It seems as though every month that passes by, we’re exposed to another Denis Sulta ‘moment’.
Reciting every single one makes for a bit of a mouthful, but the man is most certainly behind some of the most infamous moments the world of electronic music has seen over the past few years. Be that the release of his infamous track ‘It’s Only Real’ or a whole list of other club orientated bangers, the time he played a certain speech from Conor McGregor in the middle of a set, his AVA Boiler Room or his latest Essential Mix, Sulta has managed to piss a lot of people off in his meteoric rise to the top of the dance music crop, but he has made a whole lot more smile and dance throughout his ascension, which is what it’s all about isn’t it?
Sulta’s begrudgers point to a variety of different reasons for their dislike of the Glaswegian. First off, we have his Social Media presence, which some have believed to be one of a fabricated nature. While Sulta has most definitely garnered a huge host of fans through his colourful online persona, it is in no way particularly fabricated as he regularly posts updates that would have the most lenient Social Media Managers up in arms. There are a host of stars across all genres that’re definitely the product of clever online marketing, however Sulta doesn’t fit that mold. See below:
On top of that, the second largest proportion of Sulta haters come in the form of those that despise him for his DJ sets. As most of us with an ear slightly tilted towards the ground would have noticed, his sets have definitely taken a different shape since he first burst onto the scene. With that being said, most of those taking his trance-heavy, party-vibed showcases to heart are those that it seems he is targeting the most. The difference between his first Boiler Room and second is most definitely huge and people had a point when they noted that the second edition was a lot more accessible than the first and that maybe it strayed a little bit too far from the sound we had come to expect from the Glaswegian. With that being said, it was those who were up in arms about his BBC Radio One Essential Mix that Sulta was really out to highlight.
The Essential Mix is one of those things that you’re supposed to take most seriously in electronic music. It’s an invisible stamp of authenticity on one’s career and his appearance on the series wasn’t without the usual Sulta-controversy that seems to follow the Scot about everywhere he goes nowadays. The mix includes a healthy share of well known house and disco tracks, including Daft Punk’s ‘Robot Rock’, but it was his inclusion of a remix of a Scooter track that really rubbed people up the wrong way. It’s here that we see the exact message Sulta is nonchalantly spreading: there are too many people among us that take electronic music too seriously. Is there really any track out there that could be more ironic than a hardcore remix of Scooter to play in an Essential Mix? Probably not, and that’s probably why he played it.
It’s totally fine for people to push the agenda and make genre-bending music, breaking down barriers is something that should never be frowned upon, but we all need to be able to have a laugh at a certain point too.
Sure, there are most definitely parody acts within electronic music (Rarely a thread goes by without a link to Anklepants’ Boiler Room), but with that being said, we’ve never really seen anyone of Sulta’s ilk who can produce some ground breaking music and maintain a tongue in cheek approach to his DJ sets.
It’s worth noting that there are tracks in all of his sets that are definitely took some digging to find and that he can place credible tracks side by side with some of the cheesiest stuff out there, showing not only a ballsy approach in an industry full of doubters, but also a unique disregard for what’s cool and what’s not.
What adds insult to injury with the music purists among us, that tend to make up the vast majority of Sulta haters, is the fact that the man began his journey through working in a record shop, the infamous Rub-a-Dub at that. Take that and couple it with the fact that he has relocated to Berlin and you’ll find all the chin scratchers wishing they too could put themselves in his white Reeboks for just a day.
Really, Denis Sulta isn’t the bad guy the underground want him to be and he probably never will be. He produces music to a quality as high as his naysayers’ favourite artists, has one of the most transparent online presences you’ll come across and is most importantly concerned with pleasing the people that have payed to see him, rather than tell them they don’t understand his artistic intentions. Is that not what dance music is all about?
We’re not sitting here saying that Sulta is reinventing any wheels, or pushing the boundary further than anyone ever before, quite the opposite, but he has never branded himself in that way either, which means he should never garner the disgust that the purists throw his way. He’s shining a bright light on plenty of the best electronic music out there through the use of some of the genre’s most well known ones, whether that’s cool or not in the eyes of a few turtle neck-clad keyboard warriors doesn’t seem to concern him or the hoards that worship his every move, so maybe we should all stop acting like we’re too cool for the new school.
You can catch Sulta at Forbidden Fruit, which takes place from June 2nd-4th, tickets are still available here.