This discussion about how high BPMs rise, whether it’s in a set or a track, seems to be a recurring theme in our Facebook group.
There seems to be a waging war between up and coming DJs in Dublin at the moment over who can reach the highest BPM in a DJ set and quite frankly it goes against what DJ’ing is actually about.
Bpm should never be brought into the equation as a measurement for how good a set was.
“Ah man *Random DJs Name* was whopper last night, he got up to 170 bpm”.
This doesn’t need to be said about a set , yes it’s cool when Bleaching Agent gets up to mental bpm’s but he knows how to do it well. It’s not a case where he has ‘Escape The System’ +16 on the tempo just to make his tracks fast. I feel like a lot of young techno DJs in Dublin are getting lost in this battle against each other over who can find the fastest tunes (I’m even guilty of doing this myself a while back), where in reality it’s completely possible to play an unreal techno set at 127-130 bpm.
Being a part of Techno & Cans myself, we often see young DJs coming in playing an opening up or playing an early slot and absolutely going hell for leather or try to impress us (possibly getting the wrong idea from our posts about AnD’s “Go Hard or Go Home” ways), as if to show everyone how hard they can play. The art of the opening set seems to have been lost and forgotten about (in Ireland, I can’t comment on other countries’ scenes).
This doesn’t just go to people hockeying it out way too early, this can also happen with closing sets. Now I’m not saying that going into the 160 bpm range is a negative thing ,trust me I’m a huge fan of an AnD set, but you need to know how to do it properly. You can’t just constantly jump up +3 bpm every track you play to until you reach 180 bpm and post up a video of Facebook the next day of your last track, claiming how you “destroyed the gaff”.
There seems to be a running joke between our Techno & Cans community about a situation that happened between myself and Dense & Pika at a festival a while ago. Long story short they were late and I had to play their set time and they played mine, unfortunately they weren’t too happy with how fast I was playing. Now people bring up that situation about how I “got up to 140 bpm” as if it was a target to purposely fuck over Dense and Pika, but this was never the case. It just happened to happen as the set went on, people were enjoying the harder music so I went for it.
Just stop comparing sets down to BPM ranges and enjoy the music. There are situations where to go for it and situations where to hold back and I guess knowing the difference will separate the wheat from the chaff.