A-Trak on ‘button-pusher’ debate: “Steve Angello actually has remarkable DJ skills”

After a string of back-and-forths between some of dance music’s biggest names, it’s probably time to draw a line under the whole “button-pushers” debate. If there’s anyone who can bring it together with cogency, it’s turntable dynamo A-Trak, who has written a guest blog for The Huffington Post, ‘Don’t Push My Buttons’. A-Trak uses the controversial deadmau5 post ‘We all hit play’ as a starting point: “His tone is strangely defensive and he unjustly lumps DJs into the argument, reducing their craft to mindless beat-matching.”

Deadmau5 has admitted the ‘We all hit play’ argument was “a carpet bomb”, and there are many exceptions to the rule. In a recent radio interview with Q Uncut, he gave this qualifier: “I do have to say at this point, this is a select group of A-liners [addressed in the blog post], not everyone in electronic music. I carpet-bomb the shit out of everything. I really do. Then after I do it everyone’s like, ‘Oh yeah? Well, what about this guy?’”

Some of the leading voices saying “what about this guy?” – with a few more expletives thrown in – were A Guy Called Gerald, Dave Clarke and Mr C. A-Trak’s write-up for The Huffington Post moves on to also address the storm around that Steve Angello video from Dance Valley: ‘How To Fake Your Fans’.

“It showed the Swedish House Mafia DJ playing 15 minutes of a pre-recorded set from a single CD deck,” A-Trak writes. “He later explained that this was the finale of a show where fireworks, pyro and CO2 were timed with certain cues and that it was impossible to perform this segment while mixing live. Having seen Steve mix in front of me many times I can attest to his (actually remarkable) DJ skills. But let’s back up a bit: fireworks, pyro and CO2 with house music? Something new is going on here…”

You can read how he ties it all together over at The Huffington Post, and you’ll find a few familiar themes raised on the pages of inthemix, including the “LED arms race” we wrote about in the ‘Bright Lights, Big Budgets’ feature and the regular gripe of 2012 about the repetition on top DJs’ playlists.