The next few days bring two performers with radically different approaches to DJing. More than the substance of their sets, their performances will reveal how they approach music itself.
The first is rockabilly, northern soul, and funk DJ Keb Darge, which could be the name of a Scottish foot solider who fought with William Wallace of “Braveheart” fame.
He will perform tomorrow, at The Shelter, with support from DJs of local Quality Control crew HBD, Ceezy, Ben Huang and “big chief” V-Nuts.
Although he has produced for newer bands, Darge is firmly set in the archivist/historian DJ category. His specialty is finding hidden gems from the depths of the past and bringing them back for the new generation of clubbers.
He puts out themed compilation albums. His series “Lost and Found” of rockabilly and jump blues tunes is a personal favorite. For Darge, an old song is new if you haven’t heard it before.
He will perform his entire night on vinyl, eschewing modern technology and gimmickry. Don’t expect anything fancy from Darge: He’ll play one song for a minute or two, then the next, relying on the mood and texture of the music instead of following the BPM (beats per minute).
The second is DJ Young Guru who will perform next Wednesday. Dress code is “fashion chic.”
His press releases call him “The sound of New York” due to his technical mixing and engineering with internationally popular hip hop artists and securing a Grammy nomination for the huge hit “Empire State of Mind” by Jay-Z and Alicia Keyes.
Those credits alone might have gotten him a gig at Unico, which is unique to the Bund. In what is perhaps the world’s most desirable hip-hop DJ gig, he toured with Jay-Z and Kanye West on their massive “Watch the Throne” tour.
If the one mixtape to his credit is an indication, “Cornerstone Mixtape #139: Dead Heat,” this will be a night of popular — and modern — hip hop music. It will be replete with all the modern techniques and the latest hits.
Young Guru is not about the old and dusty, his job is to discover what is hot at any given moment and deliver it fresh. For Young Guru, things forgotten never existed.
Hidden gems from the past or popular hits from right now, classic form or modern technique: the next few days cover the spectrum in DJs.