5 Types of DJs in China

My cat is a DJ. He scratches my records.

2018 has come to an end, and if you’re like the rest of us, you’ve probably attended some hardcore parties for Christmas and New Year. That’s why you need to read this article – because we’ve all met these DJs. 

#1 The Expat (aka the “DJ Visa”)

According to “an extremely reliable source”, “DJ” has triumphed “English Teacher” as the most popular title for FOB expatriates.

Usually from Berlin, Amsterdam, LA, or Chicago, these people can be identified by their stage names – which include a pun, an intentional typo, a French preposition, and a douchey initial. No matter what they play, in their words they’re always “dropping the sickest beats”, and that it’s always “huge” in the Polish underground. In reality, of course, not all beats are equally sick, and not every DJ can actually claim to be talented. A simple way to tell the good from the bad is to just look at the ticket price. A cover of 80 RMB or more guarantees a good night, while anything less than 30 means you’re paying to see a sweaty white person turn some knobs. 


#2 The Chick With Tattoos 

It’s rather refreshing to see female DJs in a pretty much male dominated industry. However, most of them are a walking stereotype, identified by their penchant for chain smoking, crop tops, crazy hair colors, and tattoos. Oh, and don’t forget the 24-hour resting bitch face.

And while they may all look the same, it’s actually hard to predict what music they will play. But even then, it often falls into two general categories. If she’s playing DnB, Techno, or Dubstep, she’s likely more serious and will opt for intense, feminist beats. But if she’s playing House, Trance, or Electropop, she’s probably just DJ-ing for fun while looking for a real DJ with whom she can hook up. 

#3 The Lazy Mixtape Player

You know the type. These are the DJs that simply download existing tracks, put them into a playlist, and stand in the booth adjusting the volume and hitting “Next”. But don’t be so quick to criticize – these DJs are so bad that they actually become good again.

Think about it. What are the odds of going to a club and still getting to hear Top 40 hits that haven’t been remixed to hell? And what are the chances that you can go up to the booth and ask the DJ to play your jam? This breed of DJ may be lazy, but he is down to play three Justin Bieber songs in a row, just for you. What more can you ask for? 

#4 The Fusion Artist

Here are the douchebags who call themselves names like “soundscape futurist” and “glitch pioneer”. They can’t explain their style without using the word “fusion”, although they don’t even know what they are actually “fusing”.

They always brag about their bold experiments, which often boil down to nothing more than rhythm-based visuals created with a few lines of code. They’re also all about mixing traditional Chinese melodies into EDM, a blend that, in their words, represents “a harmonious fusion of East and West”.

So, if you want a good time with friends, don’t choose these events. But if you must go, be sure to comment on social media with douchey criticism like: “I’m digging the grainy synth, but to be honest, it could definitely use some more analog distortion. The ambience just isn’t cloudy enough.” 

#5 The Countryside Electro-Rapper

If you haven’t heard of this trending music genre, don’t be ashamed – it’s about as edgy as it gets and hasn’t gotten the fame it deserves. Born from Chinese farmers with a passion for drinking and poetry, countryside electro-rap is a mix of hip-hop, techno, and Kuaibanr – as if Tiesto and Guo Degang had really rough sex, but in a fourth tier Chinese city.

Sound intrigued? Go check out MC Heaven Blessed and scope his hit song, “Getting Drunk, Alone”. Trust me, you’ll thank me later.  

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Thanks for reading!

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