Response to Alinka E. Greasley & Helen M. Prior: Mixtapes and Turntablism: DJs’ Perspectives on Musical Shape

Ed Montano


This commentary responds to some of the debates and issues raised by Alinka Greasley and Helen Prior’s paper on DJing and musical shape. In particular, I focus on the use of technology by DJs, and how shifts within this domain are redefining the concept and associated skills of DJing. Technological change is having a significant impact on music production and distribution within contemporary electronic dance music culture. Tangible formats and their playback platforms are increasingly fading into the history of DJ culture, and have been replaced with computers and software. In the process, the physicality of DJing, and the values of authenticity this physicality informs, have been reframed and renegotiated in the discourse that circulates within dance music culture. I suggest that Greasley and Prior’s work provides a solid foundation for further investigations into not only the specifics of DJing and shape, but also the broader technological, social and cultural contexts of DJing as a contemporary artistic practice.


DJs; musical shape; technology; electronic dance music

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