid-set for being “too future.” (Have a listen to the infamous mix below and let us know if you think his mix of future-trap and glitch-hop is too challenging for a club crowd.)
Shadow took to Twitter to respond: “I don’t care if I get kicked out of every rich kid club on the planet. I will never sacrifice my integrity as a DJ…ever.” Shadow isn’t the only one to have been kicked off the decks at Mansion, though – house legend Dennis Ferrer’s set was also cut short for not being commercial enough.
#7 Disclosure goes ‘unplugged’ at Wembley Arena
A supposedly incriminating photo did the rounds after “the UK’s Number 1 Hit Music Station” Capital FM brought Disclosure in to perform hit You & Me at their Wembley Arena Summertime Ball. Vocalist Eliza Doolittle was on the mic, belting it out, while the brothers Lawrence stood awkwardly behind a black clothed trolley on which sat their CDJs and mixer, none of which were plugged in (the mixer plug was clearly visible on the floor).
Was this another case of talented producers who can’t actually do anything live? Disclosure were quick to answer the haters, posting on Facebook, “Capital FM made us do this show with a backing track playing but allowed the vocalists to sing…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. Notice also that we didn’t try and make it look like we were mixing.” Props to the brothers for their protest stance.